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ADF aircrew undertakes joint maritime training with Indian Navy

Indian Navy Captain Ajitendra Kant Singh, Commanding Officer Indian Naval Air Squadron 312 and Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Leader Johnathan Logan exchange gifts at Indian Navy Air Station Rajali in Tamil Nadu, India during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 23. Photo: CPL Robert Whitmore

Australian Defence Force aircrew has trained side by side with personnel from the Indian Navy during joint maritime surveillance and response interoperability training in India.

Australian Defence Force aircrew has trained side by side with personnel from the Indian Navy during joint maritime surveillance and response interoperability training in India.

The Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon crew worked alongside personnel from the Indian Navy P-8I Neptune anti-submarine warfare aircraft during the four-month regional engagement activity Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023 at Indian Naval Air Station Rajali in Tamil Nadu, India.

The bilateral training included coordinated maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare, maritime information sharing skills and maritime domain awareness, improved interoperability and commitment to common security interests.

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Aircrew from both nations travelled aboard each other’s aircraft, examining the similarities and differences in how each operate.

“What I saw flying with the crew was absolutely superb, both the Australian and the Indian teams were incredibly professional aviators. I was very proud to see it,” according to Air Commodore Tony McCormack, Commander Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023, who is serving with Maritime Surveillance and Response Squadron for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023.

“I can tell by talking to the crews that together, they have built some special friendships and they have shared a lot of experiences and knowledge with each other.”

AIRCDRE McCormack was responsible for the acquisition of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft during his time as Director Surveillance and Response in Capability Development Group and joined the Indian and Australian teams on a flight mission.

The Indo-Pacific Endeavour is designed to coordinate military exercises, sporting events, training activities, and cultural events with 14 partner nations in Southeast Asia and the Northeast Indian Ocean to deepen cooperation on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, gender in military operations and other policies.

Chargé d’affaires Sarah Storey said the activity saw some Australian and Indian friends reunite in their fourth P-8 exercise together.

“This exercise is taking forward our burgeoning relationship and we are just so pleased to see where it’s headed,” chargé d’affaires Storey said.

“This year, Australia also hosted for the first time Exercise Malabar, which India created. We are just delighted that some of the pilots and crew participated in both activities together.

“We look forward to the relationship going to greater and greater heights.”

Twelve Australian P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft are operated by No. 11 and No. 292 Squadrons out of RAAF Base Edinburgh. The aircraft are primarily used for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, maritime intelligence, overland intelligence, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

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