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Indian Army to have back-to-back training exercises with US, Russia

Indian Army is set to have back-to-back training exercises with the USA and Russia, demonstrating its acceptability as a strategic partner to the world's top military powers.

Nearly 200 men from a Gorkha Rifle regiment on Tuesday would leave for a US joint base at Lewis McChord in Washington to participate in the 2017 edition of the exercise Yudh Abhyas, to be held on September 14-27, between the two armies.

This will be the 13th edition of the joint exercise hosted alternately between the two nations that are increasingly coming closer to security and military cooperation.

Next month another contingent of Army troops will head towards Russia for the first ever India-Russia tri-service exercise.

While the Indra series of exercise between the two traditional allies were being held for a long time, Indra-2017 would be the first tri-service exercise with specific Army, Air Force and Navy components in the drill.

Over the years, the nature of complexities has increased in the Indo-US exercise too. In Yudh Abhyas 2017, the planning would be done at the Brigade level while the field exercise would be held at the battalion level. The first few days (Sept 16-20) will be spent on planning the exercise.

The final task of the exercise would be simulating a joint operation by the two armies under the UN mandate. The firing of anti-tank missile Javelin, which the Army wants to buy, will be a part of the mock drill at the US base.

The subsequent drill with the Russians will be held at three separate locations. While the Army leg of Indra-2017 is likely to take place in Vladivostok, two of the Indian Navy ships INS Satpura and INS Kadmat from the Eastern Naval command left the Indian shore last week for the sea-leg of the tri-service exercise.

Indian Army will end the year with two more war games with the UK and Kazakhstan on the Indian soil. While the first one (Ex Ajeya) will take place in Mahajan range in December, the exercise with the Central Asian nation will happen in Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh in November.

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