Rear Admiral Ajit Kumar P, who was serving as Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command in Kochi, will take over the reins of the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala on Saturday when the incumbent Commandant Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chauhan retires from service.

Rear Admiral Kumar has been selected for promotion to the rank of Vice-Admiral effective from Sunday. Rear Admiral M.S. Pawar, who was serving as Flag Officer Sea Training at the Southern Naval Command, the Navy’s Training Command, replaced him as Chief of Staff of the Command.

Rear Admiral Kumar, a missile and gunnery specialist, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Pune, and Sainik School, Kazhakootam. Among the professional courses he underwent is a strategy and policy course from the Naval War College, Newport, USA. His sea tenures include commands of several frontline warships including the stealth frigate INS Talwar and destroyers INS Mumbai and INS Mysore. He also commanded the Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam.

The Rear Admiral’s important shore tenures include appointments as Assistant Chief of Personnel of the Navy and as Chief Staff Operations of the Western Naval Command. He also commanded INS Dronacharya, Navy’s Missile and Gunnery School, at Fort Kochi.

Rear Admiral Kumar hails from Ernakulam.

Rear Admiral Pawar was commissioned into the Navy in July 1982. Also an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, he is a Navigation and Direction specialist. His sea tenures include commands of the missile boat INS Nashak, missile corvette INS Kuthar, stealth frigate INS Talwar, and appointment as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet.

He has to his credit an MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Universities of Mumbai and Madras and the coveted Herbert Lott Prize from the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, U.K.

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