US troops to celebrate Holi with Indian ArmyFebruary 27th, 2012 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) A group of 200 US army troops will get a taste and a feel of Holi, the Indian festival of colours, even as they test their battlefield skills with Indian Army personnel during an annual war game in the Rajasthan desert beginning next week.
With barely a week left for the exercise to begin, a group of 30 American troops along with their Stryker reconnaissance armoured personnel carriers and support equipment arrived here Monday. The rest will arrive later.
The American troops will participate in the bilateral Yudh Abhyas-2012 war games involving the mechanised forces of the two countries, an army spokesperson said here.
“With Holi falling within the training calendar (on March 8), the US troops will also get a colourful experience of this vibrant festival as a part of the cultural exchange between troops,” the spokesperson said.
The troops and their equipment are from the 2nd Squadron of 14th Cavalry Regiment from the 25th Infantry Division of the US Army’s Pacific base in Hawaii. The initial lot of 30 will directly proceed to the exercise area and will be joined by another 170 American army personnel within a few days.
The joint exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries at the tactical level, while sharing training procedures and building joint operating skills, within the framework of UN peacekeeping operations, the spokesperson said.
During the exercise, troops from both nations will engage in joint planning for a variety of missions including live fire drills, cordon and search operations and search and rescue training.
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