India and the US have begun a joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas 20’ at Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR) in Rajasthan.

The two-week drill is the 16th edition of the bilateral exercise and will seek to increase the interoperability capabilities of the two forces and hone their counter-insurgency skills.

According to a statement of the US Embassy in India, the exercise will involve 250 US Army and 250 Indian Army soldiers.

The statement added: “Yudh Abhyas 20 provides excellent opportunities for professional and cultural exchanges that strengthen our partnership through shared learning and training.

“Training commences with expert academic exchanges and professional development workshops that focus on training at the corps-level and below; combat against conventional, unconventional and hybrid threats; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

Several military platforms, including Advance Light Helicopter WSI ‘RUDRA’, MI – 17, Chinooks, Stryker Vehicles of US Army and Indian Army’s BMP-II Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicles will be used in the exercise, news agency ANI reported quoting an Indian military official.

The last edition of the bilateral exercise was held in Seattle, US.

The exercise further underlines growing military cooperation between the US and India.

In November, the maritime forces in India, the US, Australia and Japan completed the second phase of Exercise Malabar 2020.

The multilateral naval exercise was aimed at improving integration between the maritime forces of the four nations.

Recently, the Indian Army carried out a large-scale conjoint military training exercise in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.