President commends Indian Navy for help during pandemic, Indian Ocean outreach
President Ram Nath Kovind commended the Indian Navy for its role in helping the country in the early days of the pandemic with its Operation Samudra Setu. The operation was a part of the Vande Bharat evacuation mission under which the Navy brought back to India around 4,000 stranded Indians from Maldives, Sri Lanka and Iran.
Speaking at the ceremony in Goa at INS Hansa, the Navy’s largest airbase, where he awarded the President’s colour to the Indian Naval Aviation Wing, Kovind also commended the Navy for inducting a large number of women in its aviation wing saying that such a trend needs to be encouraged.
“The Indian Navy has invested significant effort in meeting all regional commitments and furthering our diplomatic engagements with friends and partners in the Indo-Pacific. With missions like Operation Samudra Setu and Mission Sagar, the Navy was a key instrument of India’s Covid outreach, delivering assistance and support to our maritime neighbours and partners in the Indian Ocean Region. The prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis, has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘preferred security partner and first responder in the Indian Ocean Region,” the President said.
Naval Aviation is the application of air power by aircraft on warships or operating from bases ashore.
Award of the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation is in recognition of its service, both during peace and combat. The arm came into being with the acquisition of the first Sealand aircraft on January 13, 1951, and commissioning of INS Garuda, at Kochi on May 11, 1953.
To mark the occasion, a ceremonial parade with a 150-men Guard of Honour was presented to the President. PS Sreedharan Pillai, the governor of Goa; chief minister Pramod Sawant; Shripad Yesso Naik, minister of state for tourism, ports shipping and waterways; Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command and Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil, Flag Officer Naval Aviation along with other civil and military dignitaries were in attendance.