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US Marine Corps, special forces to participate in first Indo-American Tiger Triumph exercise.

| 2019

US Marine Corps and components from India’s three defence forces including helicopters, an infantry unit and ships to transport men and supplies to shores will participate in the first tri-services amphibious exercise between the two countries on India’s eastern seashore in November. Shaurya Karanbir Gurung reports on The Economic Times.

US Marine Corps special forces to participate in first Indo American Tiger Triumph exercise
U.S. Marines with Combat Assault Company, 3rd Marine Rgt, come ashore in AAV-P7/A1 assault amphibious vehicle (Picture source: U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Zachary Orr)

The exercise, ‘Tiger Triumph’, is also likely to witness the participation of a special forces reconnaissance team of the US. The focus of the drill will be on amphibious humanitarian disaster and relief (HADR) operations. Officials explained that the ‘harbour phase’ of the exercise will be held in Visakhapatnam from November 13 to 16. The drill’s second phase will take place at Kakinada, also in Andhra Pradesh, from November 17 to 21.

From the navy, a Landing Platform Dock (LPD), INS Jalashwa, a ship which can perform beaching operations and also carry helicopters and small landing crafts for faster transport of troops and supplies from the sea to shore and back, will take part. The helicopters on such ships play a vital role in transporting supplies and carrying out relief and rescue on land. A Landing Ship Tank, an amphibious vessel which is smaller than an LPD, will be used for beaching operations. Other similar vessels for bringing in troops will also be used. Helicopters will also be involved. Officials added that a survey vessel will also take part in the drill.

The IAF will bring in a C-130J and two Mi-17 helicopters will take part. The US will involve a Landing Ship Dock (LSD), an amphibious ship to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles. A Landing Craft Utility (LCU) to transport equipment and troops top the shore will also be used. A USMC mechanized company consisting of 160 troops and infantry combat vehicles will be participating. Officials added that a marine logistic element of about 60 troops, a medical regulatory team and a command element will also be brought in. “A US special forces marine recce force is also likely to participate,” an official said.

The overall force commander will be the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet commander, who will have a US Marine Corps officer attached with him. There will also be a commander of the amphibious task force for the sea operations and a commander of the land forces.

The IAF will be giving a presentation to the US component on HADR operations post the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The US will present its rescue and relief efforts during the 2015 Nepal earthquake and an earthquake in Indonesia last year.

This comes in the backdrop of the navies of India, US and Japan taking part in the Malabar exercise at Sasebo, Japan from September 25 to October 4. The exercise will for the first time feature an Indian Navy P8i long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

Following this drill, India and France will take part in exercise ‘Shakti’ at the Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan from October 21 to November 13. The exercise, which takes place once in two years, will focus on counter-terrorism.


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