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India, Egypt commandos train together in deserts of Rajasthan

Commandos from the Special Forces of Indian and Egyptian Army during the first joint exercise in Rajasthan (Image courtesy: Twitter/@ADGPI)

The special forces of the Indian and the Egyptian Armies continue to engage in drills in the deserts of Rajasthan during their first-ever joint exercise ahead of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s landmark visit to India, next week.

The 14-day ‘Exercise Cyclone-I’ kicked off in Jaisalmer on January 14 with an aim to bolster defence cooperation between the two nations and focus on sharing professional skills and interoperability of Special Forces in desert terrain while undertaking counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, raids and other special operations.

It is the first exercise of its kind bringing the special forces of both nations on a common platform with both the contingents practising special forces skills such as sniping, combat free fall, reconnaissance, surveillance and target designation, sharing of information on weapons, equipment, innovations, tactics, techniques and procedures.

The participants would also undertake joint planning and drills for Special Forces operations in a mechanised warfare setting as well as surgical strikes on terrorist camps/hideouts to include sniping of high-value targets.

The Indian Defence Ministry said that the joint exercise would also provide an insight into the culture and ethos of both armies thereby fostering military cooperation and interoperability to further strengthen the diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.

Both countries have witnessed deepening defence cooperation in recent times with Indian Naval Ship Sumitra visiting Egyptian port Safaga, earlier this month.

Next week, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be the first President of the Arab Republic to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi as a Chief Guest.

Also Read: Why Egyptian President al-Sisi’s visit can expand India’s strategic horizons