Indian Navy commissions strategically important base INS Jatayu in Lakshadweep Islands

Jatayu has been commissioned under the command of Commandant Vrat Baghel.
CNS commissioning INS Jatayu
CNS commissioning INS Jatayu

Minicoy: The Indian Navy on Wednesday commissioned its new base “INS Jatayu” at Minicoy island that will bolster its operational capabilities within the strategically important Lakshadweep islands.

The Naval Detachment will also enhance operational reach, and support the Indian Navy’s efforts in anti-piracy and anti-narcotics operations in the Western Arabian Sea.

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar commissioned the new base at a function held here.

Jatayu has been commissioned under the command of Commandant Vrat Baghel.

Addressing the gathering at Minicoy after the commissioning of INS Jatayu, Kumar said the unit was named after the mythical creature in the epic Ramayana who tried to stop the abduction of Sita.

“In the Ramayana, Jatayu was the ‘first responder’, trying to stop the abduction of Sita ji, even to the peril of his own life, exemplifying service before self. So the naming of this unit as Jatayu is an apt recognition of this spirit of providing security surveillance and selfless service,” Kumar said.

The navy chief said that the information Jatayu relayed to Lord Ram provided crucial situational awareness, leading to the successful quest that followed.

“Similarly, we expect that this unit will provide situational awareness to the Indian Navy in maintaining good maritime domain awareness of the entire region. INS Baaz to the east in the Andamans and now the INS Jatayu in the west will serve as eyes and ears to the Navy to safeguard our national interest,” he said.

He said It was crucial to recognise the pressing need for heightened surveillance amidst the prevailing geopolitical developments, which underscores the strategic significance of Lakshadweep to India.

“The Indian Ocean region is witnessing an upsurge in maritime terror, crime, and piracy. The Indian Navy has responded with an assertive posture in the west and north Arabian Sea, undertaking anti-drone, anti-missile, and anti-piracy operations to safeguard merchant traffic in the region,” he said.

Minicoy is the southernmost island of Lakshadweep, which straddles the vital sea lines of communications.

INS Jatayu is the second naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti.

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