Member nations of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) have successfully conducted the first edition of IONS Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-22).

The IMEX 22 maiden edition was held at Goa and in Arabian Sea between 26 and 30 March. A total of 15 out of 25 IONS members participated in the exercise.

The participating member nations were France, Australia, the UAE, the UK, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Oman, Mauritius, Mozambique, Qatar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Singapore.

Maritime reconnaissance aircraft, helicopters and warships from Bangladesh, France, India, and Iran were also a part of IMEX 22.

The exercise aimed to enhance interoperability among the participating navies, focusing on the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions.

Participants practiced together to develop a response mechanism for aiding the ships in distress.

The five-day maritime drill witnessed two phases including the harbour phase and the sea phase.

The harbour phase was held at Marmugao port in Goa on 26 and 27 March, while the second phase was conducted in the Arabian Sea from 28 to 30 March.

IMEX 22 was also attended by Indian Navy chief of naval staff (CNS) vice admiral R Hari Kumar, French Navy chief Pierre Vandier and other dignitaries.

The naval exercise is expected to pave way for future regional cooperation at the sea and to respond to the humanitarian disasters collaboratively.

Established in 2007, the IONS is a forum for discussing maritime issues, promoting maritime security and enhancing cooperation, among the navies of 25 nations in the Indian Ocean region.