INS Trikand mission deployed for Anti-Piracy Operations is participating in the maiden IN – EU NAVFOR Joint Naval Exercise in the Gulf of Aden commencing today. Five warships from four navies are participating in the exercise on 18th and 19th June 2021. Other warships include Italian Navy Ship ITS Carabinere, Spanish Navy Ship ESPS Navarra, and two French Navy Ship FS Tonnerre and FS Surcouf.
The two day exercise includes advanced air defence, anti-submarine, cross deck helicopter, tactical manoeuvres, boarding operations, underway replenishment, Search & Rescue, Man Overboard drills, and other maritime security operations. Concurrently, a virtual “Information sharing Exercise” is also being conducted between the Indian Navy Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region and Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa on 18 June 21.
“This engagement showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination and inter-operability between IN and EUNAVFOR. It also underscores the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive and a rules-based international order,” said the Indian navy release.
EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy have commonalities on multiple issues including counter piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme (UN WFP). Indian Navy and EUNAVFOR also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and De-confliction) meetings held annually in Bahrain.
European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) or the Operation ATALANTA maintains anti-piracy, anti-drugs, illegal shipping and anti weapons smuggling operations in the coast of Somalia.
In 2019, the Talwar Class frigate INS Trikand participated in the exercise Cutlass Express in which the EU NAVFOR had also participated. Indian navy personnel were hosted by the FS Cassard during the event.
In 2018, INS Sunayna was the first vessel to respond to the escort request by EU NAVFOR and escorted a WFP dhow transporting 360 tons of food aid from Bossaaso to Berbera, in northern Somalia.