Gandhinagar, Dec 3 The Navy has a vast range of national interest to safeguard in Gujarat and it is important to have robust naval presence in the state, said Rear Admiral Sandeep Beecha, flag officer of Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval area.
He was addressing reporters here ahead of the Navy Day which will be celebrated tomorrow.
"Indian Navy has a vast range of national interests to safeguard. These include our economic, geographic, military, geostrategic interests including disaster relief and humanitarian assistance tasks," Beecha noted.
"In addition, Indian Navy also plays a significant role as an extension of Indian diplomatic efforts far off from the Indian shores from Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific," he said.
Underlining the importance of having a "robust" naval presence in Gujarat, he said it the force capable of responding to emergent situation adverse to national interests.
"The decision by Indian Navy to establish headquarters of Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval area at Gandhinagar is a major step towards achieving this and integrating Navy with other services and government agencies," he said.
"As the country continues to progress and prosper based on the sustained economic growth, there is an increasing acceptance of the fact that the maritime domain is the prime facilitator of our economic growth," Beecha said, adding over 90 per cent of trade by volume and 77 per cent of trade by value are transported over the seas.
"Over 97 per cent of our energy needs in terms of oil is either imported from or produced at offshore fields. Consequently, our economic growth is inextricably linked to the seas. Indian Navy has been relentlessly working towards capacity building as a blue water Navy capable of ensuring safety of our national interests," he said.
Beecha said the Navy is in the process of acquiring capabilities and realigning operational ethos to meet emerging security challenges in maritime domain.