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U.S. deploys Stryker for joint exercise with India

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U.S. Army special forces and Indian Air Force special forces stand by for a para-drop from U.S. C-130 J transport aircraft during an India-U.S. Air Force exercise, ‘COPE India 2009’, in Agra on Monday.
U.S. Army special forces and Indian Air Force special forces stand by for a para-drop from U.S. C-130 J transport aircraft during an India-U.S. Air Force exercise, ‘COPE India 2009’, in Agra on Monday.

NEW DELHI: Since the launch of the bilateral war exercise between India and the United States, Yudh Abhyas 2009 is the largest troop exchange with nearly 1,000 personnel from both armies taking part.

The exercise, begun last week at Babina in Madhya Pradesh and scheduled to end on October 29, is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries while sharing, training in cultural exchanges and building joint operating skills.

Regular exercise

Yudh Abhyas is a regularly scheduled bilateral exercise hosted by the Indian Army. This year’s exercise features 17 Stryker vehicles — the largest deployment outside of Iraq and Afghanistan for the U.S. Pacific Rim forces. The U.S. will also showcase the Javelin Anti-Tank Missile system, employed to defeat the current and future threat — armoured combat vehicles.

“The size and scope of this combined exercise is unparalleled and will be characterised not only by realistic and challenging training, but also by regular athletic, academic and cultural exchanges,” Lt. Col. Jim Isenhower, Commander, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cav. Regt, said in a release by the U.S. Embassy here.

“The broadened and unprecedented scope of Yudh Abhyas stands as a testament to the growing people-to-people and military-to-military ties of the United States and India, one of the key pillars of the expanded U.S.-India strategic partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer said. Indian soldiers from the 31st Armoured Division are working with U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, ‘Strykehorse’, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and 25th Infantry Division from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

This year’s exercise includes a multiechelon, full-spectrum combined operation focussed on a United Nations peacekeeping operation scenario, while executing a manoeuvre live-fire exercise.

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