India and the US began the 18th edition of their joint training exercise “Yudh Abhyas 2022” on Tuesday in Uttarakhand’s Auli.
The annual bilateral exercise will be conducted till December 2.
In the exercise, Indian Army soldiers from the Assam Regiment will participate while the US Army will be represented by the soldiers of the 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division.
The annual exercise, which is taking place less than 100 km from the LAC, will focus on peacekeeping and peace enforcement, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and various field exercises, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.
The exercise will also involve unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and techniques to counter them, as well as information operations.
The aim of Yudh Abhyas 2022 is to exchange “… best practices, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures between the Armies of the two nations,” MoD said.
The previous edition of Yudh Abhyas took place in October 2021 at Joint Base Elemdorf Richardson in Alaska. India had 350 soldiers from an Infantry Battalion group of the Madras Regiment participate in Alaska while the USA had 300 from the 1st Squadron (Airborne) of the 40th Cavalry Regiment.
According to an Indian Special Forces veteran, a Command Post Exercise “aims to develop multinational forces against global terrorism. It is conducted to strengthen and broaden interoperability and cooperation between different commands and armed forces. This exercise is a field training exercise involving firing, shooting, navigation, tactics, and techniques.”
The field exercises will involve integrated battle groups, force multipliers, operational logistics, mountain warfare skills, casualty evacuation, and combat medical aid in challenging conditions and also combat engineering, as per the MoD statement.
It is likely that the Special Forces (SF) from both India and the US will participate.
Another training exercise that involved India and the US is the recently-concluded Exercise Malabar, with Japan and Australia also participating.
The naval exercise took place amid India’s tensions with China. It signals a united maritime front with India, the US, Japan, and Australia on one side, and China on the other.