India, US special forces train together in Uttarakhand

New Delhi: An India-US military exercise, underway in Uttarakhand, has seen combined training between detachments of both armies' special forces as well as given a platform for both sides to share their experiences in UN-mandated counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism missions, a defence ministry release said Monday.

"Yudh Abhyas 2014" brought together troops of a mountain brigade of Indian Army and a company and brigade headquarter of the US Army.

"The India-US combined military training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2014, which commenced Sep 17 at Ranikhet and Chaubattia, is in progress. The exercise will terminate Sep 30," said the release.

The exercise was tenth in Yudh Abhyas series, which started in 2004 under US Army Pacific partnership programme.

"The exercise strengthens and broadens interoperability and cooperation between both the armies and complements a number of other exchanges between the two forces," the release said, adding it witnessed a brigade headquarter-based command post exercisea, an infantry company-level field training exercise, discussions on strategic issues of mutual concern by experts of both countries and combined training between detachments of special forces.

The exercise provided "an ideal platform" for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under the UN mandated operations, it said.

It said the exercise curriculum was planned progressively where the participants were initially made to get familiar with each other's organisational structure, weapons, equipment, and tactical drills.

"Subsequently, the training advanced to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies were practiced," the release said.

The release said that a consolidation and validation exercise was witnessed by senior officers and observers of both armies in which troops of both nations carried out a "daring search and destroy mission."

The final exercise was reviewed by US Army's Maj. Gen. Lawrence Haskins and Indian Army's Maj. Gen. Ashwani Kumar, the release added.

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