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Visit of Royal Australia Navy Ship to Kochi Port

Royal Australia Navy (RAN) ship, HMAS Newcastle commanded by Commander MD Sirois has arrived at Kochi port on July 4 on a four day visit.

On July 04 the Commanding Officer of the visiting RAN Ship accompanied by Ms. Harinder Sidhu, High Commissioner of Australia and Captain Sheldon Williams, Defence Attache called on Vice Admiral AR Karve AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding- in- Chief Southern Naval Command (SNC) for interactions on issues of common interest to both navies. A friendly volleyball match between teams from SNC and the visiting ship was also played.

During the ship’s stay in harbour, various activities such as guided tour for Indian Naval personnel onboard HMAS Newcastle, conducted tour of some of the training units under SNC at Kochi like the Navigation & Direction, Anti- Submarine Warfare School, Damage Control Training Facility ‘Avinash,’ for the visiting ship’s crew have been planned.

The crew from the HMAS Newcastle would be also visiting places of interest at Fort Kochi, Marine Drive and various museums at Kochi. On their departure on July seventh, the RAN ship is planned to participate in a passage Exercise with IN Ships off Kochi.

Recently, IN Ships Jyoti, Shivalik and Kamorta from Eastern Fleet had also visited Freemantle, Australia from 13–17 June and participated in the second edition of AUSINDEX- 17, a bilateral maritime exercise between the two navies. The naval cooperation between the two countries is in pursuance of India’s Act East policy to promote bilateral relations and enhance interoperability between both navies.

The visit of the Australian naval ship to Cochin port days before the Malabar naval exercises are scheduled to start between Indian United states and Japanese navies is described as a significant development. Australia is understood have expressed desire to join the Malabar exercises but the decision in this regard is yet to be taken.

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