The Weekend Leader - Vice admiral Karambir first copter pilot to become Navy Chief

Vice admiral Karambir first copter pilot to become Navy Chief

New delhi


The government has appointed Eastern Naval Command head Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, a helicopter pilot, as the next Navy Chief replacing Sunil Lanba who retires on May 31.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief Eastern Naval Command Karambir Singh supercedes vice admiral Bimal Verma who heads the Andaman and Nicobar command. Verma would have become the chief on the rule of seniority.

This is the second occasion when the Modi government has appointed a service chief by overlooking seniority. General Bikram Singh was made the Army Chief over Lt. Generals Pravin Bakshi and P.M Hariz who were senior to him in 2016.

Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, who has flown Kamov-25 and Kamov-28 anti-submarine helicopters, is the first helicopter pilot to become a Navy Chief and a second to become a service chief after air chief marshal Fali Major became Indian Air Force (IAF) chief in 2007.

Sources said that Bimal Verma, brother of former Navy Chief Nirmal Verma, missed out because of the shadow of naval war room leak case on his career. He was posted in the directorate of naval operations when the alleged leak of sensitive information took place in 2005.

He was let off with severe displeasure in his service report, but the admiral missed out on key postings such as heading either eastern or western fleets, the two prominent naval commands considered essential for an admiral who is picked up to head the force. - IANS

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