Admiral RK Dhowan took over as the 22nd Chief of the Naval Staff of Independent India yesterday. He is the 20th Indian officer to assume command of the Indian Navy.
On assuming command, Admiral RK Dhowan paid tribute to the country’s martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate and inspected an impressive ‘Guard of Honour’ at the lawns of South Block.
In his first message as CNS, to the Navy, he said that it is indeed a singular honour and proud privilege for him to take over the helm of one of the finest navies in the world.
Admiral Dhowan indicated his priorities as the new Naval Chief wherein he stated that “for the Navy to fulfil its mandate as a maritime security provider to the nation, attention would need to be paid at all levels to ensure that there were no gaps in our security preparedness”. He emphasised that “the Navy remains strong, combat-worthy and focussed on its mandated role by optimising the employment of the newly acquired capabilities while promoting safety consciousness in the Navy”.
The Admiral said, “We need to pull on the oars together and keep a hand on the tiller to ensure that the Navy is steered on a steady course striving towards excellence with the aim to run an efficient, taut and happy Navy”.
Admiral RK Dhowan is a specialist in Navigation and Direction. In his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 40 years, he has served in a multitude of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. Admiral Dhowan’s Sea Commands include commands of guided missile corvette INS Khukri, guided missile destroyers INS Ranjit and INS Delhi.
After his elevation to Flag rank, the Admiral served in the Integrated Headquarters as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) and thereafter commanded the Eastern Fleet as Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. He has also served as the Chief of Staff at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command. The Admiral also has the distinction of commanding the prestigious ‘National Defence Academy’, his alma mater, as the Commandant before serving as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. He took over as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff in Aug 2011 and served in that capacity till his elevation to the Chief of the Naval Staff.
Admiral Dhowan is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA. He was also the Naval Adviser in the Indian High Commission at London from 2002 to 2005.
Press Release, April 18, 2014; Image: Indian Navy