INDIA. Mumbai: INS Ajay, the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warship, was decommissioned after rendering 32 years of yeoman service to the nation at a solemn ceremony held at Naval Dockyard in South Mumbai on Monday evening.
The national flag, naval ensign, and the decommissioning pennants were lowered for the last time at sunset even as the Naval band played the last post. The ceremony marked the end of the ship’s commissioned service. The decommissioning is a formal yet emotional ceremony for a ship, her crew, and the Navy.
Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. The event was also attended by several veterans who had the privilege to serve onboard the ship.
The Guest of Honour for the decommissioning ceremony was Vice Admiral AG Thapliyal (Retd), the commissioning Commanding Officer of INS Ajay. Thapliyal was the very first man to take this war machine to sea.
Commissioned on June 24, 1990, in the freezing temperatures of Poti Shipyard of the erstwhile Soviet Union (at present in Georgia), the ship was decommissioned in an atmosphere filled with nostalgia.
INS Ajay has been part of the 23rd Patrol Vessel Squadron during her service, and she has been under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area. The ship’s primary role was anti-submarine warfare.
With her formidable armament of long-range torpedoes and anti-submarine rockets, the submarine hunter successfully discharged her role of keeping our coasts safe.
During her illustrious career spanning more than three decades, the ship was forward-deployed on several occasions, including for Op Talwar during the Kargil War in 1999, Op Parakram in 2001, and post-Uri attack in 2017, maintaining vigil and remaining ever ready to give a befitting reply to the adversary against any misadventure.
The ceremony was attended by over 400 personnel, including flag officers, senior officers from the Army, IAF, and Coast Guard, officers and men of the commissioning crew of previous commissions, as well as the ship’s present crew and families.
The chief guest addressed the gathering present at the ceremony, highlighting the invaluable service rendered by the ship.