India's first CDS General Bipin Rawat who died on Wednesday in chopper crash
India's first CDS General Bipin Rawat who died on Wednesday in chopper crash

'Our thoughts, prayers are with Rawat family and families of other victims of crash': US Defense Secy Austin

ANI | Updated: Dec 09, 2021 01:03 IST


Washington [US], December 9 (ANI): In a condolence message on the demise of India's first CDS General Bipin Rawat, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III on Wednesday (local time) said that they are "deeply saddened by this loss".
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rawat family and the families of the other victims of the crash. We are deeply saddened by this loss," said Austin.
"I and the Department extend our deepest condolences to the Rawat family, the Indian military, and the people of India after the tragic passing of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash," added Austin.
Sharing his experience on working with Rawat he said that he left an indelible mark on the course of the US-India defense partnership.
"General Rawat left an indelible mark on the course of the US-India defense partnership and was at the center of the Indian Armed Forces' transformation into a more jointly integrated warfighting organization," said Austin.
He also said that he had the privilege of meeting with him earlier this year and viewed him as a valued partner and friend of the US.
Rawat had met Austin in October 2021 where the two had exchanged views on advancing defence partnership.
Austin and Rawat exchanged views on priorities for advancing the US-India defence partnership, including through enhanced cooperation in new defence domains such as space, cyber, and emerging technologies.
The sad news was confirmed by Indian Air Force on Wednesday through their Twitter handle that read, "With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident."
The helicopter crashed around noon shortly after it took off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat served in the most difficult terrains including northern and eastern commands.
CDS Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. (ANI)

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