Bi-An­nual Naval Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence

Rear Ad­mi­ral Sushil Ram­say (Retd)


AFOUR-DAY NAVAL COMMANDERSÕ CON­FER­ENCE was held from Oc­to­ber 24-27, 2017. The Con­fer­ence pro­vided a plat­form for in­sti­tu­tion­alised in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the Naval Com­man­ders and se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, as also, with the Chiefs of In­dian Army and In­dian Air Force. The pri­mary fo­cus dur­ing the Con­fer­ence was to re­view and fine-tune the mis­sion-based de­ploy­ment con­cept to re­sult in greater pres­ence and vis­i­bil­ity of the In­dian Navy in the In­dian Ocean re­gion (IOR).

The re­cent times have wit­nessed grow­ing pres­ence and in­flu­ence of the Peo­ples’ Lib­er­a­tion Army (Navy) of China in IOR and the Pa­cific which have caused se­vere con­ster­na­tion through­out the globe. The evolv­ing dy­nam­ics within the mar­itime do­main im­poses upon In­dian Navy the roles, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and the chal­lenges of un­prece­dented di­men­sion. It be­hoves upon In­dian Navy to up­grade com­men­su­rate strate­gic as­sets and in­fra­struc­ture in the re­gion of its mar­itime se­cu­rity do­main.

The De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man ad­dressed and in­ter­acted with the Naval Com­man­ders on Oc­to­ber 26, 2017. The Min­is­ter re­viewed the com­bat readi­ness of the Navy, pace of moderni­sa­tion and progress of var­i­ous ac­qui­si­tion and in­fra­struc­ture re­lated cases. She com­pli­mented the In­dian Navy for main­tain­ing a high op­er­a­tional tempo, en­sur­ing the mar­itime se­cu­rity of the coun­try and sus­tained ef­forts in sup­port of the ‘Make in In­di­aÕand ÔDig­i­tal In­di­aÕini­tia­tives of the Gov­ern­ment. The Min­is­ter brought out that it was a mat­ter of pride that all 34 war- ships presently un­der con­struc­tion were be­ing built in­dige­nously. She also com­pli­mented the Navy on the suc­cess­ful con­duct of tri-lat­eral ex­er­cise ‘ Mal­abar 2017’ and in­formed the Com­man­ders that dur­ing the re­cently con­cluded ADMM Plus, keen in­ter­est was evinced by var­i­ous ASEAN na­tions in ex­er­cis­ing with the In­dian Navy, which spoke highly of the In­dian Navy’s pro­fes­sional stand­ing and com­pe­tence. She com­pli­mented all per­son­nel of the In­dian Navy for se­cur­ing the mar­itime in­ter­ests of the na­tion. Tak­ing note of the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in our mar­itime neigh­bour­hood, she em­pha­sised the need for In­dian Navy to be strong at sea, and be ever ready and vig­i­lant to counter any chal­lenges in the mar­itime do­main.

She took note of the crit­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity short­falls that In­dian Navy is fac­ing in ship-borne multi-role he­li­copters, con­ven- tional sub­marines and mine counter mea­sure ves­sels, which need ur­gent re­dres­sal to main­tain the com­bat edge. The De­fence Min­is­ter as­sured that these is­sues were be­ing given due im­pe­tus and ef­forts were in hand to mit­i­gate these short­com­ings at the ear­li­est.

Con­clud­ing her ad­dress, the Min­is­ter stated that mar­itime in­ter­ests of a na­tion have a vi­tal re­la­tion­ship with its eco­nomic growth and these shall be pro­tected at all costs by en­sur­ing a strong and cred­i­ble In­dian Navy.

Chair­ing the Con­fer­ence, Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, ad­dressed the Naval Com­man­ders and stressed fo­cus on four key ar­eas; ‘Com­bat Ca­pa­bil­ity and Role-Wor­thi­ness’, ‘En­sur­ing Pri­macy of Core Pro­fes­sional Tasks’, ‘De­velop a Mo­ti­vated, Trained and Com­mit­ted TeamÕand ÔIn­crease Fa­mil­iar­ity and

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man, Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba and other se­nior Naval Com­man­ders at the con­fer­ence

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