President Ram Nath Kovind reviewed Naval Fleet comprising over 60 ships and submarines, and 55 aircraft on Monday here and said safety of the seas remains a critical requirement.Lauding the efforts of the Indian Navy, the President after reviewing the Naval Fleet said: "Indian Navy's constant vigil, prompt response to incidents and untiring efforts have been highly successful in this regard."This is the twelfth Fleet Review and has a special significance that it is being conducted on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India's Independence being celebrated as 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' across the Nation. The President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said he is pleased to review the readiness of the Indian naval ships, submarines, aircraft and other elements of our maritime power."The excellent parade of ships, aircraft and submarines showcases the professional competence and determination of the maritime services of the nation," he said.The parade also showcases the preparedness of the Indian Navy for any contingency.
He also said that Visakhapatnam, also popularly known as Vizag, has been an important port for centuries. Historically, it has been known as a crucial hub of trans-national trade and commerce.From the sixth century Before Common Era to the 21st century, Vizag continues to be an important centre for industry and economy.
He also underlined the strategic importance by the fact that the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy is located here."Vizag made a glorious contribution during the 1971 war," said Kovind recalling the heroic action of the Eastern Naval Command in the naval blockade of the then East Pakistan and the sinking of Pakistan's submarine 'Ghazi'. That was a decisive blow to Pakistan."The 1971 war remains one of the most emphatic victories in our history. Officers and sailors, India believes in 'Security and Growth for All in the Region' to focus on cooperative measures for sustainable use of oceans," he stated.Talking about Covid-19 pandemic, the president said Navy has been providing aid to friendly nations by supplying medicines and evacuating stranded Indian citizens and foreign nationals in different parts of the world under 'Mission SAGAR' and 'Samudra Setu'.
The prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the times of crisis has underscored India's vision of being the 'Preferred Security Partner' and 'First Responder' in the Indian Ocean Region, the president said.He also noted Navy's efforts to become increasingly self reliant and how the force has been at the forefront of the 'Make in India' initiative. He said 70 per cent of the contents of several warships and submarines under construction in various public and private shipyards across the country are indigenous."It is a matter of great pride that India has built nuclear submarines and soon we will have our indigenously built aircraft carrier, 'Vikrant', joining the service. I was happy to inspect 'Vikrant' during my visit to Kochi in December last year," the president said.Talking about bilateral and multilateral engagement with other countries, Kovind said these engagements are aimed to enhance interoperability, gain from best practices, develop common understanding and build mutual confidence to address maritime issues.He also wished Navy for the forthcoming Multinational Naval Exercise - MILAN 2022.The upcoming MILAN 22 is likely to witness its largest ever participation, with nearly 46 countries having been invited to send their warships and delegations.