India to host part of International Army Games for first time

New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) In a first, India will host a part of an international military sports event in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer over nine days in August, in a bid to promote bonhomie among the participating countries, senior officials of Army said Tuesday.
It is also for the first time that an Indian team will participate in this competition, they said.
International Army Games, organised by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, have been taking place since 2015 and sees participation of close to 32 countries.
In 2019, it is proposed that the International Army Games will have 32 disciplines to be hosted by 10 countries — Russia, India, China, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, they said.
India will host the fifth Army International Scout Masters Competition as part of the games, an official said.
The India leg of the event is being held at the culturally rich golden city of Jaisalmer, nestled in the Thar desert.
“A total of eight countries — Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Armenia, Belarus, China and India — will participate in this leg. The competition is being held in India for the first time under the aegis of the Indian Army and being organized by the Konark Corps at Jaisalmer military station,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Aman Anand said.
The Army Games have been a platform for participating nations to interact and promote bonhomie.
The Army Scout Masters Competition will be conducted from August 6 to August 14, officials said.
A Russian delegation, senior military and diplomatic dignitaries from participating countries visited Jaisalmer Military Station on May 14 and 15. The delegates were shown and briefed on the special training facilities st up at Jaisalmer and Pokhran, Col Anand said.
Officials said the aim of the competition is to enhance international military-to-military cooperation, assist each other in proliferation of best practices, develop competitive spirit amongst scouts participating and display combat capabilities and characteristics of modern weapons and equipment.
Army officials said, the role of an army scout is to operate as one of the lead personnel in an operational area to gather information of the enemy by vehicle mounted or dismounted reconnaissance patrols.
“Army Scouts track as well as report movement behind enemy lines, assist in disruption of enemy mechanized move by using anti-armour weapons, laying ambushes deep inside enemy territory and direct employment of various weapon systems,” an official said.
Their specialized skills enable them to assist with observation and listening posts, perform and help with navigation and help securing launch pads. They are trained to carry out silent battle reconnaissance after establishing contact and reconnaissance of crossing places over obstacles.
Scouts are professionally trained to find out the strength and dispositions of an enemy, gaps in enemy defences and its likely reactions. They are also referred to as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the army, they said.
The event will witness participation of the mechanized infantry scout teams of eight countries, including Russia, which is the founding member of this format of International Army Games.
“The International Army Scout Masters Competition will be conducted in five stages, which will test the overall skills of mechanized infantry scouts in simulated battle field scenarios. The combat skills will be adjudicated by a panel of international judges and referees.
“The competition will showcase combat training and promote camaraderie among the contestants, facilitate sharing of best practices as well as develop military and technical cooperation between participating nations,” the defence ministry’s spokesperson said.

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