INDIA. Mumbai: The Fleet Award Ceremony, of the Western Fleet, the Sword Arm of the Western Naval Command, was held in Mumbai, after a gap of a year due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, on Friday.
This year, the ceremony was hosted by Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet. The ceremony marks the end of the operational cycle of the Western Fleet, every year.
The ceremony marked the operational achievements of the Fleet from April 2020 to March 2021. The event was attended by Flag Officers of Western Naval Command with Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command as the Chief Guest.
The ceremony hosted this year was a modest one in adherence to COVID norms. While the attendance was in limited numbers, the achievements of the Fleet were numerous as expected of the Sword Arm. A total of 20 trophies were given away covering a myriad spectrum of naval operations, safety practices, and morale.
INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy, was awarded the ‘Best Ship’ among the capital ships for exhibiting immaculate grit whilst undertaking a plethora of maritime operations. INS Tarkash was awarded the ‘Most Spirited’ ship for an awe-inspiring display of enthusiasm and morale in all Fleet activities, exercises at sea, and indomitable spirit. INS Deepak won the award of ‘Best Ship’ in the category of Tankers and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
The year covering the operational cycle from April 2020 to March 2021 was anything but ordinary. While the norm of the hour was to work from home, the Western Fleet remained mission deployed and poised for action during the challenging period last year. The Western Fleet also contributed immensely to COVID relief missions in support of the National effort to fight the pandemic.
The ships and aircraft of the western fleet also undertook daring rescue operations to save innumerable lives when cyclone Tauktae struck the western coast of India in May this year. The ceremony also paid a tribute to the sacrifices of the men and their families who put the call of duty before themselves for all these missions. The Sword Arm remains the first responder, operationally deployed, combat-ready, and stood too.