The C-17 fleet is vital to IAF's military airlift and humanitarian mission capabilities. India is also the largest operator of the C-17 internationally (Image courtesy: Indian Air Force)
The Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) on Wednesday announced yet another bilateral exercise with the Indian Air Force (IAF) thus deepening cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific region which has become a priority theatre for defence forces from both countries.
The bilateral ‘Shinyu-Maitri-23’ transport aircraft exercise between the two air forces will be held early next month at the Komatsu Air Base and its surrounding airspace.
The purpose of the exercise is to improve air transport capability and to promote mutual understanding between the two air forces.
While ‘Shinyu’ means ‘best friend’ in Japanese, ‘Maitri’ means ‘friendship’ in Hindi. The deployment of IAF C-17 aircraft and personnel for the exercise will begin on February 28 with the two-day exercise kicking off on March 1.
The JASDF will be participating with its domestically-developed and manufactured C-2 transport plane from the Miho base.
The first Shinyu-Maitri exercise was held at the Air Force Station in Agra in December 2018 with a focus on undertaking joint mobility/Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations on transport aircraft. Display of heavy loading/off-loading was practised during the exercise.
The forthcoming joint exercise comes close on the heels of last month’s inaugural ‘Veer Guardian-2023’ joint Air Exercise at the Hyakuri Air Base which was a massive success.
The 16-day joint training witnessed not only the two Air Forces engaging in complex and comprehensive aerial manoeuvres in multiple simulated operational scenarios but also flying in each other’s fighter aircraft to gain a deeper understanding of operating philosophies.
As reported by IndiaNarrative.com, the IAF has already invited Japan for joint fighter drills in India.
Both countries have hailed ‘dramatic expansion’ in security and defence ties in recent times, highlighting their commitment to a “common strategic goal” of achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient, based on the rule of law and free from coercion.
The announcement of Shinyu-Maitri-23 comes at a time when troops of the Garhwal Rifles regiment of the Indian Army and an infantry regiment from the Middle Army of the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) are taking part in the fourth edition of the joint military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian’ being conducted at Camp Imazu in Japan’s Shiga province from February 17 to March 2.
#WATCH: The contingent of #IndianArmy arrived in Japan to take part in Joint Military #ExerciseDharmaGuardian with Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces commencing at Aibano Manoeuvre Area: Indian Army#INDefence #IndiaJapanFriendship pic.twitter.com/0uA3H2u1Zo
— INDIA NARRATIVE (@india_narrative) February 16, 2023
“The annual training event with Japan is crucial and significant in terms of security challenges faced by both nations in the backdrop of current global situation. The scope of this exercise covers platoon level joint training on operations in jungle and semi urban/urban terrain,” the Ministry of Defence stated at the start of the exercise.
Last week, in another show of deepening strategic ties, two ships of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) made a port call at Kochi.
2月14日、インド太平洋・中東方面派遣部隊 #IMED23🇯🇵は、#インド共和国 🇮🇳のコチ港に寄港し、ホストシップの揚陸艦「マガル」艦長から歓迎を受けました。
停泊期間中、インド海軍との親善交流を通して #自由で開かれたインド太平洋 の実現に寄与します。#FOIP #QUAD @JMSDF_A_MF_HQ pic.twitter.com/L3kKWUQEvU
— 防衛省 海上自衛隊 (@JMSDF_PAO) February 15, 2023
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