Naval Exercises Current Affairs

Clean Sea-2017: Coast Guard conducts Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted the Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise named ‘Clean Sea-2017’ at sea off Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The objective of exercise was to ascertain preparedness of IGC, resource agencies and other stakeholders in responding to major oil spill in line with provisions of National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP).

Need for exercise

The Great Channel between Nicobar Islands and Northern Sumatra that leads into Malacca Straits is marine drive of high seas. Almost 200 ships cross 160-km wide Straits daily making it among busiest sea routes of world. Considering, high intensity of oil tanker traffic through this route, the area is highly vulnerable to oil spills. So there is need for robust national system for oil spill response is critical

Highlights of Clean Sea-2017

The exercise was planned to evaluate preparedness for Response Operations for any such oil pollution incident in highly sensitive area of A&B islands. The exercise was conducted in two phases for synchronizing support and cooperation provided by all stakeholders for combating oil spills in such ecologically sensitive areas.

The exercise saw participation of ICG Pollution Control Vessel and integration of ICG Dornier/Chetak aircraft into Oil Spill Disaster Management System for aerial assessment and delivery of Oil Spill Dispersant for mitigation of spilled oil.

Background

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) under Ministry of Defence is responsible for marine environment protection in maritime zones of India and is coordinating authority for response to oil spills in Indian waters. It has drawn up National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) and has established three pollution response centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair.

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IMMSAREX 2017: International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise held in Bangladesh

The 2017 International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) was held in Bangladesh from November 26 to 28 2017.

The exercise is taking place under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

Key Facts

From India, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba participated in the exercise to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I participatied in the exercise.

Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC)’ meeting of IONS was also held. It focussed upon activities being undertaken by IONS in-addition to review progress made by three IONS Working Group (IWG)- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR), Maritime Security and Information Exchange and Interoperability. The ships and aircraft of IONS members and observers including China (has observer status) and Pakistan also participated in exercise.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

The IONS is regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India Navy in February 2008. It is voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of littoral states of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

It endeavours to generate flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on way ahead. There are 35 members – navies of IONS represented by heads of their navies. Under IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on HADR, IS&I and maritime security (anti-piracy).

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