Vice Admiral Anil Chopra today took over as Commander-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, nearly two months after Vice Admiral Shekar Sinha took voluntary retirement on being superseded by Admiral Robin Dhowan as chief of the Indian Navy.
Admiral Chopra is the second-most senior officer in the Navy; and only the second officer to head both the Navy's operational commands - Eastern and Western Naval Command.
"The safety of men and machinery is the utmost priority of the Navy," he said addressing officers after assuming charge and stressed the need to improve the condition of naval dockyards.
His comments come in the light of the premature resignation of former chief of the Indian Navy D K Joshi in the light of several fatal submarine accidents off the Western coast in recent months.
Of the 15 mishaps that have taken place on board Navy vessels, 10 were reported at the Western Command. The disasters include the loss of 18 lives and the total loss of a submarine in an explosion on board the Russian-made INS Sindhurakshak in August last year.
Chopra had taken over as the chief of the Indian Coast Guard just few days after the 26 November 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai. He has also commanded the missile corvette INS Kuthar, destroyer INS Rajput, and aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
Incidentally, India's new if temporary defence minister Arun Jaitley visited the Western Command Headquarters, and particularly INS Viraat, on his first official trip to Mumbai.