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Indian Navy completes three-day exercise off Vizag coast

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A file photo. Photo: Indian Navy.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy Friday completed a three-day exercise off the coast of Vishakhapatnam to plug any possible loopholes in its coastal-security network in the post 26/11 scenario.

"The exercise has further strengthened our coastal security preparedness. The basic purpose of the exercise was to check on-ground coordination between all the stake holders of maritime and coastal security network," Navy officials said here.

During the exercise, naval vessels conducted manoeuvres and drills to coordinate efforts of agencies involved in maritime security to keep an eye over maritime routes and suspicious fishing vessels.

These vessels also practised their response to any 26/11 type attack on coastal cities. The exercise was coordinated by the Joint Operations Centre headed by the Navy there.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister A K Antony while addressing the Naval Commanders Conference here, had asked the Navy to conduct regular drills and exercises to plug all the loopholes in maritime and coastal security network.

"Several security exercises and awareness drives have been conducted by the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine police of coastal states to sensitise the fishing community about threats from the sea. Such exercises must be replicated as frequently as possible," Antony had said.

Meanwhile, addressing the conference today, Admiral Nirmal Verma highlighted the role of Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

"Navy has continued to maintain and sustain a high operational tempo while dealing with a large number of tasks and missions, including anti-piracy and coastal security operations," he said.

Verma said these responsibilities are in addition to the traditional missions and tasks performed by the Navy which includes overseas deployments and bilateral exercises-cum- surveillance missions in the IOR.

He told the Naval commanders that the primary challenge confronting the Navy was to balance its resources, build human capital and a requisite strategy so as to be responsive to the full spectrum of operations.

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