Bhubaneswar, Dec 15: In an effort to ensure better security along the eastern coast of India, Director General of Indian Coast Guard (DGICG) Vice-Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal on Monday inaugurated a new air squadron unit at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here.
Two Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard would be stationed at the new Air Enclave at the airport for meeting the requirement. The unit will operate under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North East) through the Commander, Coast Guard (Odisha).
The Coast Guard Air Enclave, Bhubaneswar was activated on April 10, 2013 and since then it has been engaged in undertaking air surveillance in the area. The enclave will further enrich the Coast Guard operations along the northern Bay of Bengal.
The Coast Guard are responsible for over 1.5 lakh square km of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, an official release said. In his address, Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal highlighted the maritime challenges in Odisha and significance of maritime and coastal security.
Recalling the maritime traditions of Kalinga, the ancient name of Odisha, the DGICG highlighted that numerous measures have bean initiated by the Central government under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North East) through the Commander, Coast Guard District No 7 (Odisha).
Besides coastal security, the commissioning of the Air Enclave will provide the required assistance for protection of sensitive marine environment. Further, the new enclave will boost shipping activities in the region.
As Odisha is also periodically affected by natural calamities, the availability of Coast Guard maritime air asset will enhance capability of disaster response.