All you need to know about India's new Navy chief Sunil Lanba

Jun 01, 2016, 19:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Admiral Sunil Lanba took over as Chief of Naval Staff and vowed to ensure that the maritime domain of the country is safe and secure

Admiral Sunil Lanba took over as Chief of Naval Staff and vowed to ensure that the maritime domain of the country is safe and secure.

Sunil LanbaSunil Lanba. Pic/PTI

58-year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, will have the full three-year tenure as the Navy Chief. He succeeded Admiral R K Dhowan who retired. "It is indeed an honour and a privilege for me to take over the command of the Indian Navy, one of the finest in the world," he said, adding that over the years, the Navy has turned into a modern and combat ready force capable of operating in all three dimensions.

Sunil LanbaAdmiral Sunil Lanba takes over as Indian Navy chief from R K Dhowan (standing), at South Block in New Delhi on Tuesday. Pic/PTI

"The men and women who man the Navy are professionally trained, committed and patriotic and are committed to ensuring that our national interest are safeguarded anywhere, anytime and everywhere," he said.

An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Lanba is the 21st Indian to be the Navy Chief. The Navy chief brings with him rich operational and staff experience in a career spanning more than three decades, Lanba has served as Navigating Officer of corvette INS Sindhudurg and frigate INS Dunagiri.

Sunil LanbaAdmiral Sunil Lanba inspecting the Guard of Honour before taking over as new Indian Navy chief, at South block. Pic/PTI

He has commanded four frontline warships -- INS Kakinada (minesweeper), INS Himgiri (frigate) and INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai, both destroyers. He is also an alumnus of the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, where he has served as a faculty. Lanba has also held key staff assignments such as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and the Chief of Staff, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands.

Sunil LanbaAdmiral Sunil Lanba seeks blessings from his family members. Pic/PTI

He was also the Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area and Commandant, National Defence College. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command at Kochi, prior to being appointed to head the Western Naval Command. He took over as the Vice Chief on June 2, 2014.

A navigation and direction specialist, Admiral Lanba served as the Navigation and Operations Officer onboard numerous ships in both the eastern and western fleets, the statement added.

"His nearly four decades of experience includes tenure at sea, ashore at various headquarters, Operational and Training establishments as well as tri-services institutions," it said.

Sunil LanbaAdmiral Sunil Lanba with his family before taking charge as the new Indian Navy chief at South block in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

He has also been the executive Officer of the aircraft carrier, INS Viraat and the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western fleet. On promotion as vice admiral, he has been the Chief of staff, Eastern Naval Command, and Commandant of the National Defence College.

Sunil LanbaIndia's new Naval Chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba in his office after taking over as Navy chief from R K Dhowan. Pic/PTI

"In his capacity as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, the Admiral streamlined the frame work for transformation of Indian Navy's combat capabilities and infrastructure development as well as tri-services initiatives towards enhancing integration and jointness," read the statement.

The new chief is a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Vishist Seva Medal for meritorious service and is also the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the President of India.

Admiral Lanba is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal and the Athi Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service.

-with inputs from agencies

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