Indian Coast Guard activates Air Enclave in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Coast Guard on Wednesday activated the first Air Enclave here to provide security to Odisha's coast and the exclusive economic zones.

An offshore patrol vessel has been based at Paradip and two interceptor crafts will join the fleet in the future to ensure increased operational capability in the coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha.

The Enclave will provide support to recently inducted Coast Guard surveillance Dornier aircrafts equipped with advanced and sophisticated navigational and communication sensors and equipment for response to pollution, search and rescue, maritime reconnaissance and for coastal security.

"The current month is a very special one. The Coast Guard is going to commission seven ships including an offshore patrol vessel, two fast patrol vessels, three interceptor boats and one air cushion vessel in addition to the activation of the Air Enclave," Financial Advisor, Indian Defence Accounts Service, Priti Mohanty, said.

Stating that Indian Coast Guard has embarked on a major expansion plan and is undergoing exponential growth, Mohanty said the activation of Air Enclave Bhubaneswar, the first Coast Guard Air establishment in Odisha, is one more step in this direction.

The Coast Guard has identified Odisha as an important maritime state with a long coastline and rich maritime traditions and history of such trade with south-east Asia.

"To further this tradition we are developing ports like Dhamra and Gopalpur in accordance with the government's 'Look East' policy," she said, adding that Odisha has the potential of becoming one of the most important trade destinations on the country's east coast.

The activation of this Air Enclave is also a part of Coast Guard's plan to strengthen and modernise its infrastructure to support operations which includes commissioning of ICGS Gopalpur recently.

Setting up the Air Enclave will fulfill the requirement of air surveillance off the Odisha coast right up to the limits of the exclusive economic zone, she said.