KERALA

Naval training to undergo sea change

KOCHI, NOV. 29. The training procedure of the Indian Navy will undergo drastic changes in view of the challenging growth target set for 2020.

Vice-Admiral S.C.S. Bangara, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, said here today that the organisation could meet the challenge only through an integrated approach in training.

He was addressing a news conference on board INS Krishna, the Leander class training frigate of the Navy. Southern Naval Command is the exclusive training unit of the Indian Navy.

By 2020, the Vice-Admiral said, 40 per cent of the country's total economy will have to depend on sea trade. Currently, it is 17 per cent. The Navy should expand and develop its training activities in the most modern manner to meet this challenge, he said.

Specialised courses

The collaboration with Indian Institutes of Technology and universities in offering specialised higher courses shows the standard and quality of facilities of the Navy, he said.

Vice-Admiral Bangara said that by reaching out to foreign navies, the Indian Navy had benefited vastly not only in building bridges of friendship but also in improving its training methods.

Currently, 116 officers and 101 sailors from 14 foreign countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, are being trained at various schools of the Indian Navy.

Air defence ship

The Command chief said that the work on the proposed air defence ship to be built indigenously at Cochin Shipyard was in progress. "We will be able to cut the steel by March next year," he said.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Arun Prakash, had said here in August, during his maiden visit to the Command as the Naval Chief, that the steel would be cut for the air defence ship within a couple of weeks. Vice-Admiral Bangara said today that the work on the ship would not be delayed further. The Government has already given the funds for it, he added.

The Vice-Admiral said that the construction of 19 warships at different yards in the country was going in good pace. The others who attended the conference were Rear-Admiral I.K. Saluja, Flag Officer Sea Training; Rear-Admiral Rusi Contractor, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command; Captain K. Muralidharan Nair, Commanding Officer of INS Jamuna; Cdr. Sanjay Mahindru, Commanding Officer of INS Krishna; and Cdr. Manohar Nambiar, Public Relations Officer of Defence.

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