Indian and U.S. troops began to assemble for counter-terrorism exercises in the hills of Uttarakhand, they would soon discuss ways to enhance the scope and scale of exercises in tune with the deepening military cooperation.

Other Important Exercises
The bilateral exercise, also comes against the backdrop of Pakistani media reports that Pakistan and Russia will hold their first ever joint military exercise later this year. Possible sale of Russian military hardware to Islamabad is on the cards.

Separately, China and Russia began naval war games in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where India had joined the chorus for enforcing “freedom of navigation” and “open sea lanes of communication.”

Yudh Abhyas
The 12th edition of the annual bilateral exercise “Yudh Abhyas”, one of the longest running joint military training exercises, will take place at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand, close to the border with China, from September 14 to 27. The exercise is hosted alternately by both countries.

Yudh Abhyas will be an excellent opportunity for U.S. and Indian forces to share tactics, techniques, procedures and operational experiences. It is also an opportunity to broaden India-U.S. military cooperation and enhance interoperability.

The combined exercise Yudh Abhyas 2016 will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in a Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism (CICT) environment in mountainous terrain under a United Nations (UN) charter.

Effect of LEMOA
While this is not the first time it is happening at this location, this is the first military exercise after the two countries had formally signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA).

This means that accounting and book-keeping for this exercise will be done under the arrangement which does away with the need for settling bills and payments every time. They will be recorded and cleared every three months.