Recognising India s growing maritime power, the United States wants to maintain a ‘significant’ relationship with India to help provide a stable and secure international shipping lane.
With the largest and the fastest growing navy in the Indian Ocean Region, the US surely cannot secure the vast IOR on it’s own.
India will be providing staff personnel for the ongoing Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise which is to be held on June 27th till August 7th. India and 21 other nations are participating in what is described as the world’s largest international maritime exercise which will be held in and around the Hawaiian Islands with 42 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.
“The partnerships we are building during the RIM exercise is exactly why we want to maintain our relationship with India to help provide a stable and secure international commerce through the sea lanes,” Vice Admiral Gerald Beaman, commander of the US Third Fleet and RIMPAC, said. “So I believe our relationship with India will remain significant through the coming years,” Beaman said noting that India and the US have been doing a large number of bilateral military exercises in recent years.
With 22 different nations participating, the exercise in the coming years can expand in a coalition environment. However, Vice Admiral Gerald Beaman was quick to point out that the objective of the exercise was not to build a coalition of the East Asia Pacific rim nations on the lines of NATO, minus China, which was not invited to participate for reasons that the US commander was at a loss to explain.
The RIMPAC exercise has grown in size from three participating nations in 1971 to 22 this year, Beaman said: “It’s just whoever — likeminded nations trying to get training value out of working in a coalition.”
“The significance for, I think, all 21 other nations for India s participation is again to build the relationships,” he said pointing out that the theme for RIMPAC 2012 is “Capable, Adaptive Partners.” “We are trying to develop those partnerships,” he said, so that “we know what we can bring to the table in the event of a crisis or a natural disaster, and we can rely on each other to assist.
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan over a year ago was one clear example of the benefits of having participated in exercises, Beaman said.
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