INS Baaz commissioned
The Naval Air Station at Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar Island was commissioned as Indian Naval Ship ‘Baaz’ by Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Naval Staff. INS Baaz is situated at about 300 nm from Port Blair and is the southernmost air station of the Indian armed forces. Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Nirmal Verma said that “the archipelago, separated as it is by more than 650 nm from our mainland, offers a vital geo-strategic advantage to India. Not only do they provide the nation with a commanding presence in the Bay of Bengal, the Islands also serve as our window into East and South East Asia”. He added that “they also sit astride some of the busiest shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean, most carrying strategic cargo for East Asian economies”.
Bringing out that the Navy has been progressively increasing the number of warships based in the Andaman and Nicobar Command, Admiral Nirmal Verma said that Port Blair will be home to amphibious platforms, naval offshore patrol vessels and fast attack craft as the Navy’s robust acquisition plans progress.
INS Baaz is currently equipped to operate light to heavy aircraft capable of short field operations from the runway of about 3,500 feet. The runway will be progressively lengthened to enable unrestricted operation of all category of aircraft including heavy aircraft. The base will also be bolstered with modern airfield instruments and navigation aids.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by Lt General Naresh Marwah, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Chief of Integrated Defense Staff to Chairman Chief of Staff Committee, Commanding Officer, Commander S.K. Singh Deo and many other senior naval officers.