Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema will formally takeover as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command on Tuesday. Vice Admiral Anil Chopra who retires from service on the same day will hand over the charge at a taking-over parade at INS Shikra, in Colaba in South Mumbai. Before this, Vice Admiral Cheema was the Commander-in-Chief, Southern Naval command.
He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in January 1977. A graduate from National Defence Academy ( NDA), he is a specialist in missile and gunnery.
His appointments ashore includes the Commandant of the Naval Academy and Commanding Officer INS Mandovi. He also has the unique distinction of winning both the Lentaigne (Best Dissertation) and Scudder Medals (First in overall order of merit) while undergoing course at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC).
He has been the commanding officer of five frontline ships namely, the missile boat INS Nishank, Mauritian Coast Guard OPV Vigilant, the missile corvette INS Khanjar, the stealth frigate INS Trishul and the prestigious aircraft INS Viraat.
He has also been the Commander-in-chief of the Strategic Forces Command- a tri-services command responsible for all nuclear forces of the country.
He was also awarded the Nau Sena Medal (Gallantry) when in Command of INS Nishank.