Mumbai : Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P. a missiles specialist, took over as the new Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Indian Navy, here on Thursday, an official said.
He succeeded Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra who attained superannuation after an illustrious career spanning nearly four decades with the Indian Navy.
At an impressive ceremonial parade held at the Naval Air Station Shikra, the outgoing and incoming WNC chiefs were accorded a guard of honour before the formal handing over, and later Vice-Admiral Luthra was “pulled out” in true naval traditions.
An alumnus of the Sainik School, Kazhakootam in Kerala, and National Defence Academy, Pune in Maharashtra, Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P. was commissioned in the Indian Navy on July 1, 1981.
A missiles and gunnery specialist, he has served onboard frontline warships of both the Indian Navy and abroad.
He has a rare distinction of commanding six warships — the guided missile corvette INS Kulism, guided missile frigate INS Talwar, guided missile destroyers INS Mumbai and INS Mysore, besides including two foreign fighter vessels.
Ajit Kumar P. has also completed a Naval Higher Command Course and is an alumnus of the prestigiouis Naval War College, Newport, US.
He has earlier served with the WNC in initial specialist and command appointments and as Chief Staff Officer (Operations), here.
Later, he was the Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet, Commanding Officer of Gunnery and Missiles Training School, INS Dronacharya, Chief of Staff Southern Naval Command and Commandant of Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, Kerala.
Immediately prior to his new appointment, Ajit Kumar P. was the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff, Naval Headquarters, New Delhi.
In recognition of his services to the country, he has been decorated with several honours including Vishist Seva Medal (2006), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (2014) and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal this year (2019).