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Relationship with IAF great: US Air Commander

One of the US` top Air Commander has said that the American military`s relationship with the Indian Air Force "is great".



Washington: Days after the visit of the Indian Air Force Chief Marshal N A K Browne to the US, one of the country`s top Air Commander has said that the American military`s relationship with the Indian Air Force "is great".

"The relationship is great with Indian air force," General Herbert Carlisle, Commander of US Pacific Air Forces and Air Component Commander said on Monday.

During the last week`s visit of the IAF Chief, Carlisle offered Browne "an apology" for cancelling the `Red Flag` exercise due to budgetary cuts in the American armed forces.

"We did make a commitment about having Red Flag next year this time and they (Indians) are going to participate. The sequestration (budgetary cuts) had an impact wherein we had to cancel the Red Flag (exercise)," Carlisle said.

During this exercise, IAF was scheduled to send a team of its most advanced Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters, along with support aircraft, for the war game which was scheduled to be held at the Nellis Air Force base in Nevada this July.

During his last week`s visit, Browne received the second C-17 aircraft Globemaster military transport aircraft which forms a major component of its modernisation drive.

In fact, Browne "flew C-17 (from Long Beach in California) to Washington DC through Colorado," the US commander said.

"The other things that he talked about is that the Indian Air Force is trying to develop a space command on the military side, because right now almost everything that is done in India in space is on the civilian and commercial side," he said.

"They are trying to develop an Indian military space capability, as well as cyber capability," he added. For this purpose Browne went to Colorado to meet the US Space Command, where was briefed on how the US Space Command works, Carlisle said.

The two leaders also talked about the security situation in South Asia and what the two forces can do as partners to continue to work in that region.

"And it is everything from west side, piracy going into Maldives, to East side what happening in the East China Sea and how we can continue to maintain security and stability in the region. We had very good discussion," Carlisle said.

Mentioning that the Asia Pacific region is a priority area for the United States, Carlisle said "China was very much discussed" during Browne`s US visit.

"I think, every nation in the Asia Pacific region has relationship with PRC (People`s Republic of China) and we have to be cognizant about. We talked about their issues and commonality with the PRC, they have border issues, but they also have trade," he said.

PTI

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