The ships had embarked units from the Army’s Kumaon regiment, along with a BMP-1 and a truck with medical supplies. The contingent was landed by Kesari and collected by Gharial. The landing was supported by troops and MARCOS in inflatables and helicopter support in the form of a Mi-8 and Chetak.
The Andman & Nicobar Islands have over 570 islands, out of which over 540 are uninhabited and relatively remote. Landing and amphibious operations form a central part of doctrine for the armed forces in these outlying territories, which also offer excellent sites to train.
The navy has, incidentally, received approval to build four new landing platform docks (LPDs), huge amphibious vessels comparable in size to the INS Jalashwa.
My special thanks to INS Kesari Commanding Officer Cdr N.P Pradeep, INS Gharial Commanding Officer Cdr Ashish Goel, Lt Arun John and officers and men on both ships for their support and hospitality. Godspeed and Shano Varuna.
Photos / Shiv Aroor