U.K. liaison officer joins Navy’s information fusion centre

The positioning of the officer at the centre comes ahead of a planned visit to India by the UK's Carrier Strike Group, led by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured here in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday, June 20, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

A United Kingdom liaison officer on Tuesday joined the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), which is meant for maritime domain awareness. The centre is located in Gurugram.

“Lt Cdr Stephen Smith will be based full-time at the centre, working directly with the Indian armed forces and fellow liaison officers from partner nations to enhance maritime domain awareness in the region,” a statement from the U.K. High Commission said.

This is an enduring commitment from the U.K. and a new Royal Navy officer will be posted here every two years.

The U.K. formally confirmed accepting India’s offer to place a liaison officer in the IFC-IOR in 2019.

“The IFC-IOR is an excellent platform to enable closer engagement and ensure greater sharing of information on vessels of interest. The U.K. and the Indian armed forces already enjoy high levels of interoperability, which will be on full display during the upcoming visit of the U.K.’s Carrier Strike Group, led by one of our largest aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth,” said Brig Gavin Thompson, Defence Adviser at the High Commission.

The IFC-IOR was set up in 2018 to coordinate with regional countries on maritime country and act as a regional repository of maritime data. It presently has linkages with 21 partner countries and 22 multi-national agencies across the globe. International Liaison Officers (ILO) from 13 countries have been invited, and ILOs from countries had joined earlier- Australia, France, Japan and the U.S.. The U.K. is the 5th country to post an ILO.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 1:45:57 AM |

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