Jaipur: “The big 14-day India-US joint training Exercise Yudh Abhyas commenced at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges last Monday with an opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries amidst the playing of the national anthems,” said Lieutenant Colonel Amitabh Sharma, PRO Defence, Rajasthan.
On Saturday, the US Army contingent comprising a brigade headquarters and a battalion group of the 2nd Battalion, the 3rd Infantry Regiment of 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, comprising of 270 personnel, had landed at Suratgarh.
The 14-day schedule is focused upon joint training in Counter-Insurgency environment under the mandate of United Nations, he added.
The opening ceremony was held at Mahajan Field Firing Range. Brigadier Mukesh Bhanwala, Commander 170 Infantry Brigade welcomed the US contingent. He impressed upon both the contingents to achieve optimum cohesion and interoperability 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
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 Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicles of Indian Army, are being utilized in the exercise.
The exercise will enrich both the contingents from each other’s rich experience in counterinsurgency operations. Besides counter-insurgency operations, exchange of experiences in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief will also be a part of the exercise, an army official said.
The US Army said this is the 16th year of the exercise — ‘with each day fostering stronger ties between the Indian and U.S. armies.’
The Indian Army’s 11th Jammu and Kashmir (JAK) Rifles Battalion and the U.S. Army’s 2-3 Infantry Battalion kicked off the bilateral exercise.