The competition fosters military to military cooperation while building upon the best practices of participating nations. Participation in these annual games is a reflection of the level of professionalism of the Indian Army amongst the world Armies.
|The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army|
The Indian Army will be participating in the International Army Games being held in Russia from August 22 to September 04, 2021. These Games organised by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation are also known as the “War Olympics”. Russia has been organising these Olympics since 2015 and India has been participating in them from their inception. The event involves close to 40 countries taking part in dozens of competitions over two weeks to prove which is the most skilled. In addition to the competition, the International Army Games include a military theme park, a recruitment station and souvenir shops.
During the 2018 edition of the War Olympics, India participated in two competitions, Tank Biathlon and Elbrus Ring which is mountain warfare combat patrol competition in the vicinity of Elbrus Mountain – both were held in Russia. Unfortunately, the Indian Army team though exceedingly close to the Chinese teams in the two competitions did not make it to the finals. In the semi-final of the Tank Biathlon competition, the Indian Army was performing exceedingly well but had to withdraw after both their tanks broke down before completing the full course of the semi-final run. Fan belt snapped in the first tank and engine oil leaked of the reserve tank deployed, two kilometers before reaching the finish line.
A 101 member contingent of the Indian Army will proceed to Russia to participate in International Army Games - 2021 from August 22 to September 04, 2021
At the end of the International War Games in 2018, India was nominated to run the Scout Masters Competition next year. In 2019, Indian Army not only organised this very well at Jaisalmer, but the participating Indian Army team emerged winners in first position. In the 2020 International Army Games held from August 22 to September 5, Russia won the overall competition while Belarus was second and Uzbekistan the third.
For the forthcoming seventh edition of the War Olympics commencing this month, a press information bureau release dated August 9 states -
‘A 101 member contingent of the Indian Army will proceed to Russia to participate in International Army Games - 2021 from August 22 to September 04, 2021. The contingent will participate in Army Scout Masters Competition (ASMC), Elbrus Ring, Polar Star, Sniper Frontier and Safe Route games showcasing various drills in High Altitude Area terrain, operations in snow, sniper actions, combat engineering skills in obstacle ridden terrain in the various competitions. The contingent will also contribute two observers (one each) for the Open Water and Falcon Hunting games in which Pontoon Bridge laying and UAV crew skills will be showcased by the participating teams.
The Indian Army contingent has been selected out of the best from various arms after three levels of screening. Participation in these annual games is a reflection of the level of professionalism of the Indian Army amongst the world Armies. The competition also fosters military to military cooperation while building upon the best practices of participating nations. Previously India stood first amongst the eight countries that had participated in Army Scouts Master Competition 2019 in Jaisalmer.’
Earlier, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had intimated that this year these Games would be held from August 22 to September 4. A UNI report quoted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh saying that more than 280 teams from 42 countries will demonstrate their combat skills and determination to win this year’s competition that will be held in eleven countries. Notably, the US, UK, Canada and most of the western European nations do not take part in the War Olympics organised by Russia.
The 42 countries participating in the seventh War Olympics have their own national interests, regional tensions and global concerns to contend with
Post the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Russia’s seventh War Olympics are being held in an internationally charged atmosphere. In June 2021, the US intelligence community had said that Kabul could fall to the Taliban in six months or so after US troops exit the country. But now with the rapid gains made by the Taliban, US estimates have telescoped the fall of Kabul to two months. But depending on the quantum of Pakistani and Chinese support to the Taliban, this could be even earlier. Iran remains a flashpoint for Israel and tensions are increasing between the US and China-Russia on multiple issues.
The recent five-day Russia-China ‘Sibul/Cooperation 2021’exercise (August 9-13) in China’s north-central Ningxia region bordering China’s Xinjiang province involved more than 10,000 ground troops. The Russian military said that it had sent Su-30SM fighter aircraft, motorised rifle units and air defence systems to China as part of the exercise.This was also the first time that Russian troopsused Chinese weapons. Sibul/Cooperation 2021exercise was a clear signal to Washington. In return the US has signaled Beijing with the US Navy’s ‘Full Ship Shock Trials’ by detonating powerful explosions to test whether its aircraft carriers are ready for war; triggering 40,000-pound (18,143-kg) explosion to evaluate battle readiness of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford.
The 42 countries participating in the seventh War Olympics have their own national interests, regional tensions and global concerns to contend with. This Olympic also includes an airborne training competition, namely ‘Airborne Platoon’ beginning August 22. The grand opening of the competition will take place on August 22 in Ryazan at the Spartak stadium. The competition will last until September 2 and will be held at the Dubrovichi training ground of the Tula Guards Airborne Force in the Ryazan Region.
14 international teams for the ‘Airborne Platoon’ had already arrived in Russia on August 12 and were presented with weapons with which they will compete
14 international teams for the ‘Airborne Platoon’ had already arrived in Russia on August 12 and were presented with weapons with which they will compete. Each soldier, in accordance with his military specialty, received an AK-74M assault rifle, a PKM machine gun, or an RPG-7D grenade launcher. Among those who received weapons were representatives of the Myanmar team. Overall 17 teams from around the world will compete in ‘Airborne Platoon’. These include China, Pakistan, Myanmar, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Congo and Mali. Apparently, India is not participating in this competition because of Chinese and Pakistani participation.
The Indian Army contingent participating in the Army Scout Masters Competition (ASMC), Elbrus Ring, Polar Star, Sniper Frontier and Safe Route games should do well given the training they already have and good wishes of a billion plus Indians.