The Sri Lanka Navy - Indian Navy Joint exercise, SLINEX-2018 got underway in Trincomalee today (07th September). The exercise which signifies the desire of both countries to enhance co-operation in the maritime domain is scheduled to be held off the coast of Trincomalee till 13th of this month. Meanwhile, the joint naval drill is expected to be joined by 03 Sri Lanka Navy Ships, 03 Indian Navy Ships together with 1,000 naval personnel from both countries. Accordingly, SLNS Sayurala, SLNS Samudura, SLNS Suranimila and INS Sumitra, INS Kirch, INS Cora Divh together with 02 Dornier air craft and a helicopter of Indian Navy will augment SLINEX-2018.
The seven day exercise is primarily focused on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at sea, Visit Board Search and Seize (VBSS) joint training, professional lectures, exchange of expertise, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft operations, weapon drills, search and rescue and maneuvers at sea. Further, this year’s naval drill will be joined by personnel of the Special Boat Squadron (SBS), Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) and airmen from the Sri Lanka Air Force, for the first time.
Further, SLINEX which was previously held once in two years is scheduled to be held as an annual event this year onwards. Meanwhile, continuous engagement in joint naval exercise of this nature would provide every opportunity for both navies to increase their mutual relationship through camaraderie and that would involuntarily pave the way for sustainable bilateral ties and safety of navigation in the Indian Ocean Region.