Yudh Abhyas 2018 a joint military exercise of Indian and US armies, commenced on Sunday at Chaubattia, Uttarakhand with a short yet impressive opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries to the strains of “Jana Gana Mana” and “The Star Spangled Banner”. Indian and US soldiers stood side by side, and gave a ceremonial salute to the two senior most officers of the US and Indian side reviewing the ceremony.
The US contingent was represented by 1st Infantry Battalion, 23 Infantry Regiment, US Army while Indian side is represented by an Infantry Battalion. General Officer Commanding, 6 Mountain Division welcomed the US soldiers and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both nations.
Battalion strength army personnel from USA and an equal number of Indian soldiers are taking part in the two week long event that will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN peace keeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a brigade level. State of the art equipment for surveillance and tracking, specialist weapons for close quarter battle with terrorists, explosive and improvised explosive device detectors, as well as the latest communication equipment are being fielded by both sides. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations during division level command post exercise. The experts from both sides will also hold discussions to share each others’ experience in varied topics for mutual benefit.