[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Ahmedabad: Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba took over the reins of Western Naval Command (WNC) as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) on 31 January 2016 from Vice Admiral SPS Cheema at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra. Later in the day, officers of the Western Naval Command accorded Vice Admiral Cheema a warm send off, with the traditional ‘Pulling Out’ ceremony. Vice Admiral SPS Cheema retires today, after completing nearly four decades of service to the nation and the Navy.
Calling the personnel on parade as his 'ship mates', Vice Admiral SPS Cheema expressed his gratitude to all personnel of the command for their support and their dedicated efforts in functioning of the command. Recounting his expanse of service he said that he has seen many changes in the Indian Navy in terms of technology, quality of man power and resources. He was however indeed very glad that the spirit of enthusiasm, ability to face all odds and above all a deep sense of patriotism has not changed among the men in uniform.
Vice Admiral Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction and an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, has very rich operational and staff experience over a career spanning more than three decades. He has served as Navigating Officer of INS Sindhudurg (Corvette) and INS Dunagiri (Frigate). During his illustrious service he commanded four frontline warships namely, INS Kakinada (Minesweeper), INS Himgiri (Frigate), INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai (Destroyers). He is also an alumnus of the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, where he also served as the faculty.
He has also held important staff assignments such as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and Chief of Staff, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands. He has also been the Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area, Commandant, National Defence College and Vice Chief of Naval Staff. He was Commander-in-chief of the Southern Naval Command at Kochi, prior to being appointed to head the premier operational Command of the Indian Navy.
Vice Admiral Lanba is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal and the Athi Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service of an exceptionally high order. Mrs Reena Lanba who will now preside over the Navy Wives Welfare Association (Western Region) is a qualified teacher and a home maker.
Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.