Trincomalee Naval Exercise (TRINEX) – 24 wraps up with resounding success

The Trincomalee Naval Exercise (TRINEX) – 24, hosted by the Sri Lanka Navy, took place in the Trincomalee harbour and eastern seas from 04th to 08th March 2024. The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera inspected the final day of the exercise embarked onboard SLNS Gajabahu.

At the directives of the Commander of the Navy and supervision of Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Chandima Silva, TRINEX was organized by the Naval Fleet Command. This naval exercise, aimed at continuously enhancing the operational efficiency of the Sri Lanka Navy, was conducted in two main phases: the harbour phase and the sea phase. During the harbour phase, which commenced on 04th March, the crews of the participating ships and craft, as well as the Sri Lanka Air Force crews, were briefed and shared information on communication exchange protocols and security measures relevant to the exercise.

Meanwhile, the sea phase of TRINEX was held in the eastern seas from 05th to 08th March and it was augmented by the naval ships SLNS Gajabahu, Sayurala, Parakramabahu, Nandimithra, Samudura, Shakthi and Prathapa as well as the Fast Attack Craft P 4445, P 4444, P 435, P 436, P 481, P 484, P 464 and P 411 belonging to the 4th Fast Attack Flotilla. In addition, the exercise was supported by Bell 412, Bell 212 and Mi 17 helicopters of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

The exercise featured Space Keeping by Distance Line (SKBDL), Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP), Photo Exercise (PHOTOEX), Surface Target Firing Exercise / Close Range Anti Air Firing (SUTFEX/ CRAA), Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS), Helicopter Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (HVBSS), Search and Rescue (SAREX), Helicopter Operation, Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), Formation Anchoring and Communication exercises. The exercise wrapped up in the customary 'Steam Past' on 08th March, symbolizing a farewell gesture.

To mark the conclusion of the Trincomalee Naval Exercise, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera presented commemorative mementoes to naval ships and craft, squadrons, forces and the Sri Lanka Air Force aboard SLNS Gajabahu. In the meantime, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Chandima Silva presented a special memento to the Commander of the Navy as well.

In connection with this event, the Commander of the Navy also awarded ships and craft that excelled in the Best Ship/Craft selection competition held in the previous year (2023). With a view to maintaining and improving the operational readiness of naval vessels, the competition was held by the Naval Fleet Command. Accordingly, SLNS Vijayabahu was awarded as the Best Ship Major Vessel, SLNS Mihikatha as the Best Ship Minor Vessel and P 435 as the Best Fast Attack Craft.

The Commander of the Navy, speaking at the event, thanked the Naval Fleet Command, ships, craft, squadrons, forces, and the Sri Lanka Air Force for their dedicated contributions to the successful Trincomalee Naval Exercise.

Adding further, he said that the Colombo Naval Exercise (CONEX) took place at the Western Naval Command to ensure the operational readiness of the Sri Lanka Navy's fleet annually. In this time, it was decided to hold TRINEX, due to the strategic historical significance of the port of Trincomalee.

He elaborated that by engaging in these drills, Navy fleet units will be well-informed about upcoming operations, equipped with the strategies and tactics needed to overcome diverse challenges in the oceanic realm. This preparation enables them to swiftly adapt to different operational conditions and respond effectively as a unified force. He also mentioned that this type of exercises would create an opportunity to enhance collaboration and strengthen ties with the Sri Lanka Air Force for conducting combined operations in the country's maritime space. By enhancing their knowledge and skills through these exercises, the Sri Lanka Navy is expected to sustain the operational readiness necessary to address various maritime challenges, including non-traditional threats, not just within Sri Lanka's waters but also across international seas, ensuring SLN fleet units operate effectively, Commander of the Navy opined.

Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Suresh De Silva, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Chandima Silva, Commanding Officers, Officers in Command from ships and craft as well as Sri Lanka Air Force Officers who took part in the exercise and senior officers from the Navy Headquarters and Eastern Naval Command and Naval Fleet Command were present on this occasion.