India,Thailand, Singapore enhance maritime cooperation
India, Thailand, and Singapore are enhancing their naval cooperation among other things.
Indian Naval Ships Tir, Sujata, Sail Training Ship (STS) Sudarshini along with Indian Coast Guard Ship Varuna, comprising the 1st Training Squadron, visited Phuket, Thailand from 27 – 31 October ’16 as part of their Overseas Deployment during Autumn Term 16. The Senior Officer of the 1st Training Squadron, Captain DJ Revar, embarked on board INS Tir.
India and Thailand have a close, long-standing relationship covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which has strengthened over the years. The present deployment of the Training Squadron to Phuket provides opportunities for extensive maritime engagement, contributes to the maintenance of good order at sea and further cement the close relations between the two nations and the two navies.
The First Training Squadron forms part of Southern Naval Command (SNC) and comprises Indian Naval Ships Tir, Shardul, Sujata, ICGS Varuna and two Sail Training Ships Sudarshini and Tarangini, all of which have been built in India. The primary aim of the Squadron is to impart training to Naval and Coast Guard trainees, with 24 weeks ab-initio sea training being imparted. The trainees are imparted training in Seamanship, Navigation, Ship Handling, Boat Work, Technical aspects, etc whilst being exposed to the rigors of life at sea, so as to earn their ‘sea legs’.
The Southern Naval Command is the Training Command of the Indian Navy, which provides both basic and advanced training to officers and sailors of the Indian Navy. Vice Admiral AR Karve, AVSM, is the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.
The Indian Navy has also been providing training to personnel from Friendly Foreign Countries for more than four decades, wherein more than 13,000 personnel from over 40 countries have been trained. The Indian Navy’s focused approach for providing high-quality training by constantly adapting to evolving tactics and technologies has gained it a reputation of being one of the finest training destinations
As a part of SIMBEX-16, the ongoing Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of the Republic of Singapore and India, RSS Formidable, of Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) arrived Visakhapatnam on a five-day visit to the Eastern Naval Command today, 30 October 16. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, RSS Formidable is the first of the six multi-role stealth frigates which form part of the 185 Squadron based at Changi. A senior Singapore Navy delegation headed by Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN also visited ENC during the period.
The visit encompassed interaction between personnel of both the Navies in various professional, cultural, social and sports events. Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN and Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, Commanding Officer RSS Formidable called on Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief ENC, and Rear Admiral B Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
SIMBEX is an acronym for Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises between Singapore and India was first formalized when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994. This year’s edition of SIMBEX-16 held in the Bay of Bengal region is the 23rd in the series and is aimed to increase interoperability amongst the RSN and IN as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The scope this exercise includes wide-
ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase scheduled from 31 October to 02 November and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase to be held from 03 to 05 November. The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.
During SIMBEX-16, the Singapore Navy is represented by RSS Formidable and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fokker 50 operating from Port Blair. Indian Navy is represented by INS Ranvijay a guided missile destroyer, INS Kamorta, an indigenous ASW stealth Corvette, one Sindhugosh class submarine, in addition to Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I, Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier, Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk and integral rotary wing helicopters are also participating in the exercise.
The two navies share a long-standing relationship with regular professional interactions that include exchange programs, staff talks and training courses. Singapore Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Lai Chung Han had earlier visited ENC and participated in IFR-16 held in February this year in the City of Destiny. RSS Formidable is scheduled to depart Visakhapatnam on 03 November.