Most of us recognize that the growing strategic relationship between the U.S. and India is necessary to counter the increasing influence of China and also to help combat the terrorists that seek to do both our nations harm. In pursuit of such an unstated policy, a contingent of Marines is in Belgaum in northern Karnataka right now for some hard-nosed training:
The joint exercise saw around 160 troops from India and the US train in sharing of intelligence, communication, weapons and equipment.
After a joint anti-terrorism exercise with the Indian Army at the Commando Training Centre here, US soldiers will take back not just experience of rigorous commando training but also a quintessentially Indian sport — kabaddi…
Kabaddi fascinated them, one of the American platoon commanders, Lt Lee, said. “My troops are playing kabaddi in barracks too. They are impressed with the game and the agility of the Indian troops.”
The only hitch — as an Indian officer put it tongue-in-cheek — is that the Americans pronounce kabbadi as “cup of tea”. [Link]
p>Hmmmm. Not as hard-nosed as I assumed at first, but agility is important. What other skills will they learn? Jungle warfare? Hand to hand combat?
The “Shatrujeet 06-1″ scenario is set in an urban insurgency environment and will cover the development of drills and techniques for use in joint counter-terrorist operations, including survival training, combat shooting, rock climbing, navigation and unarmed combat techniques.
Planners hope that the operation will enhance interoperability of both the armies.
The American contingent will consist of approximately 160 Marines, who will work together with and an Indian army battalion. [Link]
“Urban insurgency environment?” Hmmmm.
p>These exercises were code-named “Shatrujeet,” or “Victory over the Enemy.” I have no doubt that the skills learned here will deliver us victory.
p>On a closing note, take a look at another picture below from the training exercises. The “targets” that the Indians bring out look an awful lot (to my eyes at least) like…well, Marines. Isn’t that a little disturbing? We are learning counter insurgency techniques by firing on pictures that the Indians use that resemble our own troops. I wonder who the targets that we use here in the U.S. resemble.