US Navy Secretary to board INS Vikrant during Kochi visit

On Friday, Carlos Del Toro paid homage to the fallen heroes of the Indian Armed Forces by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in New Delhi….reports Asian Lite News

Spotlighting that the US-India defence partnership remains a pillar of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, the US Secretary of Navy, Carlos Del Toro held talks with Indian Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane in New Delhi boosting strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Carlos is on a five-day official visit to India from November 17-21 and is holding interactions with high ranking Indian government officials and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar.

On Friday, he paid homage to the fallen heroes of the Indian Armed Forces by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in New Delhi.

“I am eternally grateful for those who have given their lives for democracy across the world,” the US Secretary of Navy tweeted after the visit.

He is also scheduled to visit Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command at Kochi, wherein he would interact with the Commander-in-Chief SNC and visit India’s first indigenous Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant at the Cochin Shipyard.

India and 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, including the Defence Framework Agreement, signed in 2015, which lays a blue print for collaboration between the defence establishments of both countries.

The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed in 2016 is a foundational agreement facilitating reciprocal logistics support between the Armed Forces of both countries while the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) signed in September 2018 facilitates information-sharing between the Armed Forces of both nations.

More recently, both countries signed the Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which enables sharing of geo-spatial information between Ministry of Defence and National Geospatial Agency (NGA), USA.

The Indian Navy closely cooperates with the US Navy on numerous issues, which include operational interactions such as the MALABAR – the last edition of which was held from November 9–15 off Yokosuka, Japan. RIMPAC 22 series of exercises, training exchanges, exchange of White Shipping Information and Subject Matter Experts in various fields, are also coordinated through the medium of Executive Steering Group (ESG) meetings conducted annually.

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

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