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'Yudh Abhyas': India holds joint military exercise with US near China border

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'Yudh Abhyas' is an exercise conducted annually between India and the US where the armies of the two nations exchange best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures.

New Delhi, Nov 29: India and the United States are holding the 18th edition of Indo -US joint training exercise 'Yudh Abhyas 22' in Uttarakhand's Auli, which is less than 100 kms from the China border.

It is an exercise conducted annually between India and the US with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. Last year, it was conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA) in October 2021.

Yudh Abhyas: India holds joint military exercise with US near China border

US Army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division and Indian Army soldiers from the ASSAM Regiment will be participating in the exercise, according to a statement from the Defence Ministry.

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On Tuesday, a video of a kite trained by the Indian Army to prey on drones was shared by news agency ANI.

Objective of the exercise

The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate and will include all operations related to peace keeping and peace enforcement.

The troops from both the nations will work together to achieve common objectives and will also focus on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. Also, both the nations will practice launching of swift and coordinated relief efforts in the wake of any natural calamity.

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    In order to derive full benefit from the professional skills and experiences of both the armies, a Command Post Exercise and Expert Academic Discussions (EAD) on carefully selected topics will be carried out, the ministry said.

    The scope of the Field Training Exercise includes validation of integrated battle groups, force multipliers, establishment and functioning of surveillance grids, validation of operational logistics, mountain warfare skills, casualty evacuation and combat medical aid in adverse terrain and climatic conditions.

    The exercise will involve exchanges and practices on a wide spectrum of combat skills including combat engineering, employment of UAS/Counter UAS techniques and information operations.

    The exercise will facilitate both the armies to share their wide experiences, skills and enhance their techniques through information exchange.

    China's Objection

    Earlier, China had raised objection stating that it is an interference in the bilateral boundary issue and a violation of agreements between New Delhi and Beijing that no military drill will be held near the LAC. "We firmly oppose any third party to meddle in the China-India border issue in any form," ANI had quoted Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), as saying.

    China had also urged India to keep its commitment. "It is hoped that the Indian side will strictly abide by the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and the relevant agreements, uphold its commitment to resolving border issues through bilateral channels, and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border area with practical actions," the spokesperson added.

    How India Reacted

    India said that military exercise near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is "totally different". Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that the two sides should stick to agreements of the past. "I don't understand the reference to third-party interference. India-US exercise is totally different and I don't know what colour has been given to that. It is targeted and a violation of agreements," he added.

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