//India, US armies engage in Uttaranchal

India, US armies engage in Uttaranchal

January 27, 2006 16:46 IST, rediff.com

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, Indian and United States armies are conducting a major joint exercise at Ranikhet in Uttaranchal.�

The joint exercise code named ‘Exercise Yudh Abhyas 06-1’ is also a step up of service-to-service Indo-US engagements. A company size force, the Battalion Headquarters command and control elements from the US Pacific Command and the field formation of Central Command located in the region are participating in this exercise.�

It is focused on counter-terrorist operations in forest and under developed terrain. The thickly forested environs of Ranikhet, the scattered settlements, the altitude and the prevailing winter conditions make the exercise setting unique and set it apart from the North East India, where some of the participating US troops had attended ‘Exercise Yudh Abhayas’ in August 2005.�

Indian Army has expertise in operations in varied terrain and rich experience in vast spectrum of operations.� This coupled with the enviable track record of the Indian Army as saviors of human lives and human rights, places it in an ideal position to share knowledge with the US troops.�

Interacting with media persons in Ranikhet, Lt Gen Devraj Singh, Director General Infantry, said the exercise was mainly focused on understanding each other’s weapon and equipment capabilities, standard operating procedures and drills.�

The exercise, which commenced on January 16 last, would conclude on Saturday, he informed.�

"US troops have commended us for our high endurance standards and excellent battle procedures. The experience of this joint exercise will enrich our knowledge and broaden our horizon to face future challenges and at the same time prepare both the armies to operate jointly," he said.�

"Sergeant Jackson, leading the US team, expressed satisfaction on the facilities provided by us and hoped that this will help serve the purpose of their efforts in counter terrorism operations," Gen Singh added.