DUSTLIK 2023: India-Uzbekistan Military Exercise
India and Uzbekistan conducted the fourth edition of the DUSTLIK 2023 military exercise in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. During the exercise, the countries trained their troops in multi-domain operations and shared their skills. India’s GARHWAL Rifles from the Western Command participated in the exercise. And from Uzbekistan, the North Western Military command participated in the exercise. The exercise is biennial, meaning conducted once in two years.
Uzbekistan Military Power
The country ranks 62 in its military power. It is a part of the Turkic world. With more than 65,000 soldiers, the Army of Uzbekistan is one of the largest in Central Asia.
The Hisar Air Base of Uzbekistan is jointly operated by Indian Air Force and Tajik Air Force. It is also called the Gissar Air Base. India used the base extensively during the Afghan crisis.
Why is DUSTLIK important?
Uzbekistan is important to India for connectivity to Iran and the Central Asian region. India is trying to expand its trade in the Central Asian region. But the conflicts in Afghanistan are a big hindrance. To counter such security issues, India needs the support of other central Asian countries like Uzbekistan.
In recent times, Indian Army is deploying the Garhwal Rifles in military exercises. In the recent DHARMA GUARDIAN military exercise conducted with Japan too, the Garhwal Rifles participated.