An Indian Armed Forces contingent of 81 personnel left for Australia on 22 November 2023 to participate in the second edition of the joint military exercise AustraliaHind-23 (AustraHind-23). Exercise “Austrahind-23” is being conducted off Perth, Australia from 22 November to 06 December 2023.
Representation of both the countries in AustraHind-23:
- The Indian Army team includes 60 soldiers from a battalion of Gorkha Rifles. The Australian Army contingent of 60 personnel consists of the 13th Brigade.
- From the Indian side, an Indian Navy officer and 20 Indian Air Force personnel are also participating in the exercise. While the Australian contingent consists of 20 personnel each from the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
Plan to make AustraHind an annual training programme:
- Exercise AustraHind was launched in 2022 and the first edition was held at Mahajan, Rajasthan. It is planned to make it an annual training program to be conducted alternately in India and Australia.
Objective of organizing AustraHind:
- The exercise aims to foster collaborative partnership and share best practices between both sides.
- The exercise will also promote interoperability while conducting multi-domain operations in urban and semi-urban areas under UN Chapter VII on Peacekeeping Operations.
Pre-planned events in AustraHind-23:
- The joint exercise will promote exchange of ideas and jointly practice tactics, techniques and procedures for tactical operations.
- The training course also includes sniper firing and jointly operating surveillance and communication equipment to achieve a high level of situational awareness.
- Casualty management and evacuation will also be rehearsed in addition to tactical operations at company/battalion level.
Will further strengthen India-Australia strategic relations:
- The exercise will also help in promoting understanding between the two armies and further strengthen defense cooperation between the two friendly nations.
Defense cooperation between India and Australia:
- Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) was signed during the Virtual Summit in June 2020 to enhance defense cooperation.
- A 2+2 ministerial dialogue took place in September 2021 and the Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Australia visited India in June 2022.
- A 2+2 ministerial dialogue was organized between the two countries in the third week of November 2023. In which many points were agreed upon to take the defense cooperation between the two countries to a higher level.
- Joint Military Exercise:
- At the invitation of Australia, the Indian Armed Forces participated in Talisman Sabre 2023 with over 30,000 military personnel deployed in Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales. For the first time, exercises were conducted around Norfolk Island.
- Exercise “Malabar” was conducted in August 2023 hosted by Australia with the participation of India, Japan and the US.