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Coastal Defence Exercise Sea Vigil 21

  • 12 Jan 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ has started.

Key Points

  • Launch:
    • The inaugural edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2019.
    • It is billed as India's largest coastal defence drill.
  • Area of Operation:
    • The 2021 exercise is being undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
      • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as generally extending 200 nautical miles from shore, within which the coastal state has the right to explore and exploit, and the responsibility to conserve and manage, both living and non-living resources.
    • It involves all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
      • 13 Coastal States and UTs: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands (Bay of Bengal) and Lakshadweep Islands (Arabian Sea).
    • Assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies are participating in the Exercise.
    • The Indian Air Force, National Security Guard, the Border Security Force, oil handling agencies and airports also participate in the exercise.
  • Coordinating Force:
    • Indian Navy
  • Aim:
    • To check the efficacy of the measures initiated to plug gaps in coastal security following the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
    • Multiple initiatives were set forth, including the National Committee for Coastal and Maritime Security (NCSMCS), creation of Joint Operations Centres (JOC) at Mumbai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair, raising of Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB), installation of the Harbour Defence Surveillance System, setting-up of National Command Control Communication and Intelligence (NC3I) Network.
  • Significance:
    • The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre level exercise TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise) which Indian Navy conducts every two years.
      • Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict.
    • While smaller scale exercises are conducted in coastal states regularly, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at national-level is aimed to serve a larger purpose.
      • It provides opportunity, at the apex level, to assess the country’s preparedness in the domain of maritime security and coastal defence.

Source: PIB

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