October 27, 2016: The second edition of this year’s bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference concluded today after three days of fruitful deliberations. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri had addressed the Naval Commanders on the inaugural day (25 Oct 16) and complimented all personnel of the Indian Navy for ensuring maritime security of the country. Taking note of the wide expanse of naval activities spread across the oceans, he appreciated the high tempo of operations sustained in the last six months and efforts put-in for maritime security and coastal security. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri also reviewed the pace of modernisation of Indian Navy, progress of various acquisition and infrastructure related cases.
Chairing the conference, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, addressed the Naval Commanders on various important issues pertaining to operational readiness, capability enhancement, infrastructure development and human resource management. Coming in the close aftermath of recent events, the Conference provided an invaluable opportunity for the top-level leadership of the Indian Navy to review the operational environment and readiness of the maritime forces to deal with the entire range of prevailing as well as emerging threats.
The Conference, held over three days deliberated the ever increasing dynamism in the maritime sphere, especially in India’s neighbourhood, and the enhanced range of taskings and expectations of the Indian Navy as a result of it. The deliberations included a comprehensive review of operational preparedness, training and resource-availability. Commanders also took stock of the progress achieved in integrating newly inducted naval platforms into the overall operational design and their deployment as force multipliers in any future scenario.The CNS also reviewed the progress of various infrastructure projects that are in the pipeline and shall contribute towards capacity building.
Coastal Security construct was deliberated and reviewed during the conference. The Admiral was satisfied with the steady progress made in strengthening the coastal security apparatus viz. induction of FICs, ISVs and NC3 I project. He asserted the need to remain ever vigilant and focussed towards our coastal security responsibilities through proactive coordination with other maritime agencies and coastal states in light of the increasing variety of asymmetric threats.
One of the focus areas discussed during the conference was the induction of manpower, aspects pertaining to training and skill development, and welfare of personnel. Consequent to 2016 being observed as the ‘Year of the Civilian Personnel’ in the Indian Navy, progress of various policy initiatives taken with regard to enhancing transparency in personnel policies and improving the ‘ease of doing business’ in the service were also reviewed.
The CNS stated that men and women behind the machine are the Navy’s greatest strength and are our greatest asset and their morale and well-being should always remain our primary concern. The discussions also focused on the future roadmap for employment of women in Navy.
The Conference also provided the Naval Commanders an opportunity to interact with Ministry of Defence officials and Defence Research & Development Organisation wherein a range of issues 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 themselves and the Navy to meet all future maritime security challenges before the country. Combat readiness should remain our collective focus at any given time and operational effectiveness should be the touchstone of all our efforts,he said. The Navy’s role is not only vital for national security, but also for national prosperity and development, he concluded.