North Jetty of Southern Naval Command to be Rebuilt by October 2024 to berth more Ships

India Defense

North Jetty of Southern Naval Command to be Rebuilt by October 2024 to berth more Ships

The reconstruction of the North Jetty of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) is set to take place on a larger scale, with completion expected by October 2024. Vice Admiral M.A. Hampiholi, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, revealed this initiative, emphasizing its significance in accommodating the expanded fleet of naval ships operating from the Kochi Naval Base.

The decision to enhance the North Jetty aligns with the induction of next-generation offshore patrol vessels, shallow water craft, and other ships. Additionally, plans involve the upcoming replacement of the existing cadet training ships within the next two to three years. Vice Admiral Hampiholi commended the joint efforts of Navy and civilian defense personnel, which have resulted in an impressive operational availability of 80% for the 17 major ships based in Kochi.

Addressing future plans, he disclosed that the Navy awaits the approval from the central government to proceed with the order for the construction of the third aircraft carrier, following the ongoing development of the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant at the Cochin Shipyard.

Concerning the growing presence of Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Vice Admiral Hampiholi assured that extra-regional navies, including the Chinese, are actively tracked through maritime domain awareness (MDA) measures.

Regarding the challenging situation faced by eight ex-Indian Navy personnel sentenced to death by a Qatari court, the Vice Admiral affirmed that efforts are underway at the highest level to secure their return to India.

Discussing gender inclusivity, Vice Admiral Hampiholi highlighted the deployment of women sailors recruited under the Agnipath scheme across 29 trades in the Navy. Furthermore, the Navy is gearing up for a historic circumnavigation of the globe with a solo-woman crew member.

Addressing sensitive issues within the armed forces, such as suicides among naval personnel, the Vice Admiral acknowledged the armed forces as a microcosm of society. However, he emphasized the strengthened divisional system within the Navy to alleviate stress, with around 15 personnel placed under a supervisory officer and regular counseling sessions implemented.

Highlighting the crucial role of fishers in maritime security, the Vice Admiral emphasized ongoing campaigns to educate and sensitize them on personal safety and security matters. Coordination with fishers, including intelligence gathering, is a vital aspect of naval operations. Additionally, the Navy has undertaken environmental initiatives, including monthly cleaning of the Venduruthy Channel and planting mangroves, tree saplings, and Miyawaki forests along the coast. Rear Admiral Upal Kundu and Cdr. Atul Pillai, Defence PRO, Kerala, were also present during this media briefing aboard INS Tir.

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