US Secretary of Air Force Frank Kendall on Tuesday said America is interested in peace and stability in the Indo-pacific region and added that India is the major defence partner. In an interview with ANI, Kendall, weighing in on the Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific, said, “We’re looking at ways to cooperate because of our shared values and our shared interests. We’re all interested in peace and stability in the region and a clear and open and free Indo-pacific. Those are things that we shared and we shared with a number of other nations. So that’s our goal.”
“That’s what we’re trying to accomplish together. And there are a lot of opportunities for additional cooperation. Over the last several years, our cooperation has grown. India is a major defence partner, and we do exercises together. We do development programs together and we’re looking for ways to expand that,” he added. Earlier, Kendall met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and discussed the global strategic scenario and new opportunities for India-US defence cooperation.
Following their meeting, Jaishankar tweeted, “Great to catch up with an old friend, US Secretary of Air Force Frank Kendall. Discussed the global strategic scenario and new opportunities for India-US defence cooperation.” The meeting between the External Affairs Minister and the US Secretary of Air Force is crucial as on Wednesday as recently, an Indian-American man was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for the first time.
The United States Senate on Wednesday (Local Time) confirmed Indian origin Ravi Chaudhary as the Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Energy, Installations, and the Environment. Chaudhary won the mandate by a vote of 65-29 as he became a part of one of the top civilian leadership positions in the Pentagon.
After Minneapolis native Chaudhari won the vote, US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released a statement that read, “Growing up as the son of immigrant parents in Minnesota, Dr Ravi Chaudhary dreamed of serving our country as an Air Force pilot. From his more than two decades of service as an active duty Air Force officer to his tenure at the Federal Aviation Administration, Dr Chaudhary has dedicated his career to public service. “I fought to advance his nomination through the Senate because I am confident that Dr Chaudhary has the qualifications and experience needed for this critical role. Now that he has been confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with him to support the men and women of the Air Force,” she added.
According to the statement, Chaudhary served as an active duty Air Force pilot between 1993 and 2015, conducting numerous combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following his retirement from military service, Chaudhary served for five years as a senior official within the Regions and Centre Operations and Office of Commercial Space at the Federal Aviation Administration. He was also appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the statement added. The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and the Environment is responsible for the Air Force’s sustainability and operational readiness, including installations and basing strategy, as well as ensuring the quality of military housing. (ANI)