Indian Coast Guard Conducts Coastal Exercise Sagar Kavach in Kerala

A three-day coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ was conducted off the coast of Kerala, Mahe and Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands to assess the preparedness of all agencies towards dealing with an asymmetric threat emanating from the sea.

The Headquarters Coast Guard District No 4 (Kerala) and the Headquarters Coast Guard District No 12 (Lakshadweep & Minicoy) conducted the exercise from April 24 to 26.

Objective

The exercise was aimed at enhancing synergy between various stake-holders through sharing of information and resources of various agencies involved in the field of coastal security.

It helped to assess the preparedness of all agencies towards dealing with an asymmetric threat emanating from the sea. It also helped in validating the standard operating procedures to strengthen the coastal security mechanism.

Equipments Involved

4 ships and 3 Fast Interceptor Craft (FICs) of Indian Navy, 5 ships of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Dornier aircraft were deployed off Kerala and L&M coast.

Boats and personnel from Coastal Police, Marine Enforcement Wing (MEW), Central Industrial Security Force, Customs, Fisheries department and Port authorities also actively participated in the exercise.

In all, the exercise saw participation of 3 ships of India Navy, 10 of ICG, 4 fishing boats, besides 20 coastal police stations from Vizhinjam to Kasaragod. Extensive aerial surveillance of the coastal waters was also carried out by aircraft to detect the opposing force.

Results of The Exercise

The exercise provided seamless seaward cover along coast by all concerned security agencies from coastal belt area to limit of territorial waters i.e. 12 nautical miles. The exercise assessed effectiveness of coastal fishing community in serving as ‘eye and ears’ for early warnings of a seaward threat.

It tested intelligence and infiltration alertness and preparedness of stakeholders, including people. It provided all concerned stakeholders an opportunity to fine tune standard operating procedures and test new operation concepts for coastal security.

Review by FOC-in-C SNC

Vice Adm AR Karve, PVSM, AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command, who is also the Commander-in-Chief, Coastal Defence, reviewed the progress of the exercise with all concerned stakeholders on 25 April 2018 at the Joint Operations Centre, Kochi. Representatives of participating agencies attended the review.

Conclusion

During this exercise, important issues, such as multi-layer security, security of harbours and installations, requirement of boats for patrolling and training of coastal police personnel were discussed. The exercise concluded on the morning of 26 April 2018. An analysis of the exercise is in progress by all agencies with the aim of further strengthening the coastal security architecture.

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