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Navy to showcase its might

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READY FO R THE EVENT: A dry run of the Navy motorcade on Thursday in Visakhapatnam. Photo: K.R. Deepak
READY FO R THE EVENT: A dry run of the Navy motorcade on Thursday in Visakhapatnam. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Special Correspondent

The President's Fleet Review is being held outside Mumbai for the first time President's Fleet Review is being held outside Mumbai for the first time

The fleet review is held once during the tenure of every President Major attractions are skydiving, missile and rocket firing and fireworks display65 ships and submarines and 43 aircraft to take part in the review The fleet review is held once during the tenure of every President Major attractions are skydiving, missile and rocket firing and fireworks display65 ships and submarines and 43 aircraft to take part in the review

VISAKHAPATNAM: The President's Fleet Review (PFR) here on February 12 is different from eight such exercises held so far.

For the first time, the PFR is being held outside Mumbai and the second feature is that the Operational Prowess Demonstration (OPD) to showcase the fighting punch of the Indian Navy, is being conducted as part of the programme, according to Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command (ENC) Sureesh Mehta here on Thursday.

The long beach, measuring more than 5 km., and the water being deep very near the shore facilitates the exercises to be done just about one to one-and-half-a-half miles from the shore and also a few lakh people to witness the exercise.

These conditions did not exist in Mumbai where the previous PFRs were held. PFR is held once during the tenure of every President who is the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces.

The OPD includes sky-diving, aerobatics, missile and rocket firing, Beating the Retreat, laser and fireworks display.

The fleet

As many as 65 ships and submarines and 43 aircraft, including some from other Naval Commands would participate in the PFR. Forty five ships and submarines would be at the anchorage on February 12 morning when President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam reviews the fleet on board the Presidential yacht INS Sukanya, an Off-shore Petrol Vessel (OPV). INS Sukanya enjoys the distinction of being the Presidential Yacht for the second successive PFR.

Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekawat and Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh are also expected to witness the PFR.

Several VVIPs including Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Navy Chief Arun Prakash, and others would also attend.

Presentation of colours

The Eastern Fleet of ENC will receive the President's Colour from Dr. Abdul Kalam on February 13, Vice-Admiral Mehta said. This was a great honour not only for the Eastern Fleet but to the entire Navy, he stated.

Dr. Kalam would arrive here on February 11. He would also interact with school children at the Samudrika Auditorium after presenting colours to the Eastern Fleet. He would leave Visakhapatnam on February 13.

Vice-Admiral Mehta requested people not to bring eatables to the beach as they would attract birds. Hawkers would not be allowed near the beach on that day.

Security precautions

All security precautions were being taken to ensure smooth conduct of PFR, Commissioner of Police V.S.K. Kaumudi said.

Police booths were being set up all along the Beach Road, from Jalaripeta to Kailasagiri to ensure safety of spectators and their free movement.

Though the chances of stampede were less in view of the large space available, all precautions were being taken in this regard.

Vice-Admiral Mehta added that the fishermen were being advised not to enter into the area where the naval ships participating in the review would anchor from February 6. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust was asked to give priority to the Naval ships over cargo ships.

Municipal Commissioner N. Srikanth said that relaying of roads was completed and the debris lying on the Beach Road due to digging of margins could be cleared in a day's notice.

The details of PFR can be had from the website pfr2006.nic.in


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