Indian Navy has successfully completed its 55 days and 23,000 kilometers long ‘Operation Samudra Setu’, which was launched on May 5, 2020 as a part of the national effort to repatriate (bring back) Indian citizens from 3 countries of Maldives, Iran, and Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this operation 3,992 Indian citizens were brought back to India, which was conducted by Indian Naval Ships (INS) Jalashwa (Landing Platform Dock), and Airavat, Shardul and Magar (Landing Ship Tanks).
- This operation was undertaken by the Indian Navy in close coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and various other agencies of the Government of India (GoI) and State Governments.
- The whole evacuation operation strictly followed medical/ safety protocols specially onboard the ships.
Other efforts by Indian Navy during COVID-19 pandemic
-Indian Navy’s IL-38 and Dornier aircraft have been used for ferrying of doctors and COVID-19 related material across the country.
-Indian Navy’s Landing Ship (Tank) Kesari undertook ‘Mission SAGAR’, carrying 580 tonnes of food aid and medical stores including ayurvedic medicines to Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros Islands and Seychelles, covering over 14,000 km in 49 days.
-Apart from Indian Navy’s fleet Indian Naval personnel also innovated various customised equipment such as Personnel Protection Equipment NavRakshak, hand-held temperature sensors, assisted respiratory system, 3-D printed face shield, portable multi-feed oxygen manifold, ventilators, air-evacuation stretcher pod, baggage disinfectants etc.
-Indian Navy has previously undertaken similar evacuation operations as part of Operation Sukoon in 2006 (Beirut) and Operation Rahat in 2015 (Yemen).
About INS Jalashwa (L41):
Procured in 2005 from the United States (US), it was commissioned in Indian Navy in 2007. Formerly known as USS Trenton, is an amphibious landing dock capable of carrying over 1,000 people.
About INS Magar (L20):
Commissioned in 1987, INS Magar is the lead ship of Magar-class amphibious warfare vessels of the Indian Navy.She was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata, West Bengal.INS Magar is capable of carrying around 500 troops.
It is the lead ship of the Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessels of the Indian Navy, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was commissioned in 2007.
It is also a Shardul-class tank landing ship of the Indian Navy. It was commissioned in 2008.
It is the third Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel of the Indian Navy after INS Kesari and INS Airavat. It was commissioned in 2009.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi