Deputy Secretary of State Ambassador Wendy Sherman, accompanied by a high-level US delegation visited Headquarters, Western Naval Command (HQWNC) in Mumbai on 7 October 2021 and interacted with Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
Among issues discussed during the interaction were avenues to strengthen the growing cooperation between the two nations and navies, deal with challenges emerging on the maritime front and enhance collaboration and interoperability to ensure maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The Ambassador was provided a broad overview of regional security dynamics and the operational responses of the Western Naval Command in recent times, particularly those related to delivering Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to friendly foreign countries, conducting counter piracy operations, enhancing maritime safety and security in the region, and strengthening foreign cooperation initiatives with special emphasis on Indo-US co-operation. The stellar support provided by IN ships through Operation Samudra Setu II to battle the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing home containerised liquid medical oxygen to mitigate shortfalls in the country was also highlighted. The Ambassador was escorted on a tour of the state-of-the-art Aircraft Carrier Dock at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai at the culmination of her visit.
Interactions with the Deputy Secretary of State’s high-level delegation at the Western Naval Command comes as an additional but significant step in expanding and intensifying the multi-dimensional Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.