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Exercise Sangam: Indian Navy’s Marcos and US Navy Seals hone tactical skills in joint drill in Goa

Marine Commandos (Marcos) of the Indian Navy and the United States’ Navy SEALs sharpened their close-quarter battle and combat sniping skills during the joint special forces drill Exercise Sangam in Goa, the Western Naval Command said Monday.

The seventh edition of Exercise Sangam started in Goa on December 1. It was first held in 1994 and is considered a key military and diplomatic initiative between India and the US.

The Western Command of the Indian Navy said, “In conducting Exercise Sangam-22, the Indian Navy Marcos and US Navy Seals sharpened their tactical skills in close-quarter battle, high-altitude high opening combat free-fall and combat sniping skills.”

The present edition, which is being held for a duration of three weeks, has seen personnel from SEAL Team Five based in San Diego and Indian Navy Marcos from Mumbai-based INS Abhimanyu training together with an aim to exchange ideas and experiences on various aspects of maritime special operations.

Though SEALs and Marcos train together along with forces from other participating nations as part of Exercise Malabar, Exercise Sangam involves only the US and Indian special forces. It includes drills on maritime interdiction operations, direct action missions and special heliborne operations, among others.

The Marine Commando Force was raised in 1987 as the Indian Marine Special Force before subsequently being rechristened and given the acronym Marcos. Marcos have the capability to operate in all three domains – sea, air and land. They can undertake clandestine attacks against enemy ships and offshore installations, conduct surveillance and execute anti-terror operations in the maritime domain. Their base in Mumbai’s INS Abhimanyu holds the distinction of having received the highest number of gallantry awards in the Indian Navy.

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