PRESIDENT ATTENDS “EXERCISE SEA THUNDER 2015″ FROM BANGLADESH NAVAL SHIP “SOMUDRA JOY”
The President witnessed the thrilling two-hour “Exercise Sea Thunder 2015″ from on board Bangladesh Naval Ship “Somudra Joy” on Tuesday and took salute. The exercise that was started on January 13 concluded today with sea firing and fleet review. The motto of the exercise is to ensure sovereignty over the newly achieved maritime boundary, surveillance of the sea area, safe guarding of naval bases in coastal area and safe guarding of sea resources.
Earlier, Bangladesh Navy Chief Vice- Admiral Muhammad Farid Habib received the President at the RRB terminal.
In his speech, President Abdul Hamid reminded the members of Bangladesh Navy of their responsibilities and duties and said Bangladesh’s sovereignty has been established on a vast area of the Bay of Bengal following the settlement of maritime disputes with Myanmar and India. Side by side, with maritime security of this newly achieved maritime boundary, the navy has been given the important responsibility of protecting the marine resources, such as natural gas and fisheries, he added.
He also advised the navy to remain alert to protect the Sea Lines of Communication as the country’s 95 percent overseas trade is being carried out through sea route. Besides, the role of the navy in preventing smuggling and illegal fishing in the sea is undeniable, he added.
Referring to various steps taken by the present government for modernization of Bangladesh Navy, Abdul Hamid said beside the ‘Somudra Joy’ the newly purchased frigate from the USA, two frigates from China ‘Abu Bakar’ and ‘Ali Haider’ have been added to the fleet of the navy, he added.
Besides modernizing the navy, the President said the present government has taken various programmes for the welfare of the members of the navy.
Steps have already been taken to include more members in the UN peacekeeping mission from the navy, he said, adding that various measures have also been taken resolving the heath care and housing problems of the members of the navy.
The President said he is happy to know that SWADS (special warfare diving and salvage), specialized unit of Bangladesh Navy, large navy ships, maritime patrol aircraft and helicopter from Chittagong and Khulna naval bases took part in the exercise.
Besides, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Air Force, Bangladesh Coast Guards, several ministries and maritime institutes and division also took part in the joint exercise around the country’s maritime boundary, he added.
“I hope that Bangladesh Navy will remain committed to protecting country’s sovereignty and sea boundary with their war strategy, professional skills and efficiency,” said the President.
JANUARY 27, 2015