Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations United States Navy visit to India
Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy, is on an official tour to India from 12 to 14 May 2019. His visit is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and USA and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.
Admiral John M Richardson had discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff today. He also interacted with Defence Secretary, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman COSC and the National Security Council Secretariat.
Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at bilateral and multilateral forums and participate in maritime exercises such as MALABAR and RIMPAC. Regular Subject Matter Expert exchange also takes place between both the navies to institutionalise interoperability in various fields. After being accorded Major Defence Partner status by USA in 2016, India – US ties have grown significantly in recent years. The inaugural Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue conducted in September 2018 also facilitated new avenues for defence cooperation between the two countries.
Major issues discussed during the visit included operations and exercises, training interactions, information exchange, capacity building and capability enhancement.
As per the Economic Times report, India and the US have established communication links between Indian Navy HQs and the naval component commanders in US Central as well as Pacific Naval Commands after landmark Indo-US COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility & Security Agreement) to share real-time operational intelligence was signed during the bilateral 2 + 2 Dialogue last year.
Exercise Malabar, which started as a bilateral exercise between the US Navy and the Indian Navy in 1992, has evolved over the years with the participation of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from 2007.
Over the last 26 years, this Maritime Exercise has grown in scope and complexity and aims at increasing the level of mutual understanding, inter-operability and sharing of the best practices between the three navies. Malabar 17 was held in July last year on the Eastern Sea Board of India, off Chennai and Visakhapatnam. It is for the first time that the exercise is being conducted off Guam, a major US Naval Base in the Western Pacific in 2018.