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US troops learning 'cliff assault tactics' from Indians in J&K

September 18, 2003 15:56 IST

Braving inclement weather and rocky terrain, special troops of the United States Pacific Command have adventured through 16,000 feet high cliffs overlooking the Indus River to learn 'cliff assault tactics' from Indian forces during the three-week joint Indo-US exercise in high altitude warfare in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Cliff assault tactics were used by Indian troops to eject Pakistani forces from the mountaintops during the 1999 Kargil conflict.

"We are trying to learn the tactics from Indian soldiers despite tough rocky terrain and deadly weather conditions," Sergeant G Lloyd, who heads the group of 23 US soldiers, told reporters in Leh.

The thrust of the joint exercise, which began on September 5 near the Chogalamsar rocky belts at a height of 14,000-18,000 feet over the Indus River, is on special operations in high altitude warfare, General Officer Commanding of the Leh-based 14 Corps Lt Gen Arvind Sharma said.

Sharma, who looks after operations in the world's highest battlefield in the sensitive Ladakh sector bordering Pakistan and China, said, "The intention of the exercise is to enhance inter-operatibility between US and Indian troops."

Called as Vajra Prahar by Indian troops and Balance Iroquois by US forces, the joint exercise will conclude on September 25.

More reports from Jammu and Kashmir

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