New Delhi, Mar 28 : Two soldiers of the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army went missing after a joint exercise with US troops last week in California.
The Army contingent had gone to the US for joint counter-terrorism exercise with the elite Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in California.
The troops were participating in exercise "Shatrujeet" (victory over enemy). The exercise was part of expanding the Indo-US defence cooperation and it was in 2005 that a team had gone to Camp Pendleton for the first time. The next year, US marines came to India for an exercise at Belgaum.
According to sources, the Indian Mission in the US has taken up the matter with the State Department to press authorities in Los Angeles to help trace the two soldiers.
"We are aware of the incident and efforts are no to trace the soldiers who were absent without leave," spokesperson of the Indian Embassy in Washington said.
The authorities were trying to locate the duo - Sanjay Mahato and Santosh - who could be declared deserters as they might have made an illegal migration attempt.
Mahato and Thapa were part of the contingent that participated in the 10-day exercise that started on March 10.
Sources said that the two soldiers, who were not having any passport or other travel document, went missing on March 20.