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Naval chief to review Eastern Naval Command's op preparedness

NEW DELHI (PTI): In his first tour after taking over as the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Robin Dhowan will review the operational preparedness of the Vishakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command on Wednesday.

The Eastern Command is in-charge of taking care of Indian maritime interests in the Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas and also houses the project for developing the indigenous nuclear submarines.

The navy chief is expected to to visit the operational and training commands of the force and review their preparedness, Navy officials said here today.

Dhowan has taken over the force at a time when it saw its former chief Admiral D K Joshi resign in the middle of his tenure taking moral responsibility of 14 major and minor mishaps in the force.

Dhowan's elevation to the top post also led to the quitting of former Western Commander Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha and the government is likely to carry out a major rejig in the top brass of the Navy with Vice Admiral Sunil Lamba, commandant of National Defence College, expected to be appointed as Vice Chief of Naval Staff.

As part of the reshuffle, Eastern Command chief Vice Admiral Anil Chopra is expected to be moved to Mumbai-based Western Command, defence sources said.

Chopra will be succeeded by Vice Admiral Satish Soni, who is heading the Southern Command, they said.

The Southern Command based in Kochi is now expected to be headed by Strategic Forces Commander Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, they said.

Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Pradeep Chatterjee is expected to head the tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command in Port Blair. He is likely to be replaced by Vice Admiral RK Patnaik.

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