India-US Current Affairs - 2019

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Vajra Prahar: India-US Joint Military Exercise, 2019

A joint military training exercise “Vajra Prahar” is conducted in Seattle between October 13, 2019 and October 28, 2019. The exercise is conducted alternately in India and US. The Special Forces and the Southern Command of Indian Armed Forces will participate in the exercise

Significance of Vajra Prahar

Around 45 – member special forces team will train alongside US special forces. It will enable the soldiers to train in areas such as operational tactics and joint mission planning.

Special Forces of India

The special forces of the Indian army are those forces that are under the direct command of the Indian military. They are specifically organized, trained and equipped. They support special operations. Special operations are law enforcement, military and intelligence operations that are carried out using unconventional methods and sources. The primary goal of these operations is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force might affect the overall outcome. The US relied on special operations between 2003 and 2012 for its national security. The purpose of the special operations was to identify, hunt and kill terrorists.

The Special Forces was created in 1966 during the Indo – Pakistan war, 1965. The Parachute Regiment was the first Special operations unit. The special forces were involved in Operation Blue star, Operation Pawan, Operation Cactus and Kargil war.

Southern Command

The Southern Command was formed in 1895. It has seen the action of integration of several Princely states. The commendable jobs of the command include 1961 Indian Annexation of Goa, 1965 and 1971 Indo – Pakistani wars. It also participated in World War II.

A month back, in September 2019, the joint Exercise “Yudh Abhyas” was conducted in Washington DC.

Tiger Triumph: India-US joint tri-services exercise to be held in Andhra Pradesh

India and the United States are set to hold their first tri-services exercise code-named as ‘Tiger Triumph’ at Visakhapatnam and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. It is scheduled to be held in November 2019.

This will be only 2nd time that India will deploy assets and manpower from its Army, Navy and Air Force together for an exercise with a foreign country. India had earlier conducted similar tri-service exercise ‘Indra wargames’ with Russia at Vladivostok in 2017.

Tiger Triumph: India-US tri-services Exercise

This first-ever tri-Service exercise between India and US will focus on large-scale amphibious Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. It will be held along eastern coast in Bay of Bengal.

It is being organised under the aegis of headquarters of Integrated Defence Staff.

The announcement in this regard was made by US President Donald Trump in Houston during the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event.

The scheduled exercise highlights strong and growing bilateral defence ties between India and America.

Background

The announcement about the tri-services exercise comes after Final Planning Conference (FPC) for India-US Tri-Services Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) concluded at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command on 20 September 2019. The conference was attended by delegates from US Navy and Marine Corps and representatives from Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

During the conference, participants had a discussion on planning of exercise and interactions on issues related to the conduct of exercise. Both teams from US and India also visited campsite at Kakinada and conducted table-top exercises as preparatory activities.

NOTE:

Every Year, India and the US, hold a flurry of combat exercises namely-

  1. Naval Malabar (with Japan as 3rd participant)
  2. Counter-terror Vajra Prahar
  3. Yudh Abhyas drills between India-US armies.

As of now, India and the US have conducted defence hardware trade around $18 billion over last 10 years and many more defence deals are still in the pipeline.