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First Training Squadron Joins Cutlass Express 24 Exercise

INS Tir, the lead ship of First Training Squadron (1TS) participated in Exercise Cutlass Express – 24 (CE – 24) held at Port Victoria, Seychelles from 26 Feb – 08 Mar 24. The exercise was inaugurated by the President of Seychelles in attendance of dignitaries from India, USA and African countries.

As part of Cutlass Express, the Indian Navy actively engaged with participants from 16 friendly foreign countries. Training was conducted on theoretical and practical aspects of Maritime Interdiction Operations, Visit Board Search and Seizure procedures and Diving operations. During the sea phase, the ship’s VBSS team boarded Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) ship LE Vigilant and demonstrated procedures of boarding operations. Indian divers along with US and Seychelles divers undertook joint diving operations post rigorous training week.

The ship hosted R Adm Calvin M Foster, Deputy Commander of US Navy 6th Fleet who shared his views on the importance of maritime cooperation and shared commitment in the region, appreciating the crucial role played by the Indian Navy. The exercise culminated at a closing ceremony held at Seychelles Defence Academy, Ile Perseverance on 08 Mar 24. The Indian Navy has been participating in the exercise since 2019.

Earlier INS Tir undertook joint EEZ surveillance with Seychelles Coast Guard from 01 – 03 Mar 24. During the ship’s stay at Seychelles, as part of long-range training deployment, professional exchanges, cross deck visits and friendly sports fixtures were held with Seychelles Defence Forces. The Indian Naval band performed at National Museum, Port Victoria and enthralled a huge crowd. Further, a philanthropic activity was also undertaken wherein provisions and stores were donated for the elderly.

During the Port Call, Senior Officer, First Training Squadron, Capt Anshul Kishore paid courtesy calls on Designated Minister Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Brig Michael Rosette, Chief of Defence Forces – Seychelles Defence Force and Shri Kartik Pande, High Commissioner of India to Seychelles. As a goodwill gesture and cooperation, the ship handed over spares for SCG ships and aircraft towards capacity building.

The extant deployment of INS Tir at Seychelles and participation in exercise Cutlass Express underscores close ties between Indian Navy and the regional Navies towards joint training fostering interoperability and building bridges of friendship.

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