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The Indian Navy will commission Naval Detachment Minicoy as INS Jatayu on March 6, a move that seeks to “incrementally augment” security infrastructure at the strategically important Lakshadweep Islands, according to officials.

The commissioning will take place in the presence of Navy Chief Adm R Hari Kumar, they said on Saturday. “The event marks an important milestone in the Navy’s resolve to incrementally augment security infrastructure at the strategically important Lakshadweep Islands,” a senior official said.

Naval Detachment Minicoy was set up in the early 1980s under the operational command of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep).

Minicoy is the southernmost island of Lakshadweep which straddles the vital Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs). Basing of an independent naval unit with requisite infrastructure and resources will enhance the overall operational capability of the Indian Navy in the islands, the official said.

The base will enhance operational reach and facilitate the Navy’s operational efforts towards anti-piracy and anti-narcotics operations in the Western Arabian Sea, the officials said.

“It will also augment the Indian Navy’s capability as the first responder in the region and augment connectivity with the mainland. The establishment of a naval base is in line with the Government of India’s focus towards comprehensive development of islands,” the official added.

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

“With the commissioning of INS Jatayu, the Indian Navy will strengthen its foothold in the Lakshadweep islands and along with extending operational surveillance, reach and sustenance, it will usher a in new era of capacity building and comprehensive development of the island territories,” the official said.