Yudh Abhyas enhances U.S., Indian Army partnership

| May 22, 2013 | 1 Comment
Soldiers from the Indian army's 99th Mt. Bde. watch and snap photos of a Chinook helicopter lowering a Howitzer onto a field as part of a heavy-equipment drop demonstration held as part of Yudh Abyhas 2013.

Soldiers from the Indian army’s 99th Mt. Bde. watch and snap photos of a Chinook helicopter lowering a Howitzer onto a field as part of a heavy-equipment drop demonstration held as part of Yudh Abyhas 2013.

Story and photos by
Sgt. 1st Class Maurice Smith
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

FORT BRAGG — U.S. Army-Pacific sponsored a bilateral training exercise with the Indian army, May 3-17, that focused on the two countries’ cultures, weapons training and tactics.

Yudh Abhyas, Hindi for “training for war,” is an annual exercise that brings together two battle-hardened armies beyond the typical footprints of war.

After nine years of conducting this operation, lifetime bonds between U.S. and Indian Soldiers have developed.

Maj. James Bredeman (right), foreign affairs officer, USARPAC, practices jump drills with Indian and U.S. Soldiers before loading up on an aircraft and preparing to jump during Yudh Abyhas 2013.

Maj. James Bredeman (right), foreign affairs officer, USARPAC, practices jump drills with Indian and U.S. Soldiers before loading up on an aircraft and preparing to jump during Yudh Abyhas 2013.

The Indian army’s 99th Mountain Brigade and the 1st Bde. Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, participated in this year’s exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C. Other units represented were the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Calvary Regiment, from the U.S. forces, and from India, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Gurka Rifles; the 50th Independent Para Bde.; and the 54th Engineers Regt.

“This partnership is one of the very good things that has happened between the United States and India,” said Brig. Gen Jagdish Chaudari, commander, 99th Mt. Bde. “We have interacted with at least 500 Army personnel here, if not more, and I think those interpersonal relationships will carry on for a long time.”

The Soldiers trained and planned side-by-side during a series of field and command post exercises.

“That was the highlight for me,” said Maj. Greg Phillips, USARPAC’s India desk officer. “It demonstrates that our Soldiers can work with anyone anywhere in the world.”

For this training scenario, Indian and U.S Soldiers operated together under a United Nations mandate and had to overcome operational, logistical, humanitarian and legal challenges to achieve mission success.

“We (sought) to integrate our troops, our equipment and focus our training, so we will be able to achieve such a task if the future ever presents it,” said Col. Anindya Sengupta, planning officer, 99th Mt. Bde.

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski (left), commander, USARPAC, and Indian army Brig. Gen. Vinod Bhatia, commander, 99th Mountain Bde., provide positive feedback to a Soldier following his detailed presentation on weapons systems and tactical vehicles during Yudh Abyhas 2013.

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski (left), commander, USARPAC, and Indian army Brig. Gen. Vinod Bhatia, commander, 99th Mountain Bde., provide positive feedback to a Soldier following his detailed presentation on weapons systems and tactical vehicles during Yudh Abyhas 2013.

This planning process is what helped develop the bond between the Soldiers, Sengupta said. Despite a bit of a language barrier between some of them, they were all on the same accord when it came down to understanding the objective.

“As (Soldiers), we have a common thing about language. We understand each other,” explained Sengupta. “The Americans have operated less in the U.N., where the Indians have operated more. However, the U.N. procedures are more common to the American procedures. So therefore, there is a lot of understanding that is inherent.

“Since the language is common and since many of the procedures are similar, our understanding of the operation and our understanding of the execution is there,” Sengupta added.

This exercise will shift to India next year and may involve different units from both sides. Incorporating different units and shifting back and forth between the two countries helps Soldiers get a broader aspect of one another’s culture and helps to maximize bilateral readiness and the understanding of capabilities between the two armies, Phillips said.

“They are teaching us their culture and values, so we can understand how to evaluate them,” Phillips said.” It was a delight to work with the Indian Army because they are professional, competent Soldiers who are able to teach us a lot and learn from us while doing so.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Exercises, News, Training

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Gary Zaetz says:

    It is bitterly ironic that while the US welcomes Indian troops to Fort Bragg, India refuses to allow the Defense Department’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) on to Indian territory to recover the remains of US Army Air Force aviators whose planes crashed in the Indian Himalayas during World War II ! Gary Zaetz, nephew of USAAF B-24 navigator 1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz, missing in action in the Indian Himalayas since January 15, 1944

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *