Story by SSG Joseph Tolliver on 09/13/2019For Immediate Release
Release No. 20190913-1
Sept. 13, 2019
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. U.S. Army Soldiers from the 1-2 SBCT and Indian Army soldiers have reached the mid-point of exercise Yudh Abhyas 19.
The U.S. Army Pacific-sponsored exercise is designed to build the two armies joint capacity, share culture and knowledge to support the Indo-Pacific region. This 15th annual iteration of the two-week exercise is being hosted in Washington State this year after being hosted in India in 2018.
"For my men it's a new experience." Said an Indian Army Major. "Our mandate has been given to us - to gain the synergy, to learn from this exercise. We are reaching that objective."
The close to seven hundred troops participating in the bilateral exercise are training across various weapons including the M110 Semi Automatic Sniper System (SADD) sniper rifle and the M4 carbine, learning movement techniques in fire teams, and becoming familiar with various U.S. military vehicles including the M1126 Infantry Carrier (ICV) Stryker.
"The big thing we wanted to see, and what they wanted to see was interoperability. We ran M4 and grenade launcher qualification ranges. We trained multiple days in Leschi Town. We've conducted troop leading procedures with them. As far as the FTX side we pretty much met our objective. We shared with them our capabilities and they were able to demonstrate their capabilities." Capt. Joseph Valenzuela, Commander Alpha Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment.
With this iteration scheduled for conclusion Sept. 19, the two allies are confident the integrated training across multiple scenarios have improved their combined ability and are looking forward to the overarching validation exercises.