Plugging coastal breaches
Exercise Sea Vigil, a two day coastal defence exercise was conducted from January 12-13 2021. The conceptual and geographical expanse of Sea Vigil included the entire coastline and EEZ of the country and contingencies from peace to wartime were exercised. In addition, mitigation measures, on shore, in case of any breach in coastal security were also validated.
The exercise involved deployment of the entire coastal security apparatus and more than 110 surface assets of Indian Navy and Coast Guard participated in the exercise. In addition, a large number of Marine Police and Customs assets were also deployed. The entire coastline was kept under surveillance by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard aircraft, and helicopters were also pressed into service to reinforce Special Operations personnel operating onboard offshore platforms.
As ports form the nerve centre of sea borne trade, security mechanism of ports was also validated during the exercise and the crisis management plans of all ports were assessed for their effectiveness to tackle emergencies. The State Police teams, Indian Navy Marine Commandos and Commandos from National Security Guard were exercised to tackle acts of maritime terrorism.
NC3I and IMAC
This exercise also validated the technical surveillance infrastructure called the National Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (NC3I) Network. The Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) at Gurugram and its various nodes across Indian Navy and Coast Guard stations were exercised for coordinating the surveillance and information dissemination mechanism.
Enhancing coastal defence
The cooperation and coordination amongst various agencies involved is a reassuring sign of progress made in the realm of Coastal defence and the exercise would go a long way in enhancing coastal defence and national security in the maritime domain.