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India-US joint exercise kicks off in Meghalaya

The Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise “VAJRA PRAHAR 2023” commenced on Tuesday at the Joint Training Node, in Meghalaya’s Umroi. The U.S. contingent is represented by personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) while the Indian Army contingent is led by Special Forces personnel from the Eastern Command, the Defence Ministry said.

Exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ aims at sharing best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics. During the course of the next three weeks, both sides will jointly plan and rehearse a series of special operations, counter-terrorist operations, and airborne operations in simulated conventional and unconventional scenarios in mountainous terrain.

Key highlights include ‘Combat free fall insertion of troops from stand-off distances’, ‘water-borne insertion of troops’, ‘precision engagement of targets at long ranges’, ‘combat air controlling of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft’ besides ‘airborne insertion and sustenance of troops’.

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Exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ has evolved as a mechanism to exchange ideas and share best practices between the special forces of both nations. It is also a platform to enhance interoperability and strengthen defense cooperation between the armies of India and the U.S.

This is the 14th edition of the exercise while the first edition was conducted in the year 2010 in India and the 13th edition of the Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise was conducted at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS), Bakloh (HP). The current edition is being conducted in Umroi Cantonment, Meghalaya from November 21 to December 11.

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