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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Maritime security, coastal defence exercise begins

The Navy said Sea Vigil 2021, a biennial exercise that began in January 2019.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: January 12, 2021 1:37:06 am
The Navy said Sea Vigil 2021, a biennial exercise that began in January 2019.

The Navy will coordinate the second edition of the coastal defence exercise on January 12 and 13. It will be undertaken along the entire coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.

The Navy said Sea Vigil 2021, a biennial exercise that began in January 2019, “will be undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and will involve all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities”.

The Navy said in a statement on Monday that the “scale and conceptual expanse of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met”.

The exercise, it said, “is a build up towards the major Theatre-level exercise TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise)” conducted by the Navy every two years.

“Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict,” the Navy said, and added that “assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will participate” in Sea Vigil, and its conduct is “also being facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State”.

The Navy stated that while “smaller scale exercises are conducted in coastal states regularly, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at national-level is aimed to serve a larger purpose” as it “provides opportunity, at the apex level, to assess our preparedness in the domain of maritime security and coastal defence”.

It said Sea Vigil 21 “will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security”.

The statement said “the entire coastal security set up was reorganised after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai which was launched via the sea route”.

Apart from the Navy, the Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, National Security Guard, the Border Security Force, oil handling agencies and airports will participate in the exercise.

Captain Ajay Yadav, Command Coastal Security Officer at the Western Naval Command headquarters, said the effectiveness of the fishing community in serving as the eyes and ears for early warning of threats will also be assessed during the exercise.

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