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Joint India-US Military Exercise In The Indian Ocean

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The US Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF) has carried out joint military exercise in the Indian Ocean Region for two days starting Wednesday. With the defence forces of friendly foreign countries in the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian Air Force participated in operational engagements with the US Navy in an exercise to be carried out with the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) on June 23 and 24.

The exercise in the area of responsibility of the Southern Air Command will see the IAF personnel operate from the bases under four operational commands and will include Jaguars and Su-30 MKI fighters, airborne warning and control system, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system and air-to-air refueller aircraft. A carrier battle group or carrier strike group is a mega naval fleet comprising an aircraft carrier, accompanied by many destroyers, frigates and other ships.

The exercise comes a week after defence minister Rajnath Singh called for “an open and inclusive order” in the Indo-Pacific region, including the South China Sea, with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries. Singh reiterated New Delhi’s support to freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded commerce for all in international waters in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Sukhoi Su-30MKI
Sukhoi Su-30MKI

He said the exercise will focus on multiple areas including enhancing aspects of interoperability, nuances of international integrated maritime search and rescue operations, and exchange of best practices in the maritime airpower domain.

The Indian Navy is carrying out round-the-clock surveillance in the IOR, which, it believes, China will inevitably try to enter in its quest to become a global power, just as it has laid claim to large portions of the disputed South China Sea.

The IAF has extensive experience in maritime operations in the Indian Ocean Region. This has been consolidated over the years by the conduct of exercises from the country’s island territories, including participation in international exercises.

The multi-spectral capability of the IAF in IOR also includes humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions and logistics support undertaken in support of the friendly nations in the region.

This engagement with the US CSG offers one more opportunity to undertake joint operations in the maritime domain with a friendly foreign power.

The exercise with the US CSG will focus on multiple areas, including enhancing aspects of interoperability, nuances of international integrated maritime search and rescue operations and exchange of best practices in the maritime airpower domain.

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