Exercise Yudh Abhyas-2017, a joint military exercise between Indian and US armies commenced on September 14, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, USA with a brief and impressive opening ceremony. The US contingent was represented by Company of 5th Infantry Battalion from 20 Infantry Regiment of the US Army while the Indian side was represented by soldiers of Gorkha Rifles from the Surya Command. Major General Willard M Burlesan, GOC 7th Infantry Division, US Army welcomed the Indian soldiers. In inaugural remarks, he highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both the nations.
During the two-week long exercise soldiers from both countries honed their tactical skills in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations under a joint brigade headquarter. Both sides jointly trained, planned and executed a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peacekeeping operations. Experts from both sides held detailed discussions to share their experience and expertise on varied operational topics.
The initial days of field training comprised of platoon level training on basic manoeuvres, which then progressed towards company level operations. Helicopter-based mobilisation of teams for quick response was also practised.
The two Armies have gained from each other’s expertise and experience in conduct of platoon and company level operations. In addition, the Indian contingent got a first-hand experience of operating with the ‘Stryker’ Infantry Combat Vehicle and the US Army gained an insight on the training of an infantry unit in a mountainous terrain.
The joint exercise, concluded on September 27, 2017. Exercise Yudh Abhyas-2017 achieved all joint training objectives and this shall further reinforce defence cooperation between the two Nations.