Indian Navy Ship (INS) Sumedha is visiting Australia as part of global celebrations for India’s 75th Anniversary of Independence or ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
CAPTION: Commanding Officer INS Sumedha Commander Phaneendra, left, Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling Captain Gary Lawton and Indian Defence Advisor Captain Akhilesh Menon in front of INS Sumedha during its visit to Fremantle. Story by Lieutenant Carolyn Martin. Photo by Petty Officer Richard Cordell.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond welcomed the Sumedha’s visit to the Port of Fremantle from August 14-17.
“I warmly welcome Indian Navy Ship Sumedha and her crew to Perth in celebration of this important occasion,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.
“The Royal Australian Navy congratulates India on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Independence and the evolution of their Navy into one of the world’s finest and most respected.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead India’s national celebrations on August 15 and said the Mahotsav was “a festival of awakening of the nation, festival of fulfilling the dream of good governance, and the festival of global peace and development.”
The Indian Navy has deployed ships to every continent except Antarctica, and Sumedha, with a crew of 150, will be the sole Indian Navy ship in Australia during the Mahotsav celebrations.
Vice Admiral Hammond said the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy have a good cooperative and trusted relationship forged over many years.
“We have been conducting the biennial exercise AUSINDEX together since 2015, and each time it has increased in scale and complexity. This allows us to build interoperability across surface, air, and underwater domains,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.
“As well as training together in AUSINDEX, our two countries recently participated in Exercise Rim of the Pacific in July alongside 24 other nations, and participated in Exercise Malabar 2021 alongside the navies of the United States and Japan.
“We are looking forward to participating in Malabar again later this year with our close regional partners.
“These bilateral and multilateral activities are a practical demonstration of our shared vision for an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
He said people-to-people ties were the cornerstone of Australia’s comprehensive strategic partnership with India and Indian-Australians were the fastest growing diaspora group in Australia.
After the United Kingdom, the Indian-born population is the second largest migrant community in Australia.
Following the port visit, Sumedha will undertake interoperability training with HMAS Anzac before heading home.