The U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein departed New Delhi Sunday following meetings with U.S. Embassy leadership as well as Republic of India military leadership to discuss strengthening the strategic military-to-military partnership with India.
On Wednesday, Gen. Goldfein met with U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India, Hon. Kenneth I. Juster. During their meeting they discussed matters related to furthering the partnership between the U.S. and India.
On Thursday, Goldfein had meetings with Air Chief Marshal Birender Dhanoa, Republic of India Chief of the Air Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Republic of India Chief of the Naval Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat, Republic of India Chief of the Army Staff, and Hon. Sanjay Mitra, Republic of India Defense Secretary. During these meetings, Gen Goldfein emphasized the USAF’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with the Indian Armed Forces and discussed ways that the U.S. and India can deepen the relationship between their two air forces through bilateral engagements, exchanges and exercises.
On Friday, Goldfein met with India Air Force leadership and air crews from the C-130J 77 Squadron and C-17 81 Squadron at Hindon Air Force Station. During his visit he was briefed on the squadrons’ missions and accomplishments including evacuation operations in Yemen. Additionally on Friday, Goldfein 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 their air forces.
Finally on Saturday, the Indian Air Force provided Gen 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. While at Agra he was briefed on the unit’s mission and discussed how the two air forces could increase partnership opportunities.
Following his meetings, Gen. Goldfein said, “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.”
During Gen. Goldfein’s visit to India, he also met with U.S. service members stationed in New Delhi.
Gen. Goldfein’s visit to India is part of an Indo-Pacific tour to advance mil-to-mil relationships in the region, and enhance and strengthen U.S. alliances and partnerships throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and Ms. Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs also traveled to India with Gen. Goldfein.