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Hawaii Strykers roll into India for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09

First Sgt. Devin Winnegan, senior enlisted Soldier for Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, gives soldiers a safety briefing before driving their recently unloaded Stryker vehicles. The squadron is participating in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 in Babina, India, which is scheduled for Oct. 12-27 and is a bilateral exercise involving the Armies of India and the United States. The primary goal of the exercise is to develop and expand upon the relationship between the Indian and U.S. Army. (Photo courtesy 2nd Stryker Brigade 25th Infantry Division)

First Sgt. Devin Winnegan, senior enlisted Soldier for Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, gives soldiers a safety briefing before driving their recently unloaded Stryker vehicles. The squadron is participating in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 in Babina, India, which is scheduled for Oct. 12-27 and is a bilateral exercise involving the Armies of India and the United States. The primary goal of the exercise is to develop and expand upon the relationship between the Indian and U.S. Army. (Photo courtesy 2nd Stryker Brigade 25th Infantry Division)

Special to Hawaii247 by Staff Sgt. Cristina Yazzie

CAMP BUNDELA, India – The first mechanized Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09, an annual bilateral battalion-level field training exercise between the Indian and U.S. armies, kicked off with a ceremony at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12.

Soldiers from the Indian army’s 7th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, 94th Armored Brigade, 31st Armored Division, is the 2009 host of the exercise.

They are joined by Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army’s 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

“Today, as we stand here, at the Babina ranges, this is the first time in the history of these Armies together where two mechanized forces join for this exercise, both 2-14 Cavalry and 7th Mechanized Infantry,” said keynote speaker Indian army Maj. Gen. Anil Malik, general officer commanding, 31st Armored Division. “Today is a meeting point and an historical occasion, a meeting point of the two greatest democracies of the world.”

YA09 consists of two weeks of Peace Keeping Operations, along with the exchange of staff organizational tactics related to peace operations at various levels.

Participants will be engaged in a variety of missions, from joint planning and executing, a variety of artillery ranges both in and out of vehicles, to cordon and search operations as well as search and rescue training.

“The United States and India have historical ties, and over the last few years, these ties have graduated onto cooperation in the military, wherein both of us; as partners in peace and prosperity in the world, join hands to understand each other, to synchronize with each other, adopt an interoperability, so that we can understand how we can best utilize the resources of each other towards achieving the overall aim,” Malik said.

The 17 Strykers, which are now in India, represent the largest deployment of Strykers outside of Iraq and Afghanistan for Pacific Rim Forces, and will play a vital role in the exercise as the U.S. Soldiers show off one of the Armies newest vehicles.

Armored vehicles the Indian army will use during the exercise include the Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, or BMP, a Russian tank similar to the Bradley Tank, and the T-90, a Russian Main Battle Tank, which is similar to the U.S. M1 Abrams tank.

“The size and scope of this combined exercise is unparalleled and will be characterized not only by realistic and challenging training, but by regular athletic, academic and cultural exchanges,” said Lt. Col. Jim Isenhower, commander, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. “Our Soldiers are excited to engage in the exercise during the upcoming two weeks and feel a distinct sense of privilege as participants in Yudh Abhyas.”

After the ceremony, Soldiers and commanders from both armies began their exchange by showing off their various weapons systems, vehicles and other equipment used by each force.

“Before today, I didn’t know the Indians had a mechanized force of this magnitude with so much of a rich tradition,” said Sgt. Logan Anderson, Personal Security Detail non-commissioned officer, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. “Since this unit of the Indian army is mechanized and we’re a Stryker unit, I’m really looking forward to how we’re going to maneuver together.”

Malik expressed a similar sentiment, stating a desire for all training and endeavors of participants to be successful.

“I wish you all that the aims set forth by both the armies are fully achieved, and we are in a position to carry forward the lessons learned,” said Malik. “I wish you all the very best, a comfortable stay here, and that the training that you receive here will bring you all to greater glory.”

Spc. Paul West, a mortarman assigned to Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, removes chains while unloading vehicles in preparation for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 in Babina, India. (Hawaii247 photo special by Staff Sgt. Cristina Yazzie)

Spc. Paul West, a mortarman assigned to Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, removes chains while unloading vehicles in preparation for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 in Babina, India. (Hawaii247 photo special by Staff Sgt. Cristina Yazzie)

One Response to “Hawaii Strykers roll into India for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09”

  1. 1LT Singh ALvin D. says:

    I am quite intrested in this excerise is there an annual training event that i can get with the unit deploying there?

    1LT Singh Alvin D

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