Saturday, 7 May 2011

Details Of Indian Navy's Exercise Sagar Kavach

Indian Navy Helicopter and Hovercraft

The Indian Navy has concluded a two-day exercise "Sagar Kavach" off the coast of Goa and Maharashtra yesterday. The exercise was meant to better the coordination between Coast Guard, Customs, port and marine police. Both Navy and Coast Guard pitched in their ships, personnel and air assets.

Around 2,000 fishermen, accompanied by 7,000 Navy, Coast Guard and policemen, participated in this two-day marine operation in the high seas to protect the state's coastline, particularly major installations such as BARC, Tarapore Atomic Energy Centre and defence bases.

An informal survey shows only 28 interceptors of the sanctioned 58 patrol boats were made available for defending the city.

Only 18 interceptors were  delivered to patrol a 700-km stretch starting from Dahanu (bordering Gujarat) to Sawantwadi (bordering Goa). Ideally, 28 high-speed boats should have been allocated for patrolling.

Indian Navy Marcos

Since there were inadequate numbers of interceptors, the Thane Rural Police were left with no option but to hire fishermen with their old vessels.

The fishermen formed a part of the Sagar Rakshak. A formation of commandos from the Navy, Coast Guard and members from Sagar Rakshak also took part in the high seas operations.

Six Coast Guard stations, equipped with the high-speed patrol boats, were also put to test during the operations.

The operations included mock drill to protect important installations along the coast. It also covered minor and major ports along the state's coastline from Dahanu in the north to Sawantwadi in the south.

Naval helicopters also took part in the reconnaissance operations trying to track the enemy in mock attack drills. "The entire coastline became the hub of activities," a police source said.

Indian Navy Military Exercise

Some of the newly-acquired bulletproof boats zipped along the coast at around 50 nautical miles.
The Union government is spending around Rs 250 crore on coastal security.

A large number of possible landing sites were tested during the 48-hour exercise. Policemen posing as suspicious enemies were weeded out and threats neutralized .

The entire force was divided into two groups namely Red and Blue. While one of the groups was assigned the job of defending the coast, the other, posing as enemies, attacked. Plans of maneuvering the vessels were a closely-guarded secret, at least till the exercises got over. Mock raids were carried out on Coastal check posts to see whether the jawans were vigilant enough to foil an attack.

"These exercises take place every few months. The exercise are held in the two neighboring states to check the loopholes and plug them and simulate coordination between them," the Defence PRO said.
This exercise was conducted under the command of Western Naval Commander Vice-Admiral DK Joshi. This also happens to be the first exercise conducted after Vice Adm Joshi took over the command on April 30, 2011.

The outgoing Western Command Chief, Vice Adm Bhasin said that Terror, Piracy and Pollution had emerged as main challenge in past three years. Indian navy has been given the over all charge to protect the coastlines on the country. The step was initiated after 2008 Mumbai terror attack.