The Indian Navy commenced its largest-ever coastal defence exercise – ‘Sea Vigil’-off the Indian coast, ten years after the “26/11” attack. The exercise, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
• The seaward monitoring during the exercise will involve patrolling off the coast, in offshore development areas and islands by the Indian navy, Indian coast guard, supported by the state marine police. It would also include inputs from technical means, including intelligence sources.
• On the other hand, the closer coast, strategic assets, ports, Single Point Moorings (SPMs) will be patrolled by designated agencies.
• The shore-based monitoring will include enhanced vigil by the state police along the coast, monitoring of fish landing centres by state fisheries departments and also monitoring of port areas by respective port authorities.
• The exercise will cover a wide frontage, covering for the first time the entire coast of India, including island territories. It will also go deeper, being spread over seaward, coastal, and hinterland areas.
• It will involve the evaluation of critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance.
Coastal security is a complex construct since it involves activities both at sea and at land. Hence, in the discharge of these very responsibilities, the Indian Navy planned exercise ‘SEA VIGIL’.