SHILLONG, May 22 - The Indian Coast Guard�s port of call will soon be the dense jungles of the North East, whereas the Assam Rifles will surf the mighty waves of the Indian Ocean in a bid to secure the country�s frontiers better.
To achieve this objective, a �historic� understanding was reached between the Assam Rifles and the Indian Coast Guard today and a �Charter of Affiliation� was signed here between the two forces.
The affiliation has been carried out between 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion of the Assam Rifles and the Indian Coast Guard Ship, Shaurya.
The charter was signed by Director General of Assam Rifles, Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan, and Indian Coast Guard Director General, Rajendra Singh.
This tie-up between the two forces, one guarding the eastern frontiers and the other the maritime coastal frontiers, was made possible after the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence gave their nod.
Although there will be no immediate deployment of forces of the Indian Coast Guard in the region, the Assam Rifles personnel would not be posted in the western sector either. But there are bigger plans ahead.
�This is the first stage of the understanding,� the Assam Rifles DG said after the signing of the charter. At this moment, there would be exchange of information and technology between the two forces, he added.
This initiative will facilitate greater understanding of operational ethos, sharing of best practices with each other, building camaraderie and utilisation of each other�s assets for operations, training, sports and adventure.
�Five Assam Rifles personnel will be taken on board Shaurya soon,� the Indian Coast Guard DG stated. These personnel will see for themselves the different aspects of operation of the Coast Guards.
On the other hand, the Assam Rifles has plans to involve Indian Coast Guard personnel during operations along the Indo-Myanmar border, which the Assam Rifles is mandated to guard.
Stating that �synergy is paramount in the overall matrix of security�, the Indian Coast Guard DG said that the Coast Guard is one of the finest in the world and has 143 ships and 53 aircraft guarding the maritime boundaries of the country.
He said the Indian waters are being opened for international trade and commerce like never before and the challenges, too, have increased as the �stakes are high now�.
In the present scenario, inter-operational synergy between different forces is necessary and the tie-up with the Assam Rifles will benefit the Coast Guards immensely with its 184 years of experience behind it.
The Assam Rifles DG said the Indian Coast Guard has some advanced technology and therefore, understanding and acquiring skills on these technological assets will be of great help to the oldest paramilitary force of the country.
�The Indian Coast Guard is also well known for its disaster management, which will help us. Moreover, children from the North East will get exposure to the western sector after this affiliation,� Lt Gen Sangwan added.