10 years after 26/11, Indian Navy launches biggest coastal defence exercise

IANSUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 03:11 AM IST
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Mumbai: Over a decade after the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, the Indian Navy has launched “Sea Vigil”, a first of its kind and biggest coastal two-day defence exercise off the 7,516-km-long Indian coastline, involving all 13 coastal states, Union Territories and maritime stakeholders including fisherfolk, a spokesperson said here on Tuesday. The Sea Vigil exercise will comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of all coastal security measures since the terror strike of November 8, 2008 in Mumbai.

The seaward monitoring will entail patrolling off-coast, in offshore development areas and off islands, strategic assets, ports, single-point moorings by multiple agencies, using technical means and intelligence sources. The shore-based monitoring will include enhanced vigil by the states’ police along the coasts, fish landing centres and monitoring port areas by the respective port authorities. Aiming to simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism on the entire coast, the exercise will cover a wide frontage covering for the first time on the entire coast including the island territories, go deeper, spread over seaward, coastal and hinterland.

It will also evaluate critical areas and processes including inter-agency coordination, information-sharing and technical surveillance, multi-agency audits, identification of gaps, shortfalls and incorporation of lessons learnt into SOPs, resulting in a realistic assessment of strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis maritime and national security. The scale of the exercise Sea Vigil is described as “unprecedented” in terms of geographical extent, number of stakeholders involved, number of participating units, terms of objectives and involvement of multiple ministries like Home, Defence, Shipping, Petroleum & Gas, Fisheries, Customs, state governments and other central-state agencies.

The two-day exercise will serve as a build-up to the major theatre-level tri-service exercise, TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise) conducted by the Indian Navy every two years.

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