To counter the China threat, the US military teams up with a new ally

20

In response to a threat from China, the United States and its new defense ally, India, are conducting a sizable military drill.

As per the U.S. Navy statement on March 24, Rear Adm. Joaquin Martinez, commander of the U.S. Joint Force for Tiger TRIUMPH, said, “This is the largest and most complex Tiger TRIUMPH, and I couldn’t be more excited for the chance to work with our Indian partners as we keep going to build on our partnership  a free and open Indo-Pacific.” 

This partnership demonstrates a shared commitment to strengthening defense, security, and diplomatic ties—particularly in light of the region’s increased naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region and heightened border tensions.

Concerns about regional security are still evolving in the middle of these drills. In response to threats from the Iran-backed Houthis, who have attacked cargo ships connected to Israel, the US, and its allies to obstruct shipments in support of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Indian Navy has increased its presence in the Red Sea.

According to an announcement from the Indian Navy, this exercise, which leaves from the port city of Visakhapatnam in eastern India, is the culmination of the bilateral tri-service Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise, Tiger Triumph-24. Tiger Triumph-24 is slated to take place along the Eastern Seaboard of India from March 18 to March 31, 2024.

As the most complex exercise that the two nations have conducted to date, this year’s Tiger TRIUMPH, or Tri-Services India U.S. Amphibious Exercise, is particularly extensive, bringing together several branches from both military, Naval News said on Wednesday.

U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti emphasized the importance of this exercise by praising India as a “close friend,” highlighting the strengthening strategic alliance between the two countries.

“I think that has deepened since 2019,” Garcetti stated at a press conference on March 19. “Can we integrate two different, great militaries to seamlessly, in times of emergency, act hand in hand, join hands together?”

Newsweek requested a statement from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

In 2019, the Tiger TRIUMPH drill was launched at a phase of strengthened defense and security relations between Washington and New Delhi.

“US Navy ships carrying US Marine Corps and US Army soldiers on board would symbolize the US. The goal of the exercise is to improve Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to facilitate quick and easy coordination between the troops of the two nations and to build interoperability for carrying out Human-Aided Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, according to a statement released by India’s Ministry of Defense on March 18.

The U.S. Navy released a statement highlighting the exercise’s noteworthy array of U.S. military assets, which include the USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Somerset (LPD 25), members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron 47.

The Army and Air Force are also involved in this alliance, which goes beyond the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and highlights its multifaceted nature in containing China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific area.

India is actively strengthening its military capabilities by acquiring US defense equipment at the same time as the drills. A significant agreement was reached in February to sell 31 General Atomics MQ-9B SeaGuardians to India, of which 15 were assigned to the Indian Navy.