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US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Goldfein concludes India visit

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The general met with Indian military leaders.

The United States’ Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein has wrapped up his weeklong India visit on Sunday. During the visit, he held meetings with the US Embassy leadership, as well as Indian military leaders and discussed ways to strengthen the strategic military-to-military partnership with India.

The general met with US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster last Wednesday and discussed matters related to the US-India relations, the US Embassy in India said in a press release issued on February 7.

The Air Force Chief of Staff had meetings with his Indian counterpart Air Chief Marshal Birender Dhanoa, India’s Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra.

During these meetings, Goldfein emphasized the USAF’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with the Indian Armed Forces and discussed ways that the US and India can deepen the relationship between their two air forces through bilateral engagements, exchanges and exercise, the release said.

He met India Air Force leadership and air crews from the C-130J 77 Squadron and C-17 81 Squadron at Hindon Air Force Station on Friday. Goldfein was briefed on the squadrons’ missions and accomplishments including evacuation operation in Yemen.

Goldfein also traveled to Jodhpur Air Force Station to meet with Air Marshal Devendra Rawat, Southwestern Air Command Senior Air Staff Officer and learn about the Indian Air Force’s TEJAS Mk-1 fighter and discuss bilateral opportunities between the two air forces.

The Indian Air Force provided Goldfein with a familiarization flight aboard the TEJAS fighter and met with fighter pilots from the 31st Fighter Squadron at Jodhpur. He also visited with the leadership and Airmen at Agra Air Station. He was also briefed on the unit’s mission and discussed how the two air forces could increase partnership opportunities.

“India is a leading power and strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region. From our Presidents, to our Defense Secretary and Minister, to our Air Force Chiefs, we’re working together and looking for opportunities to enhance the inter-operability of our two forces as major defense partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” Goldfein said following his meetings.

The general’s India visit is part of an Indo-Pacific tour to advance military-to-military relationship in the region, and enhance and strengthen US alliances and partnerships throughout the Indo-Pacific region. He also met US service members stationed in New Delhi.

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