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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

Last updated on: October 6, 2010 13:13 IST

Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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Indian forces and the United States navy recently conducted their annual amphibious training exercise -- Habu Nag -- in the East China Sea, which is designed to enhance their bilateral interoperability, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) is participating in this exercise, while several officers of the Indian armed forces embarked on to observe Navy and Marine amphibious training and to participate in a tabletop exercise.

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Image: Members of the Indian armed forces tour the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) as part of exercise Habu Nag
Photographs: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Ryan Smith/Released
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The exercise that started on September 29 concluded on Monday.

"A key aspect is that the US has Marines embedded with Navy staff, doing jobs for the Navy that are Marine Corps oriented and vice versa," said Lt Col Evan Holt, a Marine liaison officer assigned to Commander, Task Force 76, who is working with the Indian officers.


Image: Major Roy Sinha of the Indian Army looks through 'the big eyes' on the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in the East China Sea on Thursday, during a tour in conjunction with exercise Habu Nag
Photographs: US Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Ryan Smith
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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"We want to demonstrate how two different services with two different goals mesh their operations and personnel to complete those goals," Holt said.

Cmdr Gagan Kaushal, of the Indian navy said the exercise gives them the chance to get a ground view of how everything is executed.

"It also gives us the chance to get a ground view of how everything is executed," he said.


Image: USS Essex
Photographs: US Navy Photo
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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Noting that it has been a wonderful experience being on a US ship, Col Manoj Tiwari, of the Indian army said: "We have learned a lot about the US Marine Corps and how they function and work with the naval element."

"We have the experience on land; what we hope to learn is how the Marines perform landings and facilitate more fluid interaction between our own naval and amphibious elements."




Photographs: US Navy Photo
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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The Indian military has no marine corps. Instead they deploy a specially trained amphibious army division to perform beach landings.

Officers of that unit worked alongside US Marine representatives to share knowledge and prepare for future scenarios and amphibious operations.


Image: USS Essex
Photographs: US Navy Photo
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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For the Indian Navy, the exercise allows them to see first hand amphibious operations at sea.

"This operation gives us a birds-eye view of how amphibious operations are organised," Cmdr Gagan Kaushal, of the Indian Navy said. "It also gives us the chance to get a ground view of how everything is executed."


Image: Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Edward P Oyola cleans an M-240B machine gun in the armory of the USS Essex
Photographs: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey H Kyhl/Released
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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Habu Nag is just one bilateral exercise conducted between the U.S. and India. In addition, US Navy ships conduct numerous routine visits to India each year.

Essex, commanded by Capt Troy Hart, is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is on patrol in the Western Pacific. 


Image: A CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 262, takes off
Photographs: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey H Kyhl/Released
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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Last year, when the exercise took place at the US Marines base in Okinawa in Japan, India opted not to participate.

While no reason was given for the last minute pull-out, regional sensitivities were thought to be behind the move. Okinawa is located close to China and has a significant US presence where several military bases are concentrated. The island has also been in the news for frequent spotting of Chinese naval vessels, including submarines by Japanese self-defence forces.

 

 


Image: Maintenance work being done on the rotor of an AH-1Z Super Cobra helicopter aboard USS Essex
Photographs: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released
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Indian forces train with US in East China sea

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More joint Indo-US military exercises are planned in the future, including one in Alaska next month and a Special Forces' exercise in India.


Image: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin/Released

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The participation of the Indian Army and Navy boosts the credibility of its forces, as this unique operation involves enhanced capability not commonly found in other marine forces of the world. Both the participants create contingency plans based on different scenarios and conditions the forces may find in a real-world relief effort.


Photographs: US Navy Photo
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