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DOD to Aid India as it Copes With COVID-19 Pandemic

April 26, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

John F. Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, briefed the media today, speaking on a number of different topics, including aid to India.

"The United States deeply values our partnership with India," Kirby said. "We are determined to help the people in India as they bravely combat this outbreak."

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The Defense Department is working closely with other U.S. agencies to rapidly deploy oxygen-related equipment, rapid COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment and other essential materials to India, he said. 

"We are also in close communication with the government of India to ensure that we are providing India's frontline health care workers with any support we can offer within our authority," he added. 

In the days and weeks ahead, DOD will continue to coordinate with allies and like-minded countries to ensure that collective efforts are closely synchronized and poised to have maximal impact in mitigating the crisis, he said.

A fleet of ships sails in the sea.
Fleet Formation
Ships operate in the Bay of Bengal in support of exercise La Perouse 2021, April 7, 2021. La Perouse consists of naval assets from Australia, France, India, Japan and the United States.
Photo By: Courtesy of the French Navy
VIRIN: 210406-N-NO824-0007C
Medics train together.
Medic Meeting
U.S. medics from the 1st Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division demonstrate life-saving techniques with soldiers of the Indian Army's 11th Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Battalion, Mahajan Field Firing Range, Rajasthan, India. Feb. 13, 2021..
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Tolliver
VIRIN: 210213-A-RI070-354

Within the next few days, the department is expected to begin making delivery of these supplies, providing the transportation and logistics necessary to make this happen as quickly as possible, he said.

Kirby noted that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has a busy travel schedule this week, with visits planned to U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. 

At Indo-Pacom, the secretary plans to attend a change of command. Kirby noted that Indo-Pacom is a prioritized combatant command for the department.

A three-person crew operates in an aircraft flight deck.
Flight Check
Indonesian Air Force Col. Hilman Ambarita, chief of safety board for the 2nd Command Indonesia Air Force, center, sits in the cockpit of a US P-8A Poseidon during pre-flight checks while operating out of Bali in support of the search for KRI Nanggala at the request of the government of Indonesia, April 24, 2021.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Mai
VIRIN: 210424-N-EH855-0132C

Kirby mentioned that Austin and the entire department are "incredibly saddened to hear the tragic loss of the 53 Indonesian sailors on board the submarine. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those sailors and everyone in the Indonesian military as they cope with this tragedy."