Indo-Sin­ga­pore bi­lat­eral naval ex­er­cise SIMBEX held


Ashok Ku­mar Gupta (1981 batch Tamil Nadu cadre) who was Spe­cial Sec­re­tary in the Depart­ment of De­fence Pro­duc­tion has taken over as the new Sec­re­tary (De­fence Pro­duc­tion), suc­ceed­ing G. Mo­han Ku­mar. Gupta is a post-grad­u­ate in public ad­min­is­tra­tion from Syra­cuse Univer­sity (USA) and an M.Phil de­gree holder in de­fence and strate­gic stud­ies from Madras Univer­sity.

He has worked in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties in dif­fer­ent min­istries and de­part­ments in­clud­ing Health and Fam­ily Wel­fare, De­fence, In­dus­try and Com­merce, Small Scale In­dus­tries, Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment, Per­son­nel and Ship­ping.

The In­dian Navy’s Eastern Fleet un­der the com­mand of Rear Ad­mi­ral Ajen­dra Ba­hadur Singh, Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing Eastern Fleet, is on an op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment to South In­dian Ocean and South China Sea. As a part of this de­ploy­ment, INS Sat­pura, in­dige­nously-built guided mis­sile stealth frigate, com­manded by Cap­tain Hari Kr­ish­nan and INS Kamorta, the latest and in­dige­nous anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare corvette, com­manded by Com­man­der Manoj Ku­mar Jha had ar­rived at Sin­ga­pore on May 18, 2015. These ships par­tic­i­pated in IMDEX-15 and also the bi­lat­eral naval ex­er­cise SIMBEX-15 with Sin­ga­pore Navy from May 23-26, 2015.

Op­er­a­tional in­ter­ac­tion be­tween In­dian Navy and RSN com­menced with ASW train­ing ex­er­cises in 1994, which has grown steadily over the past 20 years. The op­er­a­tional in­ter­ac­tion was for­malised as an an­nual bi­lat­eral ex­er­cise ‘SIMBEX’ in 1999. Since its in­cep­tion, SIMBEX has grown in tac­ti­cal and op­er­a­tional com­plex­ity. It has tran­scended the tra­di­tional em­pha­sis on ASW to more com­plex mar­itime ex­er­cises, in­volv­ing var­i­ous facets of Naval oper­a­tions such as Air De­fence, Air and Sur­face Prac­tice Fir­ing, Mar­itime Se­cu­rity and Search and Res­cue. SIMBEX-14 was con­ducted from May 22-28, 2014, off Port Blair in which RSN ships Val­our and In­de­pen­dence par­tic­i­pated, while In­dian Navy was rep­re­sented by guided mis­sile corvettes Kar­muk, Kuthar and mar­itime pa­trol air­craft Dornier. This year In­dian Navy is rep­re­sented by INS Sat­pura with in­te­gral he­li­copter, INS Kamorta and long-range mar­itime re­con­nais­sance anti-sub­ma­rine (LRMRASW) air­craft P-8I.

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