Indian Navy is the "preferred security partner" in capacity building and capability enhancement of friendly maritime nations, Southern Naval Command chief, Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, said on Saturday. Addressing the media here ahead of the Navy Day celebrations on December 4, Hampiholi provided an overview of the multi-faceted activities of the Indian Navy and said the robust maritime security mechanism was fully equipped and always prepared to deal with any eventuality at sea.

"Our role as the preferred security partner in capacity building and capability enhancement of friendly maritime nations is crucial as we train their personnel, provide them with equipment and render a helping hand in times of need in line with the PM's vision of SAGAR," Hampiholi said.

He also appreciated the contribution of the fishermen across the state and said they are the eyes and ears of coastal security.

He said the SNC, as a training command, has trained around 20,000 foreign personnel from over 47 foreign countries over the past two decades.

"In 2022-23, international trainees from 39 countries have undergone training at 26 Naval training schools, thereby emerging as the preferred training destination for Friendly Foreign Countries," he added.

He underscored the significant milestones achieved by the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant post commissioning, SNC's contribution towards multiple Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts and assistance during contingencies to the civil administration.

Explaining the operational capability, the SNC chief said the Indian Navy ships were deployed for a range of missions and to execute roles in various responsibilities in the Indian ocean region.

He also cited the example of anti-drug surveillance in the Indian Ocean region with around 12 friendly countries and also mentioned the humanitarian and logistic efforts at Myanmar, Maldives among other places.

Hampiholi said that the night landing at Agatti in Lakshadweep had given a boost to the medical evacuation process from the island archipelago.

The Indian Navy celebrates Navy Day to commemorate the devastating attack on Karachi harbour on the night of December 4, 1971 during the Indo-Pak war.

The Southern Naval Command has planned to conduct an operational demonstration at Rajendra Maidan here on December 4, an event in which Kerala Governor, Arif Mohammed Khan would be the chief guest.