13November2018

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Andaman And Nicobar Command, Pursuing Perfection Through Jointness

                   

The archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar (A & N) Islands is located at the confluence of vital sea lines of communication. This makes the region one of great geo-strategic relevance, translating into opportunities and advantages.  The location of these islands, the rich resources of marine wealth, the abundant forests and unique ecology require care and protection. Protection of these Islands and waters, makes the A&N Islands very important in the security matrix of the country.  It is therefore prudent to have a strong and visible security capability to protect our interests in this vital region.  It is also of utmost importance for us that the fragile eco system, tribal culture and the unique attributes of these Islands are nurtured and protected.

HISTORY

The unified nature of the military setup in the Islands has existed since the early 1970s.  Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) was commissioned on 08 Oct 2001 as the first unified Command, comprising the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Since its inception, the Unified Command  has effectively performed its charter of duties encompassing safeguarding the Islands, as well as the nation’s maritime boundaries including EEZ and air space, search and rescue at sea as well as anti-poaching operations.  In addition, the Command has been actively involved in assisting civil authorities for welfare and improvement of the Islands; be it disaster management, social welfare schemes, livelihood/employment of locals including human resource development and training for better job prospects, training to improve capacities as in training of Police/IRBN personnel for internal security duties alongside the military, welfare of ex serviceman and our senior citizens.  The ANC in its eleven years of existence has forged a strong security presence in this Eastern most bastion of India. ANC has risen from being a vision to an inspiration; a true representation of seamless jointness between the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard and in close synergy with the civil administration and society.

The Command is presently headed by Lt General NC Marwah, PVSM, AVSM.  The General took over as the 10th Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) on 01 Jan 11.  Prior to assuming charge of ANC, he was the Corps Commander of the prestigious Chinar Corps based at Srinagar.

OPERATIONS

The Primary role of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) is to ensure safety and security of Andaman and Nicobar Island and the sea areas around this vital space. The responsibility has enhanced with the CINCAN also being designated as the Commander-in-Chief Coastal Defence, for the A & N region. Additionally, the ANC provides effective assistance and support in the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (a vast area of 5, 95,217 square km, roughly 30% of total EEZ) of the country for which regular surveillance and patrolling of the seas surrounding the Islands is carried out.

As part of ANC’s mission of ‘Showing the Flag’ and also with the view to promoting goodwill among neighbouring nations and strengthening the spirit of friendship, assets of ANC regularly visit neighboring countries like Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore,  as also host foreign ships and delegations visiting  the Islands.

Protection of EEZ: Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), is continuing with its active and effective anti-poaching operations as part of Coastal Security measures in the Andaman Sea region. Various joint operations have been carried out and large number of poachers apprehended. In the year 2011, 387 poachers were apprehended and 43 boats were apprehended. In the current year ¬¬¬124 poachers and19 boats have been captured so far.

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Jaan Pehchan Patrols.  The Army Component regularly sends Joint area familiarisation patrols to most uninhabited and remote Islands of Andaman and Nicobar. The aim of Jaan - Pehchan Patrols is to establish presence in Remote and Isolated Islands. In the current year the units of the Army Component of the Command carried out Jaan-Pehchan Patrols in many remote places of Northern and Southern Group of Islands, wherein they have established very good rapport with the locals and the environment.

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Exercise TAT - SURAKSHA 01/12.   A three day  long Joint Coastal Security Exercise was conducted in the Andaman Sea concluding on 13 Apr 12.  Various central and state maritime stakeholders i.e A & N Administration, Marine Police, State Police, Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Port Management Board (PMB), Directorate of Shipping Services (DSS), Light House Authorities, Customs along with assets from Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard of Andaman and Nicobar Command participated in the exercise. 

The exercise was controlled and coordinated from Joint Operations Centre (Coastal Security) - JOC (CS), at HQ ANC. This was the fifth such exercise conducted in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Such exercises greatly help in formalizing and fine tuning the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on coastal security involving a number of agencies and synergizing their efforts.

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Ex-TROPEX.  Exercise TROPEX was conducted in Andaman & Nicobar area of responsibility from 15 Feb to 23 Feb 12 in which forces from the mainland exercised demonstrating joint capabilities and interoperability, and highlighting our capabilities to ensure the defence of A & N Islands.

Helocasting and Slithering:  These exercises are conducted at regular intervals by MI-8 inserting Special Forces and Army personnel to enhance the operational efficiency at sea and over land.

FOREIGN COOPERATION

IND-INDO CORPAT.  The India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) commenced with the Indonesian Navy in 2003, with the aim of coordinating patrolling, piracy exercise and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions. The biannual exercise is conducted at regular intervals in the Andaman Sea. The opening and closing ceremonies are organized alternately Port Blair and Belawan, Indonesia.      

INDO - THAI CORPAT.       The Indo-Thai Corpat was undertaken from 19- 26 Apr 12. The closing ceremony of the 14th cycle of Indo – Thai Corpat was conducted at Port Blair from 24 – 25 Apr 12. Royal Thai Navy Ship HTMS Kamronsin and one Dornier participated in the Mega Event. Vice Admiral Taratorn Kajitswan, Commander 3rd Naval Area visited Port Blair to participate in the closing ceremony. There are also regular exercises and  joints concerns are addressed in a collaborative manner.

MILAN – ‘FRIENDSHIP ACROSS THE SEAS’

The biennial conglomeration MILAN that commenced in 1995 provides a prime opportunity for ships and delegations from the Asia-Pacific Maritime Navies to participate in various exercises and interactions. Milan seeks to foster bonds of ‘Friendship across the Seas’ and to share/discuss Regional Maritime Security, mutual trust, co-operation and understanding on common maritime issues. MILAN has been held seven times since 1995, what started with participation of four foreign countries has since grown in stature and a  total of fourteen foreign countries participated in this grand mega event of Milan 2012. 

MILAN-12 was last organised at Port Blair from 01 Feb 12.  Naval ships from Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh and Indonesia arrived in Port Blair to participate in MILAN 12. An ‘International Maritime Seminar’ on ‘Capacity Building Through Maritime Cooperation’ was conducted on 03 Feb 12. The seminar was inaugurated by Lt Gen (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM, Lt Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In his inaugural address, the Lt Governor highlighted the role of Navies in Capacity Building Through Maritime Cooperation.

ACTIVITIES

Super Hercules: Gigantic Flying Machine lands at Air Force Station, Car Nicobar.   On 28 May 12 an IAF C-130J aircraft touched down at AF Station Carnic on its maiden flight. It marked a big leap in our strategic reach demonstrating the Nations ability to reach out to these remote and far-flung islands.  This also showcases our ability and operational capability to induct resources and forces for any eventuality. This vision of our planners to induct such versatile machines needs cognizance as the ANC stands ready for every mission.

NCC Cadets Day at Sea.   A day at sea for NCC cadets was conducted on            14 Feb 12. 200 NCC cadets from various islands embarked on four warships and sailed for five hours into the high seas as part of training for familiarization. Various exercises like firing, station keeping and SAR demonstration by IN Chetak were undertaken during the event. Additionally, cadets visited the ships in harbour and were taken around the ships for familiarization. The interaction of cadets with Indian Navy is a big motivation for them to join Armed forces as well as to sail on a warship and achieve sea legs.

Eastern Fleet Ships At Port Blair. Four ships of the Indian Navy from Eastern Fleet entered Port Blair on 03 Jul 12, after undertaking an operational deployment to the South China Sea and the North West Pacific. The ships deployed include indigenously built Guided Missile Stealth Frigate, a Guided Missile Destroyer, a Guided Missile Corvette and a versatile fast Fleet replenishment Tanker.

Disaster Relief.  It has been an earnest endeavour to stay prepared and trains to meet any natural disaster in the pristine islands. ANC conducted three major exercises in this regard to test our capabilities and further improve upon our response mechanism, so that we are able to help our fellow citizens in the time of need.   During one such event the elements of ANC from the Birchgunj Brigade, local Flotilla and Eastern Fleet set up a Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Camp at Hut Bay (Little Andaman Island) on 24 Sep 12 towards developing joint capabilities and capacities.  During this camp, the Islanders were familiarized with the role of the military in aid to civil power in disaster relief contingencies. Instructions were imparted to more than 300 people including children about the practices that could be adopted to tackle any natural disaster like Tsunami. The team also gave demonstrations to the general public regarding conduct of mass evacuation, first aid and general counseling. The team encouraged the maintenance of morale and maintaining high confidence levels so as to tackle any untoward eventuality.

Rescue Of Policeman From Tilangchang By IAF Mi-8 Helicopter.  ANC is constantly involved in rescue and evacuation of our civilian brothers on 29 Feb 12, AF Station Carnic received an SOS from Andaman and Nicobar Police for emergency rescue of a policeman who had been bitten by a venomous snake at Tillanchang. Upon receipt of this information, 122 HF sprang into action. The swift action taken by Andaman and Nicobar Command saved the life of the police personnel of A & N administration.            

Tsunami Relief (Evacuation of 15 Police Personnels from Indra Point).  On    12 Apr intimation was received by this HQ from INCOIS about a potential Tsunami that might be generated in view of multiple earthquakes that took place in the region South of Indonesia. Accordingly disaster management apparatus was activated and people at out laying dets were put on alert. Request was received from civil administration to evacuate police personnel located at Indira Point. Immediately  Andaman & Nicobar Command carried out Tsunami contingency proceedings , wherein 15 police personal  were evacuated by MI-8 from Indira point to safe places.      

AID TO CIVIL AGENCIES AND WELFARE ACTIVITIES

Veterans and Family Day (17 Jun 12): In a series of activities proposed for    ex-servicemen in the ‘Year of Veterans’, a Veteran & Family Day was organized in Brichgunj Military Station on 17 Jun 12.  A total of 140 ex-servicemen (approximate) attended the meet.

ESM RALLY (23 SEP 12).  Support to Ex-servicemen (ESM) continued in Birchgunj Military Station as part of the “Year of the Veteran” to honour and support Ex-servicemen who have served the Nation with pride and given their best years to the nation.  In consonance with the theme, an ESM Rally was organized for resolving pension related cases on 23 September 2012 by 154 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) BIHAR at Birchgunj Military Station. It was attended by approx 77 ESM and their families / widows from the Islands.  The event was organized under the aegis of the Amphibian Brigade.

IRBN TRAINING: Towards fulfilling the commitment of providing assistance to Civil Administration and enhancing the scope of Civil-Military interface, the Army Component has been providing regular training to the Police recruits and the recruits of Indian Reserve Battalion. The Army Component had imparted training to the first batch of Indian Reserve Battalion recruits last year and this year the Army Component has trained two more batches of Indian Reserve Battalion recruits. In effect, a total of three batches of 135 Indian Reserve Battalion recruits have been successfully trained by the Army Component.

Training of Police Rect Constables.  In order to familiarize the recruits with the organization and work culture of the Army as well as to train on field craft and tactics, jungle survival, ambush and map reading, a special training for 257 Police Recruit Constables of Andaman and Nicobar Police has been organized.   ANC also under took training awareness program, so to ensure maximum number of young boys get job opportunities.

Employment opportunities.    In view to enhance the job opportunities and undertake human resource development to the local populace, nine personnel have been recruited in Static workshop and one in the Territorial Army unit.   Three individuals have been sent for apprentice training on the mainland and large number of individuals will be recruited in a phased manner in ANC establishments.

Medical Camps At Remote Islands.              Andaman and Nicobar Command through INHS Dhanvantari has taken a proactive initiative to ensure delivery of health care to the needy civilian and tribal population of various Islands including the remotely located Southern Group of Islands.

Various outreach programmes are undertaken by the Command, in which multispecialty medical camps are organised in various parts of the islands at regular intervals for the benefit of the local population in many of the far flung islands of Andaman and Nicobar.   A total of 10 such camps were held in the year of 2011 and 05 camps in this year till to date.

Pulse Polio Immunisation.    A pulse polio immunisation campaign was carried out by Station MI Room, Birchgunj on 19 Feb 12 and 15 Apr 12 from 0800 hrs to 1200 hrs.

Blood Donation Camp.  A blood donation camp was organized at Central Medical Information Room in the Army Component on 10 Oct 11 and 13 Aug 12.  A large number of JCOs and Jawans donated blood, which has been handed over the Blood Bank, GB Pant Hospital, Port Blair.

Medical Camp at Campbell Bay.        Ships of the Indian Navy in coordination with  INS Baaz, the Naval Air Station  conducted a Medical Camp at Campbell Bay on 18 and 19 Sep 12.  Approximately 400 people benefited from the Medical Aid and advice provided at the camp. The camp also visited two primary schools for medical check up of children and screened a very valuable movie on AIDS for the general public.   The target audience was sensitised regarding basic hygiene and healthcare.   A few patients were also referred to G B Pant Hospital at Port Blair for review by specialists.   

Medical Camp At Campbell Bay

NSRY Celebrates Engineer’s Day With Students Of Dr BR Ambedkar Institue Of Technology.   Naval Ship Repair Yard commemorated the legendary engineer’s birth anniversary  with the students of Dr B R Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Pahargaon, Port Blair by organising a visit to the Yard’s repair facilities and Floating Dock Navy-1 on 14 Sep 12. The programme was a Andaman & Nicobar Command and Naval Ship Repair Yard initiative towards development of technical human resource pool in Andaman and Nicobar Islands by knowledge sharing.  The onsite interaction between the personnel and engineers of the Yard and the students on intricate aspects of ship repairs has proved to be extremely invigorating to the budding engineers.

CT Scan Machine inaugurated at INHS Dhanvantari.    A state of the art, 16-Slice spiral CT Scan machine was inaugurated by Lt Gen NC Marwah, PVSM, AVSM Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command on 23 Aug 12 at INHS Dhanvantari. The function was attended by a host of senior Service officers and civilian dignitaries including Dr. SK Paul, Director Health Services.

The ultra modern CT Machine has multi detector capabilities and can virtually slice the body into 0.625 mm thick sections. With this machine even a lesion as small as 2 mm can be picked up with confidence.

CT Scan machine inaugurated by Lt Gen NC Marwah, PVSM, AVSM, Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command

NWWA OUTREACH “SPARSH” REACHES OUT TO THE KIDS OF RAMKRISHNA  MISSION ON THE EVE ON INDEPENDENCE DAY. As part of Independence Day Celebrations, a day with the Indian Navy was organised on 15 Aug by the Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) for children from Ramakrishna Mission Welfare Home. The programmes commenced with a visit and walk around 06 Indian Naval Ship.  The highlight of the day was a Harbour Cruise for the children onboard Yard Craft Manoram.

Children Of Ramakrishna Mission On Harbour Cruise

ARMY COMPONENT HOSTS LUNCH AT THE FERRARGUNJ OLD AGE HOME.  On the occasion of the 66th Independence Day a lunch was organized for the residents of the Old Age Home at Ferrargunj by the Army Component of Andaman and Nicobar Command on 13 Aug 12.  The interaction with the residents of the old age home included lunch and was aimed at understanding and fostering a sense of responsibility and empathy for the elders and the needy. Gifts were distributed as a community service thus making the residents feel loved and wanted.

Old Age Home Elders At Ferrargunj

Currently as ANC celebrates here 12th Raising Day, two hydrographic ships INS Sandhyak and INS Darshak undertake hydrographic surveys, validating and updating marine charts, measuring tides.

The ANC thus continues to render yeoman service to the islands and her friendly people. The ANC remains Committed to every support whilst respecting the fragile nature of the unique eco-systems we are blessed with.