In a glittering opening ceremony at Vladivostok, Russia, Indian Task Force Commander Maj Gen ND Prasad and Chief of Staff, Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation Lt Gen Solomatin declared the tri-service Exercise INDRA 2017 open.
The opening ceremony witnessed Maj Gen ND Prasad and Lt Gen Solomatin inspecting the smartly turned out contingents, which was followed by a march past by the tri-service contingents of both sides. The opening ceremony also witnessed an astounding display of traditional martial arts and folk dances by the Indian troops and a flypast by four fighter aircraft of Russian Federation Air Force.
In his opening address, Maj Gen ND Prasad, the Indian Task Force Commander said that the initiative taken for the first ever tri-service exercise between both countries reflects the vibrancy of the continued Indo-Russian strategic partnership and that with the rich operational experience of both Russian and Indian armies in counter insurgency operations, both sides will gain immensely from each other and further develop their capabilities. Lt Gen Solomatin, Chief of Staff, Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation stated that the tri-service exercise will further strengthen the relationship between the two defence forces and lead to enhanced mutual cooperation between the two great countries.
Lt Gen JS Negi, leader of the tri-services Observer delegation, during his media interaction, said that the conduct of the first ever tri-service exercise between the two countries is a significant step in mutual cooperation and marks an important milestone in the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He expressed his confidence that the joint training between the two defence forces over the next ten days will result in gaining from the experience and best practices of each other and would further enhance mutual confidence.
The opening ceremony was followed by a ceremonial banquet hosted by the Russian side, where both sides interacted in an informal atmosphere and expressed their common intent and strong resolve to conduct the exercise in a professional manner, so as to achieve the overall objectives of Exercise INDRA 2017.