Defence cooperation & counter-terrorism efforts on the agenda as Army Chief Gen Pande visits UK
General Manoj Pande will attend the prestigious Sovereign's Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
In what is a clear demonstration of the growing defence ties between India and the United Kingdom (UK), Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande will review the 201st Sovereign's Parade of Commissioning Course 223 at the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst as the Sovereign’s Representative. While in the UK, he will hold talks with the top British defence leadership on key strategic issues.
General Pande left for the UK on August 9, 2023 on a visit that India's Ministry of Defence described as "a momentous milestone" in strengthening the diplomatic, military, and cultural ties between the two nations. "It bears testimony to the enduring camaraderie that has flourished over the years, promoting mutual cooperation and understanding in the realms of defence and security," the ministry noted.
The Sovereign's Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is a reputed event, known for its illustrious history and the passing out of officer cadets from across the globe. General Pande is the first Chief of the Army Staff from India to be the Sovereign's Representative for the parade. He will also be visiting the Indian Army Memorial Room which occupies a place of pride in the Royal Military Academy.
While in the UK, General Manoj Pande will interact with the top military leadership, including Chief of General Staff of the British Army General Sir Patrick Sanders and Vice Chief of Defence Staff of the UK Armed Forces General Gwyn Jenkins.
He will also engage in high-level discussions with Commander of UK Strategic Command General Sir James Hockenhull, Commander Field Army Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse and Commandant of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Major General Zachary Raymond Stenning, focusing on various matters of common interest, including defence cooperation, counter-terrorism efforts and strategic planning.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the special invitation to General Pande acknowledges the long-term collaboration and friendship between India and the UK and his participation in the Sovereign's Parade signifies the continued commitment to enhancing military ties and promoting peace and security on the global stage. It stands as a befitting example of mutual respect and appreciation, further reinforcing the strong foundation of India- United Kingdom relations, the ministry pointed out.
One of the features of the defence partnership between the two sides has been the India-UK joint military exercises. These include Naval Exercise Konkan, which has been held in the Indian Ocean on a bi-annual basis since 2004; the Indra Dhanush Air Force Exercise held since 2006; and the Shamsheer Bugle & Ajeya Warrior Army Exercises.