Army Chief Gen Pande’s US Visit Aims at Bolstering India-US Strategic Partnership, Enhancing Military Cooperation

Indian Army

New Delhi: The Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande will be visiting United States from February 13 to 16, 2024. During his visit, he will engage in high-level discussions and interactions with General Randy George, Chief of Staff of the US Army, and other senior American military leaders.

Aimed at bolstering the bilateral strategic partnership and fostering military cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, this visit comes at a pivotal moment. It coincides with the efforts to expand defence-industrial collaboration between the two nations. The agenda will encompass a wide array of topics, ranging from military transformation and collaborative production initiatives to addressing challenges posed by China’s assertive actions in the Indo-Pacific region and other security concerns, according to official sources.

“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.

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

Army Chief General 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.

According to an Army statement, 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,.

During the Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC) that was jointly hosted by the Indian Army and the US Army, General George and General Pande engaged in constructive dialogue, addressing a wide range of issues related to military cooperation. The conference was attended by 18 Chiefs of Armies and 12 countries represented by heads of delegations.

“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.

The visit of Army Chief General Pande underscores the commitment of both nations to deepen their defence ties and address shared security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, reflecting the evolving dynamics of the India-US strategic partnership.