NEW DELHI: A special tri-Service combat exercise called “Bull Strike”, with Special Forces and amphibious operations, was conducted by the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) over the last three days.
The high-voltage exercise, with assets and manpower from the Army, Navy and IAF as well as Para-SF and marine commandos, was conducted at the remotely-located Teressa Island in the Nicobar group of islands from November 3 to 5.
“It was carried out to validate and rehearse operational plans and contingencies in a realistic tactical setting under the overall command and control of ANC, which is the only joint services operational (theatre) command of India,” said an officer.
The combat manoeuvres included combat free-fall and para-drop from C-130J “Super Hercules” strategic airlift aircraft, special heli-borne operations by “Ghatak’ platoons of the Army and amphibious landings by warships.
“The exercise focused on enhancing interoperability and synergy among the three Services to maximize combat potential. ANC chief Lt-General Manoj Pande, who witnessed the exercise on the final day, exhorted the troops to maintain the highest state of operational readiness at all times,” said the officer.
As was earlier reported by TOI, amidst the ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, India now finally plans to crank up “force accretion” and “military infrastructure development” in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as an effective counter to Chinese moves in the Indian Ocean Region.
The ANC was established as India’s first theatre command in October 2001 but has not achieved its potential due to internecine turf wars among the three Services, general politico-bureaucratic apathy, fund crunches and environmental concerns. This is set to change now.