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Shuffle in navy, vice-chief named

New Delhi, May 31: The top brass of the Indian Navy has been reconstituted with the government today approving fresh appointments in the wake of the resignations of the navy chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi, and the western commander, Vice-Admiral Shekhar Sinha.

While Admiral Robin Dhowan was confirmed as the navy chief by the UPA government, the vice-chief’s post was vacant.

Vice-Admiral Sunil Lamba was appointed as vice-chief of the naval staff today. He was commandant of the National Defence College. Lamba is likely to be the next chief of naval staff in 2016 after Dhowan retires. Before that he may be transferred as commander-in-chief of one of the operational commands.

Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra, who was the eastern naval chief, has now been asked to take over as the commander-in-chief of the western command. Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, who was the southern naval chief, has been transferred as chief of the eastern command.

The southern command is essentially a training command while the Vizag-headquartered eastern and Mumbai-headquartered western are operational commands.

Vice-Admiral S.P.S. Cheema has been appointed as the commander-in-chief, south deputy chief of naval staff, Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee has been transferred as the commander-in-chief of the Andaman and Nicobar command. Vice-Admiral R.K. Pattanaik has been appointed the new deputy chief of naval staff and Vice-Admiral Luthra is the new deputy chief of the integrated defence staff (operations).