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Navy chief Admiral Lanba on five-day US visit this week

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will be on a five-day visit to the US this week during which he will hold talks with the top American Navy brass on key issues and attend an international symposium on sea power.

Admiral Lanba, who is the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Naval Staff, will visit Rhode Island in the US from September 18 to 22 for attending the 23rd edition of the International Seapower Symposium (ISS) organised by the US Navy, a statement issued by the Indian Navy said.

He is scheduled to present his views on the topic 'Defending the Maritime Commons: Safeguarding the Free and International Order' and participate in panel discussion during the symposium.

During his visit, Admiral Lanba is also scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M Richardson, Commander, Indo-Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM) Admiral Philip S Davidson, Commander, Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) Admiral John C Aquilino, Commander Naval Forces, Europe, Admiral James G Foggo, and Commander NAVCENT and Commander 5th Fleet of the US Navy Vice Admiral Scott Stearney.

In addition, he would be interacting with navy chiefs of Japan, France, Australia, the UK, Malaysia and Sweden as well as several other senior dignitaries, the statement said.

India and the US have traditionally maintained close and friendly relations and their bilateral defence relationship has been one of mutual trust and confidence, which translated into the US according major defence partner status to India in June 2016, it said.

The visit comes after both countries concluded certain major agreements, including the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) signed on September 6, 2018, that will facilitate information-sharing between the armed forces of both nations.

The two countries also signed the Defence Framework Agreement in 2015, which lays a blueprint for collaboration between the defence establishments of both countries, and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, which is a foundational agreement, facilitating reciprocal logistics support between the armed forces of both countries.

The Indian Navy engages with the US Navy on numerous issues, including operational interactions such as the MALABAR and RIMPAC (the Rim of the Pacific Exercises) series of exercises and training exchanges.

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