Djibouti Current Affairs - 2019

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Varuna Naval Exercise 2019

India and France will conduct their largest ever naval exercise ‘Varuna’ off Goa coast early May.

Varuna 2019

  • India will deploy its aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya with its MiG-29K fighters and French side would be represented by its aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval jets.
  • The exercise will also see participation of FNS Forbin, the FNS Provence and the FNS Latouche Treville, a nuclear attack submarines, the FNS Amethyste, and the tanker FNS Marne from France and diesel-electric submarine INS Shankul, guided-missile destroyer INS Chennai, stealth frigate INS Tarkash and tanker INS Deepak, along with P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and Dornier-228 planes from India.
  • Varuna is a top-level naval exercise, with intensive dual carrier task group operations and anti-submarine warfare manoeuvres.

India-France Defence Cooperation

India and France are working closely to implement their action-oriented joint strategic vision for cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which was finalised in March 2018.

The Military Logistics Agreement with France which provides Indian Navy access to French bases located in the India ocean region including the Reunion Islands near Madagascar and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa and French navy access to Indian ports in the region is now operationalised with French anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard docking at the Mumbai naval port.

Exercise Cutlass Express 2019

The annual multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express was held from 27 Jan to 06 Feb 19. The exercise is aimed to improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations for the purpose of interdicting illegal maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean.

The annual Exercise Cutlass Express is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF). Exercise Cutlass Express 2019 is the eighth iteration of the annual multinational maritime exercise and was held in the vicinity of Djibouti, Mozambique and Seychelles.

The participating nations in the exercise Cutlass Express 2019 were Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Portugal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, The Netherlands and the United States. The Indian Navy was represented in the exercise through INS Trikand.

During the exercise, Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Police personnel from a number of East African countries were jointly trained by mentors from USA, India, and Netherlands, with the support of international organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Combined Maritime Force (CMF) and European Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR).