Air Force Hosting Training Exercises With Allies

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Air Force is expected to begin military training exercises above the Nevada desert tomorrow with pilots from India, marking another step in relations between the two countries that have steadily improved since the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

Air Force officials say South Korean and French pilots will also take part in the realistic combat exercises that will put about 65 airplanes in the skies over two weeks. It brings India's pilots to the United States for training for the first time.

The Indian and U.S. militaries had little interaction during the Cold War, when India was closer to the Soviet Union and the United States was seen to be allied with India's neighbor and rival, Pakistan.

But relations have steadily improved, with increasing political,
economic and military ties.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-08-10-08 2027EDT

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