Stage set for Indo-German Naval exercises

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Kochi, Apr 7 (UNI) The stage is set for a three-day Indo-German Naval exercise in the Arabian Sea, off the Southern and Western Coasts of India, starting tomorrow.

The exercises, aimed at improving the inter-operability of the two forces, will begin off Kochi in the morning, Rear Admiral Karl W Bollow, Commander, German 2nd Flotilla, told newspersons on board Air Defence Ship (ADS) 'FGS Hamburg' today.

The German Navy will conduct the exercises with the Southern Naval Command off Kochi tomorrow and the Western Naval Command off Marmugao, Goa, on April nine and ten.

Nearly 1,000 personnel -- 700 German and 300 Indian-- aboard three German and two Indian ships will take part in the ten-hour exercise off Kochi tomorrow.

The Indian ships participating in the exercise tomorrow will be the cadet training ships, 'INS Krishna', a frigate, and 'INS Tir', of the 1st Tranining Squadron of the Indian Navy, a Southern Naval Command Spokesman said.

The exercises off Kochi will comprise 'seamanship exercises', exchange of personnel and flying exercises involving an Indian helicopter.

On April nine and ten, the German Navy will conduct more advanced and technical exercises with the Western Naval Command off Marmugao, involving three of its ships and two Indian frigates, Admiral Bollow said. .

The exercises off Marmugao will include surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, firing and gunnery.

Besides the ADS 'FGS Hamburg', the other two German ships participating in the exercises are 'FGS Koeln', a frigate, and 'FGS Berlin', a replenishment tanker.

The German ships arrived in Kochi on April five after conducting a three-week exercise with the South African Navy.

After the three-day exercises with the Indian Navy, the German ships, with Captain Michael Budde as the Commander Task Force, will leave for Germany via Oman and Egypt.

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