India — A contingent of 270 American soldiers on Sunday reached Rajasthan to take part in a fortnight-long joint military exercise with the Indian Army, ‘Yudh Abhyas 20’, at the state’s Mahajan field firing range. The contingent reached Suratgarh in a special aircraft to take part in the exercise which will be the 16th edition of the US military exercise under the military exchange program and begin on Monday.
“US Army contingent arrives at IAF (Media Co-ordination Centre), Suratgarh for the 16th edition of the annual bilateral joint exercise with Indian Army from February 8-21. Post COVID-19 protocols, will move to Foreign Training Node, Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR),” the Indian Army’s South Western Command tweeted.
Here’s everything you need to know about Yudh Abhyas 2020:
1. The military exercise will begin from February 8 and conclude on February 21.
2. Approximately 250 Indian soldiers who will take part in the exercise belong to the 11th Battalion of Sapt Shakti Command of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.
3. The American soldiers taking part in the exercise are from the US army’s 2, Infantry Battalions, 3, Infantry Regiments and 1-2 Striker Brigade Combat Team.
4. According to a press release by the defence ministry, the training exercise enhances “combined interoperability capabilities through training and cultural exchange, which foster enduring partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region through common defence objectives. The exercise provides excellent opportunities for professional and cultural exchanges that strengthen partnership through shared learning and training.”
5. The exercise will commence with expert academic exchanges and professional development workshops that focus on training at the corps-level and below; combat against conventional, unconventional, and hybrid threats; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, the press release added.
6. The command post exercise (CPX) will focus on the UN peacekeeping operation staff tasks in a combined military setting.
7. The field training exercise (FTX) will involve company-strength elements from each nation exercising combined, fundamental war-fighting skills to enhance combined operational capacity.
8. The drill comes nearly two-and-a-half months after India carried out the Malabar naval exercise with the US, Japan and Australia, which are the member nations of the Quadrilateral (Quad) countries.
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