- "We have a long close relationship that we've been able to build up and strengthen over the years as we work together for integrated deterrence in the region and around the world."
- " We've been able to share technology and collaborate on a variety of programmes. So it's been a remarkable journey, and I'm confident it will continue," he said.
According to a top US Defense Department official, the Indian defence attaché now has unrestricted access to the Pentagon.
Such a move is consistent with the trust and cooperation that we have with India, said US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Monday at an Independence Day reception hosted by India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu at India House.
“As of today, the Indian (defence) attaché team has unescorted access in the Pentagon, which is the beginning of our close relationship with India’s status as a major defence partner,” Kendall explained.
“And if you don’t think unaccompanied access to the Pentagon is a big deal, I can’t get in without an escort,” he added.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, is regarded as one of the most difficult locations to gain access to. Without high-level security clearances, even American citizens are barred from entering the building.
Kendall, who worked on India issues during the Obama administration, said there was a desire to strengthen ties in the area of national security at the time.
“It turns out that India is the country with whom we do more joint exercises than any other country,” he said. “We have a long close relationship that we’ve been able to build up and strengthen over the years as we work together for integrated deterrence in the region and around the world.”
He stated that the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative has grown over the years and continues to this day.
“We just started a new cooperative programme for unmanned aerial vehicles a year ago.” We’ve been able to share technology and collaborate on a variety of programmes. So it’s been a remarkable journey, and I’m confident it will continue,” he said.
This story was adapted from a wire service feed with no changes to the text. Only the title has been altered.