Navy chief asks force to ensure readiness levels

 Naval chief Admiral R K Dhowan, who took over after a series of mishaps, has directed the force to monitor with "due earnestness" the readiness levels of Navy's frontline fighting units while stressing on ingenious repairs and responsive operational logistics.

New Delhi: Naval chief Admiral R K Dhowan, who took over after a series of mishaps, has directed the force to monitor with "due earnestness" the readiness levels of Navy's frontline fighting units while stressing on ingenious repairs and responsive operational logistics.

Admiral Dhowan's direction to the Navy personnel came during the second edition of the three-day bi-annual Naval Commanders Conference that ended today.

During the conference, he emphasised that enhancement of combat capabilities of the fleet and efficacy of weapon systems along with readiness of other operational formations is of prime importance.

Focussed efforts are required at all levels to ensure sustained growth of the Navy and peak combat efficiency, he said.

"He stated that the readiness levels of Navy's frontline fighting units, which has been strengthened through institution of safety audits, needs to be monitored with due earnestness.

"He further stressed that the combat readiness of the Fleet must be supported by ingenious repairs and responsive operational logistics. Operational consolidation and effective management of new inductions are of highest priority," said a Navy statement.

This was the second such conference after Admiral Dhowan took over as the Chief of the Naval Staff on April 17, nearly two months after his predecessor D K Joshi quit in the wake of a series of accidents.

Admiral Joshi's resignation came immediately after a fire on the INS Sindhuratna, which left two sailors dead. (MORE) PTI SA

During the conference, the Navy chief reviewed the progress made on the thrust areas outlined by him during the previous edition in June 14 which are ? sustaining combat readiness, building capabilities for the future and addressing human resource challenges, the statement said.

Senior Naval Commanders discussed several important issues during the conference, including operational readiness and combat effectiveness of platforms, coastal security, maintenance philosophy and quality of refits, infra-structure development and foreign cooperation initiatives.

The Admiral stressed that the major exercises being undertaken by the fleets be optimally utilised to further improve operational and material preparedness, integrate newly inducted platforms, refine war fighting doctrines as also to improve the interoperability with sister services.

Coastal security issues were also discussed during the conference wherein the Admiral said that Indian Navy must continue to provide requisite focus to India's coastal security responsibilities through pro-active coordination with other maritime agencies and coastal states.

He stated that steady progress has been made in strengthening the coastal security construct, with induction of FICs, ISVs and Sagar Prahari Bal.

Admiral Dhowan also reviewed Indian Navy's Foreign Cooperation Road Map, with specific emphasis on what has been achieved, and the way ahead.

Foreign cooperation being a vital component of our strategy of "shaping the maritime environment", he said that this area be addressed at multiple levels with due impetus.

Stressing that Indian Navy is an important asset to India's diplomatic outreach, he asked the force to chart out the ?Maritime Cooperation Roadmap?, aligned to the policies of the government, emerging maritime challenges and maritime security needs of the IOR littorals.

He highlighted that Indian Navy needs to be seen as a dependable partner and the "first port of call" for the friendly navies in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Navy Chief exhorted his personnel to prepare themselves and the Navy to meet the maritime security challenges being faced by the nation.

The International Fleet Review (IFR), planned in early 2016, a major event on the anvil for the Indian Navy, was also discussed during the conference.

Admiral Dhowan said that apart from being a ceremonial and diplomatic naval event, it is an exercise to bring together the navies of the world on a common platform with an aim to have a better understanding of each other and share best operational practices.

He discussed the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stressed that indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through public as well as private sectors, should remain a priority area of focus.

The top naval commanders also took stock of the substantial boost provided to the Navys capabilities with the induction of Vikramaditya with integral fighter aircraft, INS Kolkata (P15 A Destroyer), INS Kamorta (P 28 ASW Frigate) and INS Sumitra(OPV).

Discussions were also held on the ongoing LCA (Navy) project along with capability gaps in the submarine fleet, ship-borne helicopters and Mine Counter Measure Vessels.

The Navy Chief reviewed progress of various infrastructure projects that are in pipeline and would contribute towards futuristic capacity building.

The need to adopt sustainable green technologies, re-cycling and waste management to reduce carbon footprint of naval bases, in pursuance of the energy goals of our country and the Navy's multi-pronged environment conservation roadmap were impressed upon by the Navy chief, the statement said.

The Admiral also discussed about the utilisation of resources allocated to the Indian Navy.

Ensuring that every rupee is stretched to the maximum and optimally utilised through adherence to cost consciousness and stringent budget management, especially in the acquisition of spares, equipment and machinery, was stressed upon by him.

He reiterated his vision to run a taut, effective and happy Navy.

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