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India, US plan record nine military drills

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The Indian and US armies engaging in a joint exercise “Yudh Abhyas-09”

NEW DELHI (BNS): India and the US plan to carry out nine joint drills of its armies this year, a newspaper report said.

The drills for this year include war games built around battle scenarios and the others briefing sessions on battlefield tactics, according to the national daily, The Telegraph.

The two countries are also discussing a separate programme of exchanges for the air forces and the navies.

“We have reached a historic threshold with our relationship between the two countries,” the daily quoting the commanding general of the US Army Pacific, Lt General Benjamin R. Mixon, said.

“The operations we do together are reaching a complexity of the highest level.”

In March, the top brass of the Indian Army and the US Army Pacific, Marine Forces Pacific and the Special Operations Command decided on the programme of the exercises for 2010-2011 at meetings of the executive steering group (ESG) of the two sides in the Indian Army’s western command headquarters in Chandimandir, near Chandigarh.

Some of the drills will involve amphibious operations, meaning the US Marines, the Indian Navy and a brigade of the Indian Army will take part in landing operations from the sea, the report said.

The India-US ESG was set up in 1995 but meetings were suspended after the Indian nuclear tests in 1998. The relations were revived in 2002.

In the nine drills that have been planned, the types of forces to be involved will cover the mechanised infantry, IED detection and disposal squads, artillery, aviation and psychological operations, it added.

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