In anticipation of jointness among armed forces, the Army and Air Force together are participating in the Navy’s major maritime exercise Tropex-23, which is underway in the Indian Ocean Region, which of late is seeing a growing presence of China.
The theaterisation issue has picked up steam again with the appointment of General Anil Chauhan as the Chief of Defence Staff and is expected to take shape this year owing to future battle demand. With the biennial Tropex 23 exercise that started on January 3 and will continue until March 23, all surface combatants of the Navy, such as destroyers, frigates, corvettes, submarines, and aircraft, were put through complex maritime operational deployments to validate logistics and interoperability with other services, the ministry of defence said.
The exercise is being conducted in different phases, both in harbour and at sea, and encompasses various facets of combat operations, including live weapon firings, the ministry elaborated. “Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, this exercise provides an opportunity to test the combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy to operate in a multi-threat environment. The maritime exercise also facilitates operational-level interaction with the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Coast Guard, which will further strengthen interoperability and joint operations in a complex environment,” the ministry pointed out.
Interestingly, it coincided with another biennial AMPHEX 2023—the tri-service ambhibious exercise, which was conducted at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh from January 17. Aimed at increasing synergy, AMPHEX 23 was the largest ever exercise and held for the first time at Kakinada, the ministry stated.
From the Navy, a number of amphibious ships consisting of Large Platform Dock (LPD), landing ships and landing crafts, Marine Commandos (MARCOS), helicopters, and aircraft participated in the exercise. Over 900 troops from the Army, including those from Special Forces, Artillery, armored vehicles, and and the IAF’s Jaguar fighters and C-130 aircraft, battled it out in the exercise. It culminated in a successful amphibious assault, which was reviewed by Vice Adm. Sanjay Vatsayan, Chief of Staff Eastern Naval Command, in the presence of Force Commanders of the Indian Navy and Indian Army, said the MoD.
AMPHEX 2023 successfully demonstrated the amphibious capabilities and validated the excellent coordination that exists between the three services to undertake the full spectrum of amphibious operations.