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Indo-US joint exercises in jungle warfare
September 14, 2005 20:04 IST
On Wednesday, 40 American soldiers moved into the dense jungles of India's remote northeast to learn from Indian soldiers experienced in countering guerrilla warfare, officials said.
United States Embassy spokesman, David Kennedy, said the training would focus on the unique terrain of northeastern India, and an Indian army officer said the two-week exercise is aimed at teaching the soldiers how to survive in the inhospitable jungles of the region.
The joint exercise is being organised by the Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School in the eastern state of Mizoram, which also has trained soldiers from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Myanmar and other countries.
More than a dozen rebel groups have been fighting for independence for decades in India's northeast, giving Indian soldiers invaluable experiencing in combating insurgencies.
The US soldiers are at the school for joint exercises for a third consecutive year, the army officer said. They are from the 25th Infantry Division and the Guam National Guards based at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
India and the United States also hold annual navy and air force exercises. Military cooperation between the two countries was suspended after India tested nuclear weapons in May 1998.
However, Washington lifted sanctions and renewed military-to-military contacts when India joined its coalition against terrorism following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.
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