Vice-Admiral Anup Singh will assume charge as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command at a ceremonial parade to be held at the naval base here on Thursday.

He succeeds Vice-Admiral Nirmal Verma, who has been appointed Chief of Naval Staff.

Vice-Admiral Singh will assume charge at a time when the importance of the Eastern Seaboard is increasing manifold following enhanced interaction with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and other states of South East Asia.

Commissioning of air squadrons, air stations and launch of the first indigenous strategic submarine by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh off the Visakhapatnam coast have firmly placed the ENC on the centre-stage, in consonance with the `Look East’ policy of India. A second naval base is also coming up near Visakhapatnam.

Vice-Admiral Singh was commissioned in the Navy on July 1, 1973. A specialist in navigation and direction, he has held a mix of operational, staff and instructional appointments prior to assuming charge as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (operations) last year.

During his illustrious career, he commanded four ships of different classes and capabilities, two of these — INS Veer, a missile vessel and INS Delhi, the first indigenously designed and built destroyer of 6700 tonne displacement — were, in fact, commissioned by him. His last operational appointment was that of Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, where he led Operation `Sukoon,’ the evacuation of civilians from war-torn Lebanon in July 2006.

Ashore, Vice-Admiral Singh held command and staff appointments, including Assistant Controller of Carrier Projects and Warship Production and Acquisition, at the naval headquarters, and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. In his capacity as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, he was primarily responsible for maritime operations in all three domains as also foreign cooperation, intelligence, communications as well as acquisition of naval aviation assets and for laying down the long-term vision for naval aviation.

He skippered the Naval Yatch Samudra for the Pacific Crossing during its round-the-world voyage in 1989.

He is a recipient of the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and the Nao Sena Medal.