India army gets new eastern commander, navy has new deputy chief

Photo: Lt Gen. Manoj Pande saluting troopers during a guard of honour at Fort William, Kolkata today.

New Delhi/Kolkata/Port Blair: Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, a combat engineer, today took over as the Eastern Army Commander at Kolkata’s Fort William, while Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, a naval combat aviator, assumed charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff at the naval headquarters in New Delhi.

There were other appointments too due to a slew of retirements in the army and navy, resulting in a few change of guards at some key positions in the two armed forces.

Lieutenant General Ajai Singh, an armoured corps officer, took over as the Commander-in-Chief of the tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command in Port Blair, while Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, an electrical branch officer, assumed charge as the Chief of Material of the Indian Navy, even as Vice Admiral Kiran Deshmukh, an engineer branch officer, took office as the Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition.


Lieutenant General Manoj Pande was Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command before taking over the reins of the Eastern Army Command as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief.

Commissioned in the Bombay Sappers, he has held several prestigious command and staff assignments in conventional as well as counter-insurgency operations in all types of terrain.

Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh is a Qualified Flying Instructor with Master Green instrument rating. He has flown HT-2, Kiran HJT 16, TS 11 Iskra, Hunter, Harrier Gr 3, Jet Provost, Chetak, Gazelle, Hawk and MiG-29 KUB aircraft during his illustrious career.

In the rank of vice admiral, the flag officer has tenanted the appointments of chief of staff at Western Naval Command headquarters in Mumbai, as Director General of Project Seabird and Chief of Personnel at the naval headquarters in Delhi. He relieves Vice Admiral M. S. Pawar, who superannuated yesterday.

Lieutenant General Ajai Singh is a fifth generation army as well as Cavalry/Armoured Corps officer, with family service of over 162 years since Sep. 1858. He has had the privilege of appointments across all six of the Indian Army’s geographical Commands as well as at the Army Training Command.

The General officer also held sensitive posts at the army headquarters in the Military Operations Directorate, and helmed Financial Planning and Military Training.

Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani is a post graduate in Radar and Communication Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi. The officer has served on board the aircraft carrier Virat that was decommissioned a few years ago. He took office from Vice Admiral S. R. Sarma, who superannuated yesterday.

Vice Admiral Sreekumar Nair took over as the Director General Naval Projects at Visakhapatnam, while Vice Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi assumed charge as Chief of Personnel in New Delhi.

NOTEDefence.Capital is available on Telegram. Please click here to subscribe

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.