US Air force secretary praises Indian Air force for south sudan operation

Ahead of India trip, United States Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that the South Sudan evacuation operation by Indian Air Force was magnificent.

James who scheduled her visit in August to India said reporters at New York “looking forward to congratulating the IAF chief in particular on what I think is a magnificent execution of the C-17 operation where you were able to evacuate Indian citizens from South Sudan. Well done on that.”

Operation Sankat Mochan has rescued about 156 Indian citizens from South Sudan’s capital Juba, on account of the South Sudan civil war. Two C-17 Globemaster aircraft’s purchased from the US were deployed to evacuate the citizens. It landed in Kerala on 16th July.

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She described Indian Air Force unit as “a very effective fighting unit” recalling IAF participation in Red Flag exercises with the US Air Force.

During the exercise, she said, “we get together with coalition partners and we train together and interoperate together and we go up sometimes against simulated threats so that we test ourselves on a high-end, very challenging, difficult environment.”

IAF has recently participated in Four-week Red Flag exercise in Alaska, which concluded in the month of May.

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She will be meeting Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the Chief of Air Staff and other senior officials and will be discussing the possibility of the two countries jointly producing aircraft and components.

“I am also aware of the prime minister’s push for Make in India and the importance of creating new jobs in that sector,” she said.