Dustlik 2023: Fourth Edition of India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise
Starting on Monday in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, the fourth edition of the India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise Dustlik has begun. The exercise, which is held biennially, will span 14 days and focus on sharing best practices in Sub Conventional Operations under UN mandate. The Indian Army’s Garhwal Rifles from the Western Command will participate, along with Uzbekistan’s North Western Military Command. The exercise will involve field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures, demonstrations, and a validation exercise. The aim is to promote positive relations between both armies, with 45 soldiers each from both countries taking part. The exercise will emphasize the importance of interoperability between forces.
According to the Indian Army, the bonhomie, espirit-de-corps, and goodwill generated during the exercise will strengthen the bonds between both armies by enabling an understanding of each other’s organization and methodology of conducting various operations. With over 65,000 soldiers, the Army of Uzbekistan is one of the largest in Central Asia. Uzbekistan is critical to India for connectivity to Iran and the Central Asian region, and India is trying to expand its trade in the region. However, conflicts in Afghanistan are a significant hindrance, and India needs the support of other Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan to counter such security issues.
The Hisar Air Base of Uzbekistan is jointly operated by the Indian Air Force and Tajik Air Force and is also called the Gissar Air Base. India used the base extensively during the Afghan crisis. The Indian Army is deploying the Garhwal Rifles in military exercises, and they recently participated in the Dharma Guardian military exercise conducted with Japan. The 14-day training focused on sharing expertise and experiences in Counter-Terrorism operations in urban terrain.
Dustlik Joint Military Exercise
Dustlik is a word from the Uzbek language that means friendship.
The India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise Dustlik is an important bilateral event that enhances the relationship and coordination between the Indian and Uzbekistan armies. The exercise provides an opportunity for both armies to share their best practices, strengthen their interoperability, and promote positive relations.
Through the Dustlik exercise, troops from both countries develop an understanding of each other’s organization and methodology for conducting various operations. The joint training includes field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures, demonstrations, and a validation exercise, which helps both sides learn to exploit new-generation equipment and technology for conducting joint operations. By participating in Dustlik, India aims to deepen its strategic partnership with Uzbekistan, which is crucial for India’s connectivity to Central Asia and Iran.
The exercise also underscores India’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region by countering security challenges, including terrorism, with the support of its Central Asian partners.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team