NEW DELHI. Australian Navy Ship HMAS Ballarat, commanded by Commander Paul Andrew Johnson is on visit to Kochi from November 9 – 13, 2018. On October 9, the Commanding Officer HMAS Ballarat had called on Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, VSM, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command and discussed professional subjects of common interest to both navies.
During the discussions, the Chief of Staff conveyed his gratitude to the Commanding Officer for the assistance rendered by HMAS Ballarat for locating and rendering medical assistance to Commander Abhilash Tomy during the Search and Rescue mission coordinated by the Royal Australian Navy. On September 21, 2018, Cdr Abhilash Tomy whilst on sea voyage in his sail- boat ‘Thurya’ in southern Indian Ocean had encountered with rough seas following which his sail-boat had got de-masted while he himself suffered severe back injury.
During the stay at Kochi, various activities such as visit of Indian naval personnel onboard HMAS Ballarat, professional interaction and a friendly volleyball match between the two navies have been planned. The visiting foreign ship’s crew were also given a conducted tour of Navigation & Direction, Damage Control Training Facility (DCTF), Water Survival Training Facility (WSTF), Flight and Tactical Simulator (FATS).
India’s bilateral relations with Australia are rooted in historical social and cultural interactions and extensive people-to-people contact. The cooperation between the two navies is in pursuance of India’s Act East policy and is aimed to enhance inter- operability.
The HMAS Ballarat is planned to depart for Manama on November 13, 2018.