K Natarajan took over as the Director General of the Indian Coast Guard on Sunday.
He replaces Rajendra Singh, who was the first Coast Guard Director General to rise within the ranks and head the maritime force.
Prior to his appointment, Natarajan was the Coast Guard Commander of Western Seaboard, considered to be sensitive because of its jurisdiction that ranges from the Gujarat coast adjoining Pakistan to the Kerala coast down south.
Commissioned into the force in 1984, he has had the distinction of holding important command and staff appointments, both afloat and ashore.
He has commanded all classes of Indian Coast Guard ships like Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV), Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) and Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV).
He has also served as the Commander Coast Guard District No.5 (Tamil Nadu), the Commanding Officer Indian Coast Guard Ship Mandapam.
At the Coast Guard headquarters, his key staff assignments included Principal Director (Policy and Plans), Chairman Coast Guard Service Selection Board, Principal Director (Projects), Joint Director (Operations) and Coast Guard Advisor to the Director General of Indian Coast Guard.
Post 26/11, he was instrumental in giving a major fillip to the overall growth of the force in terms of setting up additional 20 stations, 10 air establishment, two regional headquarters, two seaboard headquarters and contract for 120 ships and boats.
In the rank of Inspector General, he has also been the commander of operational formations – Coast Guard Region (Andaman and Nicobar).