Thank you for that kind introduction and for the opportunity to speak to this distinguished gathering of military partners.
This is indeed a special day and an historic event. I am extremely pleased to help launch Tiger Triumph – the first-ever tri-services exercise between India and the United States of America. I think we can all appreciate the unique importance of this exercise, and what it means for the relationship between our two countries. The strong level of cooperation between the U.S. and Indian militaries is critical to enhancing our security partnership in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Significance of Tiger Triumph
This part of India has become a hub for U.S.-India joint defense activities and innovation – from defense industry cooperation in cities such as Hyderabad, to our military partnership in activities such as Tiger Triumph.
As the first tri-services joint exercise between the United States and India, Tiger Triumph emphasizes the growth and the strength of the relationship among our Navies, Armies, Air Forces, and Marines. Our frequent exchanges between service members and subject-matter experts in the defense field demonstrate our shared commitment to learn from each other.
Our partnership is perhaps most evident when we consider the frequency and scope of our combined military exercises and activities. Indeed, this port of Vishakhapatnam has already welcomed three visits this year by U.S. Navy ships.
Our military services regularly partner together in exercises, and do so with great success. Examples of this include our navies cooperating annually through Exercise Malabar; our armies sharing their experiences at the 15th rendition of Exercise Yudh Abhyas this past September; our air forces flying together during Red Flag and Cope India exercises last December; our special forces training together in the United States at Exercise Vajra Prahar, which just concluded at the end of October; and a joint-training exercise this past March and April between the Indian National Security Guard and U.S. Special Forces in Hyderabad.
These ongoing efforts bring us together and address mutual needs. The U.S. military works alongside India’s military to increase interoperability, build partner capacity, prevent conflict, and promote regional strength and peace throughout the Indo-Pacific. In particular, the U.S.-India partnership at sea is critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and advancing maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.
Exercise Tiger Triumph will build on our regular teamwork, as we mark the first time that the United States and India will exercise sea, land, and air components together. Knowing how to respond to complex situations at sea, on land, and in the air is a vital skill that can save lives and protect our people. Knowing how to respond together, with enhanced capabilities shared by both the Indian and U.S. armed forces, is even better.
Exercise Tiger Triumph should not be viewed as an isolated endeavor. This exercise is the start of regular, multi-service collaboration between our militaries, establishing aspirational, but measurable goals, and supporting our Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines in meeting those goals through consistent training. The success of Tiger Triumph will benefit the men and women who will train during this extensive exercise, and our respective militaries more broadly. This exercise will further reinforce the confidence and trust that our two nations have placed in our military men and women.
The Broader Defense Relationship
It is important to note that this partnership extends beyond our militaries. The U.S.-India defense relationship, and the resulting cooperation across industry, is a job-creator for both Indians and Americans.
Our defense partnership makes each of our countries more competitive in the global marketplace. We have already seen the results of U.S.-India collaboration in cities such as Hyderabad, where Tata has joint ventures with Lockheed Martin and Boeing, respectively. The Lockheed Martin joint venture supports a successful facility manufacturing advanced and sensitive components for aircraft. Tata-Lockheed is currently manufacturing empennages – or the tails – for C-130 transport aircraft. And in the coming months, they will move forward with production of wings for F-16 fighter planes. Tata’s joint venture with Boeing supports a state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad that employs over 350 highly skilled workers and is the sole global producer of fuselages for Boeing’s AH-64 Apache helicopters.
These are powerful examples of how the strength of our partnership supports U.S. and Indian industry, drives innovation and efficiency, creates Indian and American jobs, and contributes to regional security. Just as India is encouraging the growth of its defense industry and supplier base through Defense Corridors and other initiatives, U.S. companies are looking for new opportunities to partner with Indian companies to develop the defense supplier ecosystem in India and explore co-development and co-production projects that can benefit both of our countries.
In recognition of U.S.-India industry ties, especially in this region, our U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad is working with local partners to host the U.S.-India Defense Ties Conference in Hyderabad on December 18 and 19. This Conference will bring together government officials, corporate leaders, think tankers, and others to build on our achievements and further strengthen U.S.-India collaboration in defense manufacturing and innovation.
We are also looking forward to the Defense Exhibition – DEFEXPO – in Lucknow next February. Many leading U.S. companies will be exhibiting there, and I am confident that this will be an outstanding opportunity for U.S. and Indian companies to explore future cooperative efforts.
In sum, the U.S.-India defense partnership is very strong and getting even stronger. I am grateful to witness history today, as we launch the first-ever tri-services military exercise between our nations. I wish you great success during this exercise and commend all of you on your hard work and diligence.
Thank you very much.