Onerous tasks before the new Navy Chief
While congratulating the new Indian Navy Chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan, we believe that he has urgent tasks cut out for him – ensuring safety and security of men and machines. His appointment comes in the backdrop of a spate of accidents in the Indian Navy which took toll of a few brave mariners, leading to the resignation of Admiral D.K. Joshi as the Chief of the Naval Staff. In the last ten months, the Navy has suffered 14 mishaps including two involving submarines.
Obviously, the first task before him is to give safety the topmost priority, along with modernisation. On assuming charge he has assured ‘We have effective safety audits and strict procedures in place to ensure that accidents don’t happen. And the way to do that is to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are laid down and we don’t take any shortcuts that lead to these accidents.”
It is not a secret that the Indian Navy is ‘managing’ with equipment that need to be replaced and the process of equipment induction has been slow. While the Navy is going to follow SOPs, the government and the political leadership have to take bold decisions on equipment induction and not procrastinate. All the three Chiefs of the armed forces have been putting this point across, but the political bosses have their own agenda. Delayed decisions are no decisions and we hope that the new Chief will emphatically send this message across to the people at the helm.
Indigenisation is fine, but we cannot be risking lives, waiting for indigenisation to happen. Though the Navy Chief has said the future of Indian Navy is based on self-reliance and indigenisation, one certainly needs to look at some of the urgencies. He has also said, “It will be my endeavour to ensure to pull on the oars together and keeping my hands on the tiller to ensure that we run an efficient, taut and a happy Navy.”
We wish the Navy Chief all the best in his endeavour to make the Indian Navy a potent force among seafaring nations. We respect and hold in esteem the Indian Navy for its role in securing the nation and wish to see it in all its glory.
In his fortnightly viewpoint, Lt. General (Retd) P.C. Katoch talks about virtual mission board which allows warfighters to gather around a table, and plan their operations. This was seen during the Osama bin Laden operation where the US President and others gathered around a table to witness the operation. The Indian Army is developing the Tac C3I System in pursuit of the same capability.
Meanwhile on the internal security front, the Maoist attacks are disturbing the fabric of the nation. In a major post-poll attack, 15 people, including six personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), were killed. The government has to firmly deal with the Maoists before they spread to larger geographic areas. We look forward to your feedback as to improve our coverage. Happy reading!
Jayant Baranwal Publisher & Editor-in-Chief