8 Feb 2014

The Indian Coast Guard Focused on Maritime Safety and Security

The Indian Coast Guard will be celebrating its 36th Anniversary on 1st February, 2013. Since its inception, the service has grown into a multi-faceted and vibrant force, maintaining round the clock vigil in the Maritime Zones of India, by deploying its multi-role ships and aircraft.

Beginning with a modest inventory of two frigates seconded from the Indian Navy and five boats from the Customs Department , the service today has attained  a force level of 77 ships and 56 aircraft. During the past year, one Pollution Control Vessel, six Inshore Patrol Vessels, four Air Cushion Vessels and two Interceptor Boats have been inducted. In addition to the establishment of a Regional Headquarter (NE) and activation of eight CG Stations, activation / commissioning of three CG Stations has been planned in early 2013.

The Indian Coast Guard today is on the path of rapid expansion, with a large number of state-of-the-art ships, boats and aircraft under construction at various shipyards/ Public Sector units (PSUs), and a Coast Guard Academy to be established in the near future. The Coast Guard organizational structure will have five Regional Headquarters, 12 District Headquarters, 42 Stations and 15 Air Units functioning all along the Indian coast.

On the manpower front, the service has initiated several measures to augment its manpower by introduction of Short Service Appointment (SSA) for women officers in General Duty and General Duty (CPL holders) branches, departmental promotions of outstanding Subordinate Officers and conduct of special recruitments drives.

An average of 20 ships and 8-10 aircraft are tasked daily, to keep the vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and coastline under constant surveillance. The Indian Coast Guard has also set up the Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN), that comprise of network of coastal surveillance radars and electro optic sensors at 46 remote sites, including 36 on the main land, six in Lakshadweep Islands and four in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Regular community interaction programmes are being conducted by Indian Coast Guard in the fishing villages all along the coast. These programmes are aimed at sensitizing the fishing community on the prevailing security situation and to develop them to be the ‘eyes and ears’ for intelligence gathering. In addition, during the past year, the Indian Coast Guard conducted 20 coastal security exercises and 21 coastal security operations.

            Maritime Search and Rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region is undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard round the clock.  Untiring efforts under difficult conditions have resulted in saving of 204 lives in the last year. A total of 30 medical evacuations at sea were also undertaken by the ICG during this period.

The Indian Coast Guard has carved a niche for itself at the International level and is today recognized as the leaders in the region. Institutionalized visits as per Memorandum of Cooperation/Understanding are being conducted regularly.  The 12th Indo-Japan Coast Guard High Level Meeting was held in January 2013 at Tokyo, Japan. The 8th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Meeting was held at New Delhi in October 2012. It was of great significance. Since this meeting was held for the first time in India. In addition, Indo-Pak Joint Working Group Meeting was at New Delhi held in July 20 12, for the first time.

The Indian Coast Guard has been expanding and is witnessing all around development, in both capacity and capability. State-of-the-art ships and aircraft manned by competent and professional officers and men take pride in serving the Nation and protecting our maritime domain. The theme of the Indian Coast Guard for the year 2013 is ‘Focused on Maritime Safety and Security’, which aptly reflects the commitment and resolve of the service, and is in tune with its motto ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ meaning ‘We Protect’.

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