New Delhi: In a move away from the traditional celebrations of Navy Day on December 4 in the capital, it will be held on a grand scale in the port city of Visakhapatnam which is the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command with President Droupadi Murmu, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, being the chief guest.
After two years of low key celebrations due to the pandemic that swept across not only the country but the world, this year the Navy day is being celebrated outside the national capital for the first time on a big scale and Visakhapatnam is all decked up for the occasion amidst much enthusiasm among the residents of this port city. Vishakhapatnam is all set for the grand show which will have on display the country’s naval might and the role being played by the Indian Navy in guarding the nation’s maritime boundary as the country has a coastline of about 7,500 kms.
The Naval display to mark the occasion assumes significance this year, as India ushers in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ with the commencement of the celebrations of 75 years of her independence with the Indian Navy all set to demonstrate India’s combat prowess and capability through an ‘Operational Demonstration.’ The show assumes significance since Indian Navy has also been participating in numerous exercises with foreign navies and with increasing interest being shown by various nations in the neighbourhood who have been flexing their maritime muscle.
The audience will witness a wide range of exercises carried out on the sea and the air with three fighter aircraft MIG 29K firing flares simulating a war situation above the long, magnificent coastline of Visakhapatnam against a crimson sky at dusk. This is one of the many captivating moments during the Navy Day at RK Beach. The MiG 29K is part of the air assets onboard the two aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. Four Dornier aircraft will fly in formation while six Advance Jet Trainer Hawks make an arrowhead formation.
Another visual treat would be the silhouetted image of warships anchored along the coast outlined by bright yellow lights creating a striking image against the evening sky. The P-8I Poseidon, Indian Navy’s maritime surveillance aircraft, will make a low flypast, while a mock beach assault drill would be carried out by the Marine Commandos (Marcos) dressed in black, battle fatigues and breath taking feats by para jumpers who would slither down from the sky and land with perfection on the sands.
About 15 ships including those from other Naval Commands and 25 aircraft are scheduled to take part in the event. A short musical performance by acclaimed musical trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy is also on the cards to entertain the gathering to an evening of pleasant music with focus on martial music.
Besides the President, the event would be witnessed by several dignitaries from the Central and State Governments which is being hosted by Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff. The event will culminate with a sunset ceremony and illumination by ships at anchorage. The celebrations are aimed at fostering greater outreach, renewing maritime consciousness amongst the citizens and highlights the Navy’s contributions towards national security.
Congratulating the Indian Navy on the occasion, Ravi Nirgudkar, Managing Director – India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, BAE Systems said, “as it celebrates its achievements on Navy Day, the recent commissioning of its first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, is a historical milestone in its journey of self-reliance and puts India in the select group of nations with the niche capability to indigenously build an aircraft carrier.”
He said BAE Systems has been a proud partner of the Indian Armed Forces for the past seven decades and has supported the Indian Navy in strengthening its maritime capabilities. Hawk Mk 132 India programme that has exceeded 100,000 flying hours with Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, is a great example of BAE Systems’ commitment towards ‘Make in India.’ BAE Systems remains fully committed to support the Indian Navy in its efforts to achieve self-reliance by partnering with the Indian industry through co-development of mission critical defence equipment and services.
Additionally, Indian Navy organised the 1500 km running expedition from October 30 to December 3 for 35 days duration as part of celebrations for ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (75th year of India’s independence) and National Unity Day. The running expedition was undertaken by Marathon and Ultra Marathon runners of the Indian Navy through Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh region and end in the capital.
On October 30, the expedition was flagged-off by Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Chief of Personnel from National War Memorial and on December 3, the expedition was flagged-in by the Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar at Kota House.
The Running Expedition commemorated ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahostsav’ and motivated school and college students and youth to take to running so as to keep themselves physically fit as the team members interacted with students from 70 schools, eight colleges and three universities. The run was undertaken to inculcate a spirit of sportsmanship and encourage the youth to take to sporting activities. The team also met with naval veterans across Haryana, apprising them of various welfare schemes and policies being launched by the Indian Navy and the government.
One of the purposes of this expedition was to encourage running as a life style activity to promote health and fitness awareness amongst masses. About 15,000 local runners, students and athletes joined the marathoners during various phases of the run. The run helped in promoting awareness about Indian Navy across various districts of Haryana and Chandigarh and also to encourage more youth to come forward to join the Navy and provide a boost to get them to be Agniveers.
With the Navy playing a major role in guarding the maritime boundary of the nation and also in humanitarian activities having extended help to various nations at the time of natural calamities, the role of the Navy has indeed become important. The Indian Navy has also been playing key role in ensuring that the maritime boundaries are guarded against piracy which had at one time been rampant. Strong action by the Indian Navy had helped curb this menace. The Navy also guards the maritime boundary and the assets on the nation’s territorial waters and the Economic Zone against illegal activities and poaching.