With the fourth iteration of Exercise Ibsamar now in the demobilisation phase, exercise director Rear Admiral (JG) Thamsanqa Duze said passion was demonstrated by all participants in all phases of the exercise.
He pointed out Ibsamar started in 2007 during an interaction between the Brazilian, Indian and South African navies which led to a system of regional co-operation in the Indian Ocean region.
South Africa hosted the exercise with SA Navy fleet headquarters in Simon’s Town, the base from which all five stages were run.
Stage one was the mobilisation of forces followed by harbour activities from October 20 to 26. Then it was off to sea for serialised programmes (phase one), operation Awkward/MPI (phase two) and the second sea phase that saw “free play” exercises conducted between Saldanha Bay on the Cape west coast and Simon’s Town. This was followed last week by closing and debrief with demobilisation currently wrapping up Ibsamar.
Duze told a debrief gathering that the Ibsamar exercises were designed to facilitate the inter-operability and compatibility of combat capabilities in the three participating maritime forces. Enhancing readiness for multilateral operations as well as the development and improvement of doctrine, tactics and operating procedures were also an integral part of Ibsamar, he said.
“Maritime security can and must play a key role going forward and the collective that is the India, Brazil and South African grouping is well entrenched and also acknowledges a secure environment can never be achieved by the efforts of a single country,” Duze said.
Looking back to the start of Ibsamar IV, the junior grade admiral said he had then urged all those involved to approach the exercise with “an abundance” of willpower and discipline.
“These attributes made it possible to focus on the task at hand. A burning sense of passion was demonstrated throughout and ensured the success of the exercise.”
Of the Indian Navy’s contribution he said the INS Teg could return to Western Naval Command and report “you played your part well,” Duze said, adding he had been informed the approach of the Indians of various exercises at sea “had a sense of purpose”.
“The quality of work produced was unquestionable.”
He told the Brazilian contingent aboard BNS Barroso they and their countrymen had learnt from the best and the South American country’s hosting of the FIFA Soccer World Cup earlier this year had been better than South Africa’s in 2010 as far as attendance, organisation and quality was concerned.
“Go back and report to Rear Admiral Renato Batista de Melo the SA Navy is grateful to have again witnessed the sterling effort put in by the crew of the Barroso. We are thankful.”
Speaking before the exercise, the Indian (Captain Anana Sardesai) and Brazilian (Captain Paul Ferreira) task group commanders both said navies the world over had a common purpose – to ensure security and the freedom of the seas. Among the contingencies navies had to face were piracy and natural disasters and in this regard speedy response is essential, which makes co-operation and inter-operability even more necessary.
If arrangements continue as in the past, Exercise Ibsamar will again take place in 2016 but a venue has not yet been named.