NEW DELHI: Vice Admiral Bimal Verma today took charge of the Andaman & Nicobar Command from senior most submariner Pradeep Kumar Chatterjee who retired leaving behind a strong legacy.
Vice Admiral Verma was part of the commissioning crew of aircraft carrier INS Viraat, besides having been Signal Communication Officer of INS Ganga and Fleet Communication Officer of Western Fleet. He was the Commanding Officer of amphibious platforms such as INS Shardul and Magar, missile destroyer INS Ranjit and guided missile destroyer INS Mysore.
Chatterjee, an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun and National Defence Academy, Pune, was commissioned into Indian Navy on January 1, 1977. The Flag Officer commanded ships as well as submarines, notable among these being the 'Type 1500' submarines and guided missile destroyer INS Rajput.
During his tenure as the 12th Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN), from June 1, 2014, he set benchmarks which will now guide the next generation of officers to emulate, the navy said. Under his stewardship, some notable achievements of the navy include being the first responder with relief material to Visakhapatnam, Eastern Naval Command, during Cyclone Hudhud, unmanned aerial vehicle operations from Port Blair and Carnic.
His efforts also resulted in night landings at Port Blair and revalidation of numerous Operating procedures at the Andaman and Nicobar Command. His thrust area of infrastructure and accretions resulted in basing of fast interceptor craft in outlying islands and construction of operational shelters at Kamorta, Neil and Hut Bay.
One of his visionary implementation was the placing of "eyes & ears" along the west coast of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which has resulted in increased surveillance and monitoring of uninhabited islands and locations, the navy said.