At passing out parade of NDA: Armed forces aim at joint training, integration of tri-services, says Navy chief

Admiral Lanba said India expanding footprint in IOR

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Published: May 31, 2017 1:28:10 am
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on Tuesday. Arul Horizon

STATING that no single service can win a war on its own, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said the Indian armed forces are steadily taking steps towards joint training and tri-services integration in all avenues of defence.

He added that India was expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean Region by increasing deployment across the seas.

Adm Lanba, who is also the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, was speaking on the sidelines of the Passing out Parade of the 132nd course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) on Tuesday morning.

The Navy chief, who is an NDA alumnus, made the first reference to the tri-services integration towards the end of his address to the passing out cadets. “Cherish the true spirit of jointness that has been instilled in all of you at the National Defence Academy. Remember, no single service can win a war on its own,” he said.

The Admiral expanded on the statement when asked about the recommendations of the General Shekatkar Committee on tri-services integration. “The report has been submitted to the government. They are examining it. We are currently going ahead with jointness and integration in steady steps forward,” he said.

“There is a already some joint training which is happening within the services and we are going to increase the level of it in different avenues also,” he added.

Speaking at the recent Naval commanders’ conference, Adm Lanba talked about the need to expand India’s footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

“Over the years, our footprint in the IOR has been increasing. We have increased our deployment. We have a ship which is permanently on station in the Gulf of Aden. The ships of the Western Fleet have just conducted a foray into the Mediterranean and has gone all the way into Atlantic. Ships from the Eastern Fleet were in Singapore and have carried out an exercise with the Singapore Navy in the South China Sea. And now they are on route to Australia to exercise with the Australian Navy. The Indian Navy has deployment from the Pacific to the Atlantic. So this is what we are going to do,” he added.

The Admiral further commented on the use of indigenous defence equipment. “The Indian Navy has been a pioneer in Make in India. Way back in the early 60s, my predecessors took a call that we will be a builders’ Navy than a buyers’ Navy. We have built over 200 ships from early 60s in Indian shipyards and at the moment, we have 41 ship and submarines, all under construction in defence and private shipyards. New assets are being inducted into the Navy in the form of ships, submarines and aircraft. We are on a path of growth and we will have a capable, effective Navy which can operate in all three dimensions,” he said.

On the current status of INS Viraat, which was recently decommissioned, he said, “She is being de-stored at the moment. We haven’t yet got a concrete proposal of converting her into a museum. Once we finish de-storing, we will take a call on what is to be done.”

When asked about the preparedness in case a 26/11-like attack happens, he said, “We are ready for any contingency and we will fulfil any task given to us by the government.”

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