India, Sri Lanka joint naval exercise SLINEX-2018 was held at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka from September 7 to 13, 2018. SLINEX exercise started in 2005 was previously held once in two years and now it has been converted to annual event this year onwards.
The exercise was conducted in two phases, namely Harbour and Sea Phase. These exercises involved joint training, exchange of expertise, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft operations, search and rescue, and maneuvers at sea. The exercise also involved sports fixtures and cultural events to provide opportunity for personnel from both navies to learn from each other and to build individual bonds of friendship and camaraderie. The scope of exercise was significantly increased this year, as it saw participation of three ships, two maritime patrol aircraft and one helicopter participating from Indian side. In addition, Sri Lanka Air Force personnel also participated in the exercise for first time.
SLINEX exercise is continuation of ongoing operational interaction between both navies wherein regular ships visits are being undertaken between the two countries. Converting it into annual event signifies desire of both countries to enhance co-operation in maritime domain and further strengthen mutual trust and interoperability between two navies. SLINEX 2017 was held at Visakhapatnam in September 2017 wherein two ships SLNS participated from Sri Lanka Navy.