India and Indonesia Pivoting the Indo Pacific
India and Indonesia are pivots of the Indo Pacific a fact underlined by the 32nd Edition of India – Indonesia coordinated patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) ongoing in the Bay of Bengal.
Indian Naval Ship Kulish, a Kora class missile corvette, commanded by Commander Deepak Bali and an Indian Dornier (naval maritime time patrol aircraft) from Andaman and Nicobar command are participating in the 32nd Edition of IND-INDO CORPAT which is being to be held from 11 – 27 Oct 2018. The opening ceremony was held in Belawan harbour.
The Indian delegation is led by Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, Naval Component Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command. The ships and aircraft will undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary Line. The patrolling would be conducted in three phases from 14 – 24 Oct 2018 followed by a closing ceremony at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Island, scheduled from 25 – 26 Oct 2018.
The visit seeks to emphasize India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain, consolidate interoperability and strengthen existing bonds of friendship between the two countries.
During the stay in Belawan, the Indian Navy component will conduct official calls and formal reception onboard. The ship will be open to visitors and professional interactions.
Indian Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Myanmar. It also conducts EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) surveillance of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles on their request.
The Indonesian Navy and the Indian Navy have been participating in coordinated patrol (CORPAT) twice a year since 2002 to keep this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade which is the longest series of joint operations by any two sides in the Indian Ocean.
India is seeking access to the Indonesian naval base at Sabang in Indonesia. India plans to invest in Sabang port, which is located near the strategic and vital shipping channels in close proximity of the Malacca Straits, the narrow shipping lane which is the main passage for maritime trade and traffic from the Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific.
With Indo Pacific emerging as a new geographic regional complex mainly defined by the United States weaving in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, India and Indonesia will remain the pivots with the later representing ASEAN due to geographic centrality and interoperability.