VICE admiral SPS Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command witnessed naval operations by the Western Fleet at sea on May 8, 2015. Flying operations from on board INS Viraat and other fleet ships, weapon firings and other drills were demonstrated to the AOC-in-C in addition to joint exercise by IN ships IAF aircrafts. The exercise was aimed at enhancing cooperation between Indian Navy and Indian Air Force in western seaboard of India.
According to defence spokesperson, the exercises were being conducted off the Gujarat coast. The Navy is also focusing attention on creating operational infrastructure in Gujarat. Towards this, Smt Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat, is scheduled to commission the naval base at Porbandar as INS Sardar Patel on May 9, 2015.
Vice Admiral SPS Cheema had earlier visited air stations under South Western Air Command for an interaction with the senior hierarchy and operation staff. With a considerable force, capable of operating and projecting air power at sea, South Western Air Command would be the primary cooperation air component of the IAF during naval operations in the Arabian Sea. Similarly, Indian Navy’s expanding air power and air defence capability at sea requires close cooperation between the two forces. The visit today is yet another step towards enhancing synergy between the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.