Jaitley to review Navy's preparedness

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will have a first-hand experience of naval operations on Saturday, when he will commission two Coast Guard vessels and will be given a guard of honour onboard the INS Viraat – the Navy’s ageing aircraft carrier – in Mumbai.

It will be the defence minister’s first visit to an operational military command after taking over the charge at the South Block. He will commission two fast-attack craft ICGS Achook and ICGS Agrim besides reviewing the functioning and operational preparedness of the Western Naval Command.

Since the explosion of INS Sindhurakshak in August 2013, the Western Naval Command – considered as the sword arm of the Navy – witnessed a number of accidents, which eventually led to the resignation of former Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi and Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha who was heading it then.

Jaitley will meet Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, who replaced Sinha in Mumbai. Incidentally, Chopra’s new posting was one of the first decisions that Jaitley took as the defence minister.

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