A U.S. Air Force delegation, which included Brig. Gen. Brian R. Bruckbauer, AFSAC Director, this month attended the 13th
edition of Aero India, the largest biennial trade show and aviation exhibition in Asia.
The strong U.S. Air Force presence signaled a significant effort to nurture the U.S.-India strategic partnership, as Bruckbauer was accompanied by Kelli L. Seybolt, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Lt. Gen. David A. Krumm, 11th Air Force Commander, and Maj. Gen. Mark E. Weatherington, 8th Air Force Commander.
The two countries held meetings to discuss ways to advance their shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, including strengthening interoperability through multilateral exercises. Additionally, a U.S. B-1B Lancer performed an aerial demonstration before landing and going on static display, marking the first time since 1945 that an American bomber touched down in India.
“The U.S. Air Force delegation’s participation in Aero India 2021 was well received. I was very proud and honored to be a part of it,” Bruckbauer said.
The U.S.-India partnership is very important for the Indo-Pacific region, Bruckbauer added. India was declared a Major Defense Partner of the U.S. in 2016, and the two countries have since continued to deepen and expand defense cooperation. India’s shared objectives with the U.S. have formed the foundation for this growing partnership in a geographically vital region.
“I think the significance of this partnership continues to increase,” Bruckbauer said. “I’m excited to see what the future holds for this incredibly important bilateral partnership.”
It is a critical time for U.S. Air Force Foreign Military Sales with India, led by the AFSAC Directorate, he said. U.S. Air Force FMS provides the Indian military with airpower capabilities that are interoperable with the U.S., forming the technical foundation for a closer partnership in the future.
“Anytime you have two countries, two air forces, agreeing on a way forward, I think it opens up a variety of opportunities for the future,” Bruckbauer said.
The AFSAC Team provides amazing support to India on existing FMS cases and the development of new cases, he concluded.
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