Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday met his US counterpart General Mark Milley and the two leaders discussed a range of issues, including ways to ensure regional security and their respective roles as principal military advisors to civilian leadership, the Pentagon said. “The two leaders agreed to continued cooperation in training exercises and creating more opportunities to increase interoperability between the two militaries,” Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said.
During a meeting at the Pentagon, Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Rawat discussed a range of issues, including ways to ensure regional security and their respective roles as principal military advisors to civilian leadership, Joint Staff Butler said. Earlier, General and Mrs. Milley welcomed General Rawat during an Armed Forces full honour arrival ceremony on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
There, General Milley thanked General Rawat for his meritorious service and leadership, which has contributed greatly to the strength of the US and India partnership. Also, General Rawat laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of his official visit. “The US and India share a strong military-to-military relationship under the US-India Major Defence Partnership, which supports a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Butler said.
Having concluded four major defence enabling agreements since 2016, the United States and India have made significant progress as Major Defence Partners and America looks forward to further increasing information sharing, bilateral and multilateral exercises, maritime security cooperation, liaison officer exchanges, and logistical cooperation, according to the White House fact sheet. In furtherance of the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the United States and India agreed in July to a USD 22 million project to co-develop air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles. DTTI currently encompasses four working groups, and the next senior officials” meeting later this year would further expand defence industrial collaboration, it said.
The United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Indian military, having offered state-of-the-art capabilities, such as the F/A-18, F-15EX, and F-21 fighter aircraft; MQ-9B unmanned aerial systems; the IADWS missile system; and additional P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, it said.