Indian navy on Sunday the 19th of June announced that it was in the midst of a two-day joint naval exercise conducted on the 18th and 19th of June with the EUNAVFOR or the European Union Naval Force for the very first time.
According to official statements, five warships from four navies, namely India, Italy, Spain, and France participated in the joint exercise in the Gulf of Aden. INS Trikand, a stealth frigate deployed in the region on anti-piracy missions participated on behalf of the Indian navy.
The joint naval exercise was to witness high-tempo naval operations related to maritime security like anti-submarine exercises, boarding operations, advanced air defense operations, tactical maneuvers, cross-deck helicopter operations along with SAR and Man Overboard drills.
In a statement by the Indian navy, emphasis was put upon the collective aim that was targeted through this exercise, as it said that the four navies, "will endeavor to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills and their ability as an integrated force to promote, peace, security, and stability in the maritime domain."
According to the Indian navy statement, other warships participating in the joint exercise included ITS Carabinere of the Italian navy, along with the Spanish Navy vessel ESPS Navarra, and the two vessels of the French navy that included FS Surcouf, and FS Tonnerre.
It was also revealed that a virtual information-sharing exercise was also conducted simultaneously with the joint exercise at sea. It was conducted on Friday between the Indian Navy Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) and Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa.
In the past years, EUNAVFOR and the Indian navy have worked over similar goals like the protection of vessels delivering the aid under the world food program by the United Nations, anti-piracy operations in the region, therefore this pioneering joint naval exercise comes as an opportunity to increase synergy and interoperability among the two partner navies, as suggested by the statement of Indian navy.