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US Marine CH-53E ‘Super Stallion’ made its maiden landing at Naval Air Station at INS Dega, Visakhapatnam. As part of the ongoing India-US joint exercise ‘Exercise Tiger Triumph’, stated a press release on Friday.

These heavy lift helicopters of the Marine Corps are operating from US Navy ships as part of bilateral tri-service exercise in Kakinada. In consonance with Indian Navy and Air Force helicopters, they have undertaken various transportation and HADR missions.

Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy and Rear Admiral Joaquin Martinez, Vice Commander Seventh Fleet of the US Navy, along with Major General Akhilesh Kumar, General Officer Commanding, 54 Infantry Division of the Indian Army visited the joint humanitarian aid and disaster relief camp at Kakinada on Friday along with senior members of Indian and US armed forces and officials from civil administration, the release stated.

The camp has been set up as part of the ongoing combined tri-services exercise ‘Tiger Triumph 2024’ between the Indian and US Armed Forces.

The exercise commenced on March 18 with participation from joint forces of both countries which include ships and aircraft from Indian Navy, aircraft and specialist medical teams from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army Troops from the 91 Infantry Brigade, and USN ship Somerset with integral aircraft, fixed wing aircraft from USAF and the US Marines.

The sea phase of the exercise, which commenced on March 26, witnessed extensive joint exercises between ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy and US Navy, combat manoeuvres, joint procedures and drills, as well as extensive amphibious operations at Kakinada for landing of relief material and the setting up of the relief camp.

During the visit, the senior officers were familiarised with progress of the exercise thus far. The Senior Officers visited amphibious operations and reviewed facilities set up by the combined forces which included Camp for Internally Displaced Populace and a Medical Camp, the release added.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Navy and US Navy amphibious warships on Friday undertook operations in the Kakinada region of Andhra Pradesh as part of the exercise.

Additionally, Cross Deck helicopter operations were also undertaken between the ships of the Indian Navy and the US Navy off Kakinada.

The seamless conduct of multifaceted coordinated operations is indicative of the joint planning and execution, reaffirming the high degree of interoperability between the Armed Forces of the two nations.

Notably, the exercise is aimed at developing interoperability for conducting HADR operations and refining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to enable rapid and smooth coordination between forces of both countries.

“Indian Navy ships with integral helicopters and landing crafts embarked, Indian Navy aircraft, Indian Army personnel and vehicles and Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters, along with the Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT), would be participating in the exercise,” the Ministry of Defence said in a press release