In a historical step promoting women empowerment in the military, Indian Navy has appointed a female officer as the commanding officer of a naval ship for the first time, said Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar.
He was replying to questions in a press conference days before the Navy Day (4 December).
Admiral Kumar addressed the issue of China's increased presence in the Indian Ocean, noting that the navy closely monitors all regional activities.
"Our ships, submarines, and aircraft have sustained a high operational tempo — undertaking missions and tasks encompassing military, diplomatic, constabulary and benign roles," he said.
The Navy, he said, has been mission-deployed across the Indian Ocean Region and beyond, safeguarding and advancing national interests. "Our units were mission deployed across the Indian Ocean Region and beyond, to protect and promote our national interests," the naval chief added.
Admiral Kumar emphasised the groundbreaking appointment of the first woman commanding officer in a naval ship.
He also pointed out the increasing number of women in the Navy, with the strength of women Agniveers now exceeding 1,000. These developments, he said, are a testament to the navy’s commitment to the 'all roles, all ranks' approach for women in service.
"The overall strength of women Agniveers has now crossed the 1,000 mark. These statistics stands testament to our philosophy of 'all roles, all ranks' approach to deployment of women in the service," Admiral Kumar stated.
The Navy has sustained its status as a 'combat-ready, credible, cohesive, and future-proof' force. This achievement is attributed to what Admiral Kumar described as a 'ships first' outlook, prioritising actions that empower the personnel in operational units to excel in their duties.
In terms of operational activity, the navy's extensive deployment footprint across the Indo-Pacific has been particularly noteworthy, with its ships maintaining a constant presence in the region.
He concluded by reaffirming the Indian Navy's dedication to joint operations and cohesiveness, underscoring its readiness and capability in various spheres.
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