Guardsman strengthens relationships at Yudh Abhyas 21
Maj. Sameer Puri, Washington National Guard, briefs Col. Yash Patel and Col. Mudit Mahajan of the Indian Army about Cyber support in Yudh Abhyas Command Post Exercise (CPX) at JBER, AK 20 October 2021. Yudh Abhyas is a bilateral training exercise, held annually since 2004, aimed at improving the interoperability of the Indian Army and U.S. Army to increase partner capacity for conventional, complex and future contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific region. (Photo Credit: Sgt. John Stephens) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. – Building partnerships with our foreign allies is critical to the success of the U.S. military. That is why Maj. Sameer Puri, the chief information officer for the Washington Army National Guard, took part in the Yudh Abhyas 21 Exercise at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska Oct. 15-25.

"For me, Yudh Abyhas is a great exercise to emphasize the growing threat of non-kinetic warfare while being a cultural ambassador between U.S. and Indian armies, to build better partnerships," said Puri. "It was also a great learning experience for me."

Yudh Abhyas is a bilateral training exercise aimed at improving the combined interoperability of the Indian Army and U.S. Army. The 14-day exercise is designed to enable the exchange of knowledge, ideas and concepts between the two militaries. It is focused on enhancing cohesion and interoperability.

Puri, who migrated from India to the United States in 1999, the same year he enlisted in the Army, traveled to India in February 2021 to take part in Yudh Abhyas 20. He quickly proved to be a valuable asset in the exercise because of his knowledge of the area, language capabilities and ability to conduct cyber-defense planning.

"During Yudh Abhyas, both Indian and U.S. staff officers had to emphasize on the planning process for the exercises," said Puri. "Both staffs became familiar with one another, but having already connected with them prior and sharing the same language helped break down barriers."

A total of 300 U.S. Army Soldiers and 350 Indian Army soldiers participated in October's exercise. Events included counterinsurgency/counterterrorism environment activities in coordination with a United Nations mandate.

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