Friday, May 27, 2011

Naval Commanders Conference

The Naval Commanders Conference for 2011 discussed issues of operational relevance and future plans of the Indian Navy. This biannual forum also provides an opportunity for the Chief of the Naval Staff to examine the operational readiness of the Indian Navy, assess the progress made in key projects and initiate functional, organisational and administrative steps necessary to further enhance the Indian Navy’s readiness for current and emerging challenges.

Speaking on the subject of operational readiness, he pointed out “with the security situation being fluid, we need to maintain the organisational ability to deploy ships, submarines and aircraft at ‘immediate’ notice”. He also acknowledged the yeomen efforts put in by all naval personnel as they spent longer hours at work and many more days at sea owing to the increasing demands of maritime security. He drew the attention of the Commanders to the fact that maintainence of war fighting abilities remains as the top most priority despite the fact that we have a large number of peacetime commitments at hand.

Talking about Coastal Security, the CNS commended all present on achieving a high level of effectiveness with increased patrolling and synergised efforts with all stakeholders. He further stated that the ongoing thrust on anti-piracy operations will also need to be sustained.

The criticality of Maritime Domain Awareness to all aspects of maritime operations was highlighted and the CNS lauded the vision and contribution of the Indian Navy in the National Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence Network (NC3I). The CNS noted with satisfaction the extent of network centric capabilities employed by all units ie surface, air and sub surface during the last major exercise of the Indian Navy ‘TROPEX’. He stressed upon the prime importance of the security of these networks and information systems for seamless and swift operations.

Aspects of operational, material and logistics preparedness of the navy are also expected to come up for discussion during the four day conference. Discussions on the force level accretion in accordance with the Navy’s MCPP will focus on how best to leverage the new procedures (as per the revised DPP 11) so as to build ships at a faster pace with international benchmarks of costs and quality. The CNS stated that almost all Naval ships planned to be inducted in the next 15 years would be built in India.

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