With An Eye On China, India-US Commence Joint 'Yudh Abhyas' Exercises; To Train In Operations At High-Altitude Areas

Swarajya Staff

Sep 25, 2023, 05:39 PM | Updated 05:40 PM IST

US Army soldiers with Nanda Devi in the background in Yudh Abhyas 2022 exercise. (US Army Pacific/X)
US Army soldiers with Nanda Devi in the background in Yudh Abhyas 2022 exercise. (US Army Pacific/X)

The 19th edition of the joint Indian Army and United States Army exercise 'Yudh Abhyas' commenced today (on 25 September).

This annual exercise is scheduled to be held from 25 September to 8 October 2023, at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, USA. The previous edition of the exercise took place in Auli, Uttarakhand, in November 2022.

The Indian Army will be represented by a contingent of 350 personnel, with the lead battalion from the Indian side affiliated with the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment.

From the US side, the 1-24 Infantry Battalion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team will participate.

"The theme of this year's Exercise Yudh Abhyas is 'employment of an Integrated Battle Group in mountain/extreme climatic conditions,' conducted under Chapter VII of the United Nations mandate," a statement released by Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The exercise will include a command post exercise and expert academic discussions on selected topics. Additionally, personnel from both sides will engage in detailed discussions to share their experiences and best practices.

The MoD statement stated, "The scope of the Field Training Exercise includes validation of Integrated Battle Groups against hostile forces at the Brigade level, Integrated Surveillance Grid at the Brigade/ Battalion level, employment of Heliborne/ Airborne elements and Force Multipliers, validation of logistics and casualty management during operations, evacuation and combat medical aid and other aspects as applicable to high altitude areas and extreme climatic conditions."

The exercise will also involve exchange of views and best practices in drills on a wide spectrum of combat skills including combat engineering, obstruction clearance, mine and improvised explosive devices warfare.

'Yudh Abhyas-2023' aims to facilitate mutual learning between both armies and strengthen the bonds of cooperation between both armies.

Notably, this exercise comes during the ongoing standoff between the Indian and Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), which has reached its fourth year following the deadly clashes at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020.

The clash resulted in the loss of twenty Indian Army soldiers and dozens of Chinese PLA soldiers.

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