US and Indian troops undergo joint training in Mizoram jungles

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Aizawl, Aug 03 (UNI) As part of a joint anti-terror training exercise with the personnel of the Indian and US Armies, 30 US Green Berets soldiers are learning to eat, sleep and fight like guerrillas in the rugged jungles of Mizoram from August 2.

A group of 30 elite Indian Army commandos, including four officers, will also take part in the joint exercise at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS), Vairengte, about 100 kms from Aizawl.

The training schedule involves eight primary missions - Unconventional Warfare, Foreign Internal Defence, Special Reconnaissance, Direct Action, Counter-terrorism, Counter-proliferation, Psychological Operations and Information operations, an Army officer said.

In the post 9/11 world, the CIJWS, set up in 1970 during the height of Northeast insurgency, has gained popularity among the Armies of the world as a prime training centre in counter-terrorism with its motto being ''Fight the guerrillas like a guerrilla''.

The CIJWS is considered one of the world's most respected anti-terrorist institutions with troops from 19 nations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, having being trained in counter-insurgency warfare here.

About 250 American soldiers have already undergone training at Vairengte in the last four years, the sources said.

The troops are taught to live in difficult and hostile terrain, eat and sleep like as well as strike as silently as the guerrillas do, an Indian trainer at the CIJWS said.

On some occasions, the troops are taught to feed on snakes, dogs and monkeys for their survival in the jungles.

The training module includes lectures and seminars, besides mock operations in the rugged jungles in Mizoram.

Soldiers undergoing a course here not only go through rigorous physical training, but also tough mental training through lectures and problems posed by the capable instructors of this school.

An important requirement placed at the top of the list of this school is how to avoid collateral damage as much as possible.

The insignia of this school, 'two crossed arrows with a sword going through them', is worn with pride by the officers and men of this school as well as those who have finished a course here.

''Now, with the Northeast on the threshold of eliminating insurgency, the CIJWS is shifting its focus towards Jammu and Kashmir,'' an Army officer informed.


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