Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande leaves for 4-day US trip from February 13

NewsDrum Desk
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Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande addresses the annual press conference, ahead of Army Day, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande (File image)

New Delhi: Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on Monday left for the US on a four-day visit aimed at exploring ways to further expand bilateral military engagement.

The Army described Gen Pande's visit from February 13 to 16 as "significant" and said it underscores deepening military cooperation between the two countries.

The Chief of Army Staff will engage in high-level discussions and interactions with Gen Randy George, Chief of Staff of the US Army, and other senior American military leaders.

"This visit underscores the deepening military cooperation and strategic partnership between India and the United States, aiming to further strengthen defence cooperation and foster stronger bonds between the armies of both nations," the Army said.

Highlights of the visit include a prestigious US Army Honour Guard ceremony, a solemn laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery and a comprehensive tour of the Pentagon.

These engagements symbolise the respect and mutual commitment towards global peace and security shared between the two countries, the Army said.

"This visit is another milestone in the Indo-US defence relationship, reflecting a mutual desire to enhance military collaboration, exchange strategic perspectives on global threat perceptions, and work together toward future force development and modernisation," it said.

"The engagements between General Manoj Pande and senior leadership of the United States Army are poised to yield substantive outcomes, fostering an environment conducive to shared security interests and defence cooperation," it said.

Ideas will be exchanged on crucial topics such as the transformation in the Indian Army, global threat perception, future force development and modernisation, and co-production and co-development initiatives, officials said.

These discussions are aimed at sharing insights, ideas, and best practices between the two armies, they said.

Gen Pande's itinerary includes a visit to the Army Geospatial Centre at Fort Belvoir, the National Defence University at Fort McNair and interactions with the leadership at Headquarters 1 Corps.

He will also engage with units at the forefront of military innovation and strategy, including the Stryker Unit, 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, the first Special Forces Group at Seattle and the Defence Innovation Unit in San Francisco.

A visit to the California National Guard is also planned, highlighting the comprehensive nature of the visit aimed at exploring avenues for more significant training, co-development and co-production engagements, according to an Army statement.

Gen George had recently visited India for the Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC) that was jointly hosted by the Indian Army and the US Army.

The conference was attended by 18 Chiefs of Armies and 12 countries represented by heads of delegations.

During IPACC, Gen George and Gen Pande engaged in constructive dialogue, addressing a wide range of issues related to military cooperation.

"The Indian Army and the United States Army share a commitment to peace, democracy, and stability across regions. This tour epitomises the shared values and interests that underpin the partnership between India and the United States, aiming at a future of enhanced cooperation and mutual development in defence and security domains," the Army said.