INS Sharda Receives On-the-Spot Unit Citation for Anti-Piracy Operations

Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, bestowed an ‘On the Spot Unit Citation’ upon INS Sharda during his visit to the Southern Naval Command in Kochi. The accolade recognizes the ship’s exemplary performance in successfully executing anti-piracy operations. Specifically, INS Sharda played a pivotal role in the safe release of all 19 crew members (11 Iranian & 08 Pakistani) of the Iranian fishing vessel Omari, which had been held hostage by pirates off the East coast of Somalia.


The vessel was tasked with investigating the hijacking of the Iranian fishing vessel Omari by pirates. Leveraging surveillance inputs from naval Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA), INS Sharda intercepted the vessel and covertly trailed it throughout the night. In the early morning hours of February 2nd, 2024, the ship’s integral helicopter and subsequently the Prahar team were deployed. The assertive actions of the ship compelled the pirates to release the crew and the vessel unharmed. The swift and decisive response of INS Sharda led to the successful rescue of the hijacked fishing vessel and its crew from Somali pirates. This relentless effort underscored the mission’s commitment to anti-piracy operations, thereby safeguarding lives at sea and upholding the Indian Navy’s commitment to enhancing security and safety in the Indian Ocean Region.


Admiral R Hari Kumar personally interacted with Team Sharda, commending their prompt and effective response to the piracy attack, which led to the successful completion of operations under challenging conditions at sea. During his address, he lauded the professionalism exhibited by the crew, which has further bolstered the Indian Navy’s reputation as the preferred security partner in the region.




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