By Reena Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): With an aim to improve the cooperation between US and Indian maritime forces, Indian naval ships on Monday conducted a passage exercise (PASSEX) with the United States Navy's USS Nimitz carrier strike group near the Andaman and Nicobar islands as it is transiting the Indian Ocean.
Speaking to ANI, Lt. Cmdr. Liza Dougherty, warships-spokeswoman">the warship's spokeswoman, confirmed that the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group which comprises of flagship USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), is participating in cooperative exercises with the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean commencing July 20.
Dougherty said that the two naval forces are conducting exercises designed to maximize training and interoperability, including air defence.
"While operating together, the US and Indian naval forces are conducting exercises designed to maximize training and interoperability, including air defence. Nimitz CSG's operations are designed to provide security throughout the region while building partnerships with friends and allies," she said.
Dougherty said that naval engagement like these present opportunities to build upon the pre-existing strong relationship between the United States and India and allow both countries to learn from each other.
"Naval engagements such as these exercises improve the cooperation of U.S. and Indian maritime forces and contribute to both sides' ability to counter threats at sea, from piracy to violent extremism. These engagements also present opportunities to build upon the pre-existing strong relationship between the United States and India and allow both countries to learn from each other," she said.
USS Nimitz is returning from the South China Sea, where it arrived with another US Navy ship Ronald Reagan to conduct dual-carrier operations. The US Navy said that Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed to the Indian Ocean in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific
"It was a privilege to operate with the Indian Navy," said Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. "RADM Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, leads a powerful and highly skilled Fleet. The opportunity to have the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group join with his Fleet for a series of exercises improved our interoperability and is a testimony to the flexibility of both our Navies."
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has also tweeted about the exercise.
"The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is transiting through IOR. During the passage, #IndianNavy units undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with #USNavy.
Indian Navy had also conducted similar PASSEXs with #JMSDF and #FrenchNavy in recent past," Spokesperson of Indian Navy.
Indian Navy had conducted similar PASSEXs with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and French Navy in recent past. (ANI)
Indian naval ships conduct passage exercise with USS Nimitz carrier strike group
ANI | Updated: Jul 20, 2020 21:28 IST
By Reena Bhardwaj