The US Navy’s move to revive a tactical formation focused on the Indian and Pacific Oceans is aimed at emphasising the growing importance of the region and the strategic partnership with India, a top American defence official has said.
Kenneth Braithwaite, secretary of the US Navy or the senior-most civilian official in the department of the navy, made the remarks while testifying before the US Senate armed services subcommittee on Wednesday.
Braithwaite had last month announced the US Navy’s plan to re-establish the First Fleet, one of the “numbered fleets” or major tactical units, and deploy it in the “crossroads between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans”.
Asked by a senator during his appearance before the Senate subcommittee whether the move is meant to emphasise the Indo-Pacific’s growing importance and the strategic relationship the US has with countries such as India and members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad, he replied: “That’s exactly right, senator.”
Braithwaite said the First Fleet will be reconstituted to improve the US posture in the Indo-Pacific and the formation will be given the “primary responsibility for the Indo and South Asian region as an expeditionary fleet” with an “agile, mobile, at-sea command”.