India, Australia begin first bilateral exercise

Visakhapatnam, Sep 11 (IANS) India and Australia on Friday started the first bilateral exercise AUSINDEX here in a bid to boost ties between the two navies.

From Australia, Anzac class frigate, HMAS Arunta, oiler HMAS Sirius, and Collins class submarine HMAS Sheean entered the Visakhapatnam port on Friday.

The exercise will include integrated operations with surface, air and sub-surface forces, planning and the conduct of anti-submarine warfare exercises, helicopter cross deck operations, surface and anti-air firing exercises, and seamanship exercises.

The exercise will comprise of a harbour phase, a sea phase as well as a debrief phase.

Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews on a recent visit to India said the objectives of the exercise was strengthening relationships and understanding of procedures through professional as well as social interactions.

He also hoped to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation through conduct of mission-specific briefings, table top exercises and scenario-based practical demonstrations and exercises, and exchanging professional views through sharing experiences on specific topics of interest.

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