INDIA. Mumbai: Indian Naval Ship Talwar is participating in the multinational maritime exercise “Cutlass Express 2021” (CE 21), aimed at improving regional cooperation, being conducted till August 06, in Kenya in East Africa.
The opening ceremony was held at the Seychelles Coast Guard Academy in Victoria, on July 26. Maritime forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe, North America, and several international organizations are participating in this exercise.
In the harbour phase, which was conducted from July 26 to July 28 at Mombasa, a team of Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOS) conducted training of personnel from navies of Kenya, Djibouti, Mozambique, Cameroon, and Coast Guard of Georgia. The MARCOS shared the best practices in executing Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) operations with the participating foreign Navy sailors during the exercise, which was held at the Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa, a Defence spokesman Commander Mehul Karnik told the “Transcontinental Times”.
Exercise Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African, and Western Indian Ocean nations to counter illicit maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean.
Cutlass Express is a US Naval Forces Africa-led, all-domain exercise in East African coastal regions and the West Indian Ocean. The exercise is linked to US Central Command’s international maritime exercise to counter malign influence, aggression, and activity along overlapping command seams and maritime regions.
The exercise sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is taking place, in the vicinity of Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, and Seychelles. It is designed to improve regional cooperation in support of the Djibouti Code of Conduct, maritime domain awareness, information sharing between maritime operation centres, maritime interdiction, adherence to the rule of law, and counter-proliferation interdiction capabilities to disrupt illicit maritime activity and strengthen safety and security in East Africa.
The 13 participating nations include : Comoros, Djibouti, Georgia, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The exercise began with an in-port training period followed by at-sea scenarios and will conclude with a senior leadership symposium. The underway portion of the exercise tests the ship’s abilities to conduct maritime interdiction operations by boarding teams against simulated suspect vessels, detecting illicit activity, and follow-on evidence collection procedures.
The previous iteration of the exercise, Cutlass Express 19.2, was the second iteration in 2019 that took place in the Western Indian Ocean. Maritime forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe, North America, and many international organizations participated in the exercise conducted in the vicinity of Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles, for nearly 3 weeks in October and November.