Indian Navy in Seychelles
The Indian Navy participated in its maiden exercise with the Bahrain-based multilateral partnership Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) as an associate partner earlier this week. At the India-U.S. 2+2 in April this year, India had announced that it would join the CMF as an associate partner.“ INS Sunayana participated in the capacity building exercise Operation Southern Readiness conducted by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) at Seychelles from September 24 to 27,” the Navy said in a statement. “This is the maiden participation of an Indian Navy ship in a CMF exercise.”
As part of the interactive sessions attended by representatives of the participating countries, a training lecture on maritime domain awareness was conducted by the Indian Navy, the statement said. “A live demonstration on visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations was also conducted onboard HMS Montrose led by the Seychelles special forces with close support from the Indian naval team,” it added.
The event witnessed by Wavel Ramkalawan, President of Seychelles, and senior officials of member countries of the CMF, the statement said. The joint training exercise was attended by representative delegations from the U.S., Italy, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and ship participation from the U.K., Spain and India.Joining the CMF is the latest in a series of multilateral engagements by the Indian Navy as part of India’s widening military diplomacy. In July, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sanjay Mahindru visited the headquarters of the CMF which marked the initiation of the Indian Navy’s “associate support” to the CMF.