From a Navy article,
The cargo transfer conducted in January contributed approximately 25 million Sri Lankan rupees to the local economy, supporting local businesses.
“Sri Lanka’s leaders have outlined their vision for the country’s regional engagement that reflects its location at the nexus of the Indo-Pacific and seizes the opportunities that this unique position presents,” said U.S. Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz. “We are happy to support this vision through a range of mutually beneficial initiatives, such as contracting Sri Lankan services and goods to support U.S. military and commercial vessels that often transit the Indo-Pacific’s busy sea lanes.” (1)
Sri Lanka’s location in the Indian Ocean off the southern coast of India makes it strategically important and, as we noted previously, China has established a major port in Sri Lanka (see, “China Seizes Sri LankaPort”). Anything we can do to counter that is a welcome development even if we’re playing catch-up. We need to do much more and not just militarily. Solidifying relations with Sri Lanka should be a major geopolitical objective.
Good job, Navy. Keep it up.