Finding common ground in the west

For the first time, an Indian Navy P-8I Neptune has conducted operations from RAAF Base Pearce.

CAPTIONThe Indian Navy P-8I Neptune crew with RAAF personnel. Story and photos by Flying Officer Michael Thomas.

Following its participation in Exercise Malabar, the aircraft and crew supported joint maritime exercises off the WA coast.

They worked with a RAAF P-8A Poseidon from 11 Squadron, RAN assets and the Indian Navy Submarine INS Vagir.

Detachment Commander of the Indian Navy P-8I Neptune Commander Amit Mohapatra said these exercises continue to enhance the interoperability between the two forces.

CAPTION(Left) Indian Navy P-8I Neptune Detachment Commander, Commander Amit Mohapatra talks with Wing Commander Paul Taylor and Flight Lieutenant Shakti Singh.

“Collaborating with the RAAF P-8A Poseidon represents the successful and professional partnership characterised by meticulous organisation, streamlined operations, and a strong culture of cooperation,” Commander Mohapatra said.

“This exercise highlighted the importance of standardised communication protocols and procedures to ensure seamless coordination between the two forces.”

Tactical Coordinator 11 Squadron Flight Lieutenant Nicholas Evans said it was great to see the commonality in how the two different crews operate.

“We still do essentially the same job, so it’s been good to find that common ground and build on that,” Flight Lieutenant Evans said.

“While our communication equipment isn’t the same, standardising our procedures to optimise interoperability enabled effective cooperation. Often the simplest ways are the best.”

Commander Amit Mohapatra said these maiden operations from RAAF Base Pearce marked a significant collaboration between the two nations.

“It was such a pleasure to operate from Pearce. The first briefing was comprehensive, and its personnel were extremely warm and welcoming,” Commander Mohapatra said.

“This milestone not only demonstrated the base’s versatility but also exemplified the strong partnership and camaraderie between India and Australia.”

CAPTIONIndian Navy P-8I Neptune pilot, Commander Jishnu Madhavan receiving a briefing on the local airspace by 11 Squadron P-8A Poseidon pilot Flight Lieutenant Mark Baugh.


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