By Darshana Sanjeewa
A largest ever month-long ‘Exercise - Western Shield’ would be conducted from July 1 with the participation of the three armed forces, the Army said yesterday.
It said the infantry training module, meticulously segmented would make a milestone in Army history by enabling the troops to be well updated with simulated operations at ground level and acquire a vast knowledge on the operational capability of the Army personnel.
The Army said at least 5,000 Infantrymen, three General Officers Commanding Divisions, nine Brigade Commanders, 15 Commanding Officers and a group of supportive Army personnel are expected to take part in the exercise.
The Infantry Directorate has done the final touches to this concept by Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake.
Director General Infantry Major General Duminda Keppetiwalana is supervising the overall conduct of the month-long exercise that covers Anuradhapura, Mannar and Puttalam Districts.
It is scheduled to begin with the support of other service Regiments, Navy and Air Force troops.
This exercise is being launched on a directive of Lieutenant General Senanayake, 10 years after the eradication of terrorism.
The exercise will consider the professional need of Army personnel to be well-attuned, refreshed and upgraded to meet any future warfare threat and enhance alertness for tactical operational capabilities, enemy offensives, infantry operations, enhance theoretical understanding, decision-making and operational abilities, map reading, command and maintenance of moral courage and psychological preparedness.
Army said the exercise will extend from Mannar to Puttalam, including Kalpitiya, Wilpattu National Park, Mavillu and Thabbowa Forest Reserves and the Western Coastal Belt and provides the opportunity for Army trainees to march through those areas which are not usually accessible to others except to forest conservation officials.
At least 5,000 Infantrymen, three General Officers Commanding Divisions, nine Brigade Commanders, 15 Commanding Officers and a group of supportive Army personnel are expected to take part in the exercise