US Navy Chief in India to strengthen military cooperation

New Delhi: The US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday is on a five-day visit to India to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.

Admiral Gilday, who landed in Delhi on Monday, will interact with Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and other senior government officials.

He is scheduled to visit Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command at Mumbai) and Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam wherein he would interact with the respective Commander-in-Chiefs. He is also scheduled to embark the US Navy Carrier Strike Group off the East Coast of India along with an Indian delegation.

India and the US have traditionally maintained close and friendly relations. The Defence relationship between the two countries has been one of mutual trust and confidence, which has transformed after the accord of major ‘Defence Partner Status’ to India in June 2016.

In addition, both countries have concluded certain foundational agreements, which includes the Defence Framework Agreement, signed in 2015, which lays a blueprint for collaboration between the defence establishments of both countries.

Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) was signed in 2016 and it is a foundational agreement facilitating reciprocal logistics support between the Armed Forces of both countries.

The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) was signed on September 6, 2018, that facilitates information-sharing between the Armed Forces of both nations and more recently, the Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which enables sharing of geo-spatial information between the Ministry of Defence and National Geospatial Agency (NGA), US.

The Indian Navy closely cooperates with the US Navy on numerous issues, which include operational interactions such as the MALABAR and RIMPAC series of exercises, training exchanges, exchange of White Shipping Information and Subject Matter Experts in various fields, all of which are coordinated through the medium of Executive Steering Group (ESG) meetings conducted annually.

In addition, warships from both Navies regularly make port calls at each other’s ports. Both Navies have also been cooperating towards exploring new avenues for collaboration with the shared aim of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

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