New Delhi: Amid India-China border tensions, Indian Navy's top Commanders are all set to meet in the national capital on Wednesday for a three-day Naval Commanders’ Conference.
Indian Navy is already on high alert due to the India-China military stand-off in the Ladakh sector and has deployed all its assets in the sea.
Last month, Indian Navy had carried out an extensive exercise in Andaman and Nicobar islands which dominate major sea trade route for the Chinese ships.
Indian Navy's P-8I surveillance aircraft are deployed in Ladakh to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance on the Chinese army.
"The Conference assumes greater significance in the backdrop of recent events on our northern borders, coupled with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 and would provide the higher naval leadership a forum to discuss conduct of operations, sustenance and maintenance of assets, and procurement issues," said a senior official.
The Naval Commanders’ Conference is the apex level forum for interaction between commanders. The Chief of the Naval Staff, with the commanders, are likely to review major operational, material, logistics, training and administrative activities undertaken during the year and deliberate upon the course to be steered in the future. Commanders would also undertake deliberations upon the larger security imperatives in the Indo-Pacific.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to address the Naval Commanders on the opening day and interact with them. The conference is also the forum for interaction of Naval Commanders with other senior government officials.
This is the first Naval Commanders’ Conference since the institution of Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The conference would discuss upon the ways to optimise joint planning structures, Tri-Service Synergy, and operational readiness, as also functional reorganisation within the Indian Navy to improve efficiency.
Last month, Indian Navy warships and US Navy’s carrier strike group led by nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz carried out passage exercise (PASSEX) in the Indian Ocean Region (ICR) to send out a signal to China. Indian Navy and Japanese Navy (Japan Maritime Self Defense Force) had also conducted a similar exercise in June.
India is also looking at inviting Australia to join the annual Malabar naval exercise which includes Japan and the US. If the proposal is approved by the government, all members of Quad will be carrying out military exercises in the Bay of Bengal in a signal to China that its aggression in sea will not go unchallenged.