The Indian Navy’s Talwar-class vessel INS Talwar is participating in the multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express 2021 (CE 21).

The exercise is being conducted near Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar and Seychelles. It will run until 6 August.

CE 21 is sponsored by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conducted by the US Naval Forces Africa.

Maritime forces from Georgia, India, Kenya, Comoros, Djibouti, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Rwanda, the UK, Sudan and the US are participating in the exercise.

The exercise is designed to assess and improve regional cooperation in support of the Djibouti Code of Conduct, create maritime domain awareness, and promote national and regional security in East Africa.

Furthermore, it will enable participating nations to cooperate in information sharing, planning and operating.

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It is also aimed at enhancing capabilities between the US, East African and Western Indian Ocean nations to identify illegal maritime activities in the Western Indian Ocean.

The Harbour phase of the exercise was conducted from 26-28 July at the Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.

During this phase, a team of Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOS) conducted training of forces from navies of Djibouti, Cameroon, Mozambique, Kenya and Coast Guard of Georgia.

The MARCOS team shared the best practices in implementing Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) operations with the sailors of the participating nations in the exercise.

The Talwar-class guided-missile frigate is a modified Krivak III-class frigate in service with the Indian Navy. INS Talwar is the first frigate in the class.

The Cutlass Express 2019.2 (CE 19.2) was the second iteration of the maritime exercise held in the Western Indian Ocean in 2019.

It involved forces from East Africa, North America, Europe, and West Indian Ocean nations.