Royal Navy personnel Jagjeet Singh Grewal, an Indian origin crewmember serving aboard UK's largest warship- the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group (CSG)- embodies the unique living bridge that exists between the UK and India.
Family members of the leading engineering technician have over decades served both the British and Indian armed forces. Serving aboard the fifth-generation aircraft carrier, Grewal who works in the Marine Engineering Department is responsible for maintaining aviation fuel to the highest standard.
He also maintains fueling pumps on the flight deck so that the F-35B jets, Merlin helicopters and other aircraft can operate to their optimum capacity. Currently settled in the UK, Grewal has a long family history in the Indian military.
"My grandfather and grandfather-in-law served alongside the British Army in the Second World War and received a Mention in Dispatches, Burma Star, Africa Star, War Medal and Defence Medal. My father served in the Indian Air force and currently, my wife's brother and uncle are serving in the Indian Navy," said Grewal.
"I am focused on doing my job to the highest standards, but it is good to know I am maintaining my family links while working with the Indian military," added Grewal.
As the CSG sails in the Indian Ocean, engaging with its allies on its 26,000 nautical miles long maiden deployment, Grewal said he feels a special delight being part of the crew, training in the waters near to his ancestral home.
The Carrier Strike Group deployment marks the start of a new era of defence cooperation with allies in India and the Indo-Pacific.
The UK and India benefit from a unique living bridge of people, ideas, institutions, arts and culture. This includes an Indian diaspora of over 1.5 million people (2011 census) in the UK, contributing significantly to the UK's prosperity via interests in business, politics, academia, medicine and the arts. (ANI)
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