SLINEX 2018, joint exercise between the navies of India and Sri Lanka concluded on a successful note in Trincomalee yesterday (13th September). The seven day exercise which comprised two phases, namely the Harbour and Sea Phase was participated by around 1,000 naval personnel from both countries. Meanwhile, the naval drill was joined by SLNS Sayurala, SLNS Samudura, SLNS Suranimila of the Sri Lanka Navy and INS Sumitra, INS Kirch, INS Cora Divh together with 02 Dornier air craft and a helicopter of the Indian Navy.
The wide range of activities performed at SLINEX include; ship manoeuvring exercises, transfer of persons and goods between ships by means of helicopters, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations and communication drills. Further, this year’s exercise was joined by personnel from the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) and Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS). SLINEX 2018 enabled both navies to rehearse and improve own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region by integrating forces.
Besides, the pilots of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) also augment the capability of this joint exercise, landing a helicopter onto the helipad of SLNS Sayurala. The event etched a significant milestone in Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) history as it became the first instance of landing a helicopter onto a SLN platform. The SLAF pilots who utilized a helicopter belonging to the Indian Navy for this drill, executed the exercise to the perfection. The training drill was a whole new experience for both SLN and SLAF personnel and they engaged in the practice with full of enthusiasm.
Exercises of this nature would help foster mutual understanding between the Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force further and its fruitful outcomes would make way for sister forces to work in unison in a bid to strengthen security of the island’s territorial waters.