14-day-long Indo-US joint army training exercise begins in Alaska

  • | Saturday | 16th October, 2021

New Delhi, Oct 16 (PTI) A 14-day-long joint training exercise between the armies of India and the US began on Friday at Elmendorf Richardson joint base in Alaska, the Defence Ministry stated on Saturday."A total of 300 US Army soldiers belonging to First Squadron (Airborne) of the 40th Cavalry Regiment and 350 soldiers of 7 Madras Infantry Battalion Group of Indian Army are participating in the exercise," the ministry"s statement noted.The training schedule includes activities on joint training in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment under the United Nations mandate, it mentioned."This (exercise) will help them in undertaking joint operations at Battalion level in mountainous terrain with cold climatic conditions under the ambit of the United Nations," it noted.  During the opening ceremony Major General Brian Eifler, Commander US Army, Alaska, formally welcomed the Indian contingent, according to the statement.  "He urged both contingents to focus on improving cohesion and inter-operability to achieve training objectives of the exercise," it said.He stressed upon the importance of free exchange of ideas, concepts and best practices between the troops and the necessity to learn from each others" experiences, it mentioned.The joint training exercise has been named "Ex Yudh Abhyas 21", it noted.  The Indo-US defence ties have been on an upswing in the last few years.In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner".The two countries have also signed key defence and security pacts over the past few years, including the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, that allows their militaries to use each other"s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies as well as provides for deeper cooperation.The two sides also signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 that provides for interoperability between the two militaries and provides for the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.In October last year, India and the US sealed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties.The pact provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries. PTI DSP KJ

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