Indian Coast Guard conducted a conjoined exercise Sagar Kavach for the state of Odisha and West Bengal to validate the effectiveness of Coastal security mechanism along the Odisha and West Bengal coast. The exercise commenced at 0800 hrs on 21 Sep 23 and was terminated at 1800 hrs on 22 Sep 23. The main aim of the exercise was to evaluate the threats emanating from seaward in present geo-political scenario and validate existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of all Stakeholders for enhanced coastal security mechanism. The exercise was also aimed at checking the efficacy of layered security arrangements i.e air-surveillance, deep sea patrol by bigger ships of Coast Guard and Navy and close coast patrol by Coast Guard Interceptor Boats, boats of Marine Police, CISF, Customs and Forest department etc.
The Stakeholders who participated in the exercise included Indian Navy, Army Air Defence College Goplapur, Marine Police and State Police of both the states, CISF, Integrated Test Range/Port Experimental Establishment Chandipur, Forest Dept., Fisheries Dept., Customs, Ports in both the states, Light Houses, immigration and various intelligence agencies.
Participants of the exercise were divided into two teams i.e Attack (Red) Force and Defence (Blue) Force. The Attack team acted as anti-national elements who attempted to infiltrate into Coastal area, while Defence teams established Coastal Security Surveillance.The ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard, Indian Navy, the patrol boats of BSF, Marine Police, Customs and CISF, were deployed at sea, while land forces were deployed near the coast and entry points, in the two day long exercise. The efficacy of men and material was tested for alertness in preventing any incursion by non-state actors in our coastal areas. The sustained efforts put in by all stake holders ensured seamless flow of information from the lowermost formations to the higher echelons.
Real time Threats/situations were simulated for all the participating agencies to assess their preparedness and update SoPs. Enhanced security measures were instituted through security patrol at sea by Indian Coast Guard/ IN/ Marine Police/ forest and custom boats Indian Coast Guard and IN aircraft undertook extensive surveillance at sea off the coast of Odisha and West Bengal. Sagar Mitra force was deployed in Odisha and Fisherman watch group was deployed in West Bengal by states fishery departments at fishing harbours and fish landing centre/places.
The joint exercise achieved synergy in operations in all spheres of coastal security against threats, ranging from unauthorized access of vessels through sea using commandeered fishing boats, capture of high value targets, Port security, hostage crisis and infiltration through creeks.
The Exercise was instrumental in strengthening the close coordination among all coastal security stakeholders, develop progressive synergy, validating SOPs, identification of grey area and in enhancement of coastal security mechanism for the state of Odisha and West Bengal.