India, US armies hold exercises close to China border

Nov 28, 2022, 2:34 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2022, 6:58 am
Indian army soldiers run to board a helicopter during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Au...

Indian army soldiers run to board a helicopter during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

              Indian army soldiers run to board a helicopter during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division with Indian army soldiers carry out a mock operation to flush out armed gunmen from a house during the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              An Indian army soldier slithers from a helicopter during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise that began two weeks ago is held around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              An Indian army sniper returns after a Jungle lane terrain drill at the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise that began two weeks ago is held around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              A US army soldier of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division learns rock craft during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. (AP photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              A helicopter carrying Indian army soldiers  takes off during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              An Indian army sniper takes position during Jungle lane terrain drill at the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise that began two weeks ago is held around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              Indian army soldiers run to board a helicopter during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division with Indian army soldiers carry out a mock operation to flush out armed gunmen from a house during the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              An Indian army soldier slithers from a helicopter during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise that began two weeks ago is held around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              An Indian army sniper returns after a Jungle lane terrain drill at the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise that began two weeks ago is held around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              A US army soldier of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division learns rock craft during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. (AP photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division watch Indian army soldiers display their unarmed combat skills during the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              A helicopter carrying Indian army soldiers  takes off during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise began two weeks ago. India's defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations, which is under Chapter of the UN Mandate. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division along with Indian army soldiers participate in a target kill exercise at the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division with Indian army soldiers participate in a target kill exercise during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division fires along with Indian army soldiers participate in a target kill exercise during Indo-US joint exercise "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division fire at a target during Jungle lane terrain exercise during Indo-US joint exercise "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division along with Indian army soldiers participate in a target kill exercise during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              A US army soldier of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division learns rock craft during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Militaries from India and the U.S. are taking part in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain close to India's disputed border with China. The training exercise that began two weeks ago is held around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. (AP photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division take position to fire during Jungle lane terrain exercise at the Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              US army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division fires with Indian army soldiers pose in front of an all terrain vehicle during Indo-US joint exercise or "Yudh Abhyas, in Auli, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. India’s defence ministry statement said the joint exercise is conducted annually with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the armies of the two nations. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

AULI, India (AP) — Indian and U.S. troops on Tuesday participated in a high-altitude training exercise in a cold, mountainous terrain near India’s disputed border with China, at a time both countries are trying to manage rising tensions with Beijing.

During the exercise, Indian soldiers were dropped from helicopters to flush out gunmen from a house in a demonstration of unarmed combat skills. Other drills involved sniffer dogs and unmanned bomb-disposing vehicles, and trained kites were deployed to destroy small enemy drones.

“Overall, it has been a great learning experience. There has been sharing of best practices between both the armies,” said Brig. Pankaj Verma of the Indian Army.

The annual drills took place around Auli, a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand. The U.S. troops came from the 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division, and their Indian counterparts were members of the army’s Assam Regiment.

India’s Defense Ministry has said the exercise will focus on surveillance, mountain-warfare skills, casualty evacuation and combat medical aid in adverse terrain and climatic conditions. It will also include humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and operations related to peacekeeping, it said.

The “Yudh Abhyas” exercise has alternated between the U.S. and India since it began in the early 2000s. It was held in Alaska last year.

Earlier editions had taken place elsewhere in northern India, but this year’s exercise is being held only about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Line of Actual Control, a disputed border that separates Chinese and Indian-held territories.

India and China fought a war along the border in 1962. The latest dispute flared in June 2020, when at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed in a brawl in the Ladakh region. It led to the two countries stationing tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along the Line of Actual Control.

Some Indian and Chinese soldiers have pulled back from a key friction point but tensions between the two countries have persisted.

The exercise also reflects the strengthening defense ties between India and the U.S. They have steadily ramped up their military relationship and signed a string of defense deals and deepened military cooperation. In recent years, relations have been driven by a convergence of interests to counter China.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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India, US armies hold exercises close to China border