Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Naval Chief Visits Eastern Naval Command

Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff arrived Visakhapatnam on a three-day visit to Eastern Naval Command on 21 August 2017. The Admiral is accompanied by Mrs Reena Lanba, President Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA).

Besides visiting establishments of the Command, the Chief of the Naval Staff will attend the ENC Golden Jubilee Maritime Seminar scheduled on 22 and 23 August 2017. Admiral Sunil Lanba will hold discussions with Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command and later would be briefed on the activities of the Command. Mrs Reena Lanba, President, NWWA would interact with the Executive Committee and ladies of the Organisation besides visiting NWWA facilities.

Adventure Camp for Trainee Officers and Sailors of Basic Submarine Course conducted at Ananthgiri Village, Visakhapatnam.

An adventure camp for trainee officers and sailors of basic submarine course was conducted at Ananthgiri village, Visakhapatnam from 18 to 20 August 2017. The aim of the camp was to inculcate camaraderie and espirit-de-corps through a series of activities and competitions which included a nature trek, tug of war, volleyball and treasure hunt. The chief guest for the camp fire, Rear Admiral V Sreenivas NM, Flag Officer Submarines, congratulated the trainees for their indomitable spirit and reiterated the importance of team building.

Information Technology Workshop conducted by Western Naval Command

An Information Technology Workshop themed ‘Future of IT – A Naval Perspective’ was conducted by Western Naval Command (WNC) on 21 August 2017. The workshop was aimed at examining emerging contemporary technologies in the IT domain and their potential for adoption in the day-to-day functioning of the Indian Navy in line with the Digital Navy Vision. The workshop was inaugurated by Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, Chief of Staff, WNC. The workshop saw active participation by naval personnel and representatives from the industry including members of the Computer Society of India, Mumbai Chapter and Centre for Development of Advance Computing, Chennai.

Monday, August 21, 2017

President Presents Colours To Ladakh Scouts

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind inspecting the Guard of Honour and presenting President’s Colours to all five Ladakh Scouts Battalions and Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre, in Leh.

Myanmar Air Chief Meets IAF Chief

The Commander-in Chief (Air), Myanmar, General Khin Aung Myint meeting the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, in New Delhi.

Defence Minister Reviews Operational Readiness at Western Naval Command

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley visited the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy at Mumbai. The Honourable Minister was received by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command. On arrival, he was presented a Naval Guard of Honour.

Shri Arun Jaitley then proceeded to the Headquarters of the Western Naval Command and interacted with the Commander-in-Chief. At the Headquarters, the Raksha Mantri was briefed on the operational readiness of the Command and other relevant aspects of maritime and coastal security.

Coastal Security Awareness Campaign Conducted at Thalayi Fishing Harbour and Dharmadam Fish Landing Centre

As part of the initiative to enhance security consciousness amongst fishermen, a Coastal Security Awareness Campaign was conducted at Thalayi fishing harbour and Dharmadam fish landing centre on 17 August 2017 and at Ayikkara and Azhikode harbours on 18 August 2017. Representatives from District Administration, Department of Fisheries and Coastal Police also participated in the campaign. The role of fishermen and local populace as being the ‘Eyes and Ears’ of security agencies in reporting suspicious activities, measures for enhancing security including use of Coast Guard toll free number 1054 for Search and Rescue and Coastal Police toll free number 1093 for reporting coastal security matters were highlighted during the campaign.

INS Kamorta Organises Blood Donation Camp at INHS Kalyani

As part of the third anniversary celebrations, INS Kamorta organised a blood donation camp at INHS Kalyani on 17 Aug 2017. The camp was aimed at spreading awareness about voluntary blood donation and its importance towards saving precious lives. 51 personnel from the ship, including ladies, voluntarily donated blood. As part of social responsibility towards lesser privileged children and fellow human beings, the ship's crew, through their personal contribution, donated basic sanitation kits for children, medicines for patients and provisions at 'Prema Samajam', an institution based at Visakhapatnam. The ship's crew also sponsored lunch on 19 Aug 2017 for the inmates, during which personnel from the ship interacted with children, elderly people and patients at Prema Samajam.

Indian Army Lends Helping Hand in Bihar Floods

Under the aegis of the 4 RAPID, based on requisition from civil administration, the army columns have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in the devastated flood affected areas of Bihar to include Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Gopalganj and Muzzafarpur districts. The columns are doing a yeoman service by saving the lives of the stranded people, transporting and providing relief material to the inaccessible locations.

Till the last reports, the Army columns have been able to reach out to over 75 villages, having rescued about 1000 people and have distributed food, supplies, rescue and relief material in these areas. The army medical teams accompanying the rescue columns has also distributed medicines, attended to medical emergencies and saved several precious lives. Among the villagers rescued, there were few pregnant women also.

Demise of Gentleman Cadets at Indian Military Academy

Exercise PAHLA KADAM, a training camp for first term Gentlemen Cadets of Indian Military Academy was being conducted in the general area of Badshahi Bagh, Saharanpur district. During the runback of the exercise, seven Gentlemen Cadets fell unwell due to dehydration. All the Gentleman Cadets were administered first aid by the medical officer present at the exercise location and evacuated in specialized ambulances with paramedic support to Military Hospital, Dehradun. Gentleman Cadet Deepak Sharma whose condition was critical, was however rushed to the nearest medical centre (Lehman Hospital) at Vikasnagar. The individual succumbed to exhaustion and dehydration and passed away at 1:30 pm on 18 Aug despite best efforts made by the doctors.

Meanwhile, the other Gentlemen Cadets were shifted to Military Hospital, Dehradun where they were administered medical treatment. Gentleman Cadet Nabin Kumar Chhetri, the second individual, who was under treatment, however eventually passed away at 11:50 pm despite best efforts made by the doctors. The best medical treatment by specialized doctors at Military Hospital, Dehradun was provided and all efforts were made to treat the individual.

Wreaths were laid for both the departed Gentlemen Cadets in separate ceremonies which were attended by all Officers, JCOs and Gentlemen Cadets of the IMA.

The remaining Gentleman Cadets have been treated at the Military Hospital and are stable.

Ministry of Defence Approves Delegation of Powers to Border Roads Organisation

The Ministry of Defence has decided to delegate administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) right upto the level of Chief Engineer and Task Force Commander, so as to avoid delays on account of references between the Chief Engineer and HQ DGBR and also between HQ DGBR and the Ministry.

Functioning under the control of the Ministry of Defence since 2015, the BRO is engaged in road construction to provide connectivity to difficult and inaccessible regions in the border areas of the country. The Ministry of Defence intends to bring transformational changes in the organization in order to improve the pace of execution of works and to achieve the desired outcomes according to the requirement of the Armed Forces.

In line with the aim to bring in transformational changes in the BRO, various powers of delegation have been revised. According to the earlier delegation of powers, a Chief Engineer in the BRO could give administrative approval of works only upto Rs. 10 crore, that too only for departmental works, whereas the ADGBR had powers to accord administrative approval only upto Rs. 20 crore for departmental works. For contractual works, all administrative approvals were given by DGBR, who had powers only upto Rs. 50 crore. Enhancing the powers at all levels in the BRO, the Ministry of Defence has now approved that for both departmental and contractual mode of execution, a Chief Engineer of BRO can accord administrative approval upto Rs. 50 crore, ADGBR upto Rs. 75 crore and DGBR upto Rs. 100 crore.

Further, according to the earlier delegation of powers, a Chief Engineer in the BRO had the power to accept execution of contracts only upto Rs. 10 crore, ADGBR had powers upto Rs. 20 crore, beyond which all tenders had to be sent to DGBR. With the intent to speed up the tendering process, the Ministry of Defence has now enhanced the powers of Chief Engineer for acceptance of bids with cost of contract upto Rs. 100 crore and that of ADGBR for cost of contract upto Rs. 300 crore. With this delegation, the entire tendering process including acceptance of bids would be completed at the level of Chief Engineer/ADGBR for a majority of the contracts.

For adopting the DPR mode of execution, there is a need to outsource consultancy services. According to the earlier delegation of powers, a Chief Engineer had powers only upto Rs. 10 lakh, ADGBR upto Rs. 50 lakh and DGBR upto Rs. 2 crore. The Ministry of Defence has now enhanced the powers of Chief Engineer to accord administrative approval for outsourcing of consultancy services upto Rs. 2 crore and ADGBR upto Rs. 5 crore and full powers beyond Rs. 5 crore to DGBR.

There also is a need to replace obsolete construction equipment in the BRO with modern equipment. According to the earlier delegation of powers, DGBR had powers only upto Rs. 7.5 crore for procurement of indigenous equipment and Rs. 3 crore for procurement of imported equipment. All other cases of procurement had to be referred to the Ministry of Defence. In order to fast track the procurement of latest construction machinery and equipment in the BRO, the Ministry of Defence has enhanced the delegation of powers upto Rs. 100 crore to DGBR for procurement of both indigenous/imported equipment.

In case of emergent need for construction equipment, DGBR has been given full powers for hiring upto three years and for Chief Engineers (Project), powers have been enhanced from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 5 crore and the period of hiring has been enhanced from 6 months to one year.

The BRO is engaged in road construction activities in the most difficult areas and the usage norms and fixation of life of construction equipment varies from terrain to terrain. Earlier, all cases of revision of norms of equipment and fixation of life had to be referred to the Ministry of Defence. In a departure from the earlier policy, full powers in this regard have been delegated to DGBR.

The Ministry of Defence in consultation with the Armed Forces would identify the roads to be entrusted to the BRO and fix priorities by approving the Long Term Roll-On Works Plan and Annual Works Programme for the BRO. Thereafter, powers related to execution of works have been delegated to be exercised by different levels within the BRO. However, to ensure accountability, a MIS is being developed for online monitoring of progress of works.

From the current year, the BRO has initiated the practice of preparation of DPRs for all new road projects to be taken up and has adopted the project mode of execution. In an important policy change from the conventional departmental mode of execution followed by the BRO in the past, the organisation has now also started adopting the EPC mode of execution. The Ministry of Defence has approved policy guidelines in this regard, based on which the BRO may engage big construction companies for taking up road projects on a turnkey basis.

It is expected that with delegation of powers by the Ministry of Defence to the BRO, the pace of road construction in border areas would improve and the BRO would be able to complete ongoing/new projects in compressed timelines.

Commissioning of Second Ship of Landing Craft Utility MK-IV ‘IN LCU L52’(GRSE Yard 2093) at Port Blair

Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, commissioned IN LCU L52 into the Indian Navy today at Port Blair. IN LCU L52 is the second Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. The ship has been indigenously designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. The commissioning of L-52 is yet another manifestation of the potential of the country’s indigenous design and ship building capability.

LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship with the primary role to transport and deploy Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. These ships would be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Command and can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.

The ship, commanded by Commander Kaushik Chatterjee, has a complement of 05 officers, 46 sailors and is capable of carrying 160 troops in addition. The ship, displacing 830 Tons, is capable of transporting various kinds of combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72 and other vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).

The remaining six ships of the same class are in advanced stages of construction at M/S GRSE, Kolkata and are scheduled to be inducted in the next two years. The induction of these ships will contribute to the nation’s maritime security needs and is in consonance with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s drive for ‘Make in India’.

Indian Coast Guard Commander (East) Reviews Ops & Infrastructure Preparedness Of Eastern Region

The Coast Guard District and Station Commanders and Works conference was conducted from 17 Aug to 19 Aug at Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (East) Chennai. The conference was attended by all the Coast Guard District and Station Commanders from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and senior officers from various Coast Guard units.

During the three days conference, Commander Coast Guard Region (East) Inspector General Rajan Bargotra, reviewed the operational preparedness of the Region with emphasis on coastal security, pollution response and infrastructure development to meet the ICG mandated charter of duties. During his opening address, the Regional Commander sensitized the District Commanders on the present security scenario in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and emphasized the importance of working in tandom with all the stake holders of coastal security mechanism. The role of fishing community as eyes and ears towards coastal security was also highlighted.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Second Water Jet Fast Patrol Vessel Supplied By India to Mauritius.

The Second Water Jet Fast Patrol Vessel supplied by India to Mauritius.
. .
 Mauritius Coast Guard Ship Valiant was commissioned by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of Mauritius at Port Louis on 16 August 2017. The ship, built by M/s Goa Shipyard Limited, is the second Water Jet Fast Patrol Vessel supplied by India to Mauritius
The Indian Navy over saw construction of the ship and was involved in its trials, acceptance, and timely delivery. Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, Assistant Controller Warship Production and Acquisition represented the Indian Navy at the commissioning ceremony.

Indian Navy Cross Country Championship Conducted At INS Rajali, Arakkonam

 The Indian Navy Cross Country Championship - 2017 was flagged off by Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar, Flag Officer Tamil Nadu and Puduchery Naval Area amidst fan fare in the early hours of today (18th Aug 2017). The event organized by INS Rajali at Arakonam, Tamil Nadu with an aim of encouraging participation in sports, long distance running, promote healthy competition and team spirit amongst naval personnel is a highly competitive event with participation from the Eastern, Western and Southern Naval Commands.

The championship this year witnessed competitive participation from the naval personnel, amidst cheers by their colleagues, families of the naval personnel and school children who encouraged the runners throughout the total distance of 10 km. A total of 27 participants from the three naval
commands took part in the Cross Country and J Yadav, Sea I of Eastern Naval Command ran to victory by covering the distance of in 34 min & 20 sec while the runners up position was secured by Cadet Vinay Kumar of Southern Naval Command covering the distance in 34 min & 24 sec. In the team event Southern Naval Command was declared as the winning team and Eastern Naval Command adjudged as the runners up. 

The championship also helped the organizers to select best long distance runners from all the units and commands of the navy to form the Navy Team. The Navy Cross Country Team will participate and compete in the forthcoming Services Championship where these naval runners will compete against their Army and Air Force counterparts to finally find their names in the Services Team to compete at the National Games.

Annual Seminar by Western Naval Command, Mumbai

 The Western Naval Command held its Annual Seminar in Mumbai on 17 August 2017.
 The aim of the seminar was to brainstorm future geopolitical scenarios emerging in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
 Highlight India's naval and maritime challenges and concerns.
 The seminar generated keen interest amongst the audience and provided a platform for junior and middle level officers

Exchange views on the unique and crucial dynamics of the IOR

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Induction Of Coast Guard Interceptor Boats (IBs) C-433 & C-434

Two new Interceptor Boats (IBs) C-433 & C-434 built by M/s L&T Ship Building have been inducted into Indian Coast Guard on 16 Aug 2017. The boats were launched on 07 Jun 2017 post extensive trials on equipment and machineries. These boats are part of the 36 IBs project contracted between MoD and L&T shipyard. The inducted boats will be based at Murud Janjiraon western coast. Their presence will further strengthen the coastal security mechanism.

C-433 and C-434 boats would be utilized for day and night close coast patrol &surveillance, SAR, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, anti-terrorist, anti-smuggling operations and fisheries protection and monitoring. The boats are equipped with state of the art sensors including sophisticated navigational and communication system and are capable of operating in tropical conditions with expected life span of more than 15 years. IBs can achieve speed of 40 Knots. Each IB would be manned by 12 crews, including 01 officer and 02 subordinate officers

Indian Navy's All-Women Global Circumnavigation Crew Meets PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Six women officers of the Indian Navy who are due to circumnavigate the globe on the sailing vessel INSV Tarini,  The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba is also seen.

Navika Sagar Parikrama - Circumnavigating The Globe on an Indian-Built Sail Boat INSV Tarini by Women Naval Officers 

Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project wherein a team of women officers of the Indian Navy would circumnavigate the globe on an Indian-built sail boat INSV Tarini. This is the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. The project is scheduled to commence in early Sep 17. INSV Tarini is the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei. The project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’.

The first Indian Solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Capt Dilip Donde, SC (Retd) from 19 Aug 09 to 19 May 10 onboard the Indian built vessel, INSV Mhadei. The first Indian non-stop solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Cdr  Abhilash Tomy, KC from 01 Nov 12 to 31 Mar 13.

Six women officers of the Indian Navy, who are due to circumnavigate the globe on Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini, called on the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 16 August 2017. This is the first-ever circumnavigation of the globe by an Indian all-women crew, who are scheduled to begin their voyage later this month from Goa, and are expected to return in March 2018.

During the interaction, the crew explained details of their upcoming voyage to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister wished the women crew well, and exhorted them to project India’s capabilities and strengths across the world. He also encouraged them to write and share their experiences, after successful completion of the voyage. INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, and was inducted in the Indian Navy earlier this year.

The vessel will be skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, and crewed by Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal and P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta. The expedition has been titled Navika Sagar Parikrama and will be undertaken in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports namely Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).

            The crew of INSV Tarini comprises :-

Rank, Name & No.
Home Town
Sailing Experience

Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi, 43077-A
The officer has sailed from Rio De Janeiro to Cape Town in 2014 and from Port Blair – Vizag – Chennai – Kochi onboard Mhadei. She skippered INSV Mhadei from Vizag to Goa in Feb 16, Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 16 and from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16. The officer also skippered INSV Tarini from Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 17.
Lt Cdr Pratibha Jamwal, 07109-F
Himanchal Pradesh
The officer has sailed onboard Mhadei from Goa to Port Blair in 2014, Vizag to Goa in Feb 16, Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 16 and from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16. The officer also sailed onboard INSV Tarini from Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 17.

Lt Cdr Swathi P,
Andhra Pradesh
  The officer has sailed onboard Mhadei from Cape Town to Goa in 2014, sailed from Vizag to Kochi in Feb 16, Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 16 and from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16. She also participated in the recently concluded Cape to Rio race 2017. The officer also sailed onboard INSV Tarini from Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 17.
Lt Aishwarya Boddapati,
The officer has sailed onboard Mhadei from Vizag to Goa in Feb 16, Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 16 and from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16. The officer also sailed onboard INSV Tarini from Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 17.
Lt Sh Vijaya Devi, 70712-H
Moirang Kwakta Santhong
The officer has sailed onboard Mhadei from Goa to Port Blair in 2014, Vizag to Goa in Feb 16, Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 16 and from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16. The officer also sailed onboard INSV Tarini from Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 17.
Lt Payal Gupta,
The officer has sailed from Vizag to Goa onboard Mhadei in Feb 16, Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 16 and from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16. She also participated in the recently concluded Cape to Rio race 2017. The officer also sailed onboard INSV Tarini from Goa to Mauritius and back from May to Jul 17.

The all-women crew have trained extensively for the forthcoming voyage. They have sailed approximately 20,000 Nm onboard INSV Mhadei and Tarini as part of training, which includes two expeditions to Mauritius (in 2016 and 2017) and a voyage from Goa to Cape Town in Dec 16.

INSV Tarini, a 55 foot sailing vessel has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa. Tarini was inducted into the Indian Navy on 18 Feb 17. The vessel has sailed approximately 8,000 Nm till date.Navika Sagar Parikrama would be covered in five legs with stop-overs at four ports (same ports as Capt Dilip Donde) for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary. Estimated dates for the legs are as follows:-

Leg Description
Cardinal Dates
Number of Sailing Days
Goa - Fremantle (Australia)
05 Sep 17 – 12 Oct 17
Fremantle (Australia) - Lyttelton (New Zealand)

25 Oct 17 – 16 Nov 17
Lyttelton (New Zealand) - Port Stanley (Falklands)
23 Nov 17 – 28 Dec 17
Port Stanley (Falklands) - Cape Town (South Africa)
10 Jan 18 – 08 Feb 18
Cape Town (South Africa) - Goa
21 Feb 18 – 04 Apr 18

            The expedition has been aptly titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, aimed at promoting women empowerment in the country and ocean sailing by the Indian Navy. The expedition would inspire the youth of our nation to develop an understanding of the sea and instill a spirit of adventure and camaraderie.

            Additional aims of the Expedition are as follows:-

(a)       Nari Shakti.     In consonance with the National policy to empower women to attain their full potential, the expedition aims to showcase ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world platform. This would also help to discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of participation by women in challenging environment.

(b)       Environment and Climate Change.       Sailing encourages the use of environment friendly non-conventional renewable energy resources which affects the life of women. The expedition thereby aims at harnessing the energy to optimise the livelihood of the women onboard.

(c)        Make in India.          The voyage also aims to show case the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing onboard the indigenously built INSV Tarini.

(d)       Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave Data Observation. The crew would also collate and update Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave data on a daily basis for subsequent analysis by research and development organisations.

(e)       Marine Pollution.    The crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas.

(f)        Interaction with Local PIOs. Since the expedition aims to promote Ocean Sailing and the spirit of adventure, the crew would interact extensively with the local PIOs at the various port halts.