INDIA. Mumbai: Indian Naval Ship Trikand, deployed for Anti-Piracy Operations, participated in the maiden IN – EUNAVFOR Joint Naval two-day Exercise in the Gulf of Aden held on Friday and Saturday.
A total of five warships from four navies participated in the exercise. Other warships included- Italian Navy Ship ITS Carabinere, Spanish Navy Ship ESPS Navarra, and two French Navy Ship FS Tonnerre and FS Surcouf.
The two-day exercise witnessed high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, cross deck helicopter operations, tactical manoeuvres, boarding operations, underway replenishment, Search & Rescue, Man Overboard drills, and other maritime security operations, a Defence spokesman Commander Mehul Karnik stated in a release.
Ships of the four navies endeavoured to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills and their ability as an integrated force to promote, peace, security, and stability in the maritime domain. A virtual “Information sharing Exercise” was also conducted between the Indian Navy Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region and Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa.
EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy converge on multiple issues including counter-piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme (UN WFP). Indian Navy and EUNAVFOR also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and De-confliction) meetings held annually in Bahrain. This engagement showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination, and inter-operability between IN and EUNAVFOR. It also underscores the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive, and rules-based international order, the Navy statement added.
IAF’s combined graduation parade
In another development combined graduation parade was held at Air Force Academy Dundigal in Telangana on Saturday. Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria reviewed the passing out parade. The IAF chief was received by Air Marshal RD Mathur, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Coaching Command, and Air Marshal IP Vipin, Commandant, AFA.
It was a jubilant and momentous occasion for 161 flight cadets of flying and ground duty branches who were commissioned as officers in the Indian Air Force during the parade. They included 31 girl candidates. Humble and wealthy backgrounds aside, the cadets who attained their IAF colours had one massive ambition – serving the motherland, an IAF statement said.
The spotlight of the parade was the ‘Pipping Ceremony’ through which the graduating flight cadets donned their ‘Stripes’ and were ‘Wings’ & ‘Brevets’ by the air chief. Six officers from the Indian Navy and five officers from the Indian Coast Guard were also awarded ‘Wings’ on successful completion of their flying training. The newly commissioned officers were administered the ‘Oath’ by the Commandant in presence of the Reviewing Officer and dignitaries.
Flying Officer Prajwal Anil Kulkarni from the Flying department was awarded the President’s Plaque in addition to the Chief of the Air Workers Sword of Honour for standing first in the total order of benefit within the Pilots’ Course. Flying Officer Kritika Kulhari was awarded the President’s Plaque for being first in the total order of benefit in Floor Responsibility branches.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria reviewed the parade and conferred the President’s Fee upon the graduating flight cadets. Addressing the parade, he recommended the AFA and different coaching institutions for well-timed completion of the coaching regardless of extreme COVID-19 constraints. He commended that the academy achieved a milestone by reaching over 20,500 flying hours within the last year- the – best record in Academy’s historical past.
The grand ceremony culminated with the newly commissioned officers stepping out in a sluggish march to the standard notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne; as they obtained their first salute from the junior course. They then marched past the saluting dais beginning marking the start of their flying journey.
The event had a spectacular aerobatic display by Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team, Sarang Helicopter Display Team, Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II, and Para jumping by the Akash Ganga Team apart from an immaculate fly past formations by Hawk, Kiran, Pilatus aircraft, and Chetak helicopters. In addition, a show by Sarang, Suryakirans, and Akash Ganga Sky Diving staff added color to the parade.