What is Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)? IMMSAREX in Bangladesh (Important) (Download PDF)

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The 2017 International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) was held in Bangladesh from November 26 to 28 2017 under Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). IMMSAREX was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium map

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium Map

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium map

Above map shows membership in IONS

  • Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial, and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I participated in the exercise.

Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC) ’ of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • Exercise also show meeting of Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC) ’ of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

  • Conclave reviewed progress made by three IONS Working Group (IWG):

    • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR)

    • Maritime Security

    • Information Exchange and Interoperability.

  • Ships and aircraft of IONS members and observers including China (has observer status) and Pakistan participated in exercise.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • IONS is regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India Navy in February 2008.

  • Voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region providing inclusive forum for regionally relevant maritime issues.

  • Allows flow of information between naval professionals for common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions.

Structure of IONS

The 35 member- navies have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions: -

  • South Asian Littorals - Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka

  • West Asian Littorals - Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen

  • East African Littorals - Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eriteria, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania

  • South East Asian and Australian Littorals - Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor Leste

Under IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on:

  • HADR

  • IS&I

  • Maritime security (anti-piracy)

Activities of IONS

  • Inaugural IONS-2008 was held in New Delhi on 14th Feb 08.

  • Activities of IONS include cooperative activities and mechanism like workshops, essay competitions, lectures, etc.

Distinguishing Features of IONS

  • Maritime security construct similar to what WPNS is for the region of Asia-Pacific- IONS addresses the Indian Ocean Region.

  • Is a voluntary initiative seeking to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.

  • Inclusive forum, which means that all the principal maritime agencies of states in the IOR are members, unless they desire otherwise.

Objectives for the IONS Construct

  • Promote understanding of the maritime issues of littoral nation-states of the Indian Ocean

  • Formulate common strategies to enhance regional maritime security.

  • Strengthen capability of all littoral nation-states of the Indian Ocean to address present and anticipated challenges to maritime security and stability.

  • Establish and promote a variety of trans-national, maritime, cooperative-mechanisms to mitigate maritime-security concerns within the Indian Ocean.

  • Develop interoperability in terms of doctrines, procedures, organizational and logistic systems and operational processes for speedy, responsive and effective Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) throughout the Indian Ocean region.

  • Voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of littoral states of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 12, 2017

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