NAIROBI – India and Kenya naval forces are set to undertake joint training to bolster maritime security and strengthen coordination.
According to the India High Commission in Nairobi, the activities will be undertaken during the visit of Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff of India Vice Admiral Sanjay Mahindru, who will be in Kenya from June 20-23 on invitation by the Kenya Defence Forces.
This coincides with the port call by Indian Naval Ship Sunayna to Mombasa during the same period.
“While the ship is in Mombasa, both navies will participate in a Maritime Partnership Exercise comprising joint training and practical demonstrations over a spectrum of maritime topics to bolster maritime security and strengthen coordination. The MPX reflects India and Kenya’s shared commitment to peace and security in the Indian Ocean ,” India High Commission said in a statement on Tuesday.
The High Commission added that the ship would also be representing the ‘Ocean Ring of Yoga’ on the occasion of the ninth International Day of Yoga celebrations on Wednesday, June 21 .
“Personnel from both navies would be performing Yoga on the deck of Sunayna promoting health and peace across oceans,” the statement added.
The visit of INS Sunayna was preceded by visit of Indian Naval Ship Trishul on a port call from 26 to 29 May 2023 as part of a six-African nation passage, further demonstrating close Kenya-India defence ties.
Commanded by Commander Siddharth Raut, the statement noted, INS Sunayna is manned by a crew of 22 officers and 160 sailors , and that the indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel ship was built by Goa Shipyard Limited and was commissioned on 15 October 2013.
Kenya and India have in recent past intensified, with the second Joint Defence Cooperation Committee held in Nairobi on November 8-9, 2022.
The JDCC was co-chaired by Joint Secretary Armed Forces Shri Manish Tripathi and Major General Frederick Leuria, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces, Operations, Plans, Doctrine and Training.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the progress made in military-to-military engagements, including joint exercises, training, high level visits, expert exchanges, industry cooperation and cooperation in research and development. It was also decided to identify new avenues and examine areas of mutual interest to enhance defence industry cooperation, including by exploring joint ventures.
Additionally, both sides underlined the warm and friendly relations enjoyed by India and Kenya that have evolved into a multi-faceted partnership, marked by high-level visits, increasing trade and investment as well as extensive people to people contacts.
Tripathi, accompanied by High Commissioner Namgya Khampa, also paid a courtesy on Defence CS Aden Duale and held talks focusing on the existing cooperation on defence and security.
They further explored future areas of cooperation to help foster bilateral and military relations. The mission said the visit also aimed at promoting professional engagement between the two nations towards better interoperability and ways of promoting cooperation within the maritime domain, training, border securitisation, modernisation and medical sphere.
This meeting was preceded by a three-day visit of a high-level five-member Kenyan military delegation led by Maj Gen Fatuma Ahmed, Commandant, Kenya Military Academy, to the Indian Military Academy.
In May 2023, Defence Adviser of India to Kenya Captain Velagada Shirdikant met Deputy Commander Kenya Navy Brigadier Yahya Abdi at the Kenya Navy Headquarters in Mtongwe, Mombasa, where they discussed potential areas of collaboration between the Kenya Navy and the Indian Navy to promote bilateral and military cooperation.
During the State visit of PM Narendra Modi to Kenya on July 10-11, 2016 , seven MoUs/ agreements, including in defence, were signed and the PM handed over 30 field ambulances for the use by the Kenya Defence Forces.