In a significant display of international cooperation, India and the European Union (EU) recently carried out their first joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Guinea, aimed at strengthening maritime security in the region. This exercise marked a milestone in their maritime security partnership and came following the EU-India Maritime Security Dialogue in Brussels.
Joint Naval Exercise in the Gulf of Guinea
On October 24, 2023, the Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, joined forces with ships from three EU member states in the Gulf of Guinea. The participating EU ships included the Italian Navy Ship ITS Foscari, French Navy Ship FS Ventôse, and Spanish Navy Ship Tornado. Together, these four vessels engaged in a series of tactical maneuvers conducted in international waters off the coast of Ghana. The exercises included boarding operations, flying exercises employing helicopters stationed on the French Ship Ventôse and Indian Naval Ship Sumedha, and personnel transfers between ships.
Knowledge Sharing in Accra, Ghana
Following the successful joint naval exercise, a knowledge sharing session took place in Accra, Ghana. This session aimed to build upon the collective experience gained at sea, further enhancing operational expertise. It also served as a platform for strengthening ties between Ghanaian officials and representatives from India, the EU, and EU member states’ missions to Ghana.
Commitment to Maritime Security
These collaborative activities underscored the mutual commitment of India and the EU to assist coastal states and uphold maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. They highlighted the extensive and dynamic nature of EU-India cooperation in the realm of maritime security. This joint effort also emphasized the collective determination to uphold the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In conclusion, the maiden joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Guinea reflects a global commitment to maritime security and cooperation. India and the European Union’s partnership in this endeavor not only strengthens the region’s security but also serves as a model of international collaboration in maintaining order and stability at sea.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- European Union Founded: 1 November 1993, Maastricht, Netherlands;
- European Union Founders: Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg.