A solemn ‘Beating Retreat' ceremony along with ‘continuity drill' performed by a contingent of trainees from INS Dronacharya, the Navy's missile and gunnery school, and a brief air display by assorted naval helicopters marked the culmination of Navy Day at the Southern Naval Command here on Sunday.

Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, was the chief guest of the ceremony that commenced at the Naval Base at 5 p.m. Invited guests and family members of naval personnel were treated to some scintillating aerobatic display led by Commander V.G. Menon, Commanding Officer of the INS Garuda-based 336 squadron. As a precursor to the aerial show, there was the flight of a power glider. Naval helicopters such as the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, Chetaks and Seaking anti-submarine and anti-surface helicopters showcased their maneuverability and operational capabilities. Naval commandos aboard a Seaking displayed short team insertion and extraction (STIE) operation.

Music scores

The naval band of the command drummed up general music scores followed by quick march, slow march, festive tunes and hymns as part of ‘Beating Retreat'. At sunset, it played the ‘last post' marking the end of the ceremony. Close on its heels, there was a fly-past by various naval helicopters.

Earlier in the day, at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Southern Naval Command's War Memorial, civil and military dignitaries including Vice-Admiral Sushil; Hibi Eden, MLA; and Paul Antony, Cochin Port Trust Chairman, paid homage to the country's martyrs in war.

A new memorial, ‘On Eternal Watch' depicting the vigilant watch on the bridge of a warship, was commissioned by Kunnath S. Raju, the senior most sailor of the command.

The Navy Day commemorates the Indian Navy's attack on Karachi harbour during the Indo-Pak war in 1971.

Keywords: Navy Day

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