VISAKHAPATNAM: In view of the second edition of the International Fleet Review (IFR), scheduled in Visakhapatnam from February 5 to 8, the Navy released its nine-day IFR rehearsal schedule on Tuesday. Several programmes, including operational demonstrations, will be conducted close to the RK Beach.
Naval Fleet Review is a long-standing tradition of navies world over. The review was conceived as a show of naval might and combat readiness. The review aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, high morale and discipline. Assembling of warships without any belligerent intentions is now the norm in modern times. Leading nations of the world, occasionally invite their maritime neighbours to participate with their ships in the review called International Fleet Review.
The event allows the host nation an occasion to display its maritime capabilities and mutual trust amongst maritime nations. In the country, so far, 10 reviews have been held, with the first in 1953 and the latest in 2011. The only International Fleet Review (IFR) in India was conducted in February 2001, off Mumbai.
The IFR-2016 would commence with CM N Chandrababu Naidu laying a wreath at the War Memorial at RK Beach and inauguration of the Maritime Exhibition and IFR Village at the AU Engineering College grounds on February 4. The exhibition is aimed to showcase innovation, indigenisation and the skills of the youth of our country. The IFR village also features a range of gastronomical delights and a cultural extravaganza from across the country. Governor ESL Narasimhan will attend the opening ceremony and a cultural programme to be held at INS Satavahana stadium on February 5.
President Pranab Mukherjee, on February 6, will embark on INS Sumitra, the Presidential Yacht, would review the fleet of participating Indian and foreign ships. Warships and submarines will steam past the Presidential Yacht. A fly-past by several aircraft and water front activities are also planned as part of the Fleet Review.
A two-day International Maritime Conference would be inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar on February 7. In the evening sessions, the city will witness the Operational Demonstration, followed by the International City Parade at RK Beach. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest for the operational demo and city parade.
The IFR will conclude on the evening of February 8 with a Joint International Band Concert at the Naval Officers’ Institute. The Indian Ships will conduct passage exercise with visiting ships which is aimed at improving inter-navy understanding and further bonhomie and camaradeies between the crews of participating ships.
A number of aircraft would be flying over the RK Beach during the rehearsals and the IFR. Birds flying near the display area pose a major threat to the aircraft. In order to ensure smooth conduct of the display and for air safety, it is requested that the viewing public as well as residents of the neighbourhood keep the beach area litter-free and avoid bringing food items to the beach or dropping food items and garbage in the open, as these attract birds.