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Navy to conduct two-day mega drill from today

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 

New Delhi, Jan 11: The Indian Navy will kick-start Tuesday a two•day multi-agency military ex-ercise covering India’s 7,516 km-long coastline, involving 13 coastal states and Union lerritories, to fur-ther bolster maritime security and surveillance, officials said.

 Billed as India’s largest coastal defence drill, the second edition of exercise ‘Sea Vigil’ is being or-ganised to check the efficacy of the measures initiated to plug gaps in coastal security following the Mumbai terror attack in 2008, they said.”The scale and conceptual ex-panse of the exercise is unprece-dented in terms of the geographi-cal extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the num-ber of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met,” the Indian Navy said.

 “The exer-cise will provide a realistic as-sessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security” it added. Officials said Indian Navy will deploy a sizeable number of its ships and other key assets in the Sea Vigil exercise. The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard have taken a series of measures to bolster India’s coastal security after the Mumbai terror attack in which over 166 people including 28 foreigners from 10 nations were killed by a group of Pakistani terrorist.

On November 26, 2008, a group of 10 Pakistani terrorists carried out the coordinated attack on a railway station, two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre, after they sneaked into India’s financial cap-ital using the sea route in the Arabian sea. The inaugural edi-tion of the Sea Vigil exercise took place in January 2019. The exercise is taking piaci. at a time whenIndia and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh. In sync with the national security doctrine, the Indian Navy signifi-cantly increased its deployment of warships, submarines and other assets in the Indian Ocean Region, in an attempt to send across a mes-sage to China that Indian armed forces are fully prepared to deal with any challenge. The two-day drill is a build-up towards Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) which the Indian Navy conducts every two years, officials said.

 “Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, in-cluding transition from peace to conflict. Assets of the Indian Navy Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will participate in Sea Vigil,” the Navy said. 

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