An eight-member team from Headquarters Sea Training (HQST), Indian Navy (IN) undertook Operational Sea Training and Safety Audit of SAS Mendi, at Simons Town from 02 to 13 Oct 2023, in collaboration with South African Navy (SAN) Operational Sea Training Team (OST) Team.

The IN delegation was headed by Cmde Amit Gurbuxani, Chief Staff Officer to Flag Officer Sea Training and included specialist officers and sailors.

The training was divided into two phases. The harbor training phase focused on lectures/ interactive sessions on pilotage, bridgework, handling of Bridge emergencies, Force Protection Measures, fire-fighting and damage control drills, Operational Risk Management, electrical and engineering best practices, and seamanship training. Dedicated training was also undertaken for the bridge team in the ship handling simulator.

As part of sea training, the ship sailed for sea training on two occasions with HQST and SAN OST team embarked onboard. The sea sorties were utilised to impart practical training to ship’s crew on subjects practiced during the harbor training. Exercises at sea focused on precise navigation, force protection drills, boat drills, emergencies and breakdown drills and conduct of damage control and fire fighting.

Professional interaction between IN and SAN OST teams also progressed with experience sharing and exchange of best practices. The OST culminated with a combined debrief to the ship’s crew providing observations, recommendations and guidance for implementing good practices.

A small ceremony onboard SAS Mendi on 13 Oct 2023 marked the culmination of joint training.

This maiden training activity by team from HQST has opened new avenues for training collaboration between IN and SAN and has significantly contributed towards strengthening the professional relationship between the two navies.