JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska: Basic skill-level training for the U.S. Army can be redundant and uneventful, but providing the training to soldiers from a foreign nations’ army offers challenges, exceptional experiences and spice to the regular activity.

Soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska were given that opportunity Nov. 1 while teaming with the Indian Army during their first day of training for Yudh Abhyas 2010 at the Battle Command Training Center and Education Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“The training was interesting, something unique that we don’t do often, and was definitely a lesson in patience with the language barrier,” said Pfc. Adam Van Raalten, an infantryman with 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

Training included instruction on various U.S. Army weapons systems, evaluating and evacuating a casualty, and hands-on training with the Engagement Skills Trainer.

The weapons training included hands-on instruction on the M-4 carbine in preparation for live-fire training Nov. 2.
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“The exercise starts off at ground level, getting their feet wet, and progresses them up to more advanced training,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Creech, first sergeant of Apache Troop, 1-40th CAV, 4th ABCT, 25th ID. “I think they love it. They are really helping us because, there is very little training that we need to give for them to go after it.”

Indian soldiers were able to familiarize themselves with various U.S. Army weapons systems and operate them during computer-simulated scenarios during the EST portion of the training.

Soldiers were given instruction on evaluating a casualty and were shown different methods of casualty evacuation during the casualty training.

“They are all very eager to learn,” said Sgt. Dakota Oklesson, senior line medic in Apache Troop, 1-40th CAV, 4th ABCT, 25th ID. Oklesson taught the combat lifesaving portion of the training. “It’s nice to teach another Army, because they don’t get this sort of training back in their country. I think they will be able to retain everything that we teach them, and that they are going to take it back home with them and hopefully use it.”

Yudh Abhyas is a regularly-scheduled bilateral, conventional-forces training exercise, sponsored by U.S. Army, Pacific and the Indian Army. The exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries to develop U.S. Army Pacific and USARAK relationships with India and promote interoperability through the combined Military Decision-Making Process, through battle tracking and maneuvering forces, and exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures.

During the exercise, U.S. Soldiers and their Indian counterparts will conduct a Command Post Exercise, airborne operations training, marksmanship and tactical training and take part in cultural exchanges to improve partnership readiness and cooperation between the armies of India and the United States.