Joint exercise with US special forces commences at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh


The 13th Edition of the Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercises “Ex Vajra Prahar 2022” commenced at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS), Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh on Monday, August 8.

The US contingent is represented by personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) and Special Tactics Squadron (STS) of US Special Forces and the Indian Army contingent is formed by drawing Special Forces personnel under the aegis of SFTS.

The Vajra Prahar series of joint exercises aims to share best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics as also to improve inter-operability between the Special Forces of both Nations. This annual exercise is hosted alternatively between India and the United States.

The 12th edition was conducted at Joint Base Lewis Mcchord, Washington (USA) in October 2021.

“During the course of next 21 days, teams of both armies would jointly train, plan and execute a series of Special Operations, Counter Terrorist Operations, Air Borne operations in simulated conventional and unconventional scenarios in mountainous terrain,” said an official communique issued by the Ministry of Defence.

This joint exercise is a significant step in strengthening the traditional bond of friendship between the special forces of both Nations as well as improve bilateral defense cooperation between India and the USA.

In October the US will participate in another joint military exercise with India. The exercise which is scheduled to be held in Auli, a Himalayan ski resort and hill station in Uttarakhand, which is situated 95 kilometers from India’s border with China. The military exercise consisting of war games will focus on high-altitude warfare training, the 18th edition of an annual joint exercise known as “Yudh Abhyas”.

CNN reports: “Relations between India and China have been strained since a bloody clash between their soldiers in the Himalayas in June 2020 left at least 20 Indian troops and four Chinese soldiers dead. Tensions have been raised further recently by China building a bridge across the Pangong Tso lake that sits along the border — a move condemned by the Indian government as an “illegal occupation.” During a visit to India this year, the US Army’s Pacific Commanding General Charles Flynn described China’s military build-up near the disputed border as “alarming”.”

CNN has also quoted a US Department of Defense spokesperson who said that the partnership with India was “one of the most important elements of our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” “One important element of this broader effort includes exercises and training events and Yudh Abhyas is one such annual bilateral exercise designed to improve interoperability and improve our respective capacities to address a range of regional security challenges,” the spokesperson said.


Drone Upgrade

The Army Design Bureau on Monday, August 8, said that on behalf of the Indian Army it has signed an MoU with the Drone Federation of India to collaboratively work towards promoting research, development, testing and manufacturing of drones, counter-drone and associated technologies that can assist the Indian Army in its operations.

The Army Design Bureau is the nodal agency of the Indian Army to be the facilitator for the R&D efforts with the Industry, Academia, DRDO and DPSUs to enable them to understand and appreciate user requirements in depth.

The Drone Federation of India promotes the drone industry by bringing about policy change, creating business opportunities, developing a robust skill-based infrastructure, facilitating technology and knowledge transfers, developing standards, and promoting R&D efforts with industry-academia collaboration.

This MoU between the Indian Army and the Drone Federation of India is aimed at creating a road map for drone, counter-drone and allied technologies in the Indian Army. It will also promote research, development, testing and indigenous manufacturing of drones and associated technologies by the provision of testing sites to enable the designing, prototyping, testing and manufacturing of drones and associated components.