The Indian armed forces and maritime state police forces completed a two-day coastal security exercise last Thursday off the Lakshadweep islands on the west coast of India in the Arabian Sea. The exercise, called Neptune-II, was conducted for the second time and saw participation from the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) in addition to other agencies involved in coastal security.
The various forces and agencies played Red Team and Blue Team, assuming the guise of ‘anti-national elements’ and the coastal defense force. Satisfactorily, the coastal defense force neutralized ‘all the attacking elements’, ‘signifying considerable progress in the crystallization of the coastal defence architecture’, according to the Ministry of Defense.
“The Village Dweep Panchayats (island governing bodies) and Island Vigilance Committees played a robust role in successfully thwarting the attacking force,” said the ministry in a statement.
The exercise has given rise to a number of measures to better coastal security in the area, including, ‘increasing surveillance of the uninhabited islands, positioning of air assets at Lakshadweep Islands, strict implementation of access control at the embarkation and disembarkation points, establishment of watchtowers and radar chains along the islands, acquisition and training on more boats for the police and measures to further strengthen civil aviation security’.
The Indian Navy’s Commodore MR Ajayakumar, Naval Officer-in-Charge and Commodore Ajay Saxena, Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Headquarters, Southern Naval Command and the Commander of Coastguard District Headquarters No 4, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) BK Loshali were the senior officers at the exercise.