INDO-US MILITARY EXERCISE
By Yash Goyal
JAIPUR (TIP): The first Indo-US defense exercise in the Biden presidency commenced on February 8at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, near Bikaner in Rajasthan. The India-US joint training Exercise YUDH ABHYAS started with opening ceremony that saw unfurling of the National Flags of both countries amidst playing of the National anthems, “Jana Gana Mana” and “The STAR- SPANGLED BANNER”. The duo’s bilateral combat drill is underway from February 8 to 21 at different locations in Mahajan firing field (mostly sand dunes).
On Feb 6, the US Army contingent comprising of a Brigade and a Battalion group of 2nd Battalion the 3rd Infantry Regiment of 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team comprising of 270 persons landed at Suratgarh. The 14 days schedule is focused upon joint training on Counter Insurgency environment under United Nations mandate.
The opening ceremony was held on February 8 at Mahajan Field Firing Range. Brig Mukesh Bhanwala, Commander 170 Infantry Brigade welcomed the US contingent. He impressed upon both the contingents to achieve optimum cohesion and inter-operability to achieve the military objectives of the exercise. He stressed upon importance of free exchange of ideas, concepts, best practices between the troops and the necessity to learn from each other’s operational experiences as well enhance situational awareness, according to Lt Col Amitabh Sharma, PRODefense here. A number of aerial platforms including newly inducted indigenous Advance Light Helicopter WSI ‘RUDRA’, MI – 17, Chinooks, Stryker Vehicles of US Army and BMP-II Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicles of Indian Army, will be utilized in the exercise. The exercise will enrich both the contingents from each other’s rich experience in counter insurgency operations. Besides counter insurgency operations, exchange of experiences in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief will also be a part of the exercise.