NEW DELHI, Jun 22, 2021, Hindustan Times. The UK on Tuesday posted a liaison officer at a key Indian Navy centre that tracks shipping and monitors threats such as maritime terrorism and piracy in regional waters, joining countries such as the US, Australia, France and Japan that have a presence at the facility, Hindustan Times reported.
Lieutenant Commander Stephen Smith will be based full-time at the Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram, serving as the UK’s international liaison officer (ILO). He will work directly with India’s armed forces and liaison officers from partner nations to enhance maritime domain awareness in the region.
Smith’s induction will build on the commitment by the UK and Indian prime ministers to boost cooperation with the launch of the 2030 Roadmap in May, the British high commission said in a statement.
The move comes weeks after the UK’s largest warship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, and its strike task group embarked upon its maiden voyage that will bring it to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.