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Amphibious exercise conducted off Gujarat Coast

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Hundreds of Infantry soldiers rushing towards simulated enemy targets at Madhavpur beach, Gujarat, during Exercise Tropex-09, a joint services exercise by the Army, Navy and the Air Force, on February 9, 2009. PIB photo

AHMEDABAD (BNS): The Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force jointly conducted the largest-ever Amphibious Exercise codenamed ‘Exercise Tropex-2009’ at Madhavpur beach, Gujarat, on Monday. The amphibious landing, the most complex of all military manoeuvres involving coordination and synergy from conceptualisation to planning and final execution was ably demonstrated on the shores of Madhavpur by the forces. The Coast Guard was also a part of this short, swift and intense conflict.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defence, it stated that the pre-assault operations of planning, mobilisation and embarkation had been achieved at Karwar, when the Amphibious Task Force sailed from Karwar on Thursday last and landed on the shores of Madhavpur on Monday using the newly inducted Landing Platform Dock (LPD) INS Jalashwa, several Landing Ship Tank Large {LST (L)}, fleet ships with their integral helicopters, shore-based aircraft and submarines from the Indian Navy and Hovercraft of the Coast Guard. This is the first time the Joint Doctrine on Amphibious Warfare of the Indian Armed Forces which was formulated last year was put into practice with its full scope. As a precursor to the present operation, a tri-service landing operation, 'TRIVENI' was conducted at Lakshadweep Islands in early January this year.

Air support is critical to any amphibious operations since mortars and artillery are not available abinitio on landing. HQ Southern Western Air Command deployed its Jaguars which can carry a large array of weapons, flying at 200 feet pulled up and carried out rocket attacks with pin-point accuracy on simulated enemy targets. MiG 29 aircraft with its state of the art radar and ultra modern missiles carried out Combat Air Patrol over Madhavpur to out-manoeuvre incoming enemy aircraft.

The statement said that tanks, armoured personnel carriers and infantry troops of 91 Infantry Brigade of the Sudarshan Chakra Corps were carried in both stand-off and hard beaching modes. Deployment of troops exploiting third dimension, i.e. airborne and heliborne formed an integral part of the exercise. AN-32 aircraft para-dropped troopers and followed by slithering operations by MI-8 helicopters to deploy troops at the assault area. Troops in waves emerged from the sea and carried out effective assaults on the beach of Madhavpur. The defensive layout depicting the enemy was from the Golden Katar Division of the Indian Army.

The exercise exhibited high level of coordination and synergy between the Armed Forces to carry out such swift and intense conflict during military operations. It also provided tremendous training value through the testing of human and material endurance, execution of organisational and logistics plans and finally delivering the punch in a mock battle.

Air Marshal KD Singh, AOC in C, South Western Air Command, Vice Admiral JS Bedi, FOC in C, Western Naval Command and Lieutenant General Pradeep Khanna, GOC in C, Southern Command and other senior military officers from the three services were present to witness the exercise.

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