India-US joint defence exercise Yudh Abhyas, set to be held in the US from September 14-27, will focus on anti-terror operations and will also see discussion on strategic issues between experts on both sides, defence sources said on Tuesday. The exercise comes shortly after India-US-Japan naval exercise Malabar, held in the Bay of Bengal in July, that left China jittery. The theme of the exercise, 13th in the series, is “to build and develop positive military relation and interoperability to conduct counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and regional security operations and Peace Keeping operations under the UN Charter”. The exercise, set to be held at the Joint Base Lewis Mc-Chord in the US, will have troops from an infantry battalion from the Indian Army’s Central Command, and 5-20 Infantry Battalion based on Stryker of 1 Corps of US’ Pacific Command, participating.
Sources said the scope of the exercise will cover various bilateral issues, and it will include a Brigade Headquarter based Command Post Exercise, academic discussions on strategic issues, and combined training. The sources however did not disclose the nature of strategic issues being discussed. “This will be an excellent platform for troops to share operational experiences,” a source said. Last year, the exercise was held in Chaubattia, Uttarakhand.