June 4th, 2007  


Indo-US Yudh Abhyas 2004

Fifty-five soldiers from the United States Army and sixty Indian Army soldiers rubbed shoulders at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJW) in Mizoram, to participate in a joint exercise. "Yudh Abhyas-2004", as this was called, focused on learning jungle warfare. This exercise is part of ongoing Indo-US defence co-operation. The three-week exercise started on 27th March this year. Indian soldiers from 9 Rajput and US soldiers from First Infantry Regiment of Alaska based Striker Brigade had a tough time enhancing guerilla warfare skills.
Since the last fifty-five years India has learned to fight terrorism through much harder ways. Presently the US is also facing a big challenge from terrorism. Thick subtropical forests of Vairengte, Mizoram inhabited by deadly snakes, reptiles, insects, predators coupled with hot and humid heavy rain-fed environment provides ideal ground for learning tactics of insurgent combat and jungle warfare. Appreciating the facilities Lt Col David Wisecarver, Commander of the US troops said that CIJW provides them an excellent opportunity to learn guerrilla combat.
Speaking to Sainik Samachar, Commandant of the school Brig Basant Kumar Pawar said that this school has trained more than 24,000 soldiers including troops from 17 countries. During this exercise Indian soldiers used the American M-4 rifles with mounted night vision device. The Americans also laid their hands on the INSAS rifle. Soldiers of the US army who fired with Indian rifles found them as effective as their rifle.
The endurance of the Indian soldiers awed the foreign troops while modern gadgetry impressed Indian counterparts. Maj Puspendar Sorayan, a participant of the exercise said that these experiences of joint exercises enrich our information on various types of insurgency going on around the world.
Sunil Tripathi

from Vairengte
Pix: Photo Division
DPR, Defence