India and the United States will be conducting the 12th edition of their joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from September 14 to 27.
The exercise is held alternately on Indian and US soil. This is the first time that it being held close to China’s border with India.
It should be noted that this Yudh Abyas is the first since India and US signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).
The LEMOA allows India and the US to use each other’s military bases and other facilities.
The Chaubuttia military station is in Ranikhet, just around 100 km away from the India-China border.
It is possible that China will raise objection to the exercise in the same way it did when Indian Navy ships sailed through the South China Sea three months ago for the Malabar exercise with US and Japanese Navies.
At Yudh Abhyas 2016, a total of 225 US Army soldiers from the 5th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade combat team and 7th Infantry Division of the US Army will be participating. An equal number of soldiers from India’s 14th Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles and the 12thBattalion of the Madras Regiment will participate in the exercise.
According to an official statement, the Yudh Abhyas 2016 will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment in mountainous terrain under UN charter. The training will culminate with a final validation exercise in which troops of both countries will jointly carry out an operation against terrorists in a fictitious but realistic setting, the release mentions.