Tha Navy conducted various navy exercises and operations with friendly foreign countries in 2016. In all, over 14 Naval events were held during the past year. Some of these are:
- IFR 2016 – Passage Exercise: The International Fleet Review 2016, conducted at Visakhapatnam from 4 to 8 February 2016, culminated with Indian and foreign Naval ships undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Bay of Bengal on 9 February 2016. 54 ships that had participated in IFR-16 sailed out from Visakhapatnam in the first ever PASSEX with the combined participation of foreign and Indian warships.
- Exercise RIMPAC: Exercise RIMPAC is the largest multilateral naval exercise in the world and is held biennially in the Western Pacific Ocean. Indian Navy’s association with Ex RIMPAC commenced with participation as an ‘Observer’ in 2006, 2010 and 2012. In 2014, Indian Navy participation was enhanced with the deployment of the Indian Naval ship Sahyadri in the 24th edition of the exercise. INS Satpura arrived in Hawaii on 30 June 2016 to participate in the 25th edition of Exercise RIMPAC.
- Assistance to Sri Lanka: Two Indian Navy warships, INS Sutlej and INS Sunayna, were deployed to Sri-Lanka on 20 May 2016 to provide assistance consequent to the calamity caused due to cyclone “Roanu”. The ships sailed from Kochi with 30 to 40 tonnes of relief material which included inflatable rafts, fresh water, medical supplies, clothing and other provisions necessary for disaster relief operations and reached Colombo on 21 May 2016. A Chetak helicopter was also deployed.
The various bilateral exercises conducted with various countries are:
- Exercise Malabar – 2016: In consonance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and growing relations with India, US and Japan, Indian Navy Ships Satpura, Shakti and Kirch participated in the 20th Edition of Ex Malabar – 2016 with the US Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). The exercise was conducted from 14 to 17 June 2016 at Sasebo, Japan, with the harbour phase at Sasebo from 10 to 13 June 2016 and the sea phase in the Pacific Ocean from 14 to 17 June 2016.
- Nassem – Al – Bahr: The Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman conducted their 10th bilateral maritime exercise Nassem-Al-Bahr from 22 to 27 January 2016. This epitomises the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries. The exercise has matured over the years with increasing scope, complexity of operations and level of participation in the Arabian Sea.
- ADMM Plus Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism: The Indian Navy has been a regular participant in maritime exercises conducted by the ADMM countries. ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting (ADMM) Plus Ex MS & CT is a multinational exercise under the aegis of ADMM Plus consortium. The current edition commenced at Brunei and culminated at Singapore, with various drills and exercises in the South China Sea. During the exercise, the Indian Navy engaged with navies from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, Republic of Korea and US. INS Airavat participated in the ADMM Plus Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism (Ex MS & CT) from 1 to 9 May 2016.
- Coordinated Patrol and India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise: INS Karmuk, an indigenously built missile corvette, based under the Andaman and Nicobar Command, along with a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft participated in the 28th India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol and Second Bilateral Maritime Exercise, from 10 to 27 October 2016 in the Andaman Sea.
The Indian Navy is also deployed in overseas operations like:
- Deployment of P8i to Seychelles for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance: The Indian Navy deployed a P8i maritime reconnaissance aircraft to Seychelles from 20 to 23 March 2016, for surveillance in the EEZ of Seychelles.
- Indo–Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR): The fourth edition of the India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCO) was undertaken from 13 to 16 February 2016 along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Andaman Sea.
- Deployment to Mauritius: INS Tabar, a stealth frigate visited Port Louis, Mauritius from 10 to 13 March 2016. The primary aim of the visit was to participate in the Mauritius National Day celebrations and to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between the two nations.
- Ships of First Training Squadron visit Thailand and Sri Lanka: Indian Naval Ships Tir, Sujata, Sail Training Ship (STS) Sudarshini along with Indian Coast Guard Ship Varuna, comprising the 1st Training Squadron visited Phuket, Thailand and Colombo, Sri Lanka from 4 to 8 April 2016 and 15 to 19 April 2016 respectively, as part of Overseas Deployment during Spring Term 2016.
- ALH detachment to Male: One Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter MK III was deployed in Maldives on 27 April 2016. The helicopter assisted MNDF for undertaking Search and Rescue, Casualty Evacuation, Coastal Surveillance, Maritime Reconnaissance, Communication and Logistic duties.
- INSV Mhadei sails to Mauritius with an All Women Crew: The Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Mhadei (INSV Mhadei) sailed from Goa with an all-women crew for a voyage to Port Louis, Mauritius on 24 May 2016. The boat was skippered by Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi (a Naval Constructor). This was the first open-ocean voyage of the Navy’s all-women crew of Mhadei, who are currently training to undertake a circumnavigation of the globe in 2017.
- Visit of Indian Warships: As part of ‘Act East Policy’, Indian Warships also visited Malaysia, The Philippines and Vietnam during the year.