The US Embassy here on Wednesday expressed condolences over the demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, who was killed in a helicopter crash along with his wife and 11 others on board an Indian Air Force's chopper in Tamil Nadu.
"The U.S. Embassy extends its deepest condolences to the Rawat family and the families of those who perished in the tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu," US Embassy and Consulates in India said in a statement.
According to the statement, Rawat was a strong friend and partner of the United States, overseeing a major expansion of India's defense cooperation with the US military.
"As India's first Chief of Defence Staff, General Rawat spearheaded a historic period of transformation in the Indian military. He was a strong friend and partner of the United States, overseeing a major expansion of India's defense cooperation with the U.S. military," read the statement.
"In September, he spent five days traveling throughout the United States as part of a counterpart visit with General Mark Milley to discuss military developments and opportunities to enhance our cooperation with like-minded countries. His legacy will continue on," the statement added.
The embassy also wished speedy recovery to Group Captain Varun Singh.
"Our thoughts are with the Indian people and the Indian military, and we pray for Group Captain Varun Singh's full recovery," it added.
General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 other personnel of the Armed Forces died after a military helicopter crashed in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said today.
Gen Rawat, India's first CDS was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed near Coonor in the Nilgiris district. (ANI)