JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska and the Indian army got a break from working operations of combined exercise Yudh Abhyas 2010 to experience a day of Alaskan and American culture.

The cultural event included visits to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Byron Glacier at Portage Glacier, Alaska, Nov. 7.

"It was a great event. We all got to have fun going out and exploring Alaska with nothing military related, aside from everyone being in the military," said Pfc. Adam Van Raalten, infantryman, Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. "It's a new experience seeing what people from another country are like and this gave us a great opportunity to do so."

The soldiers also were able to have more social interaction in the casual environment.

"It was a little more time that we could spend bonding and learning from each other and just getting to know everyone a little better. It's been a fun time for me," said Pfc. Joshua Good, gunner, Apache Troop, 1-40th CAV, 4th ABCT, 25th ID. "A lot of them are very nice. They sit down and talk with you, even with the language barrier. I've enjoyed getting to know them."
Indian soldiers were excited about the cultural day and seeing the scenic outdoors and wildlife of Alaska, and experiencing a little bit of American society, according to Good.

"I think that anytime you visit a different country, you want to experience the culture there," Good said. "That's why this was such great thing. They are here to train and to learn how our military does things, but they also want to get to know us and our culture and surroundings and this gave them that opportunity."

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. The two-week long exercise started Oct. 31 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

During the exercise, U.S. Soldiers and their Indian counterparts will conduct a Command Post Exercise, airborne operations training, marksmanship and tactical training and take part in cultural exchanges to improve partnership readiness and cooperation between the armies of India and the United States.

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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16