Indian Navy begins joint exercise with Oman

Muscat, Sep 21 (IANS) Four Indian Navy ships are on a month-long overseas deployment to the Gulf to reinforce bilateral ties and participate in friendly naval exercises with Oman.

INS Mysore, INS Tarkash, INS Tabar and INS Aditya began the exercise Friday, The Times Of Oman reported Saturday.

The ships which arrived Thursday are based at the Indian Navy's Western Naval Command in Mumbai. The fleet is headed by Rear Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, the Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Fleet.

"The visit is part of the biennial naval exercise 'Naseem Al Bahr'. It is aimed at further strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries," Chawla was quoted as saying.

Indian ambassador J.S. Mukul said the current visit was aimed at strengthening the existing ties between India and Oman.

Bilateral relations between India and Oman were established with the 1953 India-Oman Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce.

The signing of a memorandum on defence cooperation in December 2005 and the subsequent establishment of the Joint Military Cooperation Committee in March 2006 set the foundation for increased defence cooperation between the two countries.

The Indian Navy has since then increased port visits and training of personnel in hydrography, diving, training management, logistics management and dockyard management in Oman.

According to the report, the biennial naval exercise 'Naseem Al Bahr' has enhanced the inter-operability of the two navies. The harbour training and planning conference of the fourth edition of 'Naseem Al Bahr' is underway from Sep 20-26.

Moreover, India and Oman are members of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, a voluntary and co-operative initiative among 35 countries of the Indian Ocean region.

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