Kochi, Apr 12 (PTI) The Southern Naval Command was augmented with the arrival of INS Magar from Vishakhapatnam.

The ship was welcomed by Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, headquarters of Southern Naval Command on Wednesday, a defence press release said today.

The ship would join the first training squadron for training young officers. Over the next few weeks, it would undergo modification for accommodating sea trainees, prior to commencing her training role, the release said. Thereafter, it would be used to impart training in seamanship, navigation, ship-handling, boat-work, engineering and electrical departmental skills, among other disciplines.

Also, the ship would expose the trainees to the rigorous life at sea, the release added.

The ship is being prepared to increase the capacity of the training squadron to meet the rise in the training load of officer-trainees and also to cater to the maintenance requirements of the existing ships.

INS Magar, a Landing Ship Tank (large) of the Navy was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata, and commissioned on July 18, 1987.

Over the past 30 years, the ship has participated in amphibious exercises, fleet deployment and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. The major operations undertaken by the ship include: Operation Pawan (Indian Peace Keeping Force operations in Sri Lanka), wherein it played a role in movement of logistics supplies to the area of operations and supported the IPKF land forces.

The ship has participated in all major amphibious exercises on both seaboards and also undertaken humanitarian and disaster relief operations on numerous occasions. The noteworthy operation was during the 2004 tsunami, wherein the ship provided relief to 1,300 survivors.

INS Magar is commanded by Commander Praveen Kumar Sinha, a marine commando who is a qualified “saturation diver” and specialised in counter-terrorist operations and explosive ordnance disposal.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.