Navy Chief Admiral Karamabir Singh visited the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the country’s first joint theater command, on the eve of Diwali and met its troops stationed on the INS Baaz.

INS Baaz, a Naval Air Station located at Campbell Bay on the Greater Nicobar Island, is among most significant bases of the country’s military owing to its location near the Malacca Straits. “The geo-strategically located Air Station, INS Baaz, overlooks critical International Sea Lanes” passing through the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The airbase, the Navy said, “supports operations of a multitude of military aircraft, which enable surveillance over the Southern Bay of Bengal, South Andaman Sea, Malacca Straits and the Southern Indian Ocean”.

It also provides aid to civil authorities including for casualty evacuation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and search and rescue missions, and serves as a “supporting base for operational turn-around facilities of ships deployed in the Nicobar Group of Islands”.

Singh was received by Lt General Manoj Pande, Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, and was briefed on its operational preparedness and infrastructure aspects, including readiness in the prevalent security scenario.

During the interaction with the personnel, Singh “acknowledged their contribution in keeping the strategically important base operational at all times,” the Navy said. The Navy Chief met personnel from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, General Reserve Engineer Force as well as some civilians.