RIYADH: Saudi cadets are traveling to India to undergo training at the National Defense Academy (NDA).
The NDA is the joint services academy of the Indian armed forces where cadets of the three forces receive training together before they go on to their respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training.
The cadet training includes a language and adaptation program as part of a three-year training, which begins on June 27 at the NDA at Khadakwasla near Pune in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.
The NDA is the world’s first tri-service academy. After training and studying there for three years, the cadets are awarded a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Hifzur Rahman, Indian Embassy spokesman, told Arab News on Monday: “The Indian envoy in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Javed, received five cadets from the Royal Saudi Land Forces who will be traveling to India, and interacted with them ahead of their journey.”
The names of the five cadets are Shaya Jabbar Al-Ghamdi, Essam Al-Otaibi, Fahad Al-Qahtani, Nawaf Al-Shahrani and Yasser Al-Farhan.
This is the second group of Saudi military cadets proceeding to the NDA for military training, he said, adding that the first batch of five cadets is already undergoing training at the Indian military institution.
The focus during the military training will include sub-unit level training, leadership, physical and mental robustness and camaraderie.
The Indian ambassador, who wished these cadets good luck, told Arab News: “This is aimed at boosting bilateral military cooperation between the two friendly countries.”
It is the first time Saudi Arabia has conducted pre-commissioned training for their military cadets in India, the envoy said.
He added that this military training and defense education is a follow-up to the Indo-Saudi defense cooperation memorandum signed during the last visit to India of King Salman — then crown prince, deputy premier and minister of defense — in February 2014, to expand defense cooperation between Riyadh and New Delhi.
During that visit, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defense cooperation to deepen bilateral ties as part of their strategic partnership. The MoU allowed the exchange of defense-related information and military training and education. The first indication that the two sides were serious about cooperating came in 2012 when the first meeting of the India-Saudi Arabia joint committee on defense cooperation took place in New Delhi and both countries expressed interest in defense exchanges and increasing military-to-military contacts.