Pursuant to a decision taken during high level bilateral defence talks between Sri Lanka and India, Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) was invited to participate in exercise “DOSTI-XII” which has been conducted only between India and Maldives Coast Guards prior 2012 and tri laterally in the previous year featuring the Coast Guards of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Due to non-availability of a large ship in SLCG inventory, the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development directed to sail SLNS “Samudura” belongs to SLN carrying SLCG contingent to take part the exercise for the second time.
The Joint Exercise between Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Maldives National Defence Force- Coast Guard (MNDF-CG) has been conducting since 1991 and it was named as “DOSTI”. The “DOSTI-XII” was conducted at Male from 28th October to 31st October 2014. SLCG along with the SLN participated for the tri-lateral exercises “DOSTI-XII” for the second time.
The aim of the joint training exercise is tofortify the friendship, enhance mutual operational capabilities and to build cooperation between the three Coast Guards in the areas of Maritime Search and Rescue (M-SAR), Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Marine Pollution Response (POLRES) and Anti-Piracy Operations.
Following units from ICG, SLN / SLCG and MNDF-CG were participated in the exercise.
a. Indian Coast Guard (ICG)
(i) ICGS “Samar” - OPV
(ii) ICGS “Rajdoot” - FPV
(iii) CG Dornier - Air craft
(iv) Chetak Helo - Helecopter
b. Unit from Sri Lanka
(i) SLNS “Samudura” - OPV
c. Maldives National Defence Force (CG)
(i) CGS “Huravee” - FPV
(ii) CGS “Shaheed Ali” - FP
Proceedings SLNS “Samudura” sailed from the port of Galle at 10.00 am at 26th October with a total number of 179 naval personnel and CG personnel as listed below and reached Male at first light on 28th October 2014.
a) Ship’s crew - 18 Officers, 114 Sailors
b) SLCG personnel - 05 Officers, 25 Sailors
c) Temporary attached naval personnel - 01 officer, 16 Sailors
to the special duties for voyage
A joint working level discussion was conducted at 11.15 am on 28th October at MNDF-CG conference room in Male and Coordinating staff from MNDF(CG), all the Commanding Officers of ships, aircrew of Dornier & Chetak and the Deputy Director Personnel and Administration of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard participated the event .
“DOSTI-XII” was ceremonially declared open by Hon. Minister of Defence, Maldives Col(Ret). Mohamed Nazimonon 28th October at 04.00 pm at Dharubaaruge (Dhoshimeynaa Mayalan - Male).
DG-SLCG addressing the opening ceremony Participated VIP’s for the Ceremony
On 29th October 2014, following lectures were conducted by the members of the three Countries as indicated below, to enhance the knowledge on Coast Guard activities for the all participants at MNDF-CG conference room.
i. SAR / HADR
iv. COUNTER PIRACY
Cdr(C) UKDT Udugama Conducting VBSS Lecture to the Participants of the Harbour Training
On 29th October 2014, SLCG / SLN personnel visited onboard ICGS “Samar” and the Indian Coast Guard Personnel and MNDF personnel visited onboard SLNS “Samudura”.
Ship visit to ICG “Samar” and ICG officers and SLCG Officers on board
A picnic to Villigili Island was arranged on 29th October for the personnel taking part in “DOSTI-XII”.
Communication interoperability tests were conducted prior to the sea exercise and found satisfactory. SLNS “Samudura” along with other units mentioned at paragraph 04 sailed on 30th October for sea exercise. Following events were conducted during the sea exercises.
a. Exercise Area And Lettered Position
Distress Alert Exercise
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was operated by distress boat & distress message was received by Indian Mission Control Center (INMCC) Bangalore and relayed to Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) Mumbai and finally relayed to MRCC Male. Upon receiving distress location, Dornier air craft was deployed for locating distress persons and rescue operation was done by ICGS “Rajdoot” and MNDF-CG Ship “Shaheed Ali”.
ICG Dornier took off from Hulhule airport at 08.30 am for SAR mission along with Chetak Helicopter from ICG “Samar” at 09.40 am and carried out flying exercise.
ICG Dornier at exercise MNDF Hello at exercise
Search & Rescue Drill
In order to simulate SAR drill, ICG “Rajdoot” lowered 5 persons to a Gemini. ICG Dornier locates the position of the Gemini based on EPIRB message & passed it to ICG “Samar” while dropping a life raft close to Gemini. ICG “Samar” directs ICG “Rajdoot” and MNDF-CG ship “Shaheed Ali” to rescue the Gemini at distress.
MNDF-CG “Shaheed Ali” and ICGS “Samar” during rescue operation
Search & Rescue Demo
Chetak helicopter from ICG “Samar” demonstrated rescue of a distress person from the sea by lifting him using helicopter winch.
The Medical evacuation initiated with SLNS “Samudura” reporting a person suffering from leg injury & needed immediate medical attention ashore. The Chetak Helicopter evacuated injured person from SLNS “Samudura” while SLNS “Samudura” was underway.
ICG “Chetak” is evacuating an injured person from the SLNS “Samudura”
Several maneuvering exercises were conducted by units participating.
Maneuvering exercises are performing at exercise
Mail Transfer, Privacy report and VBSS exercises were unable to conduct due to the bad weather condition and units proceeded to harbour. SLNS “Samudura” birthed at the Male commercial harbour.
A friendly volleyball match was organized by MNDF-CG and two teams from three countries participated to symbolize the friendship of the exercise on 31st October 2014.
On 31st October, “DOSTI XII” debriefing was conducted at MNDF-CG conference hall and discussed constructive commendations and feedbacks will be submitted and discussed at operational level.
During “DOSTI XII” debriefing
Parallel to the exercise, the Director General of Sri Lanka Coast Guard visited Maldives from 28th October to 31st October 2014 and witnessed the proceedings. During his short stay at Male following high level government officials were called on and fruitful bilateral discussions were held.
Major General Ahmed Shiyam, Chief of Defence Forces of Maldives
The entire exercise was found to be very encouraging and the exposure / experience gained by SLN, SLCG personnel will be beneficial to the both organizations. The conduct and the discipline of entire crew were of highest standard. On Completion of the exercise ship sailed back from Male on 1st November and arrived Colombo harbor at 11.00 am on 3rd November 2014.