India, Australia, Indonesia trilateral maritime security workshop: Strengthening regional collaboration

It laid the groundwork for enhanced regional cooperation by addressing current challenges and identifying collaborative opportunities.

The second edition of the India, Australia and Indonesia Trilateral Maritime Security Workshop (TMSW) concluded on Friday, highlighting the ongoing maritime security challenges and exploring collaborative opportunities among the three naval neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The workshop, held from May 15 to 17 at INS Dronacharya in Kochi, India, brought together key naval delegates to discuss and strategise on enhancing regional maritime security.

Image Source: PIB
Image Source: PIB

The theme of this year’s workshop was “Indian Ocean Region: Collaborative Efforts to Enhance Regional Maritime Security.”

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This theme was carefully chosen to address the current maritime security challenges and identify avenues for increased cooperation among India, Australia, and Indonesia. According to a press release by the Ministry of Defence, the workshop aimed to foster dialogue and build a framework for sustained maritime security collaboration.

Image Source: PIB
Image Source: PIB

Key Participants and Leadership

The workshop was conducted under the aegis of the Headquarters Southern Naval Command and saw participation from high-ranking officials from the three nations’ navies.

Rear Admiral Nirbhay Bapna, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation and Intelligence) of the Indian Navy, presided over the workshop. He was joined by Commodore Paul O’Grady, Commodore Flotillas from the Royal Australian Navy, and First Admiral Heri Triwibowo, Assistant for Operations to the Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian Fleet Command.

Over the three days, the workshop facilitated extensive discussions on a broad range of topics pertinent to maritime security in the IOR.

Image Source: PIB
Image Source: PIB

Key issues included:

  • Information Exchange Mechanisms and Capabilities: Enhancing the capabilities of the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) to ensure better sharing of maritime data and intelligence.
  • Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA): Improving surveillance and understanding of maritime activities to maintain security and stability in the region.
  • Non-traditional and Illicit Maritime Activities: Addressing challenges such as piracy, smuggling, and human trafficking.
  • Maritime Law Enforcement: Strengthening legal frameworks and cooperation for effective maritime governance.
  • Capability Enhancement and Capacity Building: Sharing best practices and resources to build stronger maritime forces.
  • Interoperability and Cooperation: Developing protocols and exercises to improve joint operational capabilities.
Image Source: PIB
Image Source: PIB

Special Addresses and Visits

The workshop also featured insightful talks from senior Indian naval officers, including Rear Admiral Upal Kundu, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Southern Naval Command, and Rear Admiral Susheel Menon, Flag Officer Sea Training. Their addresses provided valuable perspectives on the strategic importance of the IOR and the need for cohesive maritime security efforts.

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To complement the discussions, delegates from the Australian and Indonesian navies visited various Indian naval training facilities in Kochi and the Cochin Shipyard Limited. These visits aimed to showcase India’s maritime capabilities and explore further opportunities for technical and operational cooperation.

The second edition of the Trilateral Maritime Security Workshop reaffirmed the commitment of India, Australia, and Indonesia to strengthening maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. The workshop laid the groundwork for enhanced regional cooperation by addressing current challenges and identifying collaborative opportunities.

The ongoing dialogue and shared initiatives among these three maritime neighbours are expected to be pivotal in maintaining peace, stability, and security in the IOR.

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