Not a single case of piracy has been reported since the Indian Navy deployed a ship in the Gulf of Aden, Vice-Admiral S P S Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, said on Friday.
"Our economy is directly linked to growth in trade. Most of our energy needs are fulfilled through the ocean. We have been providing 24x7 security to our oil rigs so that no terrorist can attack them. What we do reaches the common man and we impact one billion lives," Vice-Admiral Cheema said, speaking on Navy Day on board India's new aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.
"We have women officers in the navy who are doing a fantastic job. All roles are being contemplated for lady officers. Certain ships have to be redesigned to accommodate lady officers. But we are very happy with our lady officers and their performance," Vice-Admiral Cheema said when asked if the Indian Navy was considering combat roles for women after the Indian Air Force decided to train women as fighter pilots.
Speaking on preventing sea-borne attacks and the threat from ISIS, Vice-Admiral Cheema said, "The Navy is responsible for maritime security. Navy has to ensure coordination between the Coastal Police and Coast Guard. We have set up a joint operation centre with modern technology to coordinate with various agencies. We are trying to give our fishermen bio-metric cards. They are our first eyes and ears and we have tried to win their hearts and minds."
Navy Day is celebrated on 4 December to commemorate the Indian Navy's heroic actions that dealt a paralyzing blow to the Karachi Harbour, destroying ships at anchorage and oil tanks. These actions ultimately resulted in India's victory in the 1971 war and the liberation of Bangladesh.