The first ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME) has been inaugurated, providing an opportunity for the Indian Navy and ASEAN navies to work together closely and conduct seamless operations in the maritime domain. The exercise is being held for the first time and is seen as a significant step towards strengthening regional maritime security cooperation.
The exercise is being conducted at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore and will include a series of drills and maneuvers aimed at enhancing interoperability and understanding between the navies of the ASEAN countries and India. The exercise will involve naval ships, aircraft, and personnel from all participating nations.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Hari Kumar, said that the exercise was a large-scale learning experience and would build trust among participating navies. “An important outcome of these exercises is to build trust between various participants,” said the Admiral.
The Admiral went on to say that the Indian Navy has been actively engaged in maritime security cooperation with ASEAN countries and that the AIME would help further strengthen this cooperation. “The Indian Navy has always maintained that maritime security is a shared responsibility and we are committed to working with our ASEAN partners to ensure that the seas remain safe and secure,” he said.
The AIME is seen as a significant step towards deepening India’s engagement with ASEAN countries. India has been actively involved in enhancing maritime security cooperation with ASEAN countries in recent years, with a focus on the Indian Ocean region. The AIME is expected to help build closer ties between India and ASEAN countries, particularly in the maritime domain.
The exercise is being conducted at a time when there is growing concern over China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea. The South China Sea has been a point of contention between China and several ASEAN countries, who have competing claims over the waters. India has been a vocal supporter of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and has called for a peaceful resolution of the disputes.
The AIME is also being seen as an opportunity for India to showcase its naval capabilities to ASEAN countries. India has been rapidly modernizing its navy in recent years and has been seeking to expand its presence in the Indo-Pacific region. The AIME is expected to help showcase India’s naval capabilities and help enhance its strategic ties with ASEAN countries.
The AIME is part of India’s broader strategy of enhancing its engagement with ASEAN countries. India has been working to deepen economic, political, and security ties with ASEAN countries in recent years, as part of its “Act East” policy. The AIME is expected to help further strengthen these ties and enhance regional security and stability.