USS ESSEX, AT SEA --
Fourteen service members from the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy boarded the ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, Sept. 28, to work alongside Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors with Amphibious Squadron 11 during exercise Habu Nag 2010.
Indian officers came to observe Navy and Marine Corps amphibious training off the coast of Okinawa and participate in a tabletop planning exercise.
“India and the United States share seafaring traditions,” said Col. Andrew MacMannis, commanding officer, 31st MEU. “We consider them partners and friends, and we strengthen the bonds between our militaries with this training.”
Habu Nag ’10 is the 5th annual, bilateral amphibious training exercise between India and the United States, designed to increase interoperability during amphibious operations, including mock humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations and mechanized raids.
“We specialize in amphibious operations and work with the U.S. Navy several times a year, but this time we are getting so much more information because of the opportunity to see how the Marines train,” said Col. Manoj Tiwari, amphibious operations coordinator with the Indian Army. “Interoperability developed by exercises such as these enable our forces to better work together in real-world efforts.”
Although Habu Nag is an annual exercise, this is the first time the Indian military had the chance to work alongside Marines in this situation.