With vast experience in operating behind enemy lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US air force has brought its commando expertise to this year's joint exercise with India, training the special forces of the two nations in counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations.
Cope India-2009, the sixth in the series of Indo-US air exercise that began here today, will focus not only on transport operations, but also insertion and extraction of its special forces in hostile zones, as also searching for pilots, who may have crashed in enemy territory, and rescuing them.
"One of the focus of this exercise is joint operations by special forces of both IAF and USAF behind enemy lines, such as sending a team into hostile territory or to extricate a pilot, whose aircraft had crashed there," USAF's Cope India Director Colonel Raymond Lamarche told in Agra.
Reminding of the popular Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson-starrer Hollywood movie 'Behind Enemy Lines', a group of IAF's Garud special forces and USAF special forces troops boarded a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to carry out a para-jump over the sky in a real-time operations simulation.
To a question on the future possibility of a similar joint operation by the two air forces in counter-terrorism and anti-piracy roles, Col Lamarche replied in the affirmative and said that was why they were exercising the complex manoeuvres in Agra.