By Ankur Sharma
Ranikhet (Uttarakhand) [India], March 13 (ANI): Indian Army troops and Uzbekistan Army troops at Chaubatia on Saturday practised firing on the newly inducted weapon by India, Sig Sauer 716 assault rifles, at the ongoing joint military exercise 'DUSTLIK II'.
The exercise is based on counter-terrorist operations and aims at enhancing military cooperation.
The SIG Sauer 716 assault rifles were recently inducted into the Indian Army and given to all jawans deployed at Line of Actual Control (LAC) and key strategic areas.
Commanding Officer of 13 Kumaon Regiment, Colonel Amit Malik said, "If we talk about the weapons, we have Sig Sauer rifles. This weapon and other weapons have been given by the Indian army for practice. They are not carrying any weapons with them. This joint military exercise will help both the countries in many ways."
The officer said that the Indian Army is teaching Uzbekistan troops to how to handle this new weapon.
Republic of Uzbekistan's Colonel informed that the first edition of DUSTLIK took place at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent in Uzbekistan last year. "We got a lot of experience here with practicing Indian troops. The main goal of visiting here is to make strong militaries in the sphere of defence."
The exercise will conclude on March 19.
The 13 Kumaon Regiment, known as the Rezang La Battalion, is famous for its heroics in the battle of Rezang La in the 1962 war with China.
According to Colonel Aman Anand, Army spokesperson, all infantry battalions deployed at key locations have got this weapon while in other infantry, 50 per cent of troops have it.
Approximately 1 lakh 44 Sig Sauer rifles have been given to Indian troops, government sources said.
The first lot of this weapon was already received and the Indian Army deployed the first lot of around 72,500 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the US for counter-terrorists operations.
It was earlier decided that the new batch of these assault rifles would be given to the soldiers deployed on the front with China in Eastern Ladakh.
The joint military exercise Dustlik-II was started on March 10 and will be ending on March 19.
During these nine days, both the countries will be carrying out various counter-terror operation drills which include, cordon and search operations, firing, jungle warfare tricks which will give a boost to Uzbekistan troops in handling terror.
It is expected that Uzbekistan Deputy Defence Minister will be joining his troops on March 19. (ANI)