The biannual Naval Commanders` Conference of 2014 commenced in New Delhi today. This conference is held to discuss issues of operational relevance, identify capability gaps and to review the future plans of the Indian Navy.
The Defence Minister, Sh. Arun Jaitley inaugurated the conference and congratulated the men and women of the Indian Navy for discharging their duties with utmost diligence and professionalism. He met Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan, Commanders’-in-Chiefs of various commands of the navy and other top commanders and held discussions with them.
Sh. Jaitley referred to the prevailing security environment in our neighbourhood and complimented the Navy`s efforts for working in tandem with a large number of central and state agencies. He stated that the deployment of our assets has been highly effective and needs to be continued to secure the country’s economic and maritime interests. Taking note of the capability shortfall of conventional submarines, ship-borne helicopters, mine counter measure vessels and other weapons and sensors in the Navy, he assured that all efforts would be made to ensure operational preparedness of the Indian Navy.
Taking note of the overseas deployments and bilateral exercises by naval ships with the regional navies in the South China Sea, Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf, he said that these have further strengthened our bilateral relationships, enhanced inter-operability and built, as well as renewed `bridges of friendship`.
Appreciating the indigenisation efforts of the Indian Navy, Sh. Jaitley made a mention of the fact that all 44 naval ships and submarines under construction are being built in Indian shipyards. He stressed that these efforts need to be further strengthened for timely inductions of the platforms.
Addressing the challenges pertaining to human resource development in the Navy, which are unique due to high levels of technical skills required to operate nuclear submarines, state-of-the-art ships and deck launched fighter aircraft, Sh. Jaitley assured that all efforts will be made to reduce the existing shortfall of manpower.
Sh. Jaitley said the Indian Navy personnel have always risen to the challenges and have conducted themselves in the best traditions of the service. He said that the establishment is aware of the sacrifices made by the men in uniform and would accord necessary thrust to welfare measures, both for the serving as well as retired community.
The Defence Minister complimented the Navy for adopting Green initiatives and environment protection measures by reducing the carbon footprint and rationalizing use of energy resources. Sh. Jaitley expressed confidence that the Senior Commanders of the Navy will take a close look at all the important issues and take decisions to address the shortcomings and chart out a futuristic, visionary roadmap for the Navy.
The Naval Commanders are discussing matters related to combat readiness of the fleet and other operational formations, building capabilities for the future and addressing human resource challenges amongst others.