Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will be here Monday to preside over the debrief of largest war-game of the Indian Navy - the Theatre-level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 19). The exercise had commenced on January 7 and was planned to be terminated by March 10, but the Jaish-e-Mohammad sponsored a terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 led to the rapid redeployment of the Indian Navy for operations in the North Arabian Sea, a defence press release said here Sunday.
The major combat units, including the carrier battle group with INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft swiftly transited from exercise to operational deployment mode as tension between India and Pakistan escalated, the release said. A clear and resolute message regarding the operational posture of the Indian Navy to prevent, deter and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in the maritime domain was also issued during the tri-services press conference conducted on February 28, it said.
About 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft were part of TROPEX 19. Among the key attributes of Naval forces are the 'versatility' to change roles, 'mobility' and 'poise'.
Availability of such a large number of combat-ready assets in the theatre of operations for TROPEX 19 allowed the Indian Navy to expeditiously respond to the developing situation in synergy with the three services, the release said. The overwhelming superiority of the Indian Navy in all three dimensions forced the Pakistan Navy to remain deployed close to the Makran coast and not venture out in the open ocean.
Earlier, TROPEX 19 had commenced with tri-services amphibious exercise in the Andaman and Nicobar islands with the participation of the Army and the Air Force. This was followed by the largest coastal defence exercise code-named SEA VIGIL on January 22 and January 23 with the participation of all 13 coastal states and union territories along with all maritime stakeholders.
The TROPEX itself was thus far the largest in terms of geographical spread covering the Indian Ocean Region and also with regard to the number of participating units. This day-long review of TROPEX 19 by the Chief of the Naval Staff with all operational commanders was intended to examine the conduct of the exercise and to assess the operational preparedness of the Indian Navy, the release said.
A realistic audit of the Indian Navy's deployment philosophy and fighting capability would also be undertaken, it said. The lessons learnt from the exercise would provide the planners with accurate assessments to fine-tune force structuring requirements, operational logistics, as also material and training imperatives, it added.
(With inputs from agencies.)