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Chain of Command

Naval headquarters is located in New Delhi. It is under the command of the chief of naval staff--a full admiral. The chief of naval staff has four principal staff officers: the vice chief of naval staff, the vice chief of personnel, the chief of material, and the deputy chief of naval staff. The total strength of the navy in 2004 is 55,000, including 5,000 naval aviation personnel and 1,200 marines (one regiment, with a second reportedly forming).

Under the command of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), the Indian Navy consists of two fleets, each commanded by a Rear Admiral who is Flag Officer Commanding. The Eastern Fleet is homeported primarily in Visakhapatnam, on the Bay of Bengal, and the Western Fleet is homeported primarily in Bombay, on the Arabian Sea. The Eastern Fleet tends to be composed primarily of older, former eastern block vessels, while the Western Fleet tends to be mostly newer, more capable ships, acquired primarily from western nations. In addition to simplifying maintenance requirements by grouping like-class ships geographically, this postures the Indian Navy's most formidable weapons platforms closest to its most likely threat, Pakistan. There was a proposal in the 1990s to have a Far East Naval Command, but the plan was put in cold storage for various reasons.

Regionally, there are three principal commands, each headed by a Vice Admiral Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief. These are the Eastern, Southern, and Western Naval Commands, located in Visakhapatnam, Cochin (on the southwestern coast), and Mumbai. In addition to the principal commands, flag officers direct three large sub-commands: Naval Aviation and Goa Area (in Goa, on the western coast between Bombay and Cochin), Submarines (in Visakhapatnam), and the "Fortress" in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Port Blair), located in the southeastern Bay of Bengal.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:42:35 ZULU