Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: A two-day Tri-Service conference for the Southeast theatre will begin at the Southern Air Command headquarters here on Tuesday .

Commanders and other designated Command Staff from Headquarters Integrated Defence Services (IDS), New Delhi, HQ Southern Army Command, Pune, HQ Southern Naval Command, Kochi, HQ Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam and Andaman & Nicobar Command will attend the conference.

Air Marshal Sumit Mukerji, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command, will deliver the keynote address.

A pressnote quoting the Defence spokesman here said the meet was being held in the backdrop of the security hazards following recent developments along the Indian Ocean Region in general and the southern peninsula in particular.

The aim of the tri-service conference is to devise ways and means to integrate and synergise a joint approach towards protection of island territories and Exclusive Economic Zones in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The conference will also discuss issues concerning security of the country's maritime borders.

Coastal security is another area which will prominently figure in the discussions of this conference. With induction of long-range fighters such as Su-30 MKI and force multipliers such as Flight Refueller aircraft and AWACs by IAF and imminent induction of INS Vikramaditya by the Indian Navy, peninsular India will assume greater strategic importance.

The conference will seek to discuss mechanisms that will have to be set up to address these issues of strategic importance.