Fifty-five soldiers from the United States Army and sixty Indian Army soldiers rubbed shoulders at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJW) in Mizoram, to participate in joint exercise Yudh Abhyas-2004. YA 04 is part of ongoing Indo-US defence co-operation with this initial exercise focused on learning jungle warfare. The three-week program began on 27th March. Indian soldiers from 9 Rajput and US soldiers from First Infantry Regiment of Alaska based Striker Brigade had a tough time enhancing guerilla warfare skills.
Commenting on the history of CIJW, Commandant of the school, Brig Basant Kumar Pawar, said that this CIJW had trained more than 24,000 soldiers including troops from 17 countries.
CIJW was established at Vairengte in Mizoram in 1970s to quell the alarming insurgent situation training all ranks of the Indian Armed Forces, para-military forces and the Central Police organisations. In addition, special modules in counter-insurgency operations are also conducted for select personnel of the Indian Air Force and Navy. Training at the school includes small team action, reflex shooting skills, intelligence gathering techniques and psychological operations. (The school is also the center for training officers in the dialects spoken in the North-East.
The school has also been catering to the needs of various friendly foreign countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Botswana, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Mauritius, Singapore, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan.