The first Indian Navy vessel to visit the Marshall Islands, INS Satpura, was here August 13-15 on a goodwill tour. A welcoming ceremony was held Saturday at the Delap Dock. Minister in Assistance Mattlan Zackhras headed the ceremony and tour of the P-17 Class stealth frigate. “The visit signifies the importance of strengthening the bond of friendship and trust between the two countries,” he said.
He acknowledged India’s technological development and praised its support to the Marshall Islands.
In his remarks, Majuro Mayor Ladie Jack said he was aware that India sent a mission to far away Mars. Similarly, another mission was sent to far away Marshall Islands. “And so we Martians, excuse me, I meant to say Marshallese, welcome you peacefully,” Jack joking commented.
Satpura Commander Captain An Pramod thanked Zackhras and Jack for the warm welcome. He provided a tour for the local delegation on board Satpura. He said the vessel was built in India in 2011, the first of its kind. Seven more naval vessels are under construction there.
While on island, Satpura officials and representatives visited President Hilda Heine at the International Conference Center, Speaker Kenneth Kedi at Nitijela, Mayor Jack at the MALGov City Hall, laid wreath at late President Amata Kabua’s burial site, painted Assumption school facilities, went on a picnic at Laura beach, did a jazz band concert and medical camp at the College of the Marshall Islands, and celebrated India’s Independence day on board with hoisting of RMI and India flags. Satpura was also open for public tours. It departed Majuro Monday for India.
Read more about this in the August 19, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.