Yudh Abhyas 2018: India, US annual combat exercise to be held Chaubatia in Uttarakhand
India and United States will conduct their annual combat exercise “Yudh Abhyas” at Chaubatia in Uttarakhand from 16 to 29 September, 2018. The exercise will be held soon after both countries hold their inaugural top-level “2+2” dialogue in New Delhi.
It will be fourteenth edition of exercise in Yudh Abhyas series which was started in 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program. This will be fourth time exercise will be conducted at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand. The aim of this exercise will be to enhance interoperability between armies. It will also focus on enhancing counter-terror cooperation.
The scope and intensity of this year’s exercise is much wider and is in reflection of upswing in defence ties between the two countries. This year’s Yudh Abhyas drills will be upgraded to battalion-level field training exercise (FTX) and division-level command post exercise (CPX). It will see participation of around 400 soldiers from each side, increase from around 200 each earlier. India will be fielding 15 Garhwal Rifles. Last year, Yudh Abhyas was held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the US.
The defence and security cooperation between India and US has witnessed new momentum in last couple of years. Earlier in September 20178, both countries had signed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) which will allow Indian defence forces to receive military-grade communications equipment from US and ensure access to real-time encrypted information. It will also help India to obtain critical defence technologies from US.
India and US also have decided to hold their first-ever mega tri-Service amphibious exercise off eastern coast of India in 2019. This will be only second time India will deploy assets and manpower from its Army, Navy and Air Force together for exercise with foreign country after tri-service Indra wargames were held with Russia at Vladivostok in 2017.
In July 2018, US had announced granting India status of Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) country, making it first South Asian nation to be given designation along with US’ NATO allies like South Korea, Australia and Japan. STA-1 status will help India get critical technology from US in defence and certain other key areas. It will also further facilitate India-US trade and technology collaboration in defence and high technology areas. In June 2016, US had designated India as major defence partner intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.
Category: Defence Current Affairs