Admiral Karambir Singh took over as the Chief of the Naval Staff from Admiral Sunil Lanba who retired on May 31 after four decades of distinguished service.

In his career spanning over 39 years, Admiral Karambir Singh has commanded Indian Coast Guard Ship Chandbibi, Missile Corvette INS Vijaydurg, as well as two Guided Missile Destroyers, INS Rana and INS Delhi. He has also served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. Ashore, he has served at Naval Headquarters as the Joint Director Naval Air Staff, and as Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai.

Admiral Singh is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. Commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980, he earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1981 and has flown extensively on the Chetak (Alouette) and Kamov helicopters. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and has served as Directing Staff at both these institutions.

He has also served as a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Board (AIRCATS). On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG).

In the rank of Vice Admiral, he has been Director General Project Seabird, in-charge of infrastructure development of the Navy’s expansive and modern base at Karwar. At the Integrated Headquarters Ministry of Defence (Navy), the Admiral has been the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and, subsequently, the Vice Chief of Naval Staff. He was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam, prior to taking over the helm as the Chief of the Naval Staff on 31 May 19. The new CNS enjoys cycling, running, swimming and golf.

Interesting facts about the new CNS:

1.    Born to an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer in Punjab’s Jalandhar, Karambir Singh is a second generation military officer.
2.    He went to the Barnes School in Nasik before joining the National Defence Academy in Pune where he was in the Hunter Squadron.
3.    An alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai, Karambir Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980.
4.    Karambir Singh is one of the most decorated Admirals and with several honours to his credit like Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal, Operation Vijay Medal and Operation Parakram Medal among others.
5. The ‘Grey Eagle’ (senior-most serving naval aviator) of the Navy, Karambir Singh is the first helicopter pilot to become the chief of the Naval Staff. As a helicopter pilot, he has flown Chetaks and Kamovs.