The Indian Navy’s indigenous offshore patrol vessel, INS Saryu, will participate in a week-long ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Disaster Relief Exercise (DiREx), an official statement said on Saturday.
The vessel is commanded by Cdr Sreekumar Pillai and operates under the the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
Co-hosted by Malaysia and China, the exercise will kick-off on Sunday in Malaysia and see the participation of Thailand, apart from India. The exercise is being conducted in Penang, northern Malaysia, from May 24 to 28.
“The aim of the exercise is sharing of information and networking among national agencies of this region towards providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) during natural calamities like earthquakes and tsunami etc as well as Search and Rescue (SAR) for ships and aircraft lost at sea,” the official statement added.
According to the Indian Navy, there was a consensus in the ASEAN Regional Forum on the need to better mitigate, manage and respond to natural and man-made disasters in the region.
“Disaster management continues to be a vital area for cooperation in the region,” the statement said.
The exercise will include field training drills in mass evacuation, managing chemical leakages and road accidents and conducting search and rescue operations.
The marine component of the exercise would include search and rescue operations using a simulated maritime incident and deploying helicopters to locate survivors as well as diving operations to evacuate trapped personnel.
This is the third edition of DiREx, with the previous two held in Philippines in 2009 and in Indonesia in 2011.