iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
The world is not just facing one of the worst pandemics in recent history, but also is facing a great conflict between nations, especially with the US and China.
China’s aggressive move in various fronts has made it uncomfortable for many nations, as many losing their ties with the country. In addition, China’s growing military strength has unnerved India after its clash in the Himalayan border and the US is openly in support of India.
On Monday, July 20, 2020, the Indian Navy conducted passing exercises (Passex) with the US Navy’s USS Nimitz, which is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
The Indian Navy ships Rana, Sahyadri, Shivalik and Kamorta, operated together with the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), along with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group’s Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
The cooperative exercises took place near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and transited through the Indian Ocean region.
The drills also come amidst mounting tensions in the South China Sea where the US Navy just conducted a major exercise involving USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan. “The Passex is nowhere near Andamans and Nicobar Islands. It is en route to the Gulf Region,” said a senior government official.
The US Navy’s Chief of Information Rear Admiral Charlie Brown said, “It is good to have friends. From Nimitz in the Indian Ocean to Exercise Sea Breeze in the Black Sea, the US Navy exercises with our professional counterparts in navies around the world. There is much we can accomplish together.”
“The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is transiting through IOR. During the passage, Indian Navy units undertook PASSEX with the U.S. Navy. The Indian Navy had conducted similar PASSEXs with the Japanese Navy and the French Navy in the recent past,” the Indian Navy said. Last week, ships under the Eastern Naval Command conducted exercises in the Bay of Bengal off the A&N islands.
On June 27, JS Kashima and JS Shimayuki from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) training squadron conducted a PASSEX with INS Rana and INS Kulish in the Indian Ocean. In a message on Twitter, JMSDF had said that it had “promoted mutual understanding with the Indian Navy through this exercise.”
The Navy is keeping a close watch on the movement in the IOR of Chinese naval ships, whose presence has gone up considerably over the years in the name of anti-piracy patrols. In 2017, China opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
Given their strategic location, India is also undertaking a major infrastructure expansion plans on the A&N island chain.
While the call for an imminent war is a far-off theory, in comparison to recent Chinese intrusion long its borders, being prepared is the best thing for the Indian Navy.