Surrounded by varied terrains jungles, mountains, plains and semi-hills highly conducive for training in different kinds of warfare, the regimental centre of the Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) in Belgaum remains a favored location for joint military exercises involving India and other countries.
The Belgaum training centre, which is the headquarters of the MLI, is one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army. Last year, it was the men from the US armed forces who were at MLI, Belgaum, for a similar joint drill. And in January next, another US army contingent is slated to engage in a joint exercise at the MLI centre.
What makes the Belgaum training centre suitable for such exercise is primarily its location. There are good weather and terrain conditions like the surrounding forests, etc for military training. This makes it convenient to carry out various exercises. Another factor was the infrastructure for carrying out joint drills, including tactical games, firing, etc. The presence of infantry school’s junior leader’s academy in Belgaum, which trains, among other things, in confidence building and survival skills critical to jungle warfare, was another key factor.
Belgaum is located close to the Western Ghats. A key plus point is the vast jungles that offer a perfect setting for training in guerrilla warfare. Few regimental centers in India have such an advantageous location. The regimental centre itself has a long and glorious history of courage and valor, shown time and again during conflicts like World War II. Terrain apart, there are other factors like Belgaum’s proximity to the coastal belt (the Konkan and Goa), an operational airport and the presence of the Junior Leaders Wing (JLW) of the Infantry School which provide a distinct training advantage.
Belgaum has earned a strong reputation of military training ever since the days of the British Raj. World War II saw a major training exercise here.
I can just say “Proud to be a Belgaumite” My Salute to all the Soldiers.