French Jt forces Commander (Indian Ocean) on official Delhi visit
French Joint Forces Commander in the Indian Ocean, Rear Admiral Didier Malterre, undertakes maiden official trip to New Delhi after assuming command.
New Delhi, 26 - 28 February 2019
Rear Admiral Didier Malterre, Commander of the French Joint Forces (ALINDIEN) deployed in the Indian Ocean, visited New Delhi from 26th to 28th February 2019.
Rear Admiral Malterre’s tour fittingly started with a visit of the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) and the Information Fusion Centre (IFC), following up on that undertaken by Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of the French Naval Staff, two months ago.
Jointly run by the Indian Navy and the Coast Guards, IMAC focuses on the analysis of maritime information across the world. It draws on numerous sources of information for building its database on the global maritime situation, particularly by relying on its agreements with partner countries.
At the end of 2018, India also established IFC to monitor the region. It plays a central role in coordinating information in the Indian Ocean. As such, IFC works closely with ALINDIEN through the MARSEC unit to contribute to maritime safety and security in the region. The aim is to develop a repository of knowledge through information sharing between partner countries, including France.
During the visit, ALINDIEN held meetings with authorities of the Indian Navy – Vice Admiral MS Pawar, Chief of Staff - Eastern Naval Command, and Vice-Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of the Indian Navy – as well as at the Integrated Defence Staff level, represented by Lieutenant-General Amarjeet Singh Bedi DG – Defence Intelligence Agency).
India’s foremost military partner in the Indian Ocean (through the strategic partnership signed in 1998), France shares a common vision of defence challenges with India.
This cooperation covers a regular dialogue, which is maintained on the occasions of the annual meetings of the Indo-French High defence Committee and international fora, such as the Shangri-La Dialogue and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium as well as joint exercises.
Operational cooperation through exercises is particularly sustained in the domains of the sea and air but also land. Thus, the French and the Indian armed forces regularly participate in major operational engagements such as the Garuda air exercise, the Shakti land exercise, and the Varuna sea exercise. This year, the Varuna exercise will involve the deployment of the carrier strike group.