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India, US armies 'fight' urban terror

Last updated on: October 15, 2009 16:04 IST

India, US armies 'fight' urban terror

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India and the US are engaged in a three-week joint army exercise, the largest ever, focussing on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in a semi-urban setting using tactical armoured vehicles, at Babina in Uttar Pradesh.

Yudh Abhyas-09, as the exercise is called, is the first time that the US has taken its potent Stryker infantry armoured vehicles outside of its operational area to a foreign land.

The training exercise will go on till 29 October under the aegis of the army's Southern Command.

Click on NEXT to see more photographs of the joint exercise.


Image: Indian Army soldiers and the American 14th Cavalry Regiment share information about vehicles and weapons systems
Photographs: Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson, 18th Medical Command
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Yudh Abhyas-09 is being conducted under the agreed joint programme framework for sharing useful experiences in peacekeeping operations, humanitarian and disaster relief situations, army officials said.

"The scope of the exercise is to conduct an Indo-US joint training exercise with counterinsurgency and counterterrorism focus in a semi-urban scenario, under the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Chapter VII," they said.

Being held under a UN mandate, Yudh Abhyas-09 consists a Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army comprising about 50 infantry combat vehicles and 17 Strykers of the IInd Squadron of 14 Cavalry of 25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team with 325 personnel from the US.

Image: US soldiers share information on the stryker's mortar system with Indian soldiers

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The 17 Strykers, which are now in India, represent the largest deployment of Strykers outside of Iraq and Afghanistan for Pacific Rim Forces, and will play a vital role in the exercise as the US Soldiers show off one of the Armies newest vehicles. 

Armoured vehicles the Indian Army will use during the exercise include the Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, or BMP, a Russian tank similar to the Bradley Tank, and the T-90, a Russian Main Battle Tank, which is similar to the US M1 Abrams tank. 

Image: US soldiers take breathing advice from Ram Dhani Bajpai, yoga instructor

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"The size and scope of this combined exercise is unparalleled and will be characterized not only by realistic and challenging training, but by regular athletic, academic and cultural exchanges," said Lt Col Jim Isenhower, commander, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cav Regt.

"Our Soldiers are excited to engage in the exercise during the upcoming two weeks and feel a distinct sense of privilege as participants in Yudh Abhyas," he added.


Image: An Indian Army officer explores the inside of a Stryker vehicle

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"Earlier, I didn't know the Indians had a mechanised force of this magnitude with so much of a rich tradition," said Sgt Logan Anderson, Personal Security Detail Non-Commissioned Officer, 2nd Sqdn, 14th Cav Regt.

"Since this unit of the Indian Army is mechanised and we are a Stryker unit, I am really looking forward to how we are going to maneuver together." 

The aspects of the exercise, army officials said, would be human rights and peacekeeping operations, including military coordination, military decision-making process and rules of engagement.


Image: An emergency care specialist shows how to apply a chest seal

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The 'stability' operations include mounting and rules of engagement, mines and counter-Improvised Explosive Devices operations and patrolling.

Aid to civil administration such as road opening, convoy protection, humanitarian assistance and community operations, apart from logistics support such as equipment issues will be covered during the exercise.

"This is to share and learn form each other's experience through combined military decision-making and planning process and employment of forces," army officers said.


Image: US Army personnel share info on weapons systems at the static display

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"It is also to promote mutual trust and understanding through the exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures and associated logistics support. Exposure to highly technical-based weapons, equipment and systems would form part of the three-week-long effort," they added.

According to Major Gen Anil Malik, general officer commanding, 31st Armoured Division, "The United States and India have historical ties, and over the last few years, these ties have graduated onto cooperation in the military."

"Both of us, as partners in peace and prosperity in the world, join hands to understand each other, to synchronise with each other, adopt an interoperability, so that we can understand how we can best utilise the resources of each other towards achieving the overall aim," said Malik. 


Image: The Stryker regiment drives through the Babina camp

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