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Indian Navy's INS Tir Showcases Maritime Cooperation in Seychelles during Exercise Cutlass Express - 24

Indian Navy’s INS Tir Showcases Maritime Cooperation in Seychelles during Exercise Cutlass Express -24

Port Victoria:  The lead ship of the First Training Squadron (1TS), INS Tir, played a pivotal role in the recently concluded Exercise Cutlass Express – 24 (CE – 24) held at Port Victoria, Seychelles from February 26 to March 8. The exercise, inaugurated by the President of Seychelles and attended by dignitaries from India, the USA, and various African countries, witnessed active participation from 16 friendly foreign nations.

As part of Cutlass Express, the Indian Navy conducted comprehensive training sessions covering both theoretical and practical aspects of Maritime Interdiction Operations, Visit Board Search and Seizure procedures, and Diving operations. Notably, the ship’s VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) team showcased their expertise by boarding the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) ship LE Vigilant during the sea phase, demonstrating precise boarding procedures.

Joint diving operations involving Indian, US, and Seychelles divers were conducted post a week of rigorous training. R Adm Calvin M Foster, Deputy Commander of the US Navy 6th Fleet, visited INS Tir during the exercise, emphasizing the importance of maritime cooperation and expressing appreciation for the Indian Navy’s significant role in the region.

The Exercise culminated in a closing ceremony at the Seychelles Defence Academy on March 8, 2024. The Indian Navy has been an active participant in Exercise Cutlass Express since 2019, reinforcing its commitment to regional maritime security.

In addition to its involvement in the exercise, INS Tir undertook joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance with the Seychelles Coast Guard from March 1 to March 3, 2024. The ship’s stay in Seychelles as part of its long-range training deployment included professional exchanges, cross-deck visits, friendly sports fixtures, and a mesmerizing performance by the Indian Naval band at the National Museum, Port Victoria.

As part of its commitment to community welfare, INS Tir also engaged in philanthropic activities, donating provisions and stores for the elderly during its port call.

During the visit, Capt Anshul Kishore, Senior Officer, First Training Squadron, paid courtesy calls on Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, Designated Minister and Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Brig Michael Rosette, Chief of Defence Forces of the Seychelles Defence Force, and Shri Kartik Pande, High Commissioner of India to Seychelles. As a gesture of goodwill and cooperation, the ship handed over spares for SCG ships and aircraft, contributing to the capacity-building efforts of the Seychelles Coast Guard.

The extensive deployment of INS Tir in Seychelles and its participation in Exercise Cutlass Express underscore the close ties between the Indian Navy and regional navies. These joint training initiatives aim to foster interoperability and build bridges of friendship, promoting stability and security in the maritime domain.

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