- With strategic convergence of India’s Act East policy and America’s re-balance to the Asia Pacific region, the US has developed a three-pronged approach for maritime cooperation with the country that includes upgrading the bilateral partnership in this sphere.
- This approach includes maintaining a shared vision on maritime security issues, upgrading bilateral maritime security partnership and collaborating to both build regional partner capacity and improve regional maritime domain awareness.
- In the vision document, the two countries affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea.
- Further the Department of Defence and the Indian Ministry of Defense are upgrading their bilateral maritime security partnership, through growing bilateral exchanges between military personnel and by engaging in military exercises.
- To bolster operational maritime cooperation, India has participated in the RIMPAC multilateral exercise and the two sides conduct the annual flagship naval exercise MALABAR.
- Both countries are contributing to these goals individually with other partners and are mutually contributing to counter-piracy efforts in the Indian Ocean, the report said, adding that the Department of Defence will continue to seek opportunities to consult with Indian counterparts about these efforts where possible.