Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Biggest war drill with US begins

New Delhi, Oct. 12: The Indian and US armies today began their largest war games at Babina, near Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh, that are tailored to drills under peace enforcement missions under the UN charter.
Exercise Yudh Abhyas (war preparation) 09 will continue for more than two weeks till October 29.
The US has shipped 17 Strykers, its most modern fighting vehicles that lead in most ground operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to India for the war games. This is the largest deployment of the Strykers outside Iraq and Afghanistan.
A mechanised infantry battalion of the Indian Army and the second squadron of the 14th cavalry of 25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (about 325 soldiers) lined up and began preparing for the drills that will have a “semi-urban” setting, army sources said. The drill will focus on counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations.
Officers will work on mutually agreeable military co-ordination, rules of engagement and military decision-making processes.
The rules of engagement will cover “stability operations” (like the Nato’s International Security Assistance Force’s mission in Afghanistan) that will require soldiers to train in counter-mine and IED (improvised explosive devices) lessons.
Drills will also cover civil-military operations, road opening and convoy protection measures and community support and humanitarian initiatives.
Yudh Abhyas 09 that involves the Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the Indian Army’s mechanised infantry in a hostile setting shows that the level of co-ordination between the two militaries is being scaled up.
The war games also coincide with the latest edition of Cope India, an Indo-US air and special forces exercise that will be centred in Agra.

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