April 25, 2017

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Indian Warships Visit Toulon, France

In continuation of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and West Coast of Africa, three Indian warships INS Mumbai, Trishul, and Aditya, arrived at Toulon for a three day visit today. The ships were warmly received by the Administration in Toulon and the French Navy at Toulon Naval Base in coordination with the Embassy of India. The visiting ships are a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command and the Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the guided missile destroyer, INS Mumbai.

On completion of the visit at Toulon, bilateral exercise Varuna between the Indian Navy and the French Navy is scheduled from 24 to 30 Apr 17. The VARUNA series of exercises began in 2000 and have grown into an institutionalised form of interaction between the two navies. The last VARUNA exercise was held off the Indian coast.

The current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly and like minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds between India and France. The visit of Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command to France, coinciding with the visit of the IN ships to France and conduct of Exercise VARUNA, amply demonstrate the Indian Navy’s engagement with the French Navy.

The FOC-in-C West is scheduled to visit the French frigate FNS Auvergne, a French Nuclear Submarine Unit, as well as an Underwater Weapons Facility. He would also call on senior official in France, including Vice Admiral Charles-Henri du Che, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Sea Area (CECMED).

Relations between India and France have traditionally been close and friendly. Defence cooperation between India and France has grown substantially in the recent past and the interaction between the Indian Navy and the French Navy has been one of the cornerstones of this framework. With the establishment of the strategic partnership in 1998, there has been significant progress in all areas of bilateral co-operation including defence, nuclear energy and space. A high level committee for defence cooperation between the two countries at the level of Defence Secretaries met in Paris in 2015. Bilateral exercises such as Garuda, Shakti and Varuna have been a regular feature between the two nations.

The IN warships will engage with the French Navy during their stay in the country and a number of professional interactions including the bilateral exercise VARUNA, sports and social engagements are planned. The visiting IN ships will host a reception onboard tomorrow. The interaction between two professional navies will go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding between the two. 

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UAE Concludes Joint Military Exercise with Malaysia

A military exercise in Abu Dhabi between UAE and Malaysian ground forces, Desert Tiger 4, ended on Thursday.

The Desert Tiger series is an annual joint exercise between the two countries to highlight professionalism and efficiency of UAE Ground Forces troops and to raise their level of combat readiness.

Maj Gen Saleh Al Amiri, Commander of UAE Ground Forces, attended the military exercise along with General Dato’ Sri Zulkiple bin Hj Kassim, Malaysian army chief.

Desert Tiger 4 comes part of the UAE leadership’s continued desire to support and create distinguished partnerships between UAE and Malaysia.

Another aim is to promote mutual cooperation and achieve a common vision by sharing experiences, enhancing joint military actions, and raising the level of performance and combat efficiency.

The exercise also trains ground forces on the use of modern weapons for all types of combat operations.

The UAE Ground Forces have been drafting training plans for their personnel. The Desert Tiger 4 exercise highlighted the success of these plans, Wam said.

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Four Pakistan FC personnel killed in roadside blast in Kech district, Balochistan

At least four personnel of the Frontier Corps laid their lives and three others were injured when a remote-controlled bomb hit their vehicle in Balochistan's Kech district on Sunday evening

The vehicle was destroyed due to the intensity of the blast, the official said.

The intensity of blast completely destroyed the vehicle of FC personnel.

The FC convoy was on routine patrolling when it was targeted by unidentified miscreants, he said.

The injured FC personnel were rushed to Turbat hospital for medical treatment.

The FC and Levies personnel reached the spot following the incident as the investigation into the incident went underway. Security was tightened in the area following the terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri was quick to condemn the incident soon after it occurred. He reportedly directed the law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators of the terror attack to book.

FC personnel sacrificed their lives for guarding the motherland and innocent citizens, the chief minister said in a statement issued to the press.

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