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Indian Naval Ships, INS SUJATA from the First Training Squadron and ICGS VARUNA from the Indian Coast Guard, will be visiting Male on a goodwill visit from 08 to 14 Apr 2013. The First Training Squadron is part of the Southern Naval Command located at Kochi, Kerala. The Squadron is commanded by Capt Vinay Kumar Sawhney, Senior Officer First Training Squadron. The Indian Naval Ship Sujata is commanded by Cdr Dalip Singh and the Indian Coast Guard Ship Varuna is commanded by Cdr KM Arun Kumar.
The primary role of the ships is to train young officer cadets of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard in the fine art of seamanship, navigation, astronavigation and Electrical & Marine Engineering. The cadets after 22 weeks of vigorous training graduate from the fine portals of this Squadron to undergo their afloat attachment as Midshipmen on board Fleet ships of the Indian Navy/Indian Coast Guard.
The aim of the visit of the ships is to build ‘Bridges of Friendship’ and foster greater people to people interaction between the two countries. During the ships stay at Male many professional and social interactions are planned between the Indian Navy and Maldivian National Defence Forces.
The two ships would also be open for the local populace including school children to visit from 0900 to 1600 hr on 09 and 10 Apr 2013. The visit of the two ships would culminate in a joint Naval patrol of Maldives EEZ in coordination with MNDF Coast Guard.
As part of the visit Vice Admiral Satish Soni, PVSM, AVSM, NM Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Southern Naval Command would be visiting Male from 08 to 11 Apr 2013. The Admiral would be holding talks with the Minister of Defence and National Security, Chief of Defence Force and would be visiting various training establishments of the MNDF.
During the visit, the Indian side will also handover large volume of Gym Equipment for the MNDF and spare parts for the Indian Coast Guard Helicopter “Huraavi”, which has been gifted by Indian Government to Maldives and presently stationed in Gan, Addu City.