The Western fleets deployment to Sri Lanka culminated in a maritime partnership exercise between the two navies on Saturday, 12th of March on a high note. On departure from the port of Colombo, IN Ships Chennai and Teg exercised with Sri Lanka Navy ship Sindurala at the open seas.
The smoothly conducted exercise began with a simulated situation of asymmetric threat against ships leaving harbor by fast attack crafts of the Sri Lankan Navy. Thereafter, as part of seamanship exercises, ships of both navies made approaches for towing, maintained station for replenishment at Sea and undertook close distance maneuvering, as well.
Heptrs like Chetak of the Indian Navy also participated in the exercise. The exercise ended with the traditional steam past with the Sri Lankan ship approaching the column of Indian Navy ships from reciprocal direction and personnel manning their ship-sides and waving goodbye to each other. The professional interaction between the navies was extremely fruitful and enhanced interoperability between the navies of both the nations.
Earlier on 11 March 2022, Rear Admiral Sameer Saxena, NM, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (F-O-CWF) called on Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka. The Commanding Officers of INS Chennai and INS Teg called on Rear Admiral AUC De Silva, Commander of Western Naval Area of Sri Lanka.
A friendly volleyball match was also played between personnel of the two navies to enhance mutual interaction at the junior levels. The Indian ships were kept open for Srilankan nationals e.g general public, school children, serving naval personnel and children with special needs. The exercise and sideline occurrences were compliant to all COVID-19 norms and regulations.
The author is a Delhi-based, DCC qualified, defence beat writer and independent contributor to print and online publications