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INDRA-2013:Indo-Russian troops overcome language barrier in wargames
Last Updated : 27 Oct 2013 10:23:06 AM IST
INDRA-2013:Indo-Russian troops overcome language barrier in wargames
Indo-Russian troops overcome language barrier in wargames


Undeterred by the language barrier,Indian and Russian soldiers carried out their recent counter terrorism drills by devising a mutual communication plan that at times helped them to interact without any interpreter.


Exercise Indra, the joint war games which concluded at the Mahajan Field Firing range here on October 25, witnessed around 250 troops of both forces jointly capturing notional rebel strong point by fire assault of attack helicopters and tanks and were also engaged in combat shooting and clearing villages.

"On the first day, the training was very difficult as we did not understand each other. But on the second day, we found a mutual language. As far as our private speeches were concerned, we could interact without any interpreters," said Chief of Staff 36th Russian Army Maj Gen Alexey Zavizion.

Similar were the reactions by his Indian counterpart."On a lighter note, we started with 'dumb charades' and we got used to it. Within the next two days, although not understanding the word, I started understanding what they were meaning," said 6 Independent Armed Brigade commander Brig V M Chandran.

He said it was a herculean task for the joint planning exercise on the first day because of the language barrier.He maintained that there was a little difference in the way the Russians operate in comparison to the Indian Army which is why it generated the excitement and interest of getting this planning together.

"We found that after the first day, we could come up with a solution as far as carrying out this exercise is concerned.We actually got together to plan out an exercise which had semblance of the Russian and our way of tactics. Language might be a barrier but tactically we understood each other very well," he added.

However, both the Indian and Russian troops were also aided by a woman official of the Indian Army who helped bridge the language gap.

Captain Vishwa Vandana, an Army Education Corps officer,was among the only two women Indian Army officials who took part in "INDRA-2013" where she acted as an interpreter. The other woman was Col Shelja, the Commanding Officer of the field military hospital.

"The Russians were very cooperative. Initially there was language issues but through their (Russian) cooperation, the  ice was broken at a very early stage and the entire exercise went along excellently," Vandana said.

She said the Russians had also brought their own interpreters and starting from the joint planning to all the other tasks, everything went along well during the exercise.Asked about challenges faced during the exercise, she said that there were some points where differences between both the armies came up but these were quickly sorted out.

"There were certain stages where both the armies had different view points but these were quickly agreed upon due to excellent cooperation between both the sides," she said,adding that it was the first time officials from both the sides had taken part in such a joint exercise.

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