President's Fleet Review at Mumbai on December 20,2011
The Indian Naval Fleet,along with ships from other maritime agencies is reviewed by the President of India once during his/her term.
The Review is a symbolic gesture of reaffirming the country's faith in the Fleet's readiness to preserve,promote and protect India's maritime interests.
The 10th such review took place on December 20,2011 in Mumbai.
One of the unique features of this review was that the Supreme Commander is a lady and this itself made the occasion unprecedented.
The President of India,Smt.Pratibha Devi Singh Patil has flown in a Sukhoi Su-30 MKI and shewas recently seated atop a tank in the Thar desert visiting a strike formation on exercise.She has been to the aircraft carrier,INS Viraat before and received by both fleets individually but this event ,PFR 2011, tops them all with its combination of charm,magnificence and sheer power projection.
There were more than 70 ships combined of both fleets,from the Mumbai flotilla's Missile Boat squadron,from the Coast Guard,sailing vessels and representative ships from the Shipping Corporation of India.
The fleet ships were all ships of the line and watching them anchored in line guaranteed a spine tingling sensation.
But more of that later.
A quick overview of the ships in the various columns.
The Presidential Yacht was INS Subhadra, a Sukanya class Offshore Patrol Vessel(OPV) commanded by Cdr Viresh Das.
Subhadra has pioneered the Dhanush Missile's launch and she played hostess to india's most powerful rather
And look at who were aboard her-The President,Smt.Pratibha Patil,her spouse Shri Devi Singh Shekhawat,the Raksha
Mantri AK Antony,the Raksha Rajya Mantri Pallam Raju,the Def Secretary,the CNS Adm Nirmal Verma.The Chief of Army
Staff Gen V K Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Norman Browne were special invitees.Keeping them
company were Flag Officers Commanding in Chief of the Southern Naval Command,Western Naval Command and Eastern Naval
Command ,respectively V Adm K N Sushil,V Adm D K Joshi,V Adm Anil Chopra.Rear Admiral Girish Luthra,the Western
Fleet Commander was there as the overall fleet commander for the event.
Lt Gen Naresh Chandra Marwah,CinC Andaman and Nicobar Command and Lt Gen A K Singh,GOCinC Southern Army Command
were the other senior Army Generals present.
The Air officer Commanding in Chief, Air Mshl K J Matthews who looks after IAF-IN Co-operation was present as well.
Retired Navy Chiefs were special invitees as well to the foc'sle area of the Subhadra.