West­ern Fleet Ships on Flag Show­ing Mis­sion

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in a DEMON­STRA­TION of in­dias com­mit­ment to its ties with South africa and to the mar­itime se­cu­rity in the in­dian ocean re­gion, in­dian naval ships Kolkata, trikand and aditya un­der the com­mand of the flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing West­ern Fleet, Rear ad­mi­ral ravneet Singh, NM have vis­ited Dur­ban, South africa, on Septem­ber 20, 2016, for a three-day visit. the ships were part of the in­dian navys West­ern fleet based at Mum­bai un­der the West­ern naval com­mand and were on a two-month-long deployment to the West­ern in­dian ocean. enroute to South africa the ships also vis­ited; antsir­anana in Mada­gas­car, Port Louis in Mau­ri­tius, Dar-es-Salaam in tanzania, Mom­basa in Kenya and Maputo in Mozam­bique. INS Kolkata is com­manded by cap­tain rahul Vi­las Gokhale, INS trikand is com­manded by cap­tain ar­jun Dev nair and INS aditya is com­manded by cap­tain Vidyan­shu Sri­vas­tava.

Dur­ing the visit, the war­ships were en­gaged in pro­fes­sional in­ter­ac­tions with the South african naval (San) forces for en­hanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion and shar­ing the nu­ances of naval op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing com­bat­ing mar­itime threats of ter­ror­ism and piracy. calls on se­nior gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary au­thor­i­ties, train­ing and tech­ni­cal coop- er­a­tion mea­sures with San, sport­ing and cul­tural in­ter­ac­tions, aimed at strength­en­ing ties and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two forces, were also planned.

in­dia and South africa have very close and cor­dial po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic re­la­tions with a size­able set­tle­ment of peo­ple of in­dian ori­gin in South africa. the fre­quent cross vis­its by high level del­e­ga­tions in­clud­ing the heads of State have fur­ther strength­ened the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. the re­cently con­cluded visit of Prime Min­is­ter naren­dra Modi pro­vided fresh im­pe­tus to the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries. co­op­er­a­tion in the field of de­fence, es­pe­cially mar­itime se­cu­rity and train­ing has been iden­ti­fied as a key av­enue for pro­mot­ing such ties. the last visit by an in­dian naval ship to South africa was in novem­ber 2014, when in­dian naval ship teg made port call at Si­mons town and cape town as part of ex­er­cise iBSaMar, a tri­lat­eral mar­itime ex­er­cise in­volv­ing navies of Brazil, in­dia and South africa. San also par­tic­i­pated in in­ter­na­tional fleet re­view hosted by in­dia in fe­bru­ary 2016 and was rep­re­sented by San ship Spi­oenkop. the re­cent visit was aimed to strengthen the ex­ist­ing bonds of friend­ship be­tween in­dia and South africa and un­der­score in­dias peace­ful pres­ence and sol­i­dar­ity with friendly coun­tries of the re­gion.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

INS Kolkata in Dur­ban

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