Kolkata: Lt Gen Bryan P Fenton, deputy commander, US Indo-Pacific Command, met Lt Gen Abhay Krishna, general officer commanding-in-chief, Eastern Command, in Kolkata on Friday.

Lt Gen Fenton, who is on a three-day visit to India, was leading a five-member delegation. “The two general officers held meaningful discussions on important regional and global security related issues. The aim of the meeting was to strengthen defence co-operation between the two nations to fight unitedly in the global war of terror,” a senior official said.

Earlier this year, the US renamed the US Pacific Command — its oldest and largest command — the US Indo-Pacific Command. This was considered crucial given the strategic interests in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. Before the renami-ng, there have been several rounds of deliberations between the US and India on better co-ordination and combined operations against common threats in the entire region around the two oceans. 

Soon after, Indian Navy ships left to participate in Ex-Malabar 2018. The exercise was held this year off Guam, US. This was the first time the exercise was held at this crucial base in the western Pacific under the US Indo-Pacific Command. Both navies have been participating in Ex-Malabar since 1992. From 2007, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force joined the exercise. The 2017 edition of Ex-Malabar was held along India’s eastern seaboard off Visakhapatnam and Chennai.

“The visit signifies the growing strategic partnership between the two leading armies who are also important partners in bilateral training. Soldiers of the US and Indian Army train jointly on a routine basis at several locations in both countries. In India, US troops have trained with their Indian counterparts at locations under the Eastern Command,” the official added.