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NEWS | Feb. 24, 2024

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to India, Speaks at Raisina Dialogue

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

NEW DELHI — Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited India on an overseas trip from Feb. 21-24, 2024, where he met with senior military and government leaders, and participated in discussions at the Raisina Dialogue and the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) Summit.

Aquilino met with External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Anil Chauhan, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, reaffirming the importance of the United States-India strategic partnership between the two nations.  

During his visit, Aquilino spoke on the Raisina Dialogue panel “From the Aegean Sea to the South China Sea: Responding to Maritime Sieges”, alongside Adm. R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, India, Adm. Nicolas Vaujour, Chief of the Naval Staff, France, Adm. Sir Ben Key, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, United Kingdom, and Air Marshal Robert Chipman, Chief of the Air Force, Australia.

The Raisina Dialogue is an annual conference hosted by Observer Research Foundation in partnership with India’s Ministry of External Affairs. The multi-day event included lectures and open-forum discussions on geopolitics, geo-economics and security, bringing together leaders from the military, politics, business, media and civil sectors.

During the panel, Aquilino underscored the importance of partnerships to the safeguarding of sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific for all.  

“What we’re seeing here today... it’s when we come together and operate together to deliver that conventional deterrence that prevents [conflict],” said Aquilino. “Our nations coming together to articulate a position that says we are unwilling to accept the forceful imposition of rules that counter what we believe in and what we stand for, and that doesn’t benefit anybody across the globe. … We have to do all of those things to protect our force, to protect the free flow of commerce, and we have to do it together.”

While in India, Aquilino also spoke during a panel at INDUS-X, which is an initiative between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Indian Ministry of Defense to expand strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the two countries’ governments, businesses and academic institutions. The discussion highlighted the importance of capability development and interoperability between the U.S. and India, and included Defence Secretary Aramane, Amb. Atul Keshap, president of U.S.-India Business Council and senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Rexon Ryu, president of the Asia Group.

The U.S. and India continue to strengthen and move forward the strategic and unique Major Defense Partner relationship through exercises, information sharing and shared emphasis on the rules-based international order.