Indian Army conducted a large-scale air borne training exercise named “Exercise Devil Strike” in North Bengal from 22 to 27th January.
The aim of the exercise was to practice the entire spectrum of operations carried out by an Air Borne Force to include aerial induction of troops, heavy weapons, equipment and logistics re-supply, destruction of High Value Targets (HVTs), successful link up with advancing ground forces and exfiltration operations.
The exercise showcased seamless integration of forces & assets from Indian Army and IAF and synergised application in a networked battlefield under intense Electronic Warfare environment. More than 1000 para troopers from the Eastern Command, GARUDs of IAF took part in the exercise duly supported by aircrafts including Rafale, C-130 Hercules, AN-32 and indigenous ALH of both Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
The exercise commenced with aerial induction of specialised troops to secure an air head in the designated enemy territory through Combat Free Fall (CFF). Thereafter, the main force inducted by Static Line Jumps. Heavy weapons & equipment was inducted by latest Guided Precision Aerial Delivery System (GPADS). The troops inducted thereafter carried out drills for destruction/neutralisation of targets by direct action while Fighter aircrafts and attack helicopters destroyed targets designated through Laser Target Designators by the para troopers on ground. Post Strike Damage Assessment (PSDA) was carried out by Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPAs) and re-engagement was carried out wherever necessary. On successful completion of the mission, the para troopers linked up with the ground forces and practised exfiltration. Under water diving teams meanwhile conducted a diversionary attack near the Teesta Barrage.
Exercise ‘Devil Strike’ culminated on 27 January 2024. The exercise showcased capability of an Air Borne Force consisting of Indian Army & IAF and synergised application of latest weapons & equipment in a networked environment. The exercise also witnessed participation of newly inducted weapons and equipment made in India as part of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
The large-scale air borne exercise in North Bengal showcased Indian Armed Forces’ capability of mobilising a large force swiftly and launching air borne assaults in a dynamic battle environment.