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— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

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— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

US Coast Guard Ship Bertholf visits Port Blair for the joint exercise “Sea Defenders-2024” with Indian Coast Guard

March 7, 2024 Photo(s): By IndiaCoastGuard / X
(Above) Indian Coast Guard Regional HQ (A&N) welcomed USCG Cutter Bertholf at Port Blair on March 7, 2024

Marking a significant step in bolstering bilateral cooperation between the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the USCG Ship Bertholf reached Port Blair on March 7, 2024, for joint exercise with Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Codenamed “Sea Defenders-2024”, the joint exercise is scheduled to take place on March 9-10, 2024 off the coast of Port Blair.

The exercise will simulate scenarios relevant to maritime piracy and asymmetric threats, including simulated drone attacks on commercial merchant traffic, joint maritime search and rescue operations, major firefighting, marine pollution response, and counter-drug interdiction exercises. Additionally, a simulated medical evacuation will be conducted to enhance readiness in emergency situations.

The Legend-class United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Bertholf is equipped with advanced technology and weaponry, including helicopter landing pad, state-of-the-art sensors and communication equipment. The ship serves the operational function for complex law enforcement, defence, and national security missions, reflecting the USCG's commitment to maritime safety and security. Its visit to India travelling more than 16,000 Nautical Miles from Alameda, California reflects a shared commitment to upholding maritime norms and promoting a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.

This exercise underscores the importance of international cooperation in addressing maritime challenges. It reaffirms the longstanding partnership between the Indian Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard which is an important component of the strategic partnership between the two countries. The Indian Coast Guard has extensive interactions with United States Coast Guard, particularly in the field of training, exercises and cooperative measures. High level interaction between the two maritime agencies has been a regular feature towards maintaining professional relationship. Earlier, on September 22, 2022, USCG Ship Midgett visited Chennai.