Admiral Samuel J Paparao, Commander of US Pacific Fleet, on Sunday emphasized the need for all nations to respect maritime democracy, international rules-based order and concepts of the sovereignty of freedom of seas because these all are in the interest of all the nations.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the MILAN multinational exercise in Visakhapatnam, he said, “This MILAN conference has also emphasised on QUAD discussions between the United States, India Japan and Australia. The QUAD is a shining example when we talk about great maritime powers such as Japan, India, Australia and the United States.”
Admiral Paparao, who was in Visakhapatnam to participate in the eleventh edition of MILAN being hosted by Eastern Naval Command, said that the future is bright with regard to the building of the interoperability between Indian and American forces as they move forward with greater and greater sharing of network and technologies.
He also said that the United States and India are actively sharing defence technologies such MH60 Romeo choppers.
The admiral said, “Alliances have responsibilities to one another within the alliance and in QUAD nations we see the recognition of shared values and shared interest and commitments between countries to help each other.”
Calling Vietnam’s participation in MILAN inspiring, Admiral Paparao said it is “unfortunate” that Vietnam often has been the victim of aggression on its maritime domain in terms of bigger nations trying to make excessive claims on its exclusive economic zones.
“By participating in MILAN countries can form an alliance and seek each other’s help and cooperation to deal with threats that they facing from some of the bigger nations,” he added
Admiral Paparao on Saturday visited USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the US Navy, to meet the sailors on board. He thanked the sailor for the great job they have been doing to serve the United States in furthering its defence relations with India and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
USS Fitzgerald and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft VP-47, joined with ships, aircraft and personnel from India and other navies to participate in the MILAN Exercise in Visakhapatnam.
Joel Reifman, U.S. Consul General in Hyderabad also participated in the MILAN. During his two-day stay in Visakhapatnam, Reifman visited USS Fitzgerald and met sailors. He also had meetings with several senior Indian naval officers.
The eleventh edition of MILAN is being hosted by the Eastern Naval Command at Vishakhapatnam for the first time. The participation from Friendly Foreign Countries includes 13 ships, 39 delegations and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft. This large congregation gives significance and potency to the word ‘MILAN’ which means “meeting” or “confluence” in Hindi. A Special Day Cover and a movie on the MILAN exercise was released by the Chief Guest to mark the occasion.
“MILAN endeavours to promote “Camaraderie, Cohesion, Collaboration” between like-minded Navies. This is achieved by professional interaction and experience sharing at the harbour and enhancing interoperability, including multilateral operations at sea”, stated the Navy’s official release.
The harbour phase of the exercise will culminate on February 28, followed by the sea phase from 1 March to 4 March.
Source: United News of Bangladesh