In a sign of growing defence ties between the two nations, the naval army of India and Saudi Arabia started their first-ever joint exercise on Thursday, called the Al-Mohed Al-Hindi Exercise.
The Navy said in a statement on Thursday that its “visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was set rolling with the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF), Rear Adm Ajay Kochhar visiting the Fleet Cdr of Royal Saudi Navy’s Eastern Fleet, Rear Adm Majid Al Qahtani” on August 10, which was held at the King Abdul Aziz Naval Base, “the Headquarters for Saudi Eastern Fleet”.
It mentioned that Kochhar also visited the King Fahd Naval Academy and met with the Commandant Rear Admiral Faisal Bin Fahd Al Ghufaily. On Wednesday he was accompanied by the Indian Ambassador to call on the Governor of Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saud bin Nayef Al Saud at Dammam.
The Navy mentioned that “on the operational front, gearing up for the maiden bilateral exercise ‘AL-Mohed AL-Hindi’, the team of Indian Navy met with counterparts of the Royal Saudi Navy for a co-ordinating conference at King Abdulaziz Naval base in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia”.
“For deeper understanding of each other’s operational practices, lectures by subject matter experts from both navies were also held.”
Navy officials said that the Harbour Phase of the exercise was in progress on Thursday, and the Sea Phase will commence next.