New Delhi: With an aim to strategic outreach exercise with the defence forces of friendly foreign countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in operational engagements with the US Navy in an exercise to be carried out with Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) on June 23-24.
The US warship is currently deployed in the IOR.
The Southern Air Command will see the IAF forces operate from bases under four operational commands and will include Jaguars, Su-30 MKI fighters, AWACS, an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system (AEW&C) and Air to Air Refueller aircraft, the IAF said, adding that US CSG is expected to field F-18 fighters and E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft.
The exercise, to be carried out south of Thiruvananthapuram, on the western seaboard, with the US CSG will focus on multiple areas including enhancing aspects of interoperability, nuances of international integrated maritime SAR operations and exchange of best practices in the maritime airpower domain.
IAF has extensive experience in maritime operations in the IOR. This has been consolidated over the years by conduct of exercises from the country’s island territories, including participation in International exercises.
The multi spectral capability of the IAF in IOR also includes Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions and logistics support undertaken in support of friendly nations in the region. This engagement with the US CSG offers one more opportunity to undertake joint operations in the maritime domain with a friendly foreign power.