New Delhi: The Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Monday urged naval commanders in Kochi to maintain a high tempo of operations and keep a strict vigil including stringent security measures to ensure safe coasts and secure seas.

“The Navy will always remain ready to protect, promote and preserve national interests in the maritime domain,” Sunil Lanba said in Kochi while presiding over the debrief of largest war-game of the Indian Navy – the Theatre-level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 19).

The exercise had commenced on January 7 and was planned to be terminated by March 10, but the Jaish-e-Mohammad sponsored terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 led to the rapid redeployment of the Indian Navy for operations in the North Arabian Sea, a defence press release said here Sunday.

The major combat units, including the carrier battle group with INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft swiftly transited from exercise to operational deployment mode as tension between India and Pakistan escalated, the release said.

A clear and resolute message regarding the operational posture of the Indian Navy to prevent, deter and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in the maritime domain was also issued during the tri-services press conference conducted on February 28, it said.

About 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft were part of TROPEX 19.

Among the key attributes of Naval forces are the ‘versatility’ to change roles, ‘mobility’ and ‘poise’.

Availability of such a large number of combat-ready assets in the theatre of operations for TROPEX 19 allowed the Indian Navy to expeditiously respond to the developing situation in synergy with the three services, the release said.

The overwhelming superiority of Indian Navy in all three dimensions forced the Pakistan Navy to remain deployed close to the Makran coast and not venture out in the open ocean.

(With agency inputs)