The Sri Lanka Navy-Indian Navy joint exercise SLINEX-2018, held in Trincomalee from 7-13 September, concluded on a successful note last week, the Navy said.
Around 1,000 naval personnel from both countries took part in the seven-day exercise which was held across two phases - the Harbor and Sea phases.
Sri Lanka Navy ships SLNS Sayurala, SLNS Samudura and SLNS Suranimila and Indian Navy ships INS Sumitra, INS Kirch and INS Cora Divh, together with two Dornier aircraft and a helicopter, joined the naval drill.
The wide range of activities performed at SLINEX included ship manoeuvring exercises, transfer of persons and goods between ships by means of helicopters, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations and communication drills.
Further, this year’s exercise was joined by personnel from the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) and Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS).
SLINEX 2018 enabled both navies to rehearse and improve their own capabilities and enhance the operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region by integrating forces. The pilots of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) also augment the capability of this joint exercise, landing a helicopter onto the helipad of the SLNS Sayurala. The event etched a significant milestone in Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) history as it became the first instance where a helicopter was landed onto a SLN platform.
The SLAF pilots, who utilised a helicopter belonging to the Indian Navy for this drill, executed the exercise to perfection. The training drill was a whole new experience for both SLN and SLAF personnel and they engaged in the practice enthusiastically.
Exercises of this nature will help foster mutual understanding between the Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force and its fruitful outcome will make way for sister forces to work in unison in a bid to strengthen the security of the island’s territorial waters.