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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Royal New Zealand Navy Chief’s India Visit Sparks Maritime Collaboration

The visit of Rear Admiral Proctor marks a significant milestone in the burgeoning maritime cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Rear Admiral David Proctor, Chief of Navy for the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), embarked on an official visit to India from February 19 to 27, 2024, in a bid to bolster bilateral maritime ties between the two nations. His visit holds significant promise for enhancing cooperation in various realms of naval operations and strategic engagements.

Upon his arrival, Rear Admiral Proctor engaged in a pivotal meeting with Admiral R Hari Kumar, the Chief of the Naval Staff for the Indian Navy, in New Delhi on February 20.

The meeting served as a platform to deliberate on avenues to fortify bilateral maritime cooperation, with a keen focus on augmenting operational engagements, facilitating training exchanges, and fostering seamless information sharing mechanisms between the two naval forces.

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As a customary gesture, Rear Admiral Proctor received a warm welcome, including the prestigious Guard of Honour, on the South Block Lawns in New Delhi. This ceremonial reception underscored the significance attached to his visit and symbolized the mutual respect and camaraderie shared between the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Indian Navy.

The highlight of Rear Admiral Proctor’s itinerary includes his participation in the Indian Navy’s Flagship Exercise MILAN 24, scheduled to take place in Visakhapatnam. This exercise serves as a premier platform for naval cooperation and interaction among participating countries, fostering interoperability and enhancing maritime security in the region.

Additionally, Rear Admiral Proctor is slated to undertake high-level engagements at the Western Naval Command, further deepening strategic ties between the two navies.

The visit of Rear Admiral Proctor marks a significant milestone in the burgeoning maritime cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

The foundation for this enhanced collaboration was laid during the Chief of Naval Staff’s visit to New Zealand in October 2022, which culminated in the conclusion of a Technical Arrangement on White Shipping Information Exchange—an agreement aimed at bolstering maritime domain awareness and promoting maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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Moreover, both navies have witnessed a steady increase in bilateral interactions, with regular port calls by warships at each other’s ports. Notably, the Indian Navy’s INS Kolkata and INS Sahyadri made port calls at Auckland and Wellington in September 2023, reaffirming the commitment to strengthening naval cooperation and fostering goodwill between the two nations.

Furthermore, naval exercises such as Passing Exercises (PASSEX) conducted by Indian Navy ships with the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Royal New Zealand Air Force in the Tasman Sea post-departure, underscore the shared commitment to enhancing operational interoperability and readiness in the maritime domain.

As Rear Admiral David Proctor’s visit unfolds, it is expected to further invigorate the robust maritime partnership between India and New Zealand, paving the way for enhanced cooperation in maritime security, counter-piracy operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief efforts, thereby contributing to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

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Pratham Gurung
Pratham Gurung
An avid movie buff who aspires to make it into the armed forces. Always had a knack for words so reading and writing are my favourite hobbies. Can debate on anything but not everything.
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