Defence & Security Current Affairs - 2019

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

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US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations visits India

Chief of Naval Operations of US Navy, Admiral John Michael Richardson is on a three day official tour to India. The tour is scheduled from 12 to 14 May 2019 and during his visit he will meet Indian Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba in New Delhi.

Key Highlights

  • Purpose: Admiral John Richardson visit to India is amid rising Chinese influence in Indo-Pacific region. This is part of US strategy of grouping together with like-minded countries like India, South Korea, Australia and Japan to make sure that each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion. It refers to coercive activities undertaken by China in South China Sea (SCS) which have become a flashpoint for US-China relations in Asia.
  • Aim: The visit by US Navy Chief is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and USA and as well as explore new avenues for naval cooperation between two nations.
  • Discussions: Major issues to be discussed during visit include information exchange, capacity building, operations and exercises, capability enhancement and training interactions.
  • Significance: The visit emphasizes the importance of information sharing and exchange between two defence partners. This will further strengthen strategic partnership between the Indian Navy and US Navy.

India-US Defence Relation

  • India-US ties has seen a significant growth in recent years.
  • In 2016, USA accorded India a Major Defence Partner status.
  • In September 2018 the inaugural Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue conducted between two nations (India and US), facilitated new avenues for defence cooperation among them.
  • Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at various bilateral and multilateral forums. They also participate in several maritime exercises like MALABAR and RIMPAC.
  • Other than Defence Exercise many Regular Subject Matter Expert exchange also takes place between both navies to establish interoperability in various fields.

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ADMM-PLUS exercise concludes in Singapore

The ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (MS FTX) in the South China Sea concluded on 13 May 2019 at RSS Singapura ( also known as Changi Naval Base) in Singapore.

Key Highlights

  • Schedule: The ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise was held from 30 April to 13 May. The exercise commenced on 30 April in Busan, South Korea and concluded in Singapore.
  • Phases: It was held in two phases. The Phase I of ADMM-PLUS MS FTX was scheduled from 1 May to 3 May and its Phase II was scheduled from 9 May to 12 May.
  • Organised: It is co-organized by Singapore and South Korea as both nations currently holds co-chairmanship of ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security.
  • Participants: The ADMM-Plus comprises total 18 nation participants which include ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and other 8 includes the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Russia, China, and India.
  • Significance: This is the fourth Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (MS FTX) was conducted under the ambit of the ADMM-Plus. It involved 10 aircraft and 19 ships with about 700 personnel from the 18 ADMM-Plus countries.
  • Drills Undertaken: During exercise, Participants conducted a series of professional exchanges ashore, as well as maritime security drills in the waters off Republic of Korea (ROK) and Singapore. Several maritime security drills for building confidence and practical cooperation included sharing information to track vessels-of-interest, practicing the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, boarding operations and protection of key installations, conducted helicopter cross-deck landings and replenishment at sea drills as they sailed.
  • On completion of Phase II, Some of the exercise participants, including US Navy destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and India’s INS Kolkata and INS Shakti are scheduled to participate in the International Maritime Defense Exposition (IMDEX) 2019 in Singapore May 14-16.

NOTE: ASEAN comprises of ten countries of Southeast Asia, with Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia. It includes Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Philippines.

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