Joint US-India exercise Tiger Triumph kicks off on Monday - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

USS Somerset, a Landing Platform Dock (LPD), readying for Exercise Tiger Triumph


By Vikas Gupta

Defence News of India, 18th March 24


The ministry of defence (MoD) announced on Monday that the Indian and US navies have kicked off a bilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise on India’s eastern seaboard.


Called Tiger Triumph-24, the week-long exercise will involve Indian Navy ships with integral helicopters and landing crafts, Indian Army personnel and vehicles and Indian Air Force aircraft.


The close maritime relationship between the United States and Indian navies can be traced back directly to the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004, when 100-feet-high killer waves, triggered by an undersea earthquake, killed about a quarter of a million persons in 14 countries across the Indian Ocean littoral.


As a stunned world watched, the Indian Navy swung into action, dispatching practically every one of its ships on missions of mercy to ravaged ports and coastlines in countries whose governments had been overwhelmed by the disaster.


Also watching admiringly was the US Navy, which despatched naval flotillas on HADR missions that quickly linked up with the Indian navy.


Even as the US Navy quickly realised that the Indian Navy was a regional partner worth having, the Indians watched admiringly as giant US Navy amphibious warfare ships – including 20,000-tonne “landing platform docks” (LPDs) – disgorged huge material stocks that saved tens of thousands of lives on battered shorelines.


While a gallant Indian Navy made do with every resource it had, even deploying destroyers and frigates in humanitarian aid missions, our officers and sailors watched the US deploy specialist HADR equipment, including de-salination plants, rapid action medical teams (RAMT), floating hospitals and even foreign language and cultural experts.

The possibility of having to cooperate on similar HADR missions in the future brings together the US and Indian navies into maritime cooperation in exercises such as Tiger Triumph-24. 


“The US military will be represented by US Navy warships, with embarked troops of the US Marine Corps and the US Army. The exercise is aimed at developing interoperability for conducting HADR operations and refine Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to enable rapid and smooth coordination between forces of both countries,” stated India’s MoD.


The exercise began with a “Harbour Phase” from March 18-25. This will involve personnel from both navies in training visits, subject matter expert exchanges, sports events and social interactions.


After the harbour phase, the ships, with the troops embarked, would sail for the Sea Phase and undertake maritime, amphibious and HADR operations. The joint exercise would culminate with a closing ceremony on completion of the sea phase, announced the MoD.


Leading into the exercise, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation on Monday with his counterpart, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin. Austin appreciated the important role being played by the Indian Navy in anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. 


“They 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 discussed,” stated the Indian MoD.