Maldives faced a national crisis on 04 December ’14, when a fire broke out in its esalination plant, which produces drinking water for Male. Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, has no natural water source and consumes only treated sea water. Responding to Maldives’ urgent request for assistance, INS Sukanya, on patrol off Kochi, was diverted immediately to arrive at Male on 05 December. The ship carrying 35 tonnes of fresh water and the capability to produce 20 tonnes of water every day, had transferred approximately 65 tons of fresh water by that evening. Additionally, INS Deepak, a large fleet tanker with 900 tonnes of water sailed from Mumbai and reached Male by evening of 07 December. Indian Navy warships have desalination plants for producing drinking and INS Deepak is capable of producing 100 Tons water per day. IN ships continued to produce and supply potable water to Male even whilst at anchor, yet again proving the responsiveness, unique capabilities, flexibility and versatility of warships in meeting various contingencies. The Indian Air Force also reacted swiftly by sending five aircraft with bottled water including two C-17 Globemaster-III and three IL-76 with 153 tonnes on 05 December, three aircraft including two C-17 and one IL-76 with 130 tonnes on 06 December 2014 and two C-17 aircraft with 80 tonnes on 07 December.
Coast Guard heightens surveillance off Sunderbans for oil pollution from Bangladesh Spill
Oil tanker Southern Star 7 with 350 tons of furnace oil collided with an empty tanker amed Total at 5 a.m. on 10 December 2014 which was anchored in Sela River,Bangladesh. It happened in the course of her voyage of the Forme from Khulna to Gopalganj, due to dense fog. The collision resulted in sinking of forward portion of the tanker and an oil spill reportedly spread over 80 kilometers in the Sunderbans. While the stricken tanker was salvaged and towed ashore, the villagers and Bangladesh Navy used locally available resources to respond to the spill. Rivers on the Bangladesh side are contiguous with those in India, especially at the confluence in the Bay of Bengal. However, prevailing sea currents are unlikely to carry the spill nto the India side of the Sundebans. Even though pollution which was unlikely, the creek areas and shallow water area remained under surveillance by Coast Guard Hovercraft whilst aerial surveillance was being maintained by Coast Guard Dornier aircraft. Additionally, one Offshore Patrol Vessel of the Coast Guard in oil spill response configuration was ositioned in the area for immediate response. The Indian Coast Guard remained on standby for providing any advice and assistance to Bangladesh for oil spill response.
ARMY’S NORTHERN COMMAND CELEBRATES VIJAY DIWAS
The 43rd Anniversary of “Vijay Diwas” was celebrated with traditional enthusiasm at HQ Northern command on 16th December 2014 with a wreath laying ceremony at Dhurva War Memorial by Lt Gen DS Hooda, GOC-in-C (Army Commander) . A large number of civil dignitaries, ex- servicemen and service personnel participated in the celebrations and paid homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives in Indo-Pak war of 1971.
16 December each year is celebrated as VIJAY DIWAS to commemorate India’s historic victory over Pakistan. The swift and professionally planned operations executed by the Indian Armed Forces led to one of the greatest military victories recorded in the annals of World history. It was on this day, that the largest military surrender after World War II took place at Dhaka when the General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora accepted the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani troops from Lt Gen AAK Niazi of the Pakistan Army. This historic victory signifies a unique and
unparalleled feat wherein our forces fought selflessly for a just and noble cause; the liberation of the people of erstwhile East Pakistan and the creation of a sovereign independent Bangladesh.
AVIA INDRA JOINT INDO-RUSSIA EXERCISE ENTERS OPERATIONAL PHASE
The joint Indo-Russian exercise Avia Indra conducted at Air Force Station Halwara Punjab), was a great experience for personnel of both the air forces. The Russian Federation Air Force (RFAF) contingent that arrived here on November 17, 2014 underwent a week long orientation and adaptation phase – getting to know the operational environment and procedures followed by functioning and flying together.
During the inauguration ceremony, both commanders, Air Commodore PV Vohra VM, ir Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Halwara and Major General Alexander N Lyapkin of RFAF addressed the contingents. They reiterated the historic and strategic
partnership between the two nations. A handcarved stone was unveiled and saplings were planted next to it to symbolize the growth of this unique partnership, etched in stone for posterity. A traditional fly-past by helicopters and fighters marked the occasion. The visiting aircrew would also have had an opportunity to fly over the Himalayas over the next few days.
ICG TRACKS AND APPREHENDS SMUGGLING VESSELS GANGA SAGAR AND “AL MARWAN-10” INVOLVED IN SMUGGLING OF RED SANDERS
In a joint operation of Indian Coast Guard and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence DRI), ICGs Subhadra Kumari Chauhan and Achook apprehended two vessels involved in illegal activity at 72 miles South West of Mumbai at 2030 hrs on 04 December ’14. Barge MV Ganga Sagar sailed from Mumbai with around 23 tons of red sanders wood for transshipment at sea to another dhow “Al Marwan 10” which arrived from Veraval Gujarat). Consignment of red sanders wood which is banned under cites (Convention Of International Trade In Endangered Species) is valued at around Rupees 09 crores. The consignment was planned to be smuggled into Dubai.
DRI had provided unambiguous real time intelligence to ICG on 02 December ’14 and ince then the joint sea-air coordinated operation was undertaken by utilising two Coast Guard Ships, Dornier Aircraft and Chetak helicopter for continuous surveillance while maintaining the required level of secrecy. By using gambit tactics during dark hours, the vessels were caught after a short hot pursuit and swift interception by the indigenously built high speed fast patrol vessels of Indian Coast Guard.
Indian coast guard has put in place all possible coastal security measures in coordination with other stake holders and agencies of Mumbai and this successful joint operation at sea having a maritime security connotation is a result of such coordinated efforts to keep our seas safe and secure.