All You Need to Know About the First Indo-US Tri-Service Exercise

Video Editors: Mohd Irshad Alam and Ashutosh Bhardwaj

The first joint tri-services military exercise between India and the US – Tiger Triumph – commenced in Bay of Bengal on 13 November, in light of their shared strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific and China’s effort to widen its footprint in the region.

The nine-day exercise, being conducted off the coast of Kakinada and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, aims to improve interoperability among Defence forces of the two nations in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, said officials.

US President Donald Trump had announced the exercise would be conducted during ‘Howdy, Modi’ in Texas, Houston, in October.

“In November, the US and India will demonstrate the dramatic progress of our Defence relationship, holding the first ever tri-service military exercise between our nations, it is called ‘Tiger Triumph’, good name,” Trump had said while addressing the Texas gathering.

China’s effort to consolidate its presence in the Indian Ocean region has worried the US, which has maintained it not only threatens nations and partners in the area but also negates the concept of free and open seas.

The US has deployed troops from its Third Marine Division as well as the US Navy Ship USS Germantown for the drill. The Indian Navy has deployed three ships – INS Jalashwa, INS Airavat and INS Sandhayak for the exercise, while Indian Army has sent troops from 19 Madras and 7 Guards. Indian Air Force (IAF) has, on the other hand, deployed Mi-17 choppers and a Rapid Action Medical Team for the drill.

The four-day harbour phase of the exercise began at Vishakhapatnam port on Wednesday and will be followed by the sea-phase off the coast of Kakinada during which various drills will be performed.

“Personnel from both the Navies would also participate in Training Visits, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, Sports Events and social interactions. On completion of the Harbour Phase, the ships, with troops embarked, would sail for the Sea Phase and undertake Maritime, Amphibious and HADR operations. On reaching the HADR area at Kakinada, the landing of Relief Forces would be undertaken to the Exercise scenario,” the statement read.

Officials said a Joint Command and Control Centre will be established by Indian Army and US Marines at the end of the exercise, while medical teams of IAF and US Navy will establish a medical facility camp in order to provide medical aid to victims in a simulated exercise. Dummy victims will be evacuated by road and air to the camp before the simulated exercise.

The inaugural ceremony of the exercise was held aboard INS Jalashwa of India on Wednesday. The closing ceremony will be held aboard the US ship USS Germantown on 21 November, said officials.

In June 2020, India will also participate in the largest international maritime exercise, the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) drill, organised by the US Indo-Pacific Command.

(With inputs from IANS)

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