The first edition of this years’ bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference which commenced after three days of fruitful deliberation. The Hon’ble RM addressed the Naval Commanders and complimented all personnel of the Indian Navy for ensuring the maritime security of the country through a high tempo of operations. He especially commended the Navy for the outstanding conduct of Combined Commanders’ Conference on board Vikramaditya off Kochi last December and the successful conduct of the International Fleet Review at Visakhapatnam in February this year. He also appreciated the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief efforts of the Indian Navy in the aftermath of the floods in Chennai as well as the recent fire tragedy at Puttingal temple near Kollam in Kerala. He assured the Commanders of the government’s commitment to the modernisation and development plans of the Navy. He further appreciated the efforts of the Navy in the recent initiative to grant permanent commission to the first batch of women officers and also induction of women as pilots in the Maritime Reconnaissance stream of Naval Aviation and Naval Armament Inspectorate cadre. The conference also provided an opportunity to the Naval Commanders’ to interact with MoD officials on important ongoing issues.
Chairing the conference, the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan addressed the Navy’s top leadership on myriad issues including enhancing the operational readiness of the Commands, infrastructure development, human resource management, coastal security, cyber security and foreign cooperation initiatives.
Addressing the Naval Commanders, the CNS revisited the thrust areas as also the importance of the C3I model – i.e. Commitment, Compassion, Credibility and Integrity – to keep focus on defined goals and maintain the Navy on the correct track, which he had stressed on taking over the command of the Indian Navy. The CNS was very satisfied with the progress made over the last two years and complimented the
rank and file of the Indian Navy for successfully overcoming several challenges and navigating steadily through the way points which were set.
The CNS said that the Navy has contributed significantly to the nation’s geopolitical and developmental aspirations and that has been accepted and acknowledged at the highest level of our government.
Emphasising that combat readiness of the fleet and other operational formations is of prime importance, the Admiral said focused efforts, as hitherto, are required at all levels to ensure sustained growth of the Navy into a formidable multi-dimensional force. The CNS complimented all ranks of the Navy in maintaining a high tempo of operations during the last six months including the very successful International Fleet review (IFR) held by the Navy at Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016, apart from a number of other notable operational activities such as the first Combined Commanders’ Conference on board Vikramaditya in Dec 15.
Among the focus areas discussed during the conference were aspects pertaining to training, skill development and welfare of retiring personnel who constitute a vital resource for the nation. He also reviewed the progress of housing infrastructure projects for naval personnel. Consequent to 2016 being observed as the ‘Year of Civilian Personnel’ in the Indian Navy, the service conditions of civilian personnel and their quality of life were deliberated extensively. The CNS stated that our men and women are our greatest assets and their morale and well-being should always remain the primary concern. He also highlighted the grant of permanent commission to women officers as a major milestone in the Indian Navy’s history.
The indigenisation programme of the Navy was discussed and the CNS stressed that indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through DRDO, public and private sectors as also through in-house efforts, should remain an area of focus. In this regard he highlighted the successful conduct of the IN-FICCI joint seminar on ‘The Make in India Paradigm – Roadmap for a Future Ready Naval Force’ where we had a very healthy participation from the various stake holders and Indian industry.
During the course of the conference, the Chief of the Naval Staff reviewed the progress of airfield infrastructure, security of Naval Air Stations, dockyards and naval establishments. In addition metrological and oceanographic initiatives being undertaken in support of naval operations were also discussed.
The CNS also reviewed the improvements being made to the logistics delivery chain and the implementation of e-procurement in the Indian Navy. He emphasized the need for constant review and refinement of the Navy’s logistics support structures to ensure that its combat units and formations receive quality logistics support while maintaining a high operational tempo.
One of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity Naval Commanders had to interact with the MoD officials, wherein issues pertaining to joint operations and military synergy were discussed.
In his closing address the CNS complimented all personnel of the Indian Navy for their professionalism and patriotism, and exhorted them to prepare the Navy to meet the future maritime security challenges before the country. “We must continue to pull on the oars together, to propel the navy forward, and contribute to a strong and prosperous maritime nation” he stated. He expressed confidence that the Navy would continue to grow from strength to strength in the coming years and emphasized that operational effectiveness and readiness should be the touchstone of all the efforts. He concluded by stating that the Navy’s role is not only vital for national security, but also for national prosperity and development.