Article by Kate Lamar; Photo courtesy of Scott Moreland
Subject Matter Experts from the NPS Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) worked with the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) and Indian military partners during Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2010, which took place November 1-14 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. The CCMR representatives provided the specialized expertise and exercise management for the joint and bilateral command post exercise.
The objective of Yudh Abhyas 2010 was to establish and enhance relationships between partner forces necessary for peacekeeping operations, while mutually expanding operational and cultural knowledge.
“The exercise is designed to build lasting friendships through the promotion of cooperation among our two great democracies while sharing training, cultural exchanges, and improving partner readiness,” said U.S. Army Alaska Deputy Commander Col. Mark S. Lowe, acting exercise director, in a recent interview for Frontier India. “The relationship between USARPAC and the Indian military grows stronger on a day-to-day basis with these training events.”
CCMR was selected to provide the subject matter expertise and exercise management due to its extensive experience organizing military exercises and its ongoing partnership with USARPAC, according to Scott Moreland, a lecturer at CCMR who coordinated CCMR’s involvement in Yudh Abhyas.
“We regularly support exercises of this type around the globe and have specifically helped USARPAC with exercises in Malaysia, Mongolia and Indonesia,” said Moreland. “When this exercise came up, we were a natural fit because we are able to draw diverse international experts as well as individuals with extensive United Nations (UN) experience. For example, in this exercise we brought in a Swedish UN operations expert, a retired British general who has worked extensively in UN humanitarian programs, a UN logistician from New Zealand and a former UN police force member from Fiji.”
For Exercise Yudh Abhyas, UN expertise was vital as brigade staff from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division and Indian Army officers from the 62nd Brigade and 5th Parachute Regiment trained as a combined brigade staff for a UN Peacekeeping scenario. The 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, part of the California National Guard, and their Indian Army counterparts served as the UN Force Headquarters for the exercise.
Along with the international experts, CCMR selected a current NPS student and a recent graduate to attend the exercise as evaluators.
“CCMR has traditionally selected two current or former NPS students to participate in exercises as a way to broaden and enrich their educational experience while at NPS. We select the students based on their area of study, their career path or their background and military experiences,” said Moreland. “For this exercise we selected a student who had worked as a UN observer in Liberia and an alumnus who speaks Hindi and is slated to work as a Foreign Area Officer in India.”
Both student evaluators viewed their involvement in Yudh Abhyas as a positive experience.
“My participation in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2010 was both personally and professionally rewarding,” said Navy Lt. Michael Ryan, a student in the NPS National Security Affairs Department. “It afforded me the opportunity to not only learn about a new and considerably different culture, but also to work in a joint-service, international environment.”
“Having just completed a year of Hindi study at the Defense Language Institute, Yudh Abhyas provided me with an excellent opportunity to practice speaking Hindi and test my ability to communicate in a real world situation,” said Marine Capt. Tobin Walker, a recent NPS graduate.
The synergy between CCMR and other departments on NPS is representative of the center’s larger mission, which emphasizes capacity building through individual and institutional partnerships.