By Col NB Saxena
New Delhi. 15 September 2016. Exercise YUDH ABHYAS 2016, a joint military training exercise of Indian and US Armies, commenced at Chaubattia, Uttarakhand with the Opening Ceremony.
Indian and US soldiers stood side by side in an impressive military parade that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries while their National Anthems “Jana Gana Mana” and “The Star Spangled Banner” played. The joint contingent gave a ceremonial salute to the two senior most officers of the US and Indian side reviewing the ceremony.
The US contingent is represented by a Company of 5th Infantry Battalion, 20 Infantry Regiment, 2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7 Infantry Division, US Army while the Indian side was represented by an Infantry Battalion. The Indian Brigade Commander welcomed the US soldiers and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that both countries cherish.
Company strength army personnel from USA and an equal number of Indian soldiers are taking part in the two weeks long joint training exercise that will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN Peace Keeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a Brigade level.
State of the art equipment for surveillance and tracking, specialist weapons for Close Quarter Battle with terrorists, explosive and lED detectors, as well as the latest communication equipments are being fielded by both sides. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations. The experts from both sides will also hold discussions to share each others’ experiences in varied topics for mutual interest.