New Delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) Vice Admiral Raman Prem Suthan today took over as the new Vice Chief of the Naval Staff from Vice Admiral Nirmal Verma, who has been appointed as the next Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Visakhapatnam-based prestigious Eastern Naval Command.
Vice Admiral Suthan returns to Delhi after a highly rewarding and successful year at the helm of the Eastern Naval Command. He is the senior most Naval officer and is slated to succeed Admiral Sureesh Mehta as the next Naval Chief.
A guard of honour, followed by an in-office ceremony, signified the handing over of the charge at the Naval headquarters here.
Vice Admiral Suthan had an excellent tenure at Visakhapatnam.
Under his stewardship, the Eastern Naval Command had been well and truly on its way to being the ''Happy and Fighting Fit'' command that he set out to build on assuming charge on April 30 last year.
Under his leadership, ships from the Eastern Command visited countries in Asia, West Asia, South East Asia and Europe and were involved in exercises with all major Navies of the world, both at home and away.
The Naval Dockyard, apart from a record number of refits of own ships, had successfully undertaken such work on ships from Sri Lanka and Maldives. Showcasing the Indian Navy's prowess through operational demonstrations all along the East Coast, and even at Vijayawada during the Navy Week celebrations brought in much appreciation and understanding of the Navy and the Command.
New induction during the period include the Landing Platform Dock, INS Jalashwa, with a squadron of six utility helicopters, and INS Kesari. Expansion of Dega Airfield, extended day operations and impending night landing facilities for civil flights were some of his other achievements.
Born on August 14, 1949, the Admiral is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad.
He saw action early in life as Navigating Officer, INS Kavaratti, when engaged in intense conflict during the 1971 war off erstwhile East Pakistan.
During his long and illustrious career, Vice Admiral Suthan had held various staff, instructional, operational and command appointments that included the Command of five frontline ships and of the Eastern Fleet. His appointments ashore include, the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Defence Advisor to High Commission of India, Singapore, Assistant Chief of Personnel (Human Resource development), Controller Personnel Services and Chief of Staff of Southern and Eastern Naval Commands.
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