This is the first such joint patrol by the two navies
Bangladeshi and Indian navy on Wednesday jointly launched a six-day coordinated anticrime patrol of the two navies called CORPAT in specified areas of their maritime boundaries, according to a Bangladesh Defence Ministry statement.
Bangladesh’s navy chief Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed along with his Indian counterpart Admiral Sunil Lanba opened the exercise at a function at a Bangladeshi navy base in Chittagong with the theme of “Chorus of Shared Hopes.” The exercise will end at Vishakhapatnam of India on July 3.
“The navy ships and aircraft of the two countries would begin the patrol tomorrow (Thursday) from Bangladesh territorial waters and conclude in India’s Vishakhapatnam on July 3,” a Bangladesh navy spokesman said.
He said two Bangladeshi and two Indian warships and two maritime patrol aircraft of the two countries would initially join the joint exercise against terrorism, piracy, human trafficking, smuggling and illegal fishing.
Two Bangladeshi navy officers and two Indian ones would travel in each other’s warships during the exercise.
“This is the first such joint patrol by the two navies. The two navies decided to carryout identical anticrime exercises from time to time whenever they feel the necessary,” the spokesman said.
He said the two navies would also exchange information related to criminal activities in each other’s territories and identify vessels engaged in illegal activities as part of joint steps to decriminalize their territorial waters.
The Defence Ministry statement, meanwhile, reads that during the opening of the exercise, Admiral Lanba said currently the two neighbours are passing a period of excellent relations when “this exercise is expected to play an important role in securing their huge maritime boundaries and exploring economic potentials”.
“India is always willing to work with Bangladesh in securing maritime boundaries, combating terrorism, facing any disaster and development of blue economy,” the statement quoted the Indian navy chief as saying.
Ahmed, on the other hand, said securing a huge maritime boundary was a challenge for which exchange of information and joint vigil were crucial. He thanked the Indian navy for the joint initiative.
A total of four maritime patrol aircraft, two from Bangladesh Navy and two from Indian navy, and four frigates, two from Bangladesh Navy (BNS Dhaleswari and BNS Abu Bakar) and two from Indian navy (INS Kadmatt and INS Satpura) would take part in the patrolling.