Thursday, September 23, 2010

India clears joint amphibious exercise at US base near China

A year after the Defence Ministry backed out of a military exercise at a US base near China at the last minute, a go-ahead has been given for a joint amphibious exercise at the US Marines base in Okinawa, Japan. The war game, which will involve senior officers of the Indian Navy and Army is scheduled to start later this week and will continue till October. The same exercise, under the Habu Nag series of war games, was cancelled at the final stage in 2009 when 12 officers who had been earmarked were sent back to their formations days before they were scheduled to depart. While no reason was given for the last minute pull-out, regional sensitivities were thought to be behind the move. Okinawa is located close to China and has a significant US presence where several military bases are concentrated. The island has also been in the news recently for frequent spotting of Chinese naval vessels, including submarines by Japanese self-defence forces.

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