An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 01 November 2006  

The cooperation between the Indian and US navies is jokingly referred to as ‘incestuous’, mainly because of the Malabar series of exercises, which are of a very close professional order with inter operability between the two navies. IN officers embark on USN ships and USN officers are on the IN ships –– our mid level officers will learn much from the USN, as we did in the past form the RN and Russian Navies –– for the IN to become one of the foremost Navies in the world.

A crew of 300 IN officers and sailors under command of Capt B S Alhuwalia, were presently in Norfolk USA to take over the LPD USS Trenton and the 8th Exercise in the Malabar series commenced from 24 Oct off Goa. Missile fitted ships INS Mysore, Beas and Ganga, supported by tanker Shakti, submarine INS Shankul, CG ship Samar and aircraft under the Fleet Command of a navigation specialist RADM Anup Singh, exercised with the US Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG-05) comprising the landing platform helicopter and dock ship USS Boxer, cruiser USS Bunker Hill, destroyers Benfold and Howard, US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, Canadian Frigate Ottawa, nuclear powered submarine USS Providence and a P3C Orion AWACS aircraft operating from Goa. For the first time the two navies exercised expeditionary operations off the Konkan coast and INS Gharial an LST exercised landing operations. Admiral William J Fallon, US Pacific Fleet Commander flew in with his staff to discuss issues to step up cooperation, PSI and future strategy as the USN wants to have an Indian officer posted at Hawaii. Fallon was the Chief guest at the Indian Navy–Army Polo match in New Delhi.

The LPD Boxer with two ships were in Mumbai since 30 Oct with games, parties and a Golf match against the IN at the US Club, which is India’s Pebble Beach. All arrangements for security, ship chandelling and supplies and boat transfers were ably conducted by a retired naval diving officer and the crews were big spenders.

Mumbai is enjoying hosting the ships companies and all this augurs well for the IN –– if the Navy can pick up USS Boxer at the same price as the USS Trenton, the IN will benefit.

New appointments were announced –– the new CNS Admiral Sureesh Mehta took over on 31 Oct. and VAdm Nirmal Verma will be the new VCNS in a month. VAdm Vijay Shankar is Strategic Force Commander and looks after Nuclear Command. Air Marshal Raj Kumar takes over the Strategic Forces Command in Andaman & Nicobars and VAdm Kaushiva has taken over NDC from him. VAdm AK Singh is now C-in-C Eastern Naval Command. New brooms sweep clean and we congratulate and salute the new Chief in South Block. If the Admirals cooperate there is little the Navy cannot achieve.

We also extend our congratulations to ACM S P Tyagi, who assumes charge as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee.

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