Royal Navy Warship HMS Spey makes inaugural visit to India
The Royal Navy warship, HMS Spey, has made her inaugural visit to India following in the footsteps of sister vessel HMS Tamar. The Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel arrived in Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Berthed alongside Naval Component Command (NAVCC) Head Quarters on the outskirts of Port Blair, Royal Navy officials onboard Spey welcomed their Indian military counterparts for planning discussions.
Defence Advisor to India, Brigadier Nick Sawyer, hosted a discussion on maritime security challenges and priorities within the Bay of Bengal with Indian Navy Senior Officers, Chief of Staff Andaman and Nicobar Command, Rear Admiral Sandeep Sandhu and Cdre Sugreev.Lt Cdr Bridget Macnae RN, HMS Spey’s Executive Officer (temporarily in Command) said:
“Frequent port visits and multilateral exercises between the Indian Navy and Royal Navy continue to support our ever-expanding relationship and operational interaction and cooperation. The UK and India firmly believe in, and promote the Rules Based International System; we share an interest in upholding international maritime law and supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific.”UK’s Defence Advisor to India, Brigadier Nick Sawyer said:
“We deeply value our relationship with India in a shared endeavour to confront those who challenge the rules-based system and ensure peace and prosperity on and from the sea. The sixth visit of Royal Navy ship to India within a year is the clearest demonstration of that as well as the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action.”
At sea, HMS Spey hosted a number of Indian Navy service personnel onboard whilst the ship conducted a maritime manoeuvre exercise with an Indian Naval patrol vessel further developing operational interoperability between the two nations.
HMS Spey’s crew took the opportunity to explore the Islands rich culture and diversity, whilst also discovering incredible flora and fauna in the national park and swimming alongside rich marine life at many of the idyllic beaches and coves.