The Navy has initiated steps to rise ‘Sagar Prahari Bal' (SPB), a new marine force to secure the country's coastline, whose creation was announced by Defence Minister, Mr. A.K. Antony, here earlier this year. “We have identified the areas for training, the course curriculum is also being put in place,” said Commodore Mr. S.K. Jha in response to a query at a media, briefing on Exercise Triton, the State's first-ever all-agency coastal security exercise held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As per Mr. Antony's announcement, the SPB would have about 1,000 personnel and would be equipped with 80 fast interception crafts for coastal patrolling. “Its personnel would receive their initial training at INS Chilka under the Southern Naval Command, the training command of the Navy. Weapon training would be imparted at INS Dronacharya, its missile and gunnery school here. The force is likely to come into being in about two years' time. But there is no hurry as we already have marine commandos (MARCOS), the Navy's elite commando force, for deployment in exigencies,” a top Navy officer told The Hindu.