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ARES - Daijiworld News Network  Goa

Panaji, Sep 4: Interaction and understanding with our eastern neighbours seems to top agenda of newly-appointed chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sureesh Mehta.

Chief of Naval Staff spoke exclusively to's Goa correspondent ARES

"Indian Navy should regularly interact with neighbours in south east asian region as we share common maritime interests and threats too," Mehta said while speaking to this reporter over phone from Vishakhapatnam.

With two months to go before taking over as a chief of naval staff, Vice Admiral Mehta expressed that he would not be able to comment much on his priorities in the chair.

"At this point what I feel that we should have interaction with the countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia besides others," he said.

This, according to the Vice Admiral, will lead to better maritime understanding as the countries share common threats like narco terrorism and other aspects like life saving and disasters.

The to-be-chief, however, had different views on Pakistan. "Pakistan is a different issue all together," he said refraining from commenting further. "With Bangladesh we have been interacting for many years," he added.

Vice Admiral Mehta said that over next 20 years, 35 per cent of naval budget would be aimed for expansion and augmenting force level of air arm fleet. This will execute growth in the naval aviation sector. "There are plans to have modern air arm for Indian navy," Mehta said refusing to elaborate further.

More on Admiral Sureesh Mehta

Source: PTI and Indian Navy website

New Delhi: Seniormost naval commander Admiral Sureesh Mehta was appointed Chief of Naval Staff here on Friday.
Mehta assumed the duties of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command on September 30, 2005.
The admiral is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Indian Navy in July 1967. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Fleet Air Arm and flew Sea Hawk aircraft from the INS Vikrant.
He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and carried out instructional duties as a Directing Staff at the institute. In 1994, he attended the National Defence College, India. His earlier important afloat and ashore appointments include command of the INS Beas frigate and the first indigenously-built guided missile frigate of the Indian Navy, INS Godavari.
He commanded the Naval Air Station of the Navy, INS Garuda.
On promotion, to Flag rank he was appointed Flag Officer Naval Aviation, wherein he was responsible for marshalling resources of the aviation fleet of the Indian Navy.
In October 1998, he assumed command of the Western Fleet as Fleet Commander, a post he held till April 2000.
When the incident of piracy of the Alondra Rainbow occurred in November 1999, the ship was stopped by naval units under his command and the pirates were brought to book by his flagship.
During his tenure at the Naval Headquarters as assistant controller of warship production and acquisition and assistant controller carrier projects, he initiated initiatives to revitalise the naval fleet and was responsible for commencement of important and critical ship and aircraft acquisition programmes, in preparation for Blue water operations of the Navy in the 21st century.
In his appointments as the assistant chief of personnel (human resources development), controller personnel services and chief of personnel at the Naval Headquarters, he was responsible for personnel management policy of the Indian Navy.
As Director General Coast Guard since January 2003, he was guided with the vision of establishing a strong, vibrant and visible Indian Coast Guard with linkages the world over to establish common operating doctrines for tackling incidents at sea.
He pursued a vigorous growth for the Coast Guard Fleet and organisation, aided by active modernization programmes.
The admiral is responsible for critically analyzing the issue of piracy in its perspective and accordingly tailoring Coast Guard operations towards adopting a pro-active approach in combating piracy in Indian and neighbouring waters.
Prior to taking over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Sureesh Mehta, PVSM, AVSM, held the office of Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff.
Mehta will assume the new post on October 31, on retirement of Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, according to a defence ministry announcement here.


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