Navy chief: New Navy Chief, the man for critical assignments


NEW DELHI: From planning the Navy’s future to executing vital infrastructure projects and heading a command with nuclear assets, Vice Admiral Karambir Singh — who has been designated as the next Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) — has always been the man for critical assignments.

A second-generation soldier, Singh has gone through a series of priority appointments over the past six years that ended with him being selected for the top post, superseding Vice Admiral Bimal Verma who is currently heading the Andaman and Nicobar Tri Services Command.

Described as a no-nonsense officer, Singh has a deep understanding of geo politics. He was heading Project Seabird — the new naval base at Karwar — when the.`20,000-crore sanction to create infrastructure for the basing of 32 ships and submarines for a future Navy was unrolled.


Colleagues say that his next assignment as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff in 2015 gave him an overview of all naval operations, including renewed Indian efforts after the NDA government came into power to expand partnerships in the region.

In 2016, when he took over as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Singh once again moved to planning for a future Navy and was deeply involved in discussions on the Strategic Partnership (SP) policy of the government that looked to promote ‘Make in India’. The officer is believed to have made a strong case for increasing resources to the Navy for modernisation efforts.

When he was appointed as the Eastern Naval Commander in 2017 – commanding the twin nuclear assets of the Indian Navy – it was believed that he would be considered as a strong candidate as the next Chief of Naval Staff. “From operations as the Deputy Chief to modernisation as the DG Seabird and Vice Chief, he has a wide range of experience that is needed to take informed decisions at the top,” an officer said.

While Vice Admiral Singh moved through three crucial appointments, Vice Admiral Verma has stayed at the Andaman Nicobar Command for the past three years as part of the tri services. Verma’s reporting channel will be to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee. Singh, who is the ‘Grey Eagle’ – the senior most Navy aviator – will be the first helicopter pilot to make it as Navy Chief.


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