Admiral Sunil Lanba
PVSM AVSM ADC Chief of the Naval Staff embarked ships of the Indian
Fleet (both Western & Eastern) over the last two days to review the
ongoing Annual Theatre level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX)
2017 which is presently underway since 24 Jan 17. The CNS was
accompanied by General Bipin Rawat UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM Chief of the
Army Staff and Vice Admiral Girish Luthra PVSM AVSM VSM ADC Flag Officer
Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
The CNS witnessed a host of exercises viz. Gunnery shoots, Surface to
Air missile engagements, Brahmos firing and operations of the combined
Fleet in a complex multi threat environment including sub surface and
air threats. The high-point of the exercise was Large Force Engagement (LFE)
by the Fleet units against threat simulated by air element from Indian
Air Force comprising AWACS, SU 30s, Jaguars and IL 78 (AAR). These
threats emanated from different directions and were neutralised by using
Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile capabilities of MiG 29Ks, the integral
air arm of the Indian Navy, operating from INS Vikramaditya in
coordination with other Fleet units. All these exercises validated the
combat effectiveness of IN platforms.
The CNS during his address to the Fleet congratulated the men for
keeping the fleet combat ready at all times and executing all assigned
tasks in a most professional manner. CNS also mentioned that training
during peacetime has to be at par with how we would Fight during war and
emphasised on taking bold decisions with due cognisance to risks
involved and ensuring safety of men and material.
TROPEX 2017 is a month long exercise/ war drill, encompassing all
dimensions of maritime warfare and is witnessing participation of over
60 ships, 05 submarines and more than 70 naval aircraft. It also
includes participation of a large number of assets from the Indian Air
Force, such as Su-30 and Jaguar fighters, AWACS, C 130J Hercules and
in-flight refuelling aircraft, Infantry amphibious elements from Indian
Army and ships/ aircraft from the Indian Coast Guard.
The area of operations for TROPEX 2017 exercise spans across the vast
expanse of the Arabian Sea and North Central Indian Ocean and serves as
an opportunity to validate the Indian Navy’s Concepts of Operation.
As a part of the exercise, niche capabilities of the Marine Commandoes (MARCOs)
and Army Special Forces, including Airborne Assault and Combat Free Fall
were undertaken from IAF C-130 aircraft. Naval forces, while enforcing
sea and airspace control all around the affected islands, undertook
beaching and heli-borne operations for landing of follow-on forces. The
exercise culminated with restoration of sovereign control over the
affected islands, by the Armed Forces. During debrief of the exercise,
CNS and COAS discussed various options to further enhance the
effectiveness of the joint exercise.
TROPEX 17 assumes special significance in the backdrop of the current
security scenario, being aimed at testing combat readiness of the
combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Air
Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard. It will also strengthen
inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment.