In continuation of the training interaction between the Sri Lankan Navy and Indian Navy, three ships from the Indian Navy’s ‘First Training Squadron’ commanded by Senior Officer Capt. Vinay Kumar Sawhney and comprising INS ‘Sujata’, INS ‘Tarangini’ and ICGS ‘Varuna’ visited Colombo from 17-21 April 2013.
INS ‘Sujata’ is an offshore patrol vessel commanded by Commander Dalip Singh, INS ‘Tarangini’ is a sail training ship commanded by Commander T. Sugreev and ICGS ‘Varuna’ is an offshore patrol vessel commanded by Commander K.M. Arun Kumar.
The last visit to Sri Lanka by the First Training Squadron was in October 2010. The Indian Navy’s training squadron ships visit Sri Lanka regularly for the cadet exchange program. During the visit, the Senior Officer Capt. Vinay Kumar Sawhney and the three commanding officers paid courtesy calls on Rear Admiral S.A.M.J. Perera, Director General Operations, Rear Admiral M.U.K.V. Bandara, Director General Training and Rear Admiral S.S. Ranasinghe, COMWEST.
The Indian cadets disembarked at Colombo on a two-day tour to the Sri Lanka Naval and Maritime Academy at Trincomalee and other places of interest. Naval personnel from the ships rendered community welfare services at Arun Shanthi Nivas Child Orphanage at Wattala. During the community welfare service, the ships team painted buildings, carried out electrical works and gifted rations to the children’s orphanage.
On 19 April, the ships hosted a reception onboard INS Sujata and ICGS Varuna, which was attended by Vice Admiral J.S.K. Colombage, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, senior officers of the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force, high commissioners/ambassadors and members of the Indian community.
During the reception the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy thanked the Indian Navy for providing them with valuable training. The Commander fondly remembered the various training courses he had undergone in India during his naval career. The High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha thanked the Commander of the Navy for the outstanding arrangements made by the Sri Lankan Navy for the visit of ships and expressed the hope that cooperation between the two sides would continue to expand for mutual benefit.
During this ship visit, training programs for Sri Lankan Navy cadets were organised onboard INS ‘Sujata’ , INS ‘Tarangini’ and ICGS ‘Varuna’. 250 cadets/under trainee officers from the Sri Lankan Navy embarked onboard the Indian ships for sea experience on 20 April 2013. Such visits underline the commitment of the Government of India to continuing the close cooperation with Sri Lanka in the field of defence and security.