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Visit of Ambassador to Alaska to witness the Indo-US Joint Airborne

October 8, 2002

Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, on 7th October, witnessed the second Indo-US Joint Military Exercise currently underway in Alaska from 29 September to 11 October, 2002. The Indian contingent of 80 personnel is from the 50(I) Para Brigade along with the Air Force's IL-76 aircraft and crew, while the US Army is represented by personnel from the 1Bn 501 Para Infantry Regiment and C-130 aircraft of the Pacific Command.

The aim of the exercise is to learn from each other's experience and procedures towards achieving "interoperability". Troops from the two countries carried out para-drops, scouting/airborne assault missions and progressed with various levels of joint firing exercises in cold and wet weather conditions. The first joint airborne military exercise between the two countries was held at Agra, India in May this year.

Ambassador met Brigadier General John M. Brown III, Commander of the US Army Alaska at Fort Richardson on 7th morning where the latter expressed his appreciation of the professionalism, discipline and adaptability of the Indian armed forces. General Brown also hosted a dinner in honour of the Ambassador.

Significantly, defence cooperation between the two countries has emerged as one of the most important dimensions of the overall Indo-US bilateral relations, during the past year. A joint Indo-US major naval exercise, named "Malabar IV" was successfully completed in the Indian Ocean last week. The Executive Steering Groups of all the three defence services are scheduled to meet again later this year to chalk out the calendar for joint exercises, training and other areas of cooperation for the next year.

For more information, contact:
Sunil Lal, Counsellor (Press & Information) at (202) 939-7042