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Armies of India, US kick start Yudh Abhyas wargame in Alaska


NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian and US armies will kick-start a two-week war game in Alaska on Monday that will feature a number of complex drills, officials said.

The mega exercise comes amid a renewed push by both New Delhi and Washington to expand the overall scope of India-US global strategic partnership.

The Indian Army contingent comprising 350 personnel has already reached Fort Wainwright in Alaska to participate in the 19th edition of exercise Yudh Abhyas, the officials said on Sunday.

It is an annual exercise conducted jointly by the Indian Army and the US Army.

The previous edition of the exercise was conducted in Auli, Uttarakhand in November last year.

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

"The exercise Yudh Abhyas-23 will facilitate both armies to mutually learn from each other and further strengthen the bonds between the two armies," the Indian Army said in a statement.

The lead battalion from the Indian side in the exercise is affiliated with the Maratha Light Infantry regiment, it said, adding the 1-24 infantry battalion of the first brigade combat team will participate from the US side.

"Both sides will practice a series of tactical drills to enhance interoperability in conducting UN peacekeeping operations. Personnel from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experiences and best practices," the Indian Army said.

It said the theme of the exercise is 'Employment of an Integrated Battle Group in Mountain/ Extreme Climatic Conditions' under Chapter VII of the United Nations mandate.

A command post-exercise and expert academic discussions on selected topics will also form part of the schedule.

The Indian Army said 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." It will also feature 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, it said.

"The exercise will also involve an 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," it said.

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