Islamabad: The Pakistan Army will on Saturday begin its biggest field exercise, involving 20,000 personnel, to validate the concept of a new defensive doctrine for countering conventional threats.
The six-week exercise, codenamed Azm-i-Nau 3, involves troops belonging to all arms and services, besides engagement of various aircraft and equipment of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Online news agency reported, quoting military sources.
It will be the largest since the Zarb-i-Momin wargames of 1989. The ongoing PAF exercise High Mark 2010 will be fully integrated with the army field exercise, which will continue till May 13.
The exercise is being organised in the areas of southern Punjab, Sialkot and Sindh; more than 20,000 officers and soldiers belonging to all three armed services would be participating.
Director General of Military Training Maj Gen Muzammil Hussain said India had been informed about the exercise.
He said the exercise would be the culmination of a long and deliberate process of wargames, discussions and logistic evolution of a concept of warfare that fully responsive to a wide array of emerging threats.
The process commenced with the exercise Azm-i-Nau-2 conducted in February.
Hussain pointed out that the Army followed a biennial training pattern wherein training objectives set forth were to be achieved over a span of two years.
The training was mission oriented and based on the obtaining security environment, he said, adding that the training was methodical and progressive, culminating in map exercises, war games and field exercises at various levels of command.
"In the light of the Army chief`s vision, a comprehensive package in the form of the Year of Training was formulated in 2009-2010 and now, the Pakistan Army is all set to go in the field to validate those concepts," Hussain pointed out.
Military sources said the Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani would himself supervise Azm-i-Nau-3, while all corps commanders would be responsible for their respective commands and formations.