JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - U.S. Army Alaska and the Indian Army celebrated the opening of the annual joint and bilateral training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2010 during an Oct. 31 ceremony at Buckner Physical Fitness Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.The purpose of the 14-day exercise is to establish and enhance relationships between the allied forces while expanding operational and cultural knowledge with a focus on peacekeeping operations."The exercise is designed to build lasting friendships through the promotion of cooperation among our two great democracies while sharing training, cultural exchange and improving partner readiness," said U.S. Army Alaska Deputy Commander Col. Mark S. Lowe, acting exercise director, "The relationship between U.S. Army Pacific and the Indian military grows stronger on a day-to-day basis with these training events."Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (National Guard) and Indian Army soldiers from the 62nd Infantry and 5th Parachute Regiment Brigade, are the active participants in Yudh Abhyas 2010 and filled the ranks of the formation during the opening ceremony.The ceremony marked the beginning of many other events centralized on joint cohesion on and off the field of training."Like other theater security cooperation programs, Yudh Abhyas allows participants from both armies to train together, share tactics, techniques and procedures and enjoying enriched appreciation for each other's culture and professional traditions," said Lowe.They will conduct a command post exercise, airborne operations training, marksmanship and tactical training highlighted by a Javelin live-fire, as well as participate in various cultural activities and social exchanges.After the formal portion of the ceremony the participants were given opportunity to eat cake decorated with both nations' colors, symbolizing their unity, and to interact with soldiers from their allied army."Yudh Abhyas will continue to be one of U.S. Army Pacific's most important exercises in the (Pacific Command area of operations) for many years to come. I look forward to having a safe, beneficial and successful exercise with our Indian friends and counterparts," said Lowe.Follow Yudh Abhyas 2010 on the web at, Facebook and Flickr