News: US Army Alaska, Indian Army practice operational harmony
By Spc. Ashley M. Armstrong
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska and the Indian army merged tactics to ensure operational harmony and to prepare for mission success Nov. 9 during training at one of the airborne sustainment training areas.
The training was conducted in preparation for field training exercise missions as part of the combined training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2010.
Soldiers trained for airborne operations, loading and off-loading a Black Hawk helicopter, and support-by-fire, all tactics, techniques and procedures that will be used in missions during the exercise.
“[Rehearsals] give the soldiers opportunity to identify and work through issues that are inherent when working with foreign militaries that have different way of doing things,” said Capt. Daniel Raymond, Bravo Troop commander, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. “We are syncing very well with the Indian Army. They are picking up on our tactics and techniques very, very easily, and it goes to show the level of proficiency that they have as an army.”
The rehearsals provided opportunities for leaders from both armies to combine their operational differences to establish better strategy.
“We’ve been exchanging tactics, techniques and procedures and combining how we do things with how they do things,” said Sgt. Lawrence Inks, section leader, Bravo Troop, 1-40 CAV, 4th ABCT, 25th ID. “There are only minor differences, so it’s easy for both sides to pick up on them and mesh it together. With that, we are able to train well together and go out and conduct successful missions.”
During the training, distinguished visitors from both armies visited the site to see their soldiers in action.
“Yudh Abhyas is a huge cooperation between the two armies who are allies,” Inks said. “With the commanding general being here, he definitely would want to see what kind of training is going on and what we what we are learning from each other. This was a great opportunity for him to do so.”
A portion of the training included a weapons and equipment demonstration that allowed Indian soldiers to familiarize themselves with various U.S. Army equipment and to show the distinguished visitors what they had learned.
“The Indian soldiers that came through were pretty excited to see something different as far as U.S. weaponry compared to theirs. They were very interested to learn about it. It was a great teaching experience for me,” said Pfc. Cory Slatten, mortar systems operator, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1-40th CAV, 4th ABCT, 25th ID, who gave instruction on an M-224, 60 mm lightweight mortar system.
The training event not only prepared the soldiers for future operations during the FTX but also establishes better relationships between the two militaries for future, real-world operations.
“I think what is above all else is that everyone has a good sense of camaraderie between the two countries, Inks said. “It’s cool sharing the tactics and stuff like that, but that one thing that you can’t teach is that camaraderie. Every day that we get to interact cooperatively with an ally like this and get to train together and work together is a really neat experience for us all.”
Yudh Abhyas is a regularly-scheduled bilateral, conventional-forces training exercise, sponsored by U.S. Army, Pacific and the Indian Army. The exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries to develop U.S. Army Pacific and USARAK relationships with India and promote interoperability through combined military decision making process, battle tracking and maneuvering forces, and exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures.
U.S. soldiers and their Indian counterparts are conducting a command post exercise, airborne operations training, marksmanship and tactical training to improve partnership readiness and cooperation between the armies of India and the United States during Yudh Abhyas 2010.