Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy`s 21, Mines Countermeasures Squadron (MCMS) celebrated its 26th anniversary here on Monday.
According to an Indian Navy press release, the squadron commemorated the occasion with voluntary community service carried out by officers and men of 21 MCMS at the Missionaries of Charity, Visakhapatnam, where they helped missionary staff in upkeep of mission infrastructure.
Based at Visakhapatnam, the squadron comprises five ocean-going minesweepers, Indian Navy ships Karwar, Cuddalore, Cannanore, Konkan and Kozhikode, named after ports in India.
All five ships of the 21 MCMS are modified `Natya` class minesweepers, built and commissioned at Riga in the erstwhile Soviet Union, between 1986 and 1988.
Over the last 25 years, ships of the 21 MCMS have been actively involved in operations along the Eastern seaboard.
The ships, which are specially designed and equipped to keep coastal waters, sea lanes as well as approaches to ports clear of seaborne mines, are under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding-In-Chief, Eastern Naval Command and form an integral part of the Local Naval Defence Force.
Besides their primary role of clearing mines, these ships have also been carrying out search and rescue, surveillance missions and disaster relief operations, the release said.