US-Indian Army exercise begins in UP

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New Delhi, Oct.19 (ANI): About 1,000 military personnel from the Indian and U.S. Army are participating in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2009.

The exercise is taking place from October 12-29, in Babina, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Yudh Abhyas is a regularly-scheduled bilateral exercise hosted by the Indian Army. The exercise is designed to promote cooperation among the two militaries while sharing training, cultural exchanges, and building joint operating skills.

This year's Yudh Abhyas features 17 Stryker vehicles-the largest deployment of the vehicles outside of Iraq and Afghanistan for the U.S. Pacific Rim forces. Along with the 17 Strykers, the U.S. will showcase the Javelin Anti-Tank Missile system, employed to defeat current and future threat armored combat vehicles.

YA 2009 constitutes the largest troop exchange since the YA partnership exercise commenced in 2004. Indian Army Soldiers from the 31st Armored Division are working with U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry regiment, "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

This year's exercise includes a multi-echelon, full spectrum combined operation focusing on a United Nations peacekeeping operation scenario, while executing a maneuver live-fire exercise. During the exercise, participants will engage in a variety of missions, from joint planning and maneuver execution, a variety of artillery ranges, to cordon and search operations as well as search and rescue training.

"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.

"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," the U.S. Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, said.

"Yudh Abhyas signals the bold future of U.S.-India relations marked by the growing confidence and trust shared by our two great democracies as, together, we face the challenges that lie ahead. Our two nations have made great strides in defense cooperation to ensure peace and prosperity in the region," he added. (ANI)

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