He took over as its Flag Officer Commanding in Chief at a ceremonial parade held at naval air station INS Garuda.

Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema has assumed command of the Southern Naval Command. He took over as its Flag Officer Commanding in Chief at a ceremonial parade held at naval air station INS Garuda on Thursday. Prior to assuming charge, he laid wreath at the War Memorial.

Vice Admiral Cheema was commissioned into the Navy in January 1977. He is a graduate of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Lhasa lead ala, the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the College of Naval Warfare (CNW), Mumbai.

A specialist in missile and gunnery, he spent most of his time on afloat and operational appointments. He has had the distinction of being the Commanding Officer of five frontline ships, missile boat INS Nishank, Mauritian Coast Guard OPV Vigilant, missile corvette INS Khanjar, stealth frigate INS Trishul and the prestigious airrcraft carrier INS Viraat.

His appointments ashore include Commandant of the Naval Academy and Commanding Officer of INS Mandovi. He also has the unique distinction of winning both the Lentaigne (Best Dissertation) and Scudder Medals (First in overall order of merit) while undergoing course at the DSSC.

On promotion to Flag rank in May 2006, he was appointed ACNS, Information Warfare and Operations (IW & Ops) at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy). His other flag appointments include posting as Chief of Staff of the Western Naval Command, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Controller Personnel Services, IHQ MoD (Navy), DCIDS Perspective Planning and Force Development (PP&FD) and DCIDS (DOT).

He has also served as Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CISC) to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee; and as Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command - a Tri-Services Command responsible for all nuclear forces of the country.

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