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Navy set to get three-star officer as COS in WC

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Navy is all set to get a three-star officer as its Chief of Staff in the Western Naval Command.

This upgradation of the post has been made possible after the Navy started implementing the recommendations of Ajai Vikram Singh Committee II which has resulted in the increasing in the Lieutenant General equivalent ranks in the three Services.

"We always wanted to have a Vice Admiral rank officer as the COS of the Western Naval Command and with the increase in the number of vacancies, we will have one in the Mumbai based Western Command," senior naval officers said here on Thursday.

A COS is the principal staff officer of the Commander- in-Chief of a Command. Till now, Rear Admirals were holding the office of COS in all the three Naval commands. The Army and the Air Force already have three star officers in the equivalent offices.

The Eastern and the Southern Commands of the Navy will continue to have Rear Admirals as COS for some more time, they said.

"The need for a three star officer as Chief of Staff was being felt for quite some time as the roles and responsibilities of all the commands have expanded over the passage of time," officials said.

With Vice-Admiral Nirmal Verma taking over as the Navy Chief on August 31, a number of changes will take place in the Navy top brass.

Vice Admiral D K Dewan will take over as the new Navy vice-chief once the present incumbent Vice-Admiral R P Suthan retires on August 31. While Vice-Admiral K N Sushil will be the new Southern Command chief, Vice-Admiral Anup Singh will take over the reins of Eastern Command.

Vice-Admiral D K Joshi moves as the new commander of the tri-Service Andaman and Nicobar Command, while Vice-Admiral R K Dhowan will be the new Navy deputy chief from November onwards.

Vice-Admiral M P Muralidharan will be the new chief of personnel at the Navy HQs, while Vice-Admiral S K Sinha will be posted to the Integrated Defence Staff HQs as deputy chief (operations).

Rear Admirals Sunil Lamba, R K Pattanaik and P Murugesan will take over as the flag officers commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Area, western fleet and eastern fleet, respectively, in end-August.

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