A member of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF), Lieutenant Aushaun Browne has travelled to India to commence a seven-month training with the Indian Navy under a fully funded Government of India scholarship — the Indian Technical and Economical Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.

The scholarships for the ABDF officers, which started this year, have been granted under the Friendly Foreign Countries Defence ITEC scheme with 14 slots per year a release from the Guyana-based Indian High Commission said.

“Under the ITEC scholarship, the Government of India covers all expenses related to the training and provide the trainees with a return air ticket, accommodation charges, tuition fee, living expenses, medical expenses, and external and internal tours as per the course curriculum,” the release added.

Lt Browne, an ABDF Staff Officer for Administration and Personnel from Pigotts Village, will be attending the Navigation & Direction School, Naval Base Kochi Keraral to study Long Navigation Foreign Course for officers from Friendly Foreign countries.

Lt Browne, who departed Antigua on May 12, extended his gratitude to the High Commission of India and the Government of India for the opportunity. He was seen off by the Honorary Consul of India to Antigua and Barbuda, Vijay Tewani, and Captain Jarvis of the ABDF.

The High Commissioner of India accredited to Antigua and Barbuda, H E Dr KJ Srinivasa wished L. Browne the best and urged him to make the most of his time in India to further improve the skills and training which could be beneficial to the ABDF.

“The Government of India will keep collaborating with Antigua and Barbuda to continue to strengthen its partnership, by offering several other ITEC scholarships in various areas including military, technical and others to further improve India-Antigua and Barbuda collaboration in skills and capacity building,” the release said.

Meanwhile, it noted that under an official invitation from the Government of India, ABDF’s Chief of Defence Staff Colonel Telbert Benjamin and Captain Karl Jarvis attended AERO India 2023 in Bengaluru, which is Asia’s biggest air show and aviation exhibition lasting over five days.

Col Benjamin and Captain Jarvis met and interacted with the Chief of Defence Staff of the Government of India to discuss further bilateral collaboration, the release said.

They also interacted with numerous manufacturers of Made in India defence equipment which could be of potential use for the ABDF. They also visited the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) builders in Kolkata, where they were able to explore the shipbuilding industry at this Defence Public Sector Enterprise belonging to the Government of India, interacted with their top executives, and explored opportunities to potentially purchase fast patrol vessels for the ABDF Coast Guard, it added.