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Armies of 30 nations to secure Indo-Pacific

Armies of 30 nations to secure Indo-Pacific

Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande with US counterpart Gen Randy George.

Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, September 26

India and the US have jointly kicked off a 30-nation conference to collaborate on the interoperability of forces for ensuring a secure Indo-Pacific region.

Meet’s 3-tier agenda

  1. Army conclave to discuss security dynamics and the macro construct for maintaining peace and stability in region
  2. Military commanders to delve into joint drills, interoperability, lessons learnt and coordination between forces
  3. Deliberations between senior enlisted leaders who form the brass of armies

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande chaired the opening session along with his US counterpart General Randy George. Asked if the forces could intervene in territorial disputes in the Indo-Pacific, General Pande clarified: “We aren’t looking at forging a military alliance, nor is the event directed against any particular country or a group of nations. We only want an open and sustained dialogue.”

The three-day ‘Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs’ Conference’ (IPACC) that began yesterday has 20 Army chiefs in attendance. “That’s the most we have ever seen at an IPACC. It’s a big deal. The security architecture binds the region, leading to unity and collective commitment on various fronts,” said General George. The conference’s theme this year is “Together for peace: Sustaining peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region”. The US official said the IPACC was exploring continuous transformation to match the changes in war pattern and striving to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“We need to ensure our defence industrial bases and supply chains remain in good health. Training and joint drills are a must too.

To fight together in the future, we will need a simpler way of interacting with each other on the battlefield. Emerging technologies can help us do that,” the US General said. To a media query, he said the India-US partnership was vital for the region’s stability and “our relationship is growing stronger”.

General Pande opined that the Indo-Pacific construct had come to occupy central space in contemporary geo-strategic canvas. “It is a theatre of complexities and challenges. A periodic ideation, discussion and collaborative congregation of all partners is mandated,” he said, laying down a three-tier agenda for the next two days.

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