Maritime events enhance Visakhapatnam’s image at global level; Union Minister Ajay Bhatt

A marching contingent from Vietnam participating in the City Parade of MILAN-2024 seen marching down the Beach Road , in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.
| Photo Credit: V. RAJU

Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said that Visakhapatnam has to be praised for its stand on various national and international maritime programmes that enhance its image at the global level. As far as the defence sector is concerned, it is Visakhapatnam, its people and its geographical conditions that make all maritime events possible, be it International Fleet Review-2016 or International Maritime Exercises (MILAN), he added.

Mr. Bhatt was in the city to participate as chief guest at the International City Parade & Air Power Demo of aircraft of Indian Navy, as part of the MILAN-2024, at the RK beach road here on Thursday.

Earlier, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar said that Maritime outreach and cooperation were key enablers for like-minded navies to work together, with a common purpose towards collective growth and prosperity.

“Visakhapatnam, with its rich maritime history and tradition, has always had a profound connection with the Indian Navy. Being the strategic centre of gravity on the Eastern seaboard in the modern Indian maritime landscape today, Visakhapatnam has continued to serve as a beacon of Indian Navy’s maritime will, intent and purpose. In recognition, the Indian Navy has commissioned the first ship of its latest Indigenous Project 15B Stealth Guided Missile Destroyers, and it is named after INS Visakhapatnam.”

INS Visakhapatnam has spearheaded anti-piracy and anti-drone operations in the North and Western Arabian Sea, besides undertaking intense fire-fighting operations onboard a foreign flagged tanker last month, Mr. Kumar said.

Later, Admiral Kumar spoke about the City Parade event. He said that the parade captured the cultural vibrancy and bonhomie between the Indian Navy, Andhra Pradesh government, City Administration, and counterparts of friendly foreign countries.

The City Parade showcased the diverse tapestry of the local cultures and traditions. The parade included smart marching contingents of Indian and foreign navies, search & rescue demonstration, combat free fall, and fly-past by aircraft of the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The event also witnessed cultural performances and a spectacular `Horn Pipe Dance’ show performed by the Sea Cadet Corps. The event culminated with the illumination of Indian Naval ships followed by a laser show and fireworks.

Minister or The IT & Industries Gudivada Amarnath, GVMC mayor G. Hari Venkata Kumari were present on behalf the State and City.

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