The 16th edition of Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ will be held in Rajasthan between February 8 and 21. The exercise near the India-Pakistan border aims at enhancing cooperation and interoperability between the two armies and will focus on counter-terrorism operations under the United Nations mandate.
According to a press release by the defence ministry, the training exercise enhances “combined interoperability capabilities through training and cultural exchange, which foster enduring partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region through common defence objectives.” A contingent of 270 American soldiers on Sunday reached Rajasthan to take part in a fortnight-long joint military exercise with the Indian Army, ‘Yudh Abhyas 20’, at the state’s Mahajan field firing range. The ‘Yudh Abhyas 20’ involves approximately 250 US Army and 250 Indian army soldiers. The US contingent reached Suratgarh in a special aircraft to take part in the exercise which will be the 16th edition of the US military exercise under the military exchange program and begin on Monday. The exercise is being held in India also assumes significance in the backdrop of recent developments on northern borders, and conveys the strategic posture of the two nations as well as enhanced upward trajectory in Indo-US relations. The exercise is being conducted despite the COVID-19 pandemic which indicates the strength of bilateral relations and conveys a geo-strategic message to the environment.