A Tri Nation Table Top Anti-Narcotics & Maritime Search and Rescue exercise (Exercise Shield) between Maldives National Defence Force, Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Navy was conducted in virtual mode for the first time on 14 and15 July with Indian Navy as the lead agency. The exercise was coordinated by Maritime Warfare Centre (MWC), Mumbai.
The two day exercise commenced with the opening address by Rear Admiral Gurcharan Singh, Chief Staff Officer (Operations), Western Naval Command, Mumbai. Rear Admiral Prasanna Mahawithana, Director General Operations, Sri Lanka Navy and Colonel Ibrahim Hilmy, Area Commander- Maldives National Defence Force too have participated in inaugural session.
Anti-Narcotic Operations and Maritime Search and Rescue are the important issues that were deliberated by the participants who share a unique geographic location, sitting astride the major shipping routes of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The exercise was focused at enhancing maritime security cooperation and mutual understanding, exchange of best practices/procedures for countering common trans-national maritime crimes such as narcotics smuggling, evolving modalities for exchanging information/intelligence and to assist each other in Maritime Search and Rescue. All agencies enthusiastically participated in the exercise and shared their experiences and best practices.
Commodore S Kesnur, Director, MWC, Mumbai thanked the participants for their whole hearted support and cooperation in his closing remarks.