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INS Tir, the lead ship of First Training Squadron (1TS) of the Indian Navy, participated in Exercise Cutlass Express in Seychelles, officials on Sunday said. The exercise was inaugurated by Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan with dignitaries from India, the US and African countries present on the occasion, they said.

”INS Tir, the lead ship of First Training Squadron (1TS), participated in Exercise Cutlass Express – 24 (CE-24) held at Port Victoria, Seychelles, from February 26 to March 8,” a senior official said. As part of Exercise Cutlass Express, the Indian Navy actively engaged with participants from 16 friendly foreign countries.

”Training was conducted on theoretical and practical aspects of maritime interdiction operations, visit board search and seizure procedures and diving operations,” the official said.

During the sea phase, the ship’s VBSS team boarded Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) ship LE Vigilant and demonstrated procedures of boarding operations.

The Indian divers along with the divers from the US and Seychelles undertook joint diving operations post rigorous training week, the official added.

”The exercise culminated with the closing ceremony held at Seychelles Defence Academy, Ile Perseverance on March 8. The Indian Navy has been participating in the exercise since 2019,” he said.

INS Tir earlier undertook joint EEZ surveillance with Seychelles Coast Guard from March 1 to 3. During the ship’s stay at Seychelles, as part of long-range training deployment, professional exchanges, cross deck visits and friendly sports fixtures were held with Seychelles Defence Forces.

The Indian Naval band performed at the National Museum, Port Victoria, and enthralled a huge crowd.

”The extant deployment of INS Tir at Seychelles and participation in exercise Cutlass Express underscores close ties between the Indian Navy and the regional Navies towards joint training fostering interoperability and building bridges of friendship,” the official said.