The tough training schedule for the two-week exercise includes UN-mandated counter-terrorism environment activities as well as joint counterinsurgency training. (credit: Indian Army)

Sharpening their skills in counter-terror operations in cold climates and in mountainous terrain is what Indian and American soldiers are doing in the ongoing 17th edition of Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2021 between India and the United States.

The exercise, which takes place in a bilateral framework at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, United States, is the largest joint military exercise and defense cooperation effort between the two countries, according to the Indian Army.

The exercise runs from October 15-29, and aims to enhance interoperability, collaboration, and understanding. During the exercise, the two sides will work on joint arms exercises in cold weather conditions. The primary goal is to learn best practices from each other and share tactical level exercises.

More about Yod Abhas exercise

The Indian Army has deployed 350 soldiers from the Madras Seven Infantry Battalion. The American side sent 300 soldiers belonging to the 1st Squadron (airborne) of the 40th Cavalry Regiment.

The tough training schedule for the two-week exercise includes UN-mandated counter-terrorism environment activities as well as joint counterinsurgency training.

According to the Indian Army, “The previous version of this exercise was in India at the Mahajan field shooting ranges located in Bikaner in February 2021. The exercises in the United States will assist them in conducting joint battalion-level operations in mountainous regions with cold climate under the umbrella of the United Nations.” .

According to the Indian Army, as the exercise progressed, “a number of training activities are carried out including a 5 km run in cold weather, after which the troops carried out a number of strengthening and stretching exercises.” A cold winter followed. The exercises in which American soldiers demonstrated setting up their tents in the Arctic. One Arctic tent can accommodate up to 10 soldiers at a time.” A competition to pitch a tent as quickly as possible was organized by a mixed team of Indian and US forces. Also, instructors from High Altitude Warfare (HAWS) gave a lecture They exhibited various types of rock equipment and snow crafts used by the trained mountain climbers of the Indian Army.

Indian trainers taught American soldiers how to survive avalanches and freezing weather, and the two sides also exchanged samples of their ready-to-eat meals (MREs).

Command Center Exercise

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

Triangular exercises

The former Yod Appias party is the only bilateral military exercise between the two countries. According to reports, a few years ago, the United States suggested that Japan be part of the exercises, which India did not accept. However, with the growing ties between India and the United States, this training could be in a triangular format.

Cope India had observers from Japan in 2018.

The Malabar exercise is at the multilateral level, and earlier at the bilateral level it turned into a tripartite when Japan joined in 2015. In 2020, all QUAD members will participate in Malabar.

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