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Current Affairs 26 March 2019 Digest 2: Indian Navy’s nuclear training facility launched, Mitra Shakti-VI begins

The Indian Navy's state of the art Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Training Facility has been inaugurated by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba at INS Shivaji, Lonavala. The new facility will train personnel of naval ships fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical detection and protection systems.

Mar 26, 2019 11:35 IST
Current Affairs 26 March 2019 Digest 2: Indian Navy’s new nuclear training facility launched

Story 1- Indian Navy's nuclear, chemical training facility inaugurated
 
The Indian Navy's state of the art Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Training Facility (NBCTF) was inaugurated on March 25, 2019 by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba at INS Shivaji, Lonavala.

The training facility has been named ABHEDYA, which means impenetrable in Sanskrit. The Goa Shipyard Limited had signed the contract with the Indian Navy for the construction of the facility in March 2016. It was handed over to the Indian Navy on September 28, 2019, well ahead of schedule.

The timely completion of this project reflects the superior technical design and execution abilities of the Indian Navy and Goa Shipyard Limited.

Objective

The new facility is expected to help train personnel of naval ships fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical detection and protection systems.

Key Highlights

The steel structure of the simulator represents the relevant NBC compartment of the ship such as upper decks, citadels, cleansing stations and DCHQ.

The upper deck compartment is equipped with live agents along with NBC equipment such as SIRS, SICADS and other NBC detection and monitoring equipment.

The trainees will have to detect, monitor, survey and decontaminate the areas using actual NBC equipment, providing real-time NBC scenarios.

Impact

The nuclear training facility will help Indian Navy in providing realistic simulation of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological warfare to its personnel during their NBC damage control training, which was till now largely limited to theoretical training.

Story 2- India, Sri Lanka joint exercise 'Mitra Shakti-VI' begins

The annual joint exercise between India and Sri Lanka, 'Mitra Shakti-VI', began at Diyatalawa in Sri Lanka on March 26, 2019. The exercise will conclude on April 8, 2019.

The exercise is conducted every year as a part of military diplomacy and interaction between the armies of the two nations. It is held in India and Sri Lanka alternatively.  India has sent a 120 member strong contingent of army personnel including 11 officers to participate in the two-week long exercise.

While the Indian side will be represented by the troops from 1st battalion of the Bihar Regiment, the Sri Lanka army would be represented by the Gemunu Watch Battalion.

Objective

The key aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the nations and to enhance the ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.

Key Highlights

The exercise will help in building proficiency in tackling transnational terrorism, the conduct of joint tactical operations and building combat skills.

It will also provide an ideal platform for sharing each other's experiences and learning from best practices being followed by both the armies.

It will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency and counter-terrorist environment under the United Nations mandate.

This year, the scope of the exercise has been significantly increased, as, in addition to infantry-based events, the participation of personnel from artillery, engineers, signals, army medical corps and special forces will also take place.

It would also involve sports fixtures and cultural events providing an opportunity for both armies to learn from each other, re-enforce shared values and to build individual bonds of friendship and camaraderie.

Significance

The exercise is expected to go a long way in further cementing the relationship between both the nations.

It is also expected to act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at grassroots levels between the armies of the two maritime neighbours.

Background

Mitra Shakti is one of the largest bilateral armies to army exercises conducted in the region. Based on the success of previous exercises, it has been recently upgraded from a platoon level engagement to a full company level engagement.