Karambir Singh has taken over as the Chief of the Naval Staff from Admiral Sunil Lanba who retires today. Having served the nation for the past four decades, Lanba served as the 23rd Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy. After taking over as the Chief of the Naval Staff, Karambir Singh said his predecessors made sure that Navy had a solid foundation. "It'll be my endeavour to continue with their efforts & provide the nation with a Navy that's strong, credible & ready to meet security challenge in the maritime domain," he said. He is scheduled to continue in the post till November 2021. Admiral Singh's priority would be to expedite the long-delayed modernisation of the Indian Navy, including by inducting new warships, submarines and aircraft. At present, the Navy has around 132 ships, 220 aircraft and 15 submarines.
Here are a few things you must know about the 24th Chief of the Naval Staff:
1. He is the first helicopter pilot to become Chief of Naval Staff.2. Before his appointment to the top post, Singh served as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.
3. His promotion was challenged by Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command Vice Admiral Bimal Verma on grounds of seniority. Vice Admiral Bimal Verma is currently serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
4. The Armed Forces Tribunal here allowed Admiral Singh to take charge as the new Navy chief, holding that his continuation will depend on the final outcome of the case. The next date of hearing in the case is July 17.
5. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, he held various key positions in the Navy in a career spanning over 39 years.
6. He commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980, he earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1981 and has flown extensively on the Chetak (Alouette) and Kamov helicopters.
7. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai. Admiral Singh has commanded Indian Coast Guard Ship Chandbibi, Missile Corvette INS Vijaydurg, as well as two Guided Missile Destroyers, INS Rana and INS Delhi.
8. Admiral Singh has also served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. Ashore, he has served at Naval Headquarters as the Joint Director Naval Air Staff, and as Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai.
9. On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. In the rank of Vice Admiral, he was also the Director General of Project Seabird, looking after infrastructure development of the Navy's modern base at Karwar.
10. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG). At the Integrated Headquarters Ministry of Defence (Navy), the Admiral had served as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and, subsequently, the Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
(Edited by: Manoj Sharma, with agency inputs)