VISAKHAPATNAM: The Chief of the Naval Staff will review critical operational and administrative issues in the Navy at the biannual Naval Commanders’ Conference. The first edition of the conference for 2015 is scheduled to be held at New Delhi from May 25 to 28.
The conference is being held in the wake of a high tempo campaign season for the Navy, starting with Op Neer in Maldives on December 14, 2014, the Theatre Readiness Operational Level Exercise (TROPEX) in Jan/Feb 2015, Op Rahat in Yemen during Mar/Apr 2015 and the joint operation with the Coast Guard to nab drug runners off the Indian coast on April 15. Against the backdrop of numerous successful operations, it is axiomatic that the conference will provide a valuable opportunity to discuss issues of operational relevance, identify capability gaps and review future plans.
The conference will cover a wide spectrum of issues relating to operations, infrastructure and manpower, including operational readiness of the commands and issues relating to coastal security. Strengthening cyber security in the Indian Navy would be another key area of discussion.
The focus of Commanders’ conference will be on creation of operational, technical, maintenance and administrative infrastructure, addressing issues pertaining to induction of manpower, aspects pertaining to training and skill development and welfare of personnel. Consequent to 2015 being observed as the ‘Year of the Sailor’ in the Indian Navy, service conditions of sailors and their quality of life is being discussed as the primary focus issue.
In order to develop ecologically sustainable infrastructure, green initiatives being undertaken and planned to be implemented over the next few years are also being discussed as one of the focus issues. The Indian Navy has undertaken a comprehensive study and formulated an integrated roadmap and an action plan, which will be presented during the conference.
Another significant aspect that will come for discussion is consolidation and strengthening of the rapidly expanding aviation arm of the Navy. Deliberations would be held on infrastructure and manning requirements for new induction aircraft, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and enhancement of surveillance. A further critical area to be covered would be the strengthening of Maritime Operations Centres for collation and analysis of vast swaths of information from a multitude of sources to enable alacrity and effectiveness of operations in all four dimensions.
Consequently, plans for infrastructure and capacity enhancement of the Indian Naval Academy, the premier training establishment of the Indian Navy, will be reviewed during the conference.
The long-term sustenance of Indian Navy’s capital assets and their efficient performance at sea necessitates periodic conduct of refits. Although there are laid down durations for each refit, during which the ships undergo extensive servicing and overhauling, a new methodology for undertaking performance-based refits is planned to be deliberated during the conference.