Admiral Sunil Lanba Takes Charge as Navy Chief
Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC has assumed command of the Indian Navy, as the 23rd Chief of the Naval Staff on May 31, 2016.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, a naval thoroughbred and until recently the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, has assumed the high office of the Chief of the Naval Staff on May 31, 2016, consequent upon superannuation of Admiral R.K. Dhowan. Born on July 17, 1957, Admiral Sunil Lanba was commissioned on January 1, 1978, into the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy. A Navigation and Direction specialist, he has served on board numerous ships in both the Eastern and Western Fleets. His career spanning nearly four decades includes tenures at sea, ashore at various headquarters, operational and training establishments, as well as tri-services institutions. His sea tenures include commands of INS Kakinada, a specialised mine counter measure vessel, INS himgiri, the indigenous Leander class frigate, INS Ranvijay, a Kashin class destroyer and INS Mumbai, the indigenous Delhi class destroyer. He has also been the Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier, INS Viraat and the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, College of Defence Management, Secundrabad, and Royal College of Defence Studies, London, Admiral Lanba’s career has been enriched with his vast experience at sea, training, operational and tri-services tour of duty both within India and with international navies. Before taking over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, he was Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and the Commandant, National Defence College, New Delhi.
As a training officer at the National Defence Academy, directing staff at the College of Defence Management and as the Comman-
dant of the National Defence College, he has been deeply engaged with professional training, shaping future leadership and skilling of the officers of the Indian armed forces.
On elevation to flag rank he has held several significant capacity and capability assignments for the Indian Navy. He was responsible for transformation in training methodology for the future Indian Navy as the Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command. Thereaf- ter, he took on the mantle of the Flag Officer Sea Training, where he ushered changes to enhance battle effectiveness of ships and rationalised combat manning on board. Later, he took over as the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area, and implemented several significant coastal security initiatives along with multi-agency coordination mechanisms that have since ensured safe seas and coastal areas.
On promotion as Vice Admiral, he has been the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, and Commandant of the National Defence College. In his capacity as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, he streamlined the framework for transformation of Indian Navy’s combat capabilities and infrastructure development as well as triservices initiatives towards enhancing integration and jointness.
He is a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Vishist Seva Medal for meritorious service and is also the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the President of India.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, a son of a former naval officer, is first to rise to become the Chief of the Naval Staff. He is also the first Mayo College, Ajmer, alumnus to rise to become the Chief of any of the armed forces of India.
After assuming the office of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba said, “It is indeed an honour and a privilege for me to take over the command of the Indian Navy, one of the finest in the world.” He further added that over the years, the Indian Navy has turned into a modern and combat ready force capable of operating in all three dimensions. “The men and women who man the Navy are professionally trained, committed and patriotic and are committed to ensuring that our national interest are safeguarded anywhere, anytime and everywhere,” he said.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba calls-on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at South Block in New Delhi on June 2, 2016
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba being handed over the baton by the outgoing Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan on May 31, 2016