By Spc. Ashley M. Armstrong, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense CommandNovember 14, 2010
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- U.S. Army Alaska and the Indian Army celebrated the end of Yudh Abhyas 2010 during a ceremony Nov. 14 at Buckner Physical Fitness Center, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Yudh Abhyas 2010 established and enhanced relationships between the two militaries. The 14-day combined training exercise expanded operational and cultural knowledge between U.S. and Indian Soldiers and increased knowledge of peacekeeping operations.
"This two-week exercise brought these Soldiers together for this increasingly complex exercise. What we've done here through Yudh Abhyas is important. It's important to this relationship between our two countries," said Brig. Gen. Raymond Palumbo, commanding general of U.S. Army Alaska.
Approximately 750 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 participated in Yudh Abhyas 2010 and filled the formation during the ceremony.
"I thought the outcome of this exercise was great. As far as our training objectives, we met all of them," said Maj. Edward Berg, brigade judge advocate, 4th ABCT, 25th ID. "The thing that will last for me, that I will remember most, is just the time getting to know my counterpart and creating that friendship."
The ceremony marked the end of many other events centralized on joint cohesion on and off the field of training.
"We had a great time getting to know each other on a personal level as well as a professional level," Berg added. "I think it's important not only personally to make friends with people from different nations, but also professionally as we go more towards joint operating environments."
Yudh Abhyas 2010 included a command post exercise that focused on combined peacekeeping operations, a field training exercise that included several combined missions, marksmanship and tactical training highlighted by a Javelin live-fire, a combined U.S. and India airborne jump, as well as various cultural activities and social exchanges.
The exercise was significant within all levels involved, Palumbo said. It strengthened national bonds between India and the United States, it brought two allied militaries together on the same field, and gave each individual participant a chance to experience an unfamiliar culture and establish new friendships.
"It's great that we brought two professional armies together for something like this. I think we've created great friendships for the future," Berg said.
Soldiers and leaders from both armies presented gifts to commemorate the bonds established through the training event, and bid farewell to each other to conclude the ceremony and Yudh Abhyas 2010.
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.