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Need to expand footprint in Indian Ocean Region: Navy Chief

IANS | New Delhi |

The Indian Navy needs to expand its footprint to be a stabilising force in the Indian Ocean Region, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said during a four-day-long Naval Commanders Conference that concluded on Friday.

The Navy Chief addressed the Commanders on issues pertaining to operational readiness, capability enhancement, maintenance, op logistics, infrastructure development and human resource management, an official statement said. 

The Navy Chief emphasised on the "need for continued efforts towards modernisation, indigenisation and expanding the Navy's operational footprint so as to be a stabilising force in Indian Ocean Region."

On the first day of the conference, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar interacted with the Naval Commanders on the geo-political developments with key focus on the Indian Ocean Region and outlined key imperatives pertaining to Indian foreign policy and diplomatic initiatives, the Indian Navy said.

India has been concerned over China's growing aggression in the Indian Ocean Region.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa also interacted with the Naval commanders, and shared their views on the current security situation and the way ahead to enhance Tri-Service synergy and jointmanship, the statement said.

The Naval Commanders' Conference started on Tuesday.

Top-level leadership of the Navy reviewed major operational, training and administrative activities undertaken in the last six months. 

The Commanders also reviewed the security measures and mechanisms for coastal defence, infrastructure, force development and logistics support management and the Indian Navy's readiness to deploy over the entire range of missions in the maritime domain, the statement added.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the commanders on the first day of the conference and urged the Commanders to be prepared at all times emphasising that preparedness would be the best deterrent.

In his closing address, the Navy Chief also exhorted the Commanders to pay "focussed attention" to address all challenges with the singular aim to be combat ready at all times.

He also emphasised the importance of quality maintenance and efficient Operational Logistics towards ensuring combat effectiveness.