The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise-2017 (IMMSAREX-17) is set to start in the Bay of Bengal for the first time on Monday, November 27.
Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid will inaugurate the exercise at the Hotel Royal Tulip, adjacent Inani Beach at Cox’s Bazar, on Monday. He will also visit the fleet review by helicopter and later inaugurate the beach carnival.
Ships, naval chiefs, high ups and maritime experts from 32 countries, including 23 member countries and nine observers from the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), will take part, said a press release from the Bangladesh Navy.
Bangladesh has arranged the international exercise to increase regional cooperation between IONS member states.
The exercise is scheduled to be held in the Bay of Bengal on November 28 and 29, where participating naval warships will conduct drills related to fire fighting, sea accidents and rescue, deep sea searches for missing ships, emergency rescue operations, and searches for missing aircraft.
The 23 IONS members are: Bangladesh, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kania, Maldives, Morisash, Mozambic, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Cicilis, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timur Leseth, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the nine observer nations are: China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia and Spain.
The IONS was formed in 2008 to ensure maritime security and develop friendly relations between members, as well as to stop terrorism, smuggling and other criminal activity.
Bangladesh Navy was elected to hold the post of chairman of IONS from 2016-18, with Bangladesh Navy Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed currently in the position.