Offshore Patrol Vessel Current Affairs - 2019

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Charter of Affiliation: signed between Assam Rifles and ICG

The Director Generals of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard signed a ‘Affiliation Charter’ between 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship ‘Shaurya’ at a ceremony held at Laitkor, Shillong. It aims to enhance inter-armed forces cooperation between two and utilise each other’s assets for training and sports.

Key Highlights

  • Objective: to promote bilateral cooperation between the ICG and Assam Rifles in field of exchange of information and personnel and to build-up camaraderie for training in sports, adventure and sustainable development.
  • Significance: This affiliation charted will facilitate the ‘Sentinels of the North East’ (Assam Rifles) to interact with ‘Sentinels of the Seas’ (Indian Coast Guard) on professional as well as social platforms and share their rich experiences and best practices.
  • Importance: The two Armed Forces will benefit from motivating one another towards common goals. Assam Rifles personnel will be able to understand oddity of Maritime Service (ICG) and role played by them in guarding and intercepting anti-national forces and non-state actors who are detrimental to maritime and coastal security. Similarly, ICG personnel will be able to understand the operational ethos of Assam Rifles while working along the Indo-Myanmar border.

About Assam Rifles

  • It is India’s oldest Para Military Force. It has a rich history of valour, courage and tradition. It has 46 Battalions deployed at Indo-Myanmar border and for countering the insurgency in north east states.
  • 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion Assam Rifles: is oldest battalion of the Para Military force. It was raised in 1835 as ‘The Cachar Levy’ for guarding Eastern Frontier of Assam from Brahmaputra river to Cachar Hills and comprised of 750 personnel of all ranks. At present, the battalion is developed at Kohima (Nagaland capital) where in past it bravely fought against Japan in World War-II and stopped their advance into India.

About ICG Ship ‘Shaurya’

  • Indian Coast Guard is one of youngest Armed Force under Ministry of Defence and is responsible for safeguarding the maritime interest of India. It has 142 ships & 62 aircraft in total.
  • The ICG Ship ‘Shaurya’ is built indigenously at Goa Shipyard Limited. It is a modern state-of-the-art 105 mtrs long Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) which was on August12, 2017 and is based in Chennai.
  • The word ‘Shaurya’ means courage. This is thus a projection of ICG’s commitment ‘To Serve & Protect’ maritime interest of the country.
  • It is extensively developed for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter.

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Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vigraha decommissioned

The Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Vigraha was decommissioned at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The decommissioning ceremony was attended by eight former Commanding Officers who had been at the helm of the ship, along with former and the present crew.

About ICGS Vigraha

  • Service: It is a frontline offshore patrol vessel (OPV). It was commissioned into service on April 12, 1990. It has played an instrumental role in protecting east coast of India for 29 years of service from 1990 to 2019.
  • Builder: It was the seventh OPV built by Mazagaon Dock Ltd, Mumbai. It was first of its class among other OPVs of third series. It was later based at Visakhapatnam and since then it had been instrumental in protecting east coast in general and Andhra Pradesh coast in particular.
  • It was also leased to Sri Lankan Navy on a dry lease from August 2008 to January 2011. Later, it was re-inducted into Indian Coast Guard (IGC) in January 2019 after which it was continuously based at Visakhapatnam.
  • It played an important role in execution of assigned missions in seafronts of Coast Guard Regions where ever it was based like of Mumbai in West, Porbandar in North West and Visakhapatnam in East.
  • Participated: in major coast guard operations involving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, pollution response, anti-poaching, repatriation, joint exercises and search and rescue, among others.
  • During its Vigraha has been instrumental in saving many lives at sea and also helped in apprehending many poachers and smugglers. It most prominent laurel was 275 kg silver haul.

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