SSB's DIG BK Pal interacting with the trekking team before the flag off on Monday.
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Siliguri: The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Army today embarked on a first-ever joint expedition in Sikkim aimed at building operational cooperation in securing the Indo-Nepal border.

The joint initiative, in the form of a trekking expedition, was flagged off today from Uttarey in West Sikkim. SSB’s Gangtok sector deputy inspector general BK Pal did the honour in the presence of officers from the Army.

Officers and personnel from SSB’s 36 and 72 battalions and the Army’s 192 Field Regiment are taking part in the expedition. There are 21 members in the team and they will traverse through a treacherous route to reach Yuksom (5,840 feet)at the extreme end of West Sikkim.

The team has plans to complete the trek in 25 days, which includes acclimatisation and familiarisation with local people at different heights.

In flagging off the team, Pal said that the exercise will improve camaraderie, understanding, and co-operation between the Army and SSB. This, in turn, will help in future operational cooperation between the two troops in the area to secure the country’s borders, he said.

Pal hoped that the Army will participate in other joint operational exercises with SSB in the near future.