Admiral Karambir Singh on Friday took over as the 24th Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) from the incumbent, Admiral Sunil Lanba, who retired. Adm Singh, was the Vishakhapatnam-based Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command. Singh is the most senior naval aviator in the Indian Navy, besides being the first helicopter pilot to head the navy. He is affectionately called as ‘KB’ in naval circles.
With 39 years of service, Adm Singh has held a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. However, his appointment was preceded by a petition filed by a senior officer VAdm Bimal Verma, Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar-based tri-Service command, who approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) staking claim to the post, claiming he was the senior most after Admiral Sunil Lanba.
However the AFT, earlier this week, had asked the government to submit all files related to the selection process, set July 17 as the next date of hearing as the government sought more time and allowed Admiral Singh to assume charge. The Army and the Air Force too will see a change of guard later this year as Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat are set to retire in October and December respectively. The tenure of a Service Chief is three years or 62 years of age, whichever is earlier.