Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday called for enhanced coastal security and expressed satisfaction over the thrust being attached by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for indigenisation and augmenting its fleet under ‘Make in India’ programme to face the challenges posed by various elements.
He was speaking after commissioning the Indian Coast Guard Ship Veera, third in the series of seven offshore patrol vessels built by L&T Shipbuilding.
Describing the induction of the ship as a historic occasion, Gen. Rawat said the dynamics of modern conflicts was fast changing.
“Scenarios to fight in the sea and air are undergoing change,” he said and stressed the need to work in close coordination with the Army, and explained how they were successfully working jointly in the Andamans and other parts.
Stating that the Coast Guard was the youngest force created by the Ministry of Defence in 1978, he said they had been mandated to take up various operations to ensure round the clock surveillance with a hawk eye vigil on coastal and maritime security.
Gen. Rawat said that the Coast Guard had developed flexibility and resilience to work as per the demand and underlined how it had played a stellar role in taking up joint operations with the Army. The induction of air cushion vehicles would further strengthen the capabilities of the Coast Guard, the fourth largest force in the world.
He said the Coast Guard was working in close coordination with the Navy and other stakeholders in serving the maritime security and coastal security.
It was also extending aid to civil authorities in the event of natural calamities such as cyclones and floods, he said and cited how it saved several lives during the Chennai and Kerala floods.
Earlier, on arrival he was extended a ceremonial welcome by a 50-men guard of honour. Director-General of ICG Flag Officer Rajendra Singh and Chief of Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh and Managing Director and CEO of L&T Shipbuilding Vice Admiral (Retd.) B. Kannan, were present.