The joint training exercise was carried out over a span of 12 days

Working together to build capacities of Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) and make Maldives more secure, the fourth edition of the annual India-Maldives Joint Naval Exercise ‘Ekatha’ concluded on Saturday.

The ceremony that was held in Mafilafushi was attended Chief of Defence Force, MNDF, Major General Abdulla Shamal and Commander-in-Chief, Southern Command, Vice Admiral Anil Chawla of the Indian Navy, according to a tweet by the High Commission of India in Maldives.

“Closing ceremony of Exercise ‘Ekatha’ at MNDF CTC, Mafilafushi. Working together to make build capacities of MNDF and make Maldives more secure. We thank CDF Gen Shamaal & CinC Southern Command Vice Adm Anil Chawla for attending,” it said.

High Commissioner of India in Maldives, Sanjay Sudhir was also present on the occasion.

The Spokesperson of the Indian Navy said that during the 12-days long exercise, participants were trained in aspects of special operations and combat diving.

“The joint training exercise was carried out over a span of 12 days wherein participants were trained in aspects of Special Ops & Combat Diving,” the Indian Navy in its tweet said.

The joint training exercises with the Indian Navy Marine Commandos which is an annual feature between the forces of the two countries since 2017 contributes to the MNDF Marines and enhances interoperability of the forces.

“This joint training series with the IN MARCOS is held annually since 2017 & contributes to the capacity building of the MNDF Marines & enhances the interoperability of the forces,” said a tweet by MNDF Chief, Major General Abdulla.

Since 1988, defence and security has been a major area of cooperation between India and Maldives.

India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), meeting around 70% of their defence training requirements.

The two countries had in 2016 signed a comprehensive Action Plan for Defence to consolidate their defence partnership.