JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- U.S. Army paratroopers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and Indian Army Soldiers concluded exercise Yudh Abhyas 21 with a closing ceremony here Oct., 29, 2021.
The ceremony marks the end of the 17th time U.S. And IA Soldiers have come together to share their war fighting skills, learn to work side by side in realistic training scenarios, and share each other’s cultures. This was the first time since 2010 that IA has come to JBER.
“Two weeks ago, we met as strangers,” said Col. Jody Shouse, commander of the 4th IBCT (A), 25th ID. “Now, we share a bond of friendship and the knowledge that when needed, we will be there for each other.”
Soldiers spent more than a week training in Alaska’s early winter. They worked on evacuating casualties via UH-60 Blackhawks and practiced sling loading artillery underneath CH-47 Chinooks. They also took turns familiarizing themselves on each other’s weapon systems such as the American M4 carbine, M240B, and the Indian Small Arms System.
“We have learned the best practices, techniques, and procedures which have evolved from operating in these conditions,” said Brigadier Parag Nangare, commander of the Indian Army’s 136th (I) Infantry Brigade Group. “This exercise has achieved a high degree of interoperability and jointmanship at all levels.”
The culminating event was a field training exercise that took place thousands of feet above sea level in the Chugach Mountains in deep snow, blowing winds, and sub-freezing temperatures. Combined Indian and U.S. Army units assaulted an objective in support of a notional military operation.
The field training exercise required soldiers to use all the training conducted the previous week — mountaineering skills, weapons familiarization, and cold weather training.
Simultaneously, Indian and U.S. staff officers conducted a command post exercise that simulated a United Nations peacekeeping mission - sharing their best practices in planning, coordinating and executing military missions as a combined staff.
Yudh Abhyas 21 is an annual, bilateral training exercise aimed at improving the combined interoperability of the Indian and U.S. Army to increase partner capacity for conventional, complex, and future contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific region.