JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers with the U.S. Army's 7th Infantry Division and the Indian army's 99th Mountain Brigade officially began exercise Yudh Abhyas 19 with an opening ceremony at Watkins Field here, Sept. 5, 2019.
The joint training opportunity partners the two allied armies as they build on the mutual trust gained from past bilateral exercises beginning in 2004.
"As our Indian counterparts know, (Yudh Abhyas) exercise translates to "Preparing for War", noted the 7th Infantry Division Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Xavier T. Brunson. "And nothing could be more important over the past 15 years of us working together than us preparing for war together. It started with platoons and companies conducting basic battle drills and today there are over 700 Soldiers participating in this exercise.
"We know our Soldiers are better after they train together," Brunson concluded. "Both of our armies have gained a wealth of knowledge on how to fight in complex terrain all over the world. We have many lessons to share with each other. Coming together today gives us the opportunity."
The armies will face a myriad of tasks during the two-week training period. Although the opportunity will ultimately focus on techniques and tactics against a hybrid threat, the training will include expert academic exchange and providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
"After 14 days we will turn out as professional level performance as professional can be," said Brigadier Naveen Singh, the 8th Assam Regiment, 7th Infantry Brigade commander. "As Maj. Gen. Brunson just said, we are here to understand each other's way of functioning. We will cooperate, and thereafter understand the nuances of working in a joint environment."