The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sukanya which arrived in Colombo on 27th February 2023 on a three-day official visit, departed the island (01st March). At her departure, the ship conducted a naval exercise with SLNS Gajabahu of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Navy bade customary farewell to the departing ship in accordance with naval traditions at the Port of Colombo.
In the Passage Exercise (PASSEX), Replenishment at Sea (RAS) drills, formations and ship manoeuvres, communication exercises were conducted, and concluded with customary cheer ship between ships.
During the ship’s stay in Colombo, naval personnel of the Sri Lanka Navy took part in training programmes on board INS Sukanya. In the same vein, a group of naval personnel from INS Sukanya attended a training programme on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) at the Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) Headquarters in Gangewadiya, Puttalam. In addition, a yoga exercise session was held at the Galle Face Green, promoting the camaraderie between both navies and the crew members of INS Sukanya engaged in sightseeing tours, organised by the Sri Lanka Navy, in Colombo and Galle.
Another highlight of the itinerary was children of Diyakithulkanda Junior School in Galle and Kithsirigama Junior School in Monaragala visiting the Indian Naval Ship. On this occasion, the school children were gifted school supplies brought by INS Sukanya. The items were symbolically handed over to the children by the President of NSVU Mrs Mala Lamahewa.
Visits of this nature will be a valuable tool in promoting cooperation between regional navies. Apart from that, naval exercises and other training engagements conducted during such visits help share knowledge and information about their respective maritime environments, which can be particularly valuable in dealing with nontraditional threats and other common maritime challenges.