On Friday, India and the United States will begin a 15-day massive military exercise in Alaska to boost bilateral military cooperation. The Indian Army announced on Thursday that the 17th iteration of the India-US joint military exercise “Yudh Abhyas 2021” will be held from October 15 to 29 at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Alaska. The Indian contingent at the drill would consist of 350 men from an Indian Army infantry battalion group.

KEY POINTS :
  • The drill “Yudh Abhyas” will be held for the 17th time in 2021.
  • Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Alaska will host the exercise.
  • It will begin on October 15 and end on October 29.
INDIAN CONTINGENT:

The Indian contingent will be made up of 350 soldiers from an infantry battalion group of the Indian Army.

BACKGROUND:

In February 2021, the previous (16th) round of the drill took held in Bikaner’s Mahajan Field Firing Ranges.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EXERCISE:

Exercise Yudh Abhyas is a step in the right direction for both countries’ military relations. It is being conducted with the goal of improving mutual understanding, cooperation, and interoperability between the Indian and American militaries. It will also concentrate on combined arms manoeuvres in cold weather. The exercise’s main goal is for participants to discuss tactical-level drills and learn best practices from one another.

MAJOR DEFENCE PARTNER:
  • In June 2016, the US named India as a Major Defense Partner. In recent years, both countries have inked important defence and security agreements, such as the ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)’ in 2016.
  • LEMOA permits both countries’ forces to use each other’s bases for supply replenishment and repair, as well as for deeper cooperation.
  • COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) was also signed by countries in 2018. COMCASA allows for interoperability between the two military as well as the supply of high-tech equipment from the United States.
  • In October 2020, they signed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Deal) agreement to strengthen bilateral defence ties. It allows both countries to share cutting-edge military technologies, logistics, and geospatial maps.

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