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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday.

The two leaders, as they engaged in a conversation, discussed a range of bilateral, regional security and defence cooperation issues. “They reviewed the recent bilateral events such as the INDUS-X Summit held in New Delhi in February 2024, and the bilateral Tri-Service exercise ‘Tiger Triumph’ which has also commenced in India on March 18, 2024,” the Defence Ministry release read.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Austin appreciated the important role being played by the Indian Navy in conducting anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean Region.

“The two Ministers discussed ways and means to implement the India-US Defence Cooperation Roadmap which was concluded last year. Other defence industrial cooperation issues such as repair of US naval ships in Indian shipyards were also briefly discussed,” according to the Ministry of Defence.

It was during the India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in November 2023, that Rajnath Singh and Lloyd Austin had last met in New Delhi.

India and the United States are all set for ‘Tiger Triumph 2024’ as the bilateral, tri-service exercise between the two nations commenced on Monday and will take place until March 31.

“In consonance with the established partnership between India and the US, a bilateral tri-service humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise between both countries, Tiger Triumph-24, is scheduled on the Eastern Seaboard from March 18-31,” the Ministry of Defence said in an official press release.

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.

The US would be represented by US Navy ships with embarked troops of the US Marine Corps and US Army.

The harbour phase is scheduled for March 18-25.

Moreover, personnel from both navies would participate in training visits, subject matter expert exchanges, sports Events and social interactions.