Ex-Yudh Abhyas: Indian and US troops train for counter-terror ops, interoperability in extreme cold

By: |
October 19, 2021 7:05 PM

The exercise which is under a bilateral format is under way at the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, US and according to the Indian Army is the biggest joint military training and defence cooperation effort between the two countries.

Hectic training schedule of the fortnight long exercise includes activities counter-terrorism environment under the UN mandate and also joint training in counter-insurgency. (Credit: Indian Army)

Honing their skills in counter-terror operations in cold climate and in mountainous terrain is what the Indian and the US soldiers are doing in the ongoing 17th edition of the India-US Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2021.

The exercise which is under a bilateral format is under way at the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, US and according to the Indian Army is the biggest joint military training and defence cooperation effort between the two countries.

The exercise is from October 15-29 and aims at enhancing interoperability, cooperation and understanding. During the exercise the two sides will work on combined arms manoeuvres in cold climatic conditions. And the primary aim is learning best practices from each other and sharing tactical level drills.

More about Exercise Yudh Abhyas

The Indian Army has deployed 350 soldiers of the 7 Madras infantry battalion. And the US side has sent in 300 soldiers belonging to the First Squadron (Airborne) of the 40th Cavalry Regiment.

Hectic training schedule of the fortnight long exercise includes activities counter-terrorism environment under the UN mandate and also joint training in counter-insurgency.

(Credit: Indian Army)

According to the Indian Army, “The previous version of this exercise was in India at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges located in Bikaner in February 2021. The exercise in the US will help them in undertaking joint operations at the battalion level in mountainous terrain with cold climatic conditions under the ambit of the UN.”

According to the Indian Army, as the exercise progresses, “a number of training activities are being carried out including a 5km run in the cold weather after which the troops carried out a number of strengthening and stretching exercises.”This was followed by Cold Winter Training in which the American troops demonstrated the setting up of their Arctic tents. One Arctic Tent can hold up to 10 troops at a time.” A competition of setting up a tent in the fastest time possible by a mixed team of Indian and US troops was also organized. Also, instructors from the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) took a lecture and demonstrated various sorts of rock craft and snow craft equipment which are used by the trained mountaineers of the Indian Army.

(Credit: Indian Army)

The Indian instructors taught the American soldiers how to survive avalanches and extreme cold weather conditions, and the two sides have also exchanged samples of their respective Meals Ready to Eat (MREs).

Command Post exercise

Members of the California National Guard, 4th Brigade Combat Team of the US Army’s 25 Infantry Division and other officers, and members of the Indian contingent participated in a number of scenario building exercises on the role and operations carried out by UN Forces in peacekeeping operations.

Exercises in Trilateral format

Ex-Yudh Abyas is the only bilateral Army drill between the two countries. According to reports, a few years ago the US had suggested Japan be part of the drill which was not accepted by India. However, with growing relations between India and US, this drill could be in trilateral format.

Cope India had observers from Japan in 2018.

Malabar Exercise is at multilateral level, earlier from bilateral level it turned into trilateral when in 2015 Japan had joined. And in 2020 all the QUAD members are participating in Malabar.

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