Beware of China: US and India announce joint military exercises

United in concern over China’s designs on its neighbours, India and the United States are teaming up for a series of high-altitude exercises in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, located near the Indian border with China.

“At this time, we expect the main element to come from the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 11th Airborne Division, based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, explained Major Jonathon M Lewis in response to an inquiry from Overt Defence.

“This unit was previously the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, but was redesignated 2nd BCT, 11th Airborne Division in June 2022 when the 11th Airborne Division was activated. This is the same unit that led Yudh Abhyas 2021 in Alaska. Paratroopers from the 11th Airborne Division will be joined by elements of the California National Guard, Washington National Guard and U.S. Army Special Forces,” he continued.

The exercises, known as Yudh Abhyas, or war practice, will take place at an altitude of 9,000 feet in late October. What’s notable about this year’s iteration of the exercise is its proximity to the Line of Actual Control, a line between India and China that demarcates disputed territory after the Sino-Chinese border war. of 1962. This year’s exercise will coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of that conflict.

The place and time of exercise are very important, although their importance has been downplayed. The exercise involves “working with a partner in areas of mutual interest and not tied to a specific country,” Major Lewis said. “The location chosen for training provides the right combination of altitude and climate for the exercise objectives.”

This year’s exercises “will build on the success of this previous training and deepen the partnership and relationship established between the US and Indian militaries,” said Major Lewis. “Standing in the Himalayas, it will focus on high altitude cold weather operations in ‘an environment that offers distinct challenges’.

“Yudh Abhyas 2022 will bring together the challenging and realistic training needed to provide the readiness, partnership and shared experience necessary for interoperability that improves relationships between nations,” Major Lewis said.

He added that “it will further develop the bilateral planning and mission command of operations that the two armies have built since the first iteration of the exercise in 2004”, and that Yudh Abhyas will improve the “collective ability to respond in the event of crisis and support integrated operations”. deterrence.”

Driven together by mutual concerns over China, India and the United States are preparing for high-altitude contingencies, as previous iterations of the exercise have focused on medical evacuation, mountaineering, resiliency and survival in cold weather.

Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and advocacy writer with National Interest. A graduate of UCLA, he also holds a Master of Public Policy and lives in Berlin. It covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society for print and radio. Follow him on Twitter @calebmlarson.

Picture: Reuters.

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