Annual Joint HADR Exercise 2023 Commences at Goa

Indian Navy

New Delhi: In keeping with the decision taken at the Combined Commanders’ Conference -2015 as per the directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Annual Joint HADR Exercise (AJHE) CHAKRAVAT, was held as part of the move to transform the defence forces into a multi-agency endeavour involving participation of all three Services, Paramilitary Forces, as well as several disaster response organisations, NGOs, academic institutions and international organisations. The 2023 edition would further synergise efforts at the national level among all stakeholders, as well as witness participation from eight countries of the Indian Ocean Region.

The exercise has been conducted by Indian Army, Indian Navy (IN) and Indian Air Force (IAF) in rotation since 2016. The last edition of the exercise was conducted at Agra by IAF. The 2023 edition of the exercise is being hosted by the Indian Navy at Goa from October 9 to 11.

Developing collective and coordinated effective response mechanisms to address humanitarian crises and natural disasters are one of the most visible elements in India’s inclusive vision for the oceans – SAGAR, or Security And Growth for All in the Region. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations form a key component in the Indian Navy’s Benign Role, as climate change has significantly increased vulnerability of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to natural disasters.

The challenge posed by climate change is accentuated by the limited capacity of littoral IOR states to address this rapidly growing threat. Therefore, Indian Armed Forces have been frequently called upon to render assistance to  friends and partners in the Region, thereby, strengthening the need and  resolve to be the ‘First Responder’ in the region. While the three Services continue to provide relief and succour in the event of a calamity, a whole of government approach would further enhance our preparedness and response to such unfortunate events.

AJHE-23, planned over three days includes a seminar, a Table-Top Exercise and a Multi-Agency Capability Demonstration. The exercise will witness participation from various national agencies namely, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM), Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, Indian Metrological Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Agencies (NRSA), State Disaster Management Agency (SDMA) and State Fire Services, Goa, District Disaster Management Agency (DDMA) of North and South, Goa, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Central Water Commission (CWC), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and representatives from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and from friendly foreign countries.

Discussions on emergent topics namely, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Practical Solution, Disaster Response in IOR: A Collaborative Approach, and NGO Collaboration in Disaster Reduction and Response: An Integrated Approach will be undertaken by Subject Matter Experts at a seminar. An industrial display has been planned on October 10 and 11  where various HADR equipment will be showcased by FICCI, Army, IN, IAF, ICG, NDRF, SDMA and NSRC. In addition, a Multi-Agency Capability Demonstration will be conducted on October 11, which will showcase drills on rescue and relief to highlight the nuances and important lessons.

The Logo for this year’s exercise depicts crests and logos of all participating agencies and flags of all nations subsumed into one single entity to signify that HADR will hinge on joint and integrated action by all the agencies.