Sept 23, Trincomalee: SLINEX 2011, the joint exercise between the Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy held off Trincomalee came to a conclusion today.
Six Indian Naval ships, INS Ranvijay, INS Shivalik, INS Gharial, INS Khanjar, INS Cheriyam and INS Coradiv, along with integral helicopters and a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft and 11 Sri Lankan Navy ships participated in the five-day joint exercise commenced on September 19.
Issuing a statement, the Indian High commission In Colombo said the commander of the Indian ships participating in the exercise, Rear Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet, Indian Navy, hosted a reception on 22nd September evening onboard INS Shivalik, the flagship of Indian Navys Eastern Fleet.
High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha, Governor of the Eastern Province, Rear Admiral Mohan Jayawickrama, Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and Ministers of the Eastern Provincial Council, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral D.W.S. Dissanayake, members of the diplomatic corps, senior officers and officials from Indian and Sri Lankan Navy and media persons attended the reception.
Speaking on the occasion, Rear Admiral Bisht highlighted the multi-faceted relationship between the two countries which has underpinnings of strong cultural bonds and excellent neighbourly relations that have stood the test of time, and cooperation between the two Navies.
In his remarks, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy said that the joint exercise reflected the long ties of goodwill, close relations and mutual cooperation between India and Sri Lanka and the two Navies and it immensely contributed towards safeguarding common maritime interests and enhancing maritime security in the region.
SLINEX-2011 served as a platform for exchanging useful experiences, enhancing interoperability and promoting mutual trust and understanding between the two Navies. It involved various naval exercises, including manoeuvring exercises, maritime interdiction operations, force protection measures, humanitarian and disaster relief and anti-piracy operations. Apart from operational interactions, sports fixtures, presentations on topics of mutual interest and demonstration by the Sri Lanka Navy were also organized.
During visits abroad for such exercises, Indian Naval ships regularly carry out community service. In line with this practice, the officers and men from the participating Indian ships visited the Anbu Illam and Sivananda Thapobanam Orphanages in Trincomalee and carried out community service, including painting of dormitories and beds, renewal of electrical wiring, plumbing work and other repair activities. The Indian Navy handed out two months supply of provisions, medicines, fans, bulbs, paint and other essential commodities. They also had a chance to interact with the children at these orphanages.