President's Colour to the Submarine Arm

The Sea is an unforgiving medium for those who do not respect it. No one knows this better than the valiant submariners of the Indian Navy, who operate their boats and perform their duties beneath the waves.

Issue: 6 / 2017By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)Photo(s): By PIB
The President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the President’s Colour to the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy on December 8, 2017. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba is also seen.

The comisioning of first submarine, INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy on December 08, 1967 marked the birth of Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy. This historical day elevated the Indian Navy to an illustrious stature by empowering it with third dimension of the maritime prowess. The pioneers of the Submarine Arm worked relentlessly to lay a strong foundation and charting a course for the Submarine Arm to emerge as a formidable force to reckon with.

Soon after its inception and during its formative years of consolidating its operational doctrines a formidable challenge for the Submarine Arm surfaced in the form of 1971 Indo-Pak War. Despite innumerable encumbrances the Submarine Arm was at the forefront of all offensive operations and played sterling role during the conflict. Kudos to the Submariners for coming out with flying colours and deservedly earned laurels; one Maha Vir Chakra, two Vir Chakra, one Shaurya Chakra and a number of Mention–in–Dispatches for acts of bravery and valour during the War.

In befitting recognition of the historical milestone of the birth of the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy, the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces and Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented the President’s Colour to the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy on December 8, 2017, at a glittering ceremony at Viskhapatnam, the hub of the Submarine Arm. The award of President’s Colour, the highest honour which can be bestowed upon any military unit, was received by Rear Admiral Veenam Srinivas, Flag Officer Submarines on behalf of the Submarine Arm at a splendid ceremony at Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam.

The ceremony was attended by E.S.L. Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, N. Chadrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff and Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command along with other senior Defence and Civilian dignitaries. A very large number of Veterans of the Submarine Arm travelled from abroad and all over India to proudly participate in the historical event.

Whilst presenting the Colour, President of India congratulated the Submarine Arm and highlighted that the valiant submarines of the Indian Navy carry out their professional responsibility with great skill and grave risk and that the nation is proud of the achievement and appreciated their contribution to the national security.

The year 2017 is being commemorated as the Golden Jubilee of the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm. It was on this day in 1967 that the Naval Ensign and the National Flag were hoisted on the first Indian Naval Submarine, Kalvari. The scheduled commissioning of Kalvari in her new avatar will complete the ‘Kalvari to Kalvari’ journey. It will herald a brighter future for the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy.

In the past 50 years, 25 submarines have been in commission at various points. These submarines and their crew members have been a crucial part of the Indian Navy’s operations. Submarines are complex, high-technology platforms. They acquire their strength from stealth. Quietly and without much fanfare, our submarines have had major operational achievements – in the1971 War, during Operation Vijay in 1999, and then Operation Parakram, 2002. To date, 17 submarines of the Navy have been awarded the Chief of Naval Staff’s “Unit Citation” for exceptional service.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Sea is an unforgiving medium for those who do not respect it. No one knows this better than the valiant submariners of the Indian Navy, who operate their boats and perform their duties beneath the waves. All of you carry out your professional responsibilities with great skill and at grave risk. The nation is proud of your achievements and appreciates your contribution to national security.

The President’s Colour is being presented today to the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy in recognition of extraordinary service to the nation, in peace and war, in the past 50 years. I congratulate you on this achievement. You are a special community and all submariners, past and present, share a special bond. I am happy to learn that the first Captain of the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm, Commodore K.S. Subramanian, now in his nineties, has travelled from the United States to be here today. Many of his crew colleagues from a half-century ago are with us. I compliment them and their pioneering spirit.

In conclusion, I wish the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy the very best for the future. May you ever rule the waters. And may Varuna, the Lord of the Oceans, ever be auspicious unto you.