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End of army drill, pat from US

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 14.11.10
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New Delhi, Nov. 13: Indian and US army commandos tried combined air assault and ground attack missions during the latest edition of a series of war games in Alaska that coincided with the visit of US President Barack Obama to India this week.

The field drills for the exercises at Site Summit on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson of Yudh Abhyas 2010 concluded today.

The soldiers began with a fortnight of classes and troop leading procedures that they rehearsed to function as members of a team, a drill designed for what the two militaries call “inter-operability”.

“This mission was the culmination of all our work for the past couple of weeks. It was the last mission, the big mission and a very important one. A lot of preparation went into it. We’ve done nothing but training with the Indian soldiers and it’s been awesome,” said Sgt. Steve Faulkner, the team leader with Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, quoted in a US army release.

The exercise was divided into three parts: security, support and assault. The Indian soldiers were among teams tasked to clear an area.

“The training we performed prior to this mission allowed them to understand our tactics and us to understand theirs and it eliminates any confusion,” said the release quoting Ross Berger, cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 1-40th Cavalry. “It’s good to see how they operate because we’ve learned a lot from their tactics that we’ve never thought of.

“I was surprised how exceptionally well we all worked together and meshed. There hasn’t been an instance of confusion. We understand each other really well,” Faulkner said.

“Tactically, they are really sound,” Faulkner said. “We just gave them a little bit of instruction on the equipment.”

The Yudh Abhyas series of exercises is an annual feature. Like in the last edition in Babina in India, this time too the Indian soldiers tried out several US-made weapons, including the Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile.

The Indian Army is buying at least 400 of the Raytheon-made weapons and the two sides are discussing a proposal to produce them under license and the Indian defence public sector Bharat Dynamics Limited.