One of the largest multinational field training exercises in India, the Force-18 ended successfully in Pune. General Dalbir Singh, chief of Army Staff presiding over the closing ceremony, called it a "watershed event in the history of ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting."
The week-long event saw the participation of over 300 foreign participants and observers from ASEAN Plus countries. The Plus countries included US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. The exercise hosted the ground forces of these countries focused on "Humanitarian Mine Action and Peacekeeping Operations."
General Singh handed over plaques to all contingent commanders of foreign armies. In his speech, he said that the exercise is a "watershed event."
"The activities conceived and planned under the ADMM Plus umbrella are of strategic importance to all of us. They further the all encompassing aim for the peace, stability and development of the region. The forum provides an equal and beneficial playground for all the participants, harmonising relations, building capacities and facilitating meaningful interaction among the regional players," General Singh said.
"It provides valuable platform for our armed forces to work together, in a constructive and meaningful manner to enhance peace and security of the region," he added.
He further added that this exercise provided a platform to know about the practices of other countries during Peacekeeping Operations and come up with understanding about handling such situations.
The Exercise Force -18 saw the participation of deputy chief of general staff Vietnam Army, senior lieutenant general Vo Van Tuan and other senior dignitaries. Vietnam and South Korea were also the co-chairs of the exercise along with India.