As part of its efforts to augment the security of the strategically significant Lakshadweep archipelago, the Navy commissioned a full-scale naval base, INS Dweeprakshak, at Kavaratti on Monday.
Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, who commissioned the station, said the establishment of the station on the western maritime frontiers of the country was a milestone indicative of the force's commitment to maintain effective coastal surveillance and defence capability. He said the Navy had put in place radar stations and other surveillance measures across the island chain to monitor shipping traffic and gather operational intelligence.
The Navy has been operating a detachment at Kavaratti since the 1980s. With the commissioning of INS Dweeprakshak, the island territories will witness calibrated strengthening of assets in tandem with their growing relevance to the security calculus of the nation. “A firmer footing on the islands, which are spread out astride some of the busiest shipping lanes of the world, would provide the necessary wherewithal to the Navy to discharge its responsibilities suitably. Indian warships on patrol would now extend their reach farther with base support from INS Dweeprakshak,” said a Defence press release.
The commissioning ceremony was marked by grandeur and solemnity. A 50-men guard was paraded in honour of the FOC-in-C, South. The establishment was named by Sunitha Ismail, Chairperson of the State Social Welfare Board. Captain S.M. Hanchinal, Commanding Officer of the base and Naval Officer in-Charge of Lakshadweep and Minicoy, read out the commissioning warrant and the naval ensign was hoisted as the Southern Naval Command band played the national anthem.
N. Vasanth Kumar, Chairman, Lakshadweep Welfare Board; district panchayat member Jallaluddin Koya; Commodore M.R. Ajay Kumar, Naval Officer in-Charge, Kerala; Commodore Ajay Saxena, Chief Staff Officer (Operations), Southern Naval Command; and Ajay Kumar, Superintendent of Police, attended the function.
Keywords: Indian Navy