Honing their operational readiness to meet any challenge from China, the three forces and more than 3,000 elite para commandos and Special Forces are carrying out a combined exercise in the strategically-important Andaman and Nicobar islands.

This multi-domain exercise is taking place weeks after the three services carried out similar drills along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and the Line of Control (LoC) facing Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir.

This multi-domain exercise is taking place weeks after the three services carried out similar drills along the LAC in Ladakh and the LOC facing Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir.

Giving details of the current exercise, sources said here on Wednesday the exercise is currently in progress at the Nicobar group of islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

As part of the exercise, troops of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force were mobilised for amphibious landing, in close coordination with the para drop of airborne troops.

Amphibious landing involves the ground troops landing at the seashore from the ships under covering fire from the warships and aircraft.

The rapid response capability of Shatrujeet Brigade has validated wherein the paratroopers who had moved from mainland executed airborne drop in an island territory of Andamans in a realistic tactical setting under the overall command and control of Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only joint services operational command of the defence forces of India.

Lt General Ajai Singh, Commander-in-Chief Andaman Nicobar Command, witnessed the Airborne Exercise and complimented the paratroopers for their battle readiness.

The exercise saw the transport planes para dropping light tanks and assault vehicles along with the troops. The Shatrujeet Brigade had earlier participated in the same exercise at the LAC and LOC.

The Andamans is very important for Indian interests as most of the sea lanes ferrying Indian imports and exports pass through them close to the Islands. India has to ensure that trade takes place unhindered.

Moreover, China is increasingly flexing its maritime muscle in the region and the Indian security establishment is keen to test all its equipment and troops to meet any threat, they said.

Over the years India has developed vast infrastructure there including airbases with the capability of launching front-line fighter jets including Su-30s, Mirage, and Jaguars. These bases have manifold increased the strategic reach of the Indian forces to meet any challenge in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.

This series of exercises is also an effort to validate the doctrine of fighting the war jointly in perfect coordination and achieve the military objective in the shortest possible time. Similar exercise at some other strategically important places may take place in the coming weeks, sources added.