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.”
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.
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.
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.”