In a bid to fortify coastal security mechanisms and validate standard operating procedures, the coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ is set to unfold its strategic manoeuvres along the Kerala and Mahe coasts on November 16-17, 2023. The exercise, conducted semi-annually, is a collaborative effort with active participation from various central and state agencies, showcasing a unified approach to fortifying India’s coastal defences.
Coordinated by the Indian Coast Guard, ‘Sagar Kavach’ brings together an amalgamation of forces, including the Indian Navy, Coastal Police/State Police, Intelligence Bureau, Customs, CISF, Department of Port, Department of Fisheries, DGLL, and Kadalora Jagiratha Samithi. This comprehensive collaboration underscores the importance of a multi-agency approach in ensuring the security of the vast coastal stretch.
The participating units in the exercise are strategically divided into two teams – Attack (Red) and Defence (Blue) forces. The Red forces simulate infiltration attempts into coastal areas from seawards, challenging the coastal defenses. In contrast, the Blue forces counteract these simulated threats by establishing Coastal Security Surveillance to intercept and neutralize any infiltration attempts.
Recognizing the pivotal role of fishermen in coastal security, the exercise emphasizes the need for their active involvement. Fishermen are urged to promptly report any unknown vessels operating in proximity to the coast to the Indian Coast Guard. This collaborative approach aims to enhance the eyes and ears along the coastal region, turning the local fishing community into a valuable asset for security.
Successes From Past Exercises
Highlighting the effectiveness of past exercises, a press release from the Indian Coast Guard revealed that during the last coastal security exercise in April 2023, all attacks were successfully neutralized by the Coastal Security Group (Blue Force). This achievement underscores the positive outcomes of regular collaborative efforts, showcasing a synergized approach that strengthens India’s coastal security framework.
Covering the entire stretch of the Kerala and Mahe coast, spanning an impressive 590 kilometers, ‘Sagar Kavach’ encapsulates diverse geographical and operational challenges. The exercise is designed to address the unique complexities of the coastal terrain, ensuring that security mechanisms are robust and adaptive to various scenarios.
The regular conduct of ‘Sagar Kavach’ and similar exercises over time reflects the commitment to building resilience and preparedness in the face of evolving security challenges. By fostering coordination among central and state stakeholders, these exercises contribute significantly to maintaining an effective coastal security apparatus.
As ‘Sagar Kavach’ prepares to unfold its strategic tableau, it signifies a proactive stance in safeguarding India’s maritime borders and upholding the nation’s commitment to ensuring a secure and impregnable coastal front.