Army Chief Inaugurates Int’l Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena’

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News Desk

Chief of Bangladesh Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed inaugurated the International Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena’ at Bangabandhu Cantonment in Tangail on 04 April 2021. The international military exercise was organized to mark the birth centenary of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the Bangladesh independence. Quartermaster General (QMG) of Bangladesh Army Lieutenant General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, General Officer Commanding of Army Training and Doctrine Command Lieutenant General S M Matiur Rahman, General Officer Commanding 19 Infantry Division Major General Syed Tareq Hossain, other senior military and civilian officials were present.

Representatives from a total of 11 countries are participating in the multinational military exercise. A total of 123 Army personnel including 30 from Bangladesh, 30 from India, 30 from Sri Lanka and 33 from Bhutan participated in the training. A total of 19 observers from USA, France, Nepal, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan participated in the training.

The main objective of Exercise Shantir Ogroshena 2021 (Front Runner of the Peace) is to increase the capacity of the countries participating in the UN peacekeeping missions to maintain world peace. The participating countries will strive to achieve the goals of the training by creating a collaborative work environment through mutual knowledge and exchange of technical information.

The theme of the exercise is ”Robust Peace Keeping Operations”.

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh and the birth centenary of Rahman. In reflection of close ties, India is also hosting a number of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1971 war that led to liberation of Bangladesh. Around 93,000 Pakistani troops had surrendered before the joint forces of the Indian Army and the “Mukti Bahini” on December 16, 1971 that paved the way for the birth of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh armed forces are taking numerous efforts for its military modernization drive called Forces Goal 2030 which began in 2009 and revised in 2017, designed to the capabilities of the three services of the Bangladesh armed forces: the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

The primary focus of the modernization program is the reformation of the military organization, expansion of the forces, the transformation of the indigenous defence sector to support research and manufacturing, and acquisition of modern military weapons. To fulfil the modernization requirements, the Bangladesh Government allocates funds exclusively for the program in addition to the defence budget. The funds allocated for the program during the first five years is estimated to be around forty thousand crores taka (US$5.2 billion).

The Bangladesh Army procured 44 MBT -2000 tanks from China in 2011. She has signed contract with China for 44 VT -5 light tanks in 2019. Army also started light amphibious tank procurement process in 2019. The Navy attained three-dimensional capabilities with the establishment of submarine fleet, with two Ming-class submarine acquired from Peoples Republic of China. In 2013, Bangladesh Air Force procured 16 Chengdu F-7BGI 3.5 generation fighter aircraft from China. The Air Force bought JH-16, YLC-2, YLC-6 and JY-11B radar systems from China. In 2011, BAF inducted its first surface-to-air missile system, the FM 90, from China.

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