NEW DELHI: Ten years after '26/11' terror attacks in Mumbai, the Navy on Tuesday commenced its largest coastal defence exercise off the country's coast.
Codenamed 'Exercise Sea Vigil', a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
Exercise Sea Vigil aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since '26/11', according to a statement issued by the government's publicity wing - PIB.
Multi-agency teams have been deployed in all coastal districts to undertake security audit of various vulnerable locations such as fish landing centres, as well as major, minor and intermediate ports, lighthouses, coastal police stations, control rooms and operations centres, a defence statement said on Monday.
The exercise aims to test the country's preparedness to thwart any attempt by anti-national elements to carry out an attack on its territory or against its citizens by infiltrating through the sea route, the statement said.
The exercise will provide an opportunity to stakeholders to assess the capability and preparedness of individual organisations, identify deficiencies if any and address them on priority, it said.
The exercise is being conducted under the aegis of Commander-in-Chief, Coastal Defence, Southern Naval Command, Kochi and will be monitored closely from the Joint Operations Centre, Kochi.
Exercise Sea Vigil: Salient Features
- Ten years after "26/11" the Indian Navy will coordinate the largest coastal defence exercise off the Indian coast on 22-23 Jan 19, Exercise SEA VIGIL.
- The exercise, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and involves all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
- The scale of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units deployed, and in terms of the objectives to be met.
- The exercise is a build-up towards the major theatre level tri-service exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years.
- The conduct of the exercise SEA VIGIL has been facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State.
- Post '26/11', operational responsibilities for coastal security were entrusted to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. In the discharge of these very responsibilities that Exercise 'SEA VIGIL' has been planned by the Indian Navy.
- Exercise SEA VIGIL aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since '26/11'. The exercise will entail both seaward and shore-based monitoring.
- The exercise will in addition to covering the entire coastline, will also go deeper into the hinterland.
- Evaluation of critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance will be undertaken. Multi-agency audit and identification of gaps, shortfalls and incorporation of lessons learnt into SOPs are also the desired outcomes.
- Exercise SEA VIGIL to provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weakness and this will certainly help further strengthening of maritime security and in turn national security.