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Indian Army Soldiers qualify at range, exchanged tactics with U.S. Army Alaska Soldiers Login to Vote!

By Spc. Ashley M. Armstrong

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Weapon proficiency is an important principle for soldiers, but it’s not often that one gets the opportunity to train with weapons used by a foreign army.

Soldiers of the Indian Army were given that chance during a small arms range here as part of the bilateral training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2010.

U.S. Army Alaska soldiers provided guidance and assistance to the Indian soldiers while they fired M-4 carbine rifles for zeroing and qualification.

“I love it. It’s something different, and something I’ve never been able to do,” said Sgt. Joshua Baugus, a scout with Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, referring to training with the Indian soldiers. “It’s just awesome. We get to show them how we do things, and they are able to confide in us and trust us. We do the same with them.”

The majority of Indian soldiers qualified, he added.

“They understand the weapon and they did pretty well for never shooting an M-4 before,” said Sgt. Corey Tierney, another scout with Alpha Troop.

The range followed initial training on the weapons system Nov. 1, where the Indian soldiers learned about the M-4 carbine rifle and how to properly operate it.

“They just love this training, so they came out here ready to shoot,” Baugus said.

The training was also an opportunity for USARAK soldiers to learn from their Indian counterparts.

“We exchange different tactics,” Baugus said. “We have proven tactics and so do they, and from these training events we are all able to teach and to learn from each other.”

Yudh Abhyas is a regularly-scheduled bilateral, conventional-forces training exercise, sponsored by U.S. Army, Pacific and the Indian Army. The exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries to develop U.S. Army Pacific and USARAK relationships with India and promote interoperability through combined Military Decision Making Process, battle tracking and maneuvering forces, and exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures.

During the exercise, U.S. soldiers and their Indian counterparts will conduct a Command Post Exercise, airborne operations training, marksmanship and tactical training and take part in cultural exchanges to improve partnership readiness and cooperation between the armies of India and the United States.

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