Visits by navy ships to boost Saudi-India maritime ties - Arab News By JEDDAH: SYED FAISAL ALI, ARAB NEWS STAFF Published: Mar 29, 2012 03:36 Updated: Mar 29, 2012 03:36 Three Indian Navy ships, in Jeddah port for the past three days, aim to further boost cooperation between the two navies of India and the Kingdom, said the commanding officer of the ships. "The primary aim of the visit of these ships is to enhance friendly relations between the two navies," Capt. Ajay Sirohi said while addressing a press conference with Indian Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao aboard INS Tir on Tuesday. The commanding officer and captain of the ships also interacted with their counterparts in the Western Naval Fleet of the Royal Saudi Navy. The Indian Naval Cadet Training Ships INS Tir, INS Shardul and ICGS Veera docked at Jeddah port on a good will visit on Monday. The 1st Training Squadron of the Indian Navy is under the command of Capt. Sirohi. The ships, carrying more than 600 navy personnel, including approximately 100 young sea cadets for training, started their journey on March 10 from Kochi and will leave Jeddah today for Safaga, Egypt. Speaking to Arab News Indiaâ€™s Defense AttachÃ© in Riyadh Col. Ajay Kumar said the visit is primarily aimed at giving a boost to the existing friendly relationship between the two navies of India and the Kingdom. It also inculcates the spirit of adventure in young officers and cadets. The visit accords an opportunity to the Indian Navy to bolster the bonhomie and friendship that exists with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. The visit also aims at developing the ability of both the navies to meet the ever-growing challenges of the maritime environment by drawing on the collective experience of the maritime forces, Col. Kumar said. INS Tirâ€™s Executive Officer Harsh Kumar Singh said the three ships form part of the 1st Training Squadron of the Indian Navy and is based at the Southern Naval Command at Kochi. â€œThe Southern Naval Command, which is the Training Command of the Indian Navy, trains officers, cadets and sailors of the Indian Navy as well as numerous friendly foreign navies in various spheres,â€ Harsh said. The 1st Training Squadron has the onerous responsibilities of training young sea cadets, who join the squadron to earn their â€œsea legs.â€ The cadets are put through an intensive sea phase of 24 weeks, so as to acquaint them with the life of a marine, Harsh said. The primary aim of the squadron is to impart training to sea cadets and in keeping with this aim, the goal of the 1st Squadron is to ensure overall development of cadets to mold them into professionally competent seafarers and train them to achieve excellence in basic maritime operations, he said. As part of the sea phase, officer trainees are provided an opportunity to learn socio-political and maritime facets of different countries, Harsh said. Hundreds of proud Indians visited the Indian Navyâ€™s ships to get a feel of the sailorsâ€™ life and their working condition and to reenergize their nationalistic fervor. Young boys and girls, some of them carrying the national tricolor, toured the three ships, with their parents, and learned how the brave sailors of the Indian Navy keep a vigil on sea routes to keep their country safe.