Admiral Karambir Singh on Friday took over as the Chief of the Naval Staff succeeding Admiral Sunil Lanba, who is retiring after over four decades of service.
"It is a matter of great honour and pride for me to take charge as the 24th Chief of Naval Staff. My predecessors with their perseverance have made sure that the Navy has a very solid foundation and reaches new heights," Singh told reporters here.
He said, "It will be my endeavour to continue the efforts and provide the nation a Navy that is strong, capable and which is ready to meet any security challenge in the maritime domain."
Singh also expressed gratitude to his predecessor, Lanba, for his service to the nation.
"I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Sunil Lamba, the outgoing Chief of Naval Staff, who has put 42 years of illustrious service to the nation. He provided us with great leadership."
Lanba said, "It has been a great honour and privilege for me to have commanded the finest Navy over the past three years. The Navy is mission deployed and combat ready to provide maritime security in areas of interest. I am happy to hand over the Navy to my successor, a capable Admiral Karambir Singh."
Vice Admiral Bimal Verma had challenged the appointment of Singh as the new Navy Chief. He had questioned the government''s decision of overlooking him for the post despite him being the seniormost officer in the force. However, the Defence Minister had rejected Verma''s plea on May 17.
Verma then challenged the Defence Ministry''s decision before the Armed Forces Tribunal.
On May 29, the Tribunal had on deferred the hearing in the case and said that Vice Admiral Karambir Singh can take charge as the Navy Chief on May 31.
Hailing from Jalandhar in Punjab, Singh graduated from Barnes School at Deolali in Maharashtra before joining the National Defence Academy (NDA).
As a helicopter pilot, he has flown Chetaks and Kamovs. He commanded four ships -- the ICG Chandbibi (patrol craft of Indian Coast Guard), INS Vijaydurg (missile ship), INS Rana and INS Delhi (destroyers), at various stages of his career.
Singh served as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at the headquarters in New Delhi before moving to Vishakhapatnam last year as the Eastern Naval Commander. He also headed the Port Blair-based Andaman and Nicobar Command for almost three years. (ANI)