India, US to conduct first tri-service drill towards year-end
The tri-service exercise was discussed last September during the inaugural ‘2+2’ dialogue.
India and the United States are likely to conduct their first exercise involving their armies, navies and air forces towards the end of the year, two officials said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The tri-service exercise was discussed last September during the inaugural ‘2+2’ dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries. The two sides are about to begin the groundwork for the maiden exercise.
“The initial planning conference for the exercise will be held in April followed by a final planning conference. The scale and scope of the exercise will be discussed during these meetings,” said one of the officials cited above. He said the exercise was likely to be conducted in Bay of Bengal around November. “US has a rich experience in joint operations in actual war conditions. It’s good that a joint tri-service drill is being planned. India stands to gain a lot from the US experience in its drive towards jointness,” said Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), additional director general, Centre for Air Power Studies.
The existing military exercises between India and the US are army-to-army, navy-to-navy and air force-to-air force. Russia is the only country with which India holds a joint tri-service exercise — the first of these was held in Vladivostok in October 2017.