Indian navy shares peace with Namibia | World Defense

Indian navy shares peace with Namibia

Sep 11, 2019
17 0 1
Indian navy shares peace with Namibia
News - National | 2019-09-19Page no: 6by Adam Hartman

BATTLESHIP ... The Indian naval battleship, 'INS Tarkash' (which means 'quiver') sailing the high seas before calling at the port of Walvis Bay. Photo: Contributed.
AN Indian naval battleship, INS Tarkash, docked at the port of Walvis Bay this week as part of a routine exercise and as a peacekeeping gesture to Namibia.
The naval officers told The Namibian during a press conference on board the ship on Tuesday that the 'Tarkash' is considered a modern stealth frigate commissioned in 2012 and part of the Western Fleet of the Indian navy based in Mumbai, India, under the Western Naval Command.

“The name suggests a quiver full of different arrows as per our logo. It is because of the wide range of weaponry and missiles we have on board. From underwater submarine torpedos, to surface-to-surface rockets and a surface-to-air gun. We are ready for anything, but we are not at war. We are here to bring peace and help maintain peace,” surface-to-surface weapon commander Ankush Kumar Yadav told The Namibian.

The call to port was part of a three-month long overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Africa and Europe.

“We are very lucky to be back in Namibia after two years,” said ship commander captain Sathish Vasudev, remembering the last time he was on a similar mission in 2017.

“The port call is a demonstration of India's warm ties with Namibia and its commitment to the maritime security in the region and solidarity with friendly countries. India and Namibia have close and cordial political and diplomatic relations,” he said.

'Tarkash' has an all-male 290 member crew.

“We are in the process of designing ships to be more friendly for women crews,” said Vasudev.

Indian naval ships have been increasingly deployed in recent times to address main maritime concerns of the region, including piracy off the coast of Somalia and for disaster relief.

Following devastating Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in March, four Indian naval ships were among the first responders, and participated in various relief efforts, including evacuation of people, medical assistance and supply of medicines, provisions and assisting in aerial surveys.

The Indian navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean with hydrographic survey, search and rescue, surveillance and other capacity-building and capability-enhancement activities.

'Tarkash' earlier visited several other countries and had friendly engagements with the navies concerned. In Africa, the port calls included Djibouti, Alexandria (Egypt), Tangiers (Morocco), Lagos (Nigeria), and Dakar (Senegal).

During its visit to Walvis Bay, Vasudev paid courtesy calls on the local leaders and senior defence officers to discuss bilateral cooperation. Officers and sailors of the Indian warship also had interaction with the Namibian navy, including friendly volleyball matches and yoga on board the ship.

Schoolchildren will also have an opportunity to visit the ship.

Asked who won the volleyball game, Vasudev quipped: “Whenever we are visitors, we maintain our friendship by allowing the other team to win.”

Tarkash left Walvis Bay yesterday and its next port of call will be Mozambique