Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba has been appointed as the new navy chief. Currently the Chief of Western Naval Command in Mumbai, he’s all set to take over the office of Chief of Naval Staff from May 31. Admiral Robin Dhowan will hand over the office to Admiral Lanba, who will serve a three-year term. Here are five things you should know about the next navy chief, who will oversee the operations of over 130 warships and 235 aircraft that makes up the Indian Navy:
1. Admiral Lanba’s meritorious career began in 1978, when he was commissioned to the Navy. His alma maters include the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK. He also has a postgraduate degree in Defence and Management studies.
2. In 2014, his appointment to be Navy Chief was a sure shot.
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That year, Admiral DK Joshi gave up his navy chief position after naval accidents that he felt morally responsible for. This put Admiral Lanba, who at that time was the commandant of National Defence College, in line for succession. When Admiral Dhowan took over from Admiral Joshi, Admiral Lanba served as Vice Chief and Southern Naval Command Chief, before assuming his current position.
3. Over his nearly four-decade long service to the navy, he has proved his excellence as a commander. He commanded four warships, including INS Kakinada (a minesweeper), INS Himgiri (a frigate), as well as INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai, both destroyers.
4. He has held many more important positions in the navy: the Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command, Flag Officer of the Sea Training, Chief of Staff of the Eastern Naval Command, and Commandant of the National Defence College. He has also been the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet of Mumbai, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Southern Naval Command and then the FOC-in-C Western Naval Command.
5. The 58-year-old, who’s a qualified specialist in navigation and direction course, was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his exceptionally high-order services.