Pune, 13th February 2022: A delegation of six Sri Lankan Armed Forces officers was on a three-day visit to India as part of Army to Army Staff talks from 10 to 12 February. The 9th Army to Army Staff Talks (AAST) was organised by Agnibaaz Division under the aegis of Headquarters Southern Command at Pune with an aim to foster better coordination between the two militaries.
The staff conference was led by Major General Anil Kumar Kashid, Additional Director General International Cooperation, head of Indian Army delegation and Major General HP Ranasinghe, head of the Sri Lankan Army delegation.
“Both countries discussed agenda points focusing on key issues related to training, the conduct of bilateral and multilateral exercises, enhancing relations in fields of arts, sports and cultural exchanges. The conference culminated with a discussion on the progress of already implemented matters and the planned intended course of action in the forthcoming years. The talks were testimony of ever-increasing bilateral military cooperation and understanding between the two nations”, a press release from Southern Command stated.
The delegation visited the Military Institute of Technology (MILIT) and National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla on 11th February. The team interacted with Commandant and faculty on the training methodology and best practices being undertaken at MILIT. The delegation was briefed on armed forces related technological studies being undertaken at MILIT and also interacted with the Sri Lankan Army student officers attending the DSTSC course at MILIT.
The visit to NDA was aimed towards enhancing cooperation as part of the ‘Training Exchange Program’ between both countries which has been the strongest and most enduring pillar of India-Sri Lanka bilateral defence cooperation. The delegation members were briefed about the training methodology and associated infrastructure at NDA. Sri Lankan cadets undergoing training at NDA also met the delegation members at the Cadets’ Mess. The delegation called on Air Marshal Sanjeev Kapoor, Commandant, NDA.
The Sri Lankan delegation also visited the College of Military Engineering (CME), Pune where they were exposed to the training infrastructure at CME utilized for imparting training on all relevant engineering aspects for emerging security challenges across the entire spectrum of conflict. A combat engineer demonstration was also organized for the delegation. In addition, a cultural tour was also organized for the delegates providing a splendorous insight into India’s rich heritage and culture.