HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii: Senior air force officials from India and the United States met here March 25 through 29 to discuss operational concepts and to chart the way ahead for future training exchanges and exercises.
This year’s executive steering group meeting focused on the review and assessment of joint and combined training events.
The group was was co-chaired by Lt. Gen. Chip Utterback, the 13th Air Force commander, and Indian air force Air Marshal Dinesh Chandra Kumaria, director of general operations for the Indian air force.
“Our militaries continue to have a supportive working relationship that is vital to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region,” General Utterback said. “I look forward to continuing the cooperative efforts we have developed over the years.”
India and the United States share three executive steering groups to foster ties between their armies, air forces and navies.
During the four-day meeting, U.S. Air Force representatives briefed India military officials on security exercises, flight safety, medical logistics, the function of an air and space operations center, E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system subject matter expert exchanges, and on the capabilities of the C-17 Globemaster III.
Additionally, Indian air force officials discussed their involvement with the Joint Prisoners of War-Missing in Action Accounting Command in recovering six downed U.S. bombers from World War II. This year’s meeting also allowed both air forces to work out a precise schedule for joint exercises, training and visits for the next two years.
“We have seen very tangible benefits from our exchanges,” Air Marshal Kumaria said. “The progress, year after year, in the content and the comprehensiveness, has continued to increase.”
American Airmen made time to show their Indian guests around the Hawaiian Islands as they toured the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and attended a luau.
“General Utterback and his team made us feel very welcome and at home during our time here in Hawaii,” the air marshal said.
Thirteenth AF is responsible for command, control and execution of air, space, and information operations capabilities across the full range of military operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility, excluding the Korean theater of operations.