Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi, an anti-submarine warfare specialist, has taken over as the 21st Navy chief, succeeding Admiral Nirmal Verma who retired on Friday.

Admiral Joshi who will have a three-year tenure as the Chief of the Naval Staff expressed gratitude for having been given the honour and privileged opportunity to command the Navy.

In his maiden message to the Navy, Admiral Joshi indicated his priorities as the new Naval Chief. ``For the Navy to fulfil its mandate as a maritime power for national prosperity, 24 x 7 attention would need to be paid at all levels to ensure that there are no gaps in our security preparedness,’’ he said.

``To achieve security related objectives, the man-machine interface is crucial and the Navy would need to professionally re-audit, train and consolidate its preparedness to optimize the existing capabilities as well as harness the full potential of the transformational new capabilities being inducted,’’ Admiral Joshi.

Admiral Joshi, who was the Western Naval Commander, has taken over the force at a time when it is set to operate two aircraft carriers and induct a large number of warships, long- range surveillance aircraft and submarines.

He has commanded the tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Island Command and also headed the Integrated Defence Staff Headquarters here. He also commanded the Vizag-based Eastern Fleet.

Commissioned in 1974, he has commanded aircraft carrier INS Viraat, guided-missile destroyer Ranvir and corvette INS Kuthar. He has been awarded Nausena Medal,Vishist Seva Medal and Yudh Seva Medal respectively. He subsequently commanded the Eastern Fleet, wherein he was awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM).

A graduate of the Naval War College, USA, he is an alumnus of the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and National Defence College here.

He is married to Chitra Joshi and the couple have two daughters.

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