Dharma Guardian 2024 Insights on India-Japan Military Drill

Image depicting security drills at JASDF Tohokumachi Sub Base during Dharma Guardian 2024, the India-Japan Military Exercise
Dharma Guardian 2024 Insights on India-Japan Military Drill

The 5th edition of the India-Japan joint military exercise, 'Dharma Guardian 2024', began on February 25th and will run until March 9th, 2024.Conducted at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan, India, this annual exercise alternates between the two countries.


  • The primary goal of 'Dharma Guardian 2024' is to enhance integrated operational capacities and inter-operability between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Forces.
  • This is achieved through joint training in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism scenarios, aligning with a United Nations charter.

Key Highlights:

1. Tactical Drills:

  • Troop contingents from both nations engage in specialized combat tactical drills, including heliborne insertion, intelligence operations, mounted patrols, and cordon and search in hostile zones.
  • Emphasis is placed on establishing temporary bases of operations and interventions in built-up areas, reflecting real-world challenges.

2. Equipment Showcase:

  • The exercise facilitates the exchange of best practices, technology demonstrations, and weapon displays, showcasing advancements in indigenous defense production.
  • This aligns with India's vision of self-reliance in defense.

3. Strengthening Bilateral Ties:

  • The Japanese contingent comprises troops from the 34th Infantry Regiment, while the Indian Army is represented by a Battalion from the Rajputana Rifles.
  • High-level participation, including Japan’s Eastern Army top commander, enhances strategic bilateral defense cooperation and diplomatic ties.

4. Takeaway for Armed Forces:

  • 'Dharma Guardian' enables the assimilation of fine techniques, modern battle procedures, and response protocols from friendly foreign forces.
  • This expands the tactical horizon of the Indian Army, contributing to its preparedness for overseas deployments.

Previous Exercises:

  • 'Dharma Guardian' has a history of promoting military cooperation between India and Japan.
  • The inaugural exercise was held in 2018 at the Counter Insurgency Warfare School, Vairengte, India.
  • Subsequent editions have alternated between India and Japan, with the 2023 edition held at Camp Imazu, Japan.

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