Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Western Naval Command, has been appointed as the new Chief of Naval Staff and will assume charge on May 31.
58-year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, will have the full three-year tenure as the Navy Chief. He will succeed Admiral RK Dhowan who is retiring.
An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he will be the 21st Indian to be the Navy Chief. The first two were British.
He will take over from Admiral Dhowan on the afternoon of May 31 and will be in office till May 31, 2019.
“The government has appointed Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, at present FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, as the next Chief of Naval Staff with effect from the afternoon of May 31,” a defence ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
Coming in with rich operational and staff experience over a career spanning more than three decades, Lanba has served as Navigating Officer of corvette INS Sindhudurg and frigate INS Dunagiri.
He has commanded four frontline warships -- INS Kakinada (minesweeper), INS Himgiri (frigate) and INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai, both destroyers.
He is also an alumnus of the College of Defence Management in Secunderabad, where he has served as a faculty.
Lanba has also held key staff assignments such as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and the Chief of Staff, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands.
He was also the Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area and Commandant, National Defence College.
He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command at Kochi, prior to being appointed to head the Western Naval Command. He took over as the Vice Chief on June 2, 2014.
Vice Admiral Lanba is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal and the Athi Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service of an exceptionally high order.