United States Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James on Wednesday said the Indian Air Force pulled off a magnificent execution of Operation Sankat Mochan, which was launched to evacuate Indians stranded in war-torn South Sudan in July. James is scheduled to visit the country in August and will discuss the possibility of the two countries jointly producing aircraft and components. She is scheduled to meet Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the Chief of Air Staff and other senior officials, reported IANS.

James said, "I am looking forward to congratulating the IAF chief in particular on what I think is a magnificent execution of the C-17 operation, where you were able to evacuate Indian citizens from South Sudan. Well done on that." Recalling the IAF's participation in the Red Flag exercise with the US Air Force, Lee praised the Indian force, which according to her is "a very effective fighting unit". The four-week-long military exercise was held in Alaska in May.

She said that part of the trip's agenda was to see "how can we deepen our partnerships". "I am also aware of the prime minister's push for Make in India and the importance of creating new jobs in that sector," she said.