Australian officer joins Indian ship INS Sahyadri for the International Fleet Review

This article has photo gallery Published on Royal Australian Navy (author)

Location(s): Fremantle, WA

Topic(s): International Fleet Review

LCDR Watson (middle) is shown aboard by officers of INS Sahyadri, LCDR Pradeep Raja (left) and LCDR Santosh Kumar Mohanta (right). (photo: Unknown)
LCDR Watson (middle) is shown aboard by officers of INS Sahyadri, LCDR Pradeep Raja (left) and LCDR Santosh Kumar Mohanta (right).

Lieutenant Commander Jamie Watson has joined Indian warship INS Sahyadri, commanded by Captain Sanjay Vatsayan, in Fremantle ahead of the International Fleet Review.

LCDR Watson is a Naval Reserve Officer and current Deputy Director of Operations Maritime Trade Operations Team One. He actively volunteered to join Sahyadri due to his love of Indian culture and cuisine.

Sahyadri, a newly commissioned guided missile stealth frigate, is the pride of the Indian Navy.

“The indigenous built warship boasts an impressive armament, and the pride of her crew is visible everywhere,” LCDR Watson said.

The crew are only too happy to talk about their new ship, with Western Australian locals being the first in Australia to visit the ship during open ship events held alongside in Fremantle. The local Indian community has rallied around Sahyadri visit, with many of those visiting directly connected to the crew through family and friends.

For LCDR Watson, embarking in Indian Ships, and in fact enjoying all aspect of Indian culture and engineering is nothing new! In 1993, as a Sub Lieutenant in HMAS Geraldton, LCDR Watson cross-decked to INS Kuhkri during a PASSEX in the Western Australian Exercise Area. He has subsequently travelled extensively through northern India a tourist.

In 2009, LCDR Watson was able to visit India in an official capacity when he was invited by the Indian Navy to conduct an Operations Analysis course for the Indian Navy at Kochi Naval Base as part of his day job as a Defence Scientist at DSTO. It was a great surprise to the Australian officer to learn that the Executive Officer of Sahyadri was himself a graduate of that very course!

When LCDR Watson is not in the office as part of his day job, or supporting Navy as a Reserve Officer, his passion for motorcycling extends to India. He has been a long term aficionado of the Royal Enfield motorcycle, a machine manufactured in India since the 1950s. LCDR Watson’s current ride is a 2011 C5 Classic Chrome which is causing him to quickly become the envy of many motorcyclists embarked in INS Sahyadri.

When Sahyadri sails from Fremantle on Saturday she will proceed south about to Jervis Bay where she will participate in an ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting Plus off Jervis Bay before joining the International Fleet to sail into Port Jackson on 4 October 2013. The crew are most excited about participating in such a significant occasion for both the Royal Australian Navy and the City of Sydney.