Kochi: After an over six-month long voyage across ASEAN nations, INS Sudarshini, the three masted sail training ship of the Indian Navy, arrived here Monday.
Flagging-in the tall ship was Defence Minister A K Antony and his wife Elizabeth. Chief of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Ambassadors and Heads of Missions of ASEAN nations were among those present.
Speaking at the `End of Voyage` ceremony, Antony said the voyage is a strong acknowledgement of India`s commitment to constructive engagement with ASEAN countries in trade, culture and security.
The minister said India has always firmly believed that neighbours need not share borders, but common goals and interests.
ASEAN countries and India share a common heritage, particularly through a maritime association of over 2000 years, he said.
Vice-Admiral Satish Soni said the vagaries of the weather in the South China Sea have turned cadets on board Sudarshini into men.
As Sudarshini entered the pier at the naval base here, a ALH helicopter dropped a marine commando in the waters and there was a flypast by two Chetak helicopters.
The vessel was escorted by two boats in traditional water `arc` welcome.
There was also a display of Kerala`s ancient martial art form `Kalari Payattu`.
Family members of the crew waved flags.