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US Military Teams Up With Partner Against China Threat

The United States has joined up with its new defense partner, India, to organize an extensive military exercise in response to China's threat.

"This is the biggest and most complicated component of Tiger TRIUMPH, and I couldn't get more excited for the chance to work with our Indian partners as we continue to build on our relationship in order to maintain a transparent and open Indo-Pacific," Rear Adm. 

Joaquin Martinez, commander of the US Joint Force for Tiger TRIUMPH, said, according to a statement released by the US Navy on March 24.

The partnership demonstrates an equal dedication to improving defense, security, and diplomatic relations, especially in the face of rising border tensions and a growing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

During these drills, regional safety issues continue to evolve. The Indian Navy has increased its presence in the Red Sea to counter threats from Iran-backed Houthis, who have attacked cargo ships linked to Israel, the United States, and their allies, to disrupt blockade shipments in solidarity with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This exercise, which departs from the eastern Indian port city of Visakhapatnam, is the highest point of the bilateral tri-service Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise Tiger Triumph-24, which is expected to run along India's Eastern Seaboard from March 18 to March 31, 2024, based to an Indian Navy statement.

This year's Tiger TRIUMPH, which refers to the Tri-Services India U.S. Amphibious Exercise, is notably comprehensive, bringing together various services from both militaries, resulting in the most intricate exercise performed by the two countries to date, Naval News reported on Wednesday.

The significance of this exercise was highlighted by U.S. Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, who praised India as a "close friend," highlighting both democracies' growing mutually beneficial relationship.

"Can we integrate two different, great militaries to effortlessly, in times of emergency, act hand in hand, join hands together, and I believe that has deepened since 2019," Garcetti said during a news conference on March 19.

Newsweek contacted the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for remarks.

US Marines, Indiana Army National Guard Soldiers, and Republic of India service members prepare to search a simulated building during a bilateral training rehearsal during Exercise Tiger TRIUMPH in Visakhapatnam, India, March 23, 2024. @adgpi

The Tiger TRIUMPH exercise began in 2019, during an era of improved security and defense ties between Washington and New Delhi.

"The United States would be symbolized by US Navy ships carrying troops from the US Marine Corps and the US Army. 

The exercise aims to develop interoperability for conducting HADR operations and to refine the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to enable rapid and seamless communication between forces from both countries," India's Ministry of Defence said in an announcement on March 18.

According to a statement from the US Navy, the mission includes a significant number of US military assets, including the USS Somerset (LPD 25), USS Halsey (DDG 97), elements of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron 47.

The partnership goes beyond the US Navy and Marine Corps, with participation from the Army and Air Force, emphasizing the partnership's broad approach to combating China's growing belligerent behavior in the Indo-Pacific area.

Concurrently with the exercises, India is continually enhancing its military capabilities by acquiring American defense technology. 

This includes a substantial deal approved in February for the sale of 31 General Atomics, Inc MQ-9B SeaGuardians to India, 15 of which have been reserved for the Indian Navy.

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