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May 6, 2010

Coast Guard Plans New Regional Hqs for East Coast

   The Coast Guard isplanning to set up a Regional Headquarter at Kolkata for effective patrolling of the east coast. Presiding over the Coast GuardOperational Commanders’ Conference 2010 here today, Vice AdmiralAnil Chopra, Director General, Indian Coast Guard, said the proposalis under consideration by the government.

   To be known as Regional HQs (North-East), this would be the fifth Regional HQs of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard presently has fourRegional HQs, namely North-West, based at Gandhinagar, West, at
Mumbai, East, at Chennai and the Port Blair -based Andaman & Nicobar,besides the Main HQs in New Delhi. Additional Coast Guard Stationsare also proposed at appropriate locations all along India’s over
7,500 kms long coastline, said Vice Admiral Anil Chopra.

   The two-day conference, which concluded today, took stock of the changing maritime scenario and the operational tempo post 26/11, inorder to impact and sequence the various expansion plans, and derive an updated operational philosophy, so as to optimize the CoastGuard’s operations.

   DG, Coast Guard highlighted the rapid progress made by the CoastGuard in the preceding year with respect to ship acquisition,induction of manpower and development of infrastructure. OneOffshore Patrol Vessel and two Interceptor Boats were recentlycommissioned to augment the surface surveillance capabilities ofCoast Guard, said Vice Admiral Anil Chopra. Induction of additional Dornier and Chetak aircraft, Medium Range Maritime SurveillanceAircraft and Single / Twin engine Helicopters, as well as
upgradation of the existing fleet of Dornier, by incorporating stateof art sensors and equipment, is also envisaged, he added.

   Vice Admiral Anil Chopra underlined the need for the Coast Guard tocontinue its proactive operational philosophy due to the prevailingmaritime security scenario. He complemented the Regional Commanders
for maintaining an enhanced level of surface and aerial surveillance during the past one year, despite numerous emergent commitments including coastal security operations, Search & Rescue, and Oil
Spill Response. Further, to check the preparedness, and to impart experience to the other agencies involved in coastal security, the Coast Guard conducted regular coastal security exercises, which wereinstrumental in revalidating the Standard Operating Procedures, andthe “hub and spoke” concept of functioning between the Coast Guardand the State Coastal Police. Over the last year, 23 such coastal security exercises, and 19 operations (based on intelligence inputs), have been conducted by the Coast Guard. To further enhance
the surveillance capabilities and for effective maritime domain awareness, a Coastal Surveillance Network along the coastline is also being established by the Coast Guard.

   The two-day conference was also addressed by the Defence Secretary,Shri Pradeep Kumar, and attended by other senior officials from theMinistry of Defence.

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