Those responsible for maritime safety in the Indian Ocean and its littoral countries must not only be capable sailors and masters of other ship-borne tasks, they must also be competent when it comes to reading and writing knowledgeably.
This thinking by South African Navy Chief Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu has been accepted by his colleagues in 21 Indian Ocean littoral countries and has seen the birth of a naval journal dedicated to the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
The first iteration of the symposium was held in India in 2008 to recognise that country’s leadership in making the gathering of Indian Ocean navies a reality. Since then it has been held biannually in firstly the UAE and last year in South Africa.
Mudimu is keen to pass on a legacy of naval learning when he steps down as IONS chairman at the 2014 symposium in Perth, Western Australia, and sees the journal as one means to that end.
The first edition of the maritime journal has just been produced by the Indian Navy with contributions from a number of countries which have attended previous editions of IONS.
The man at the helm of South Africa’s maritime force sees the journal, with at least another two editions to be published before the 2014 symposium, as a breeding ground for naval men and women to be “not only readers of history, but also to be makers and writers of history”.
To encourage active contributions to and participation in making “IONSphere” a publication that will add value to the literature on maritime strategy and operations the IONS organising committee is running an IONS open essay competition.
This, Mudimu said at the launch function of the publication in Pretoria today, will help make the journal “informative and contemporary”.