Current Affairs 20 March 2019 Digest 4: 33rd edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol commences; India, Sri Lanka to conduct joint exercise 'Mitra Shakti-VI'
The 33rd edition of the India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol began on March 19, 2019. The coordinated patrol aims to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly maritime neighbours in order to ensure good order in the maritime domain.
Story 1- 33rd edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol commences at Port Blair
The 33rd edition of the India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (Ind-Indo Corpat) began on March 19, 2019. The patrol will be held at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands from March 19 till April 4, 2019.
The coordinated patrol aims to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly maritime neighbours, in order to ensure good order in the maritime domain, consolidate interoperability and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Indonesia.
• Under the coordinated patrol programme, the ships and aircrafts from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of the 236 nautical-miles-long International Maritime Boundary line.
• The patrolling would be conducted in three phases between March 22-31, 2019.
• The Indian delegation is being led by senior officer from the Indian Navy, Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, VSM Naval Component Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command.
• The Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin and Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN-235 led by Cmde Dafit Santoso have arrived for the opening ceremony, to be held at Port Blair from March 19 to March 21.
• During the stay in Port Blair harbour, various activities such as official calls, formal reception onboard ship, sporting fixtures between both navies, ship open to visitors and professional interactions have been planned.
• The closing ceremony will be hosted at Belawan, Indonesia, which is scheduled from April 1 to April 4.
The Indian naval assets have been increasingly deployed in recent times to address the maritime concerns in the region.
In addition, as part of the Indian Government’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with EEZ surveillance, search and rescue and other capacity-building and capability-enhancement activities.
The 33rd Ind-Indo Corpat, also coinciding with 70 years of India-Indonesia diplomatic ties, will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter-operability and forge strong bonds of friendship across the seas.
Story 2- India, Sri Lanka to conduct joint exercise 'Mitra Shakti-VI'
The annual joint exercise between India and Sri Lanka, 'Mitra Shakti-VI', will be conducted from March 26 to April 8, 2019 for the year 2018-19 in Sri Lanka. The exercise is conducted every year as a part of military diplomacy and interaction between the armies of the two nations.
While the Indian side will be represented by the troops from 1st battalion of the Bihar Regiment, the Sri Lanka army would be represented by the Gemunu Watch Battalion.
The key aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the nations and to enhance the ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency and counter-terrorist environment under the United Nations mandate.
The exercise is expected to go a long way in further cementing relationship between both the nations.
It is also expected to act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at grassroots levels between the armies of the two maritime neighbours.