Mumbai: Exercise Sea Vigil — A historic endeavour

Mumbai: Exercise Sea Vigil, India’s largest-ever Coastal Defence Exercise was conducted over an intense 36-hour period from Jan 22-23. Exercise Sea – Vigil conceptualised and led by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard saw the simultaneous activation of India’s entire Coastal Security apparatus across all nine Coastal States and four Union Territories.

The exercise saw the complete support and earnest participation of all Central and State agencies including the MHA, MoD, Customs, CISF, Dept of Fisheries, DGLL, DG Shipping, Port authorities and the Coastal police of all participating states.

Planned in two phases, the Phase I commenced with the deployment of personnel and sea-going units of all stakeholders. 150 ships and 35 aircraft of the Navy and Coast Guard were deployed for the exercise. This when added to sea-going assets of other stakeholders like the State police, CISF, Customs etc reaches an astonishing 500-600 craft at sea.

This layered defence provided a near-unbroken *’Nigrani’* or surveillance net along the entire coast of India and outlying islands. This was further enhanced by the Chain of radar stations setup along the coast as part of the Coastal surveillance network. All this was fed back to the Joint Operations Centres set up by the Navy at Mumbai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair for monitoring, analysis and response.

The uniform and technical surveillance network was further augmented by the fishing communities along the coast as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the nation’s coastal security construct. The Phase I also saw an intensive audit of all measures put in place since 26/11 to improve the measures of efficiency and effectiveness of coastal security.

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