India’s first Training Squadron (comprising Indian Naval Ships Sujata, Magar, Shardul, Sudarshini, Tarangini and Coast Guard Ship Vikram) is on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka as part of their Overseas Deployment for the 100th and 101st Integrated Officers Training Course.
The deployment was aimed to broaden the horizons of young officers and officer-trainees by exposing them to the socio-political and maritime facets of different countries in the Indian Ocean Region, said a senior officer of the Defence Ministry.
The deployment would also expose the trainees onboard towards the conduct of IN warships in various evolutions at sea, port familiarisation and above all, foster the bridges of friendship with foreign nations.
The ships are part of Southern Naval Command (SNC), which is the Training Command of the Indian Navy and is headed by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command (SNC), the Defence Ministry said.
The Indian Navy has been imparting training to international trainees for more than four decades now. As of date, a large number of officers and sailors from Sri Lanka are undergoing various ab-initio to advanced courses at SNC.
The Command has gained the reputation of being the finest training destination by maintaining a focussed approach to provide high-quality training and by constant adaptation to evolving tactics and technologies, the Ministry said.
The 1st Training Squadron based at Kochi provides the ‘first sea legs’ to the Executive Officers of the Indian Navy on completion of their ab-initio training at the Indian Naval Academy. The Squadron comprises seven indigenously built ships, namely, Indian Naval Ships Tir, Sujata, Magar, Shardul, Coast Guard Ship Vikram and two Sail Training Ships INS Sudarshini and INS Tarangini. The Squadron is currently helmed by Captain Aftab Ahmed Khan, Senior Officer First Training Squadron who also dons the dual hat of Commanding Officer, INS Tir.
During the four days long deployment in ships, Magar and Shardul along with trainees of 101 IOTC will visit the Colombo harbour, while IN ships Sujata, Sudarshini, Tarangini and CGS Vikram will visit Trincomalee with the trainees of 100th IOTC. Various training activities are planned to be conducted between the Navies of the two countries with the aim to enhance the interoperability of the two forces.
The period of Overseas Deployment would help in developing the skills of seamanship and ship handling and nurture a spirit of adventure among the young officers. It will, not only develop the ability to meet challenges with verve and vigour, but also inculcate a deep understanding of, and respect for, the elements within the maritime environment. The entire crew of all the visiting ships are doubly vaccinated and have also been tested for COVID-19.