14th edition of India US joint military exercise Vajra Prahar to kickstart next week

The previous edition was held in Himachal Pradesh’s Bakloh last year.
Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise 'Ex Vajra Prahar 2022
Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise 'Ex Vajra Prahar 2022

New Delhi: The special forces of India and the United States will get together for a joint exercise of their special forces next week in India. The 21-day ‘Vajra Prahar’ bilateral exercise will begin next week at Umroi Cantt in Meghalaya with an aim to provide a training opportunity in counter-terrorism, airborne and special operations, sources said.

This will be the 14th edition of Vajra Prahar. The previous edition was held in Himachal Pradesh’s Bakloh last year. The 12th edition of it was conducted at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington (US) in 2021.

The joint military exercise will be conducted in two phases. “The first phase will include combat conditioning and tactical-level special mission training exercises, while the second phase would involve 48 hours of validation of what the two forces learnt,” said sources.

This joint exercise continuing since 2010 is considered significant. After the culmination of the 13th edition, the Ministry of Defence had said. “Exercise Vajra Prahar with US Special Forces is significant in terms of security challenges faced by both the nations in the backdrop of the current global situation. The joint military exercise has further strengthened the traditional bond of friendship between the special forces as well as the improved bilateral defence cooperation between India and the US,” it said.

It was in September that the Armies conducted their 19th edition of exercise Yudh Abhyas at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, US. From fighting terrorism to enforcement of peace to conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, the Indo-US military engagement is deepening and expanding, generating concerns in China whether such interactions would emerge as a direct challenge to Chinese hegemony in the region.

In previous exercises, Indian soldiers used Sig Saur assault rifles procured from the US while the Indian Air Force deployed a Chinook heavy-lift helicopter on a combat-enabling operation. Indian Army showcased how it has trained birds and kites to check the increasing threat of drones.

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