Navy Conducts Offshore Joint Drill Prasthan to Check Readiness


The Navy conducted an offshore joint drill near Mumbai for better coordination among agencies to deal with contingencies. The drill included anti-hijacking and bomb disposal exercise by slithering commandos on the oil rigs with choppers. The air force, coast guard, customs, marine police, port trust and others participated in the drill.

The offshore drill codenamed “Prasthan” was conducted in the Offshore Development Area (ODA) off Mumbai under the aegis of Headquarters Western Naval Command. The exercise was conducted on the offshore platform, located about 50 nautical miles (nm) west of Mumbai.

Anti-hijacking drills and bomb disposal exercises were conducted wherein marine commandos and explosive ordnance disposal team of the Indian Navy were slithered on the platform from helicopters.

Other contingencies such as collision of an adrift vessel with an oil platform, fire on an oil platform, oil spill and pollution control, casualty evacuation from the ODA, and SAR for an overboard crew were exercised.

The drill provided a realistic scenario for all stakeholders to assess readiness in responding to contingencies in the Western ODA, and operating together in a coordinated manner.

“The exercise helps in refining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for response to various offshore contingencies that could occur in the ODAs. Each agency has their respective role and while executing them, all those concerned need to be on the same page,” said a naval officer.

This exercise is conducted every six months and it aims to integrate all maritime security and other agencies for cutting down on loopholes during coordination.

The agencies that participated in the exercise included the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, Oil Handling Agencies, Port Trust, Customs, State fisheries Department and the Marine Police.

Source- The ASIAN AGE

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