Indian and US air forces begin joint drills in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh

A joint air drill between New Delhi and Washington got under way in India on Monday.

Exercise Cope India 23 is taking place at the air force bases in Panagarh and Kalaikunda in the eastern state of West Bengal and Agra in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, according to the Indian Defence Ministry.

It is stated that the exercise is aimed at improving communication between the two air forces and sharing the best practices.

The exercise’s first phase, which began on Monday, will focus on “air mobility and involve transport aircraft and special forces assets from both air forces”, according to the ministry.

According to a statement, “Both sides will field the C-130J and C-17 aircraft, with the US Air Force operating an MC-130J as well.”

Japanese Air Self-Defence Force aircrew will be there, taking part in the exercise as observers, the statement added.

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