Navy Chief asks commanders to maintain vigil, moral conduct
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 14:57
New Delhi: Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma Wednesday asked his commanders to maintain a high state of preparedness as the force's role in fighting terrorism and piracy would grow.

He also emphasised the need to maintain the highest standards of "moral conduct and integrity in addition to professional excellence."

"The Navy needs to maintain a high state of preparedness due to the ever-increasing demands of maritime security both in the littorals and high seas," Verma said at the four-day Navy Commanders Conference, which began here yesterday.

He said the tempo of operational commitments were increasing significantly necessitating greater attention to improving operational efficiencies and material availability.

"Professional excellence, coupled with material preparedness, sound logistics, effective maintenance and comprehensive training are the cornerstones of combat readiness," he said.

His remarks on moral conduct come against the backdrop of reports that a senior Naval officer, Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, posted in Russia to supervise the Admiral Gorkshkov aircraft carrier project, had established inappropriate relationship with woman there.

The Navy has ordered a probe to find out if Singh's liaison with the woman could have influenced the hike in the price of Gorshkov's repair and refit from the contracted USD 974 million in 2004 to the recently concluded cost of USD 2.34 billion in 2010.

Verma pointed out that during the 2009-10 financial year, the Navy had fully utilised its allotted budget and signed major contracts including those for additional MiG-29K fighter jets from Russia and for revision of Gorshkov cost.

Appreciating the additional funds for clearing important schemes for the Navy, he said due emphasis was being laid on improving efficiency of internal processes associated with acquisition to achieve the goals laid down in the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan.

During discussions on anti-piracy measures, he brought out that since October 2008, the Navy maintained continuous patrol of the Gulf of Aden when 17 warships were deployed on anti-piracy duties to escort 976 merchant ships, including 130 Indian traders.

The Navy had also deputed its units for patrolling the exclusive economic zone and maritime areas of interest of friendly island countries in western Indian Ocean such as Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives, which Verma said would continue to be facilitated.


First Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 14:57

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