US defence secretary Lloyd Austin, the 'trailblazer' retired Army general

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 19, 2021, 09:49 AM(IST)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Austin's first call with a foreign leader as defence secretary was with NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg. The aim was to highlight the importance the Biden administration places on its allies.

Lloyd Austin is the first US defence secretary to include India on his maiden foreign trip. He will also be the first Biden administration official to visit India.

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The crucial visit will signal the importance of the bilateral defence and security partnership between India and the United States.

Austin is a retired Army general and has been a trailblazer for much of his professional career. He made history by becoming America's first black defence secretary. The defence secretary is the first black soldier to command both an infantry division and army corps in combat.

Austin's first call with a foreign leader as defence secretary was with NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg. The aim was to highlight the importance the Biden administration places on its allies.

Austin's high-level visit is likely to boost India-US defence relations and help the agenda of a free, prosperous and open Indo-Pacific region amid the recent tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

Pentagon said in a statement that the US knows it needs strong allies, partners and friends in that part of the world. During the first leg of the trip, Austin had visited Japan and South Korea.

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