FAREWELL TO OUR NFMC PATRON
Among the various noble traditions of NFMC, one that NFMC proudly ceremonizes is absorbing our Patron into Veterans’ fold as the youngest Veteran and kitting him up as a Cadet joining a Military Academy.
04 Feb 2023 was the date firmed up by Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G), President NFMC in consultation with VAdm Ajendra Bahadur Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, FOCINC West, who had been its Patron since Nov 2021, for the ceremonious occasion prior to hanging his boots later this month. CO Angre suggested a farewell lunch in grand style in the Command Mess, of which he was the Chairman. NFMC is grateful to him and LtCdr Sneha (Mess Secy) for organizing it well, in keeping with highest traditions of our fine Indian Navy. Cdr Vadhera had invited CinC’s senior staff Officers VAdm K Swaminathan, COS and RAdm IJ Matharu, CSO(P&A) as well, with their good ladies.
The 12 NFMC managing committee members spread around the Suburbs of Mumbai, converged to Command Mess at 1100 hrs along with their lovely ladies, received by the ever-smiling LtCdr Sneha. Cdr Vadhera personally pinned the Veterans Lapel pin over the Left pocket of the smart casuals of Veterans in the Command Mess reception Hall. The stewards served everyone with the assorted welcome drink of choice. The Core members Cdr Vadhera, Raj and Farokh with their good ladies, Sunita & Meena received RAdm & Mrs IJS Matharu followed by Vadm K Swaminathan accompanied by Mrs Laila Swaminathan, before the arrival of our CinC with his good lady Mrs Charu Singh at 1230 hrs to be warmly welcomed by all present . Meena gracefully captured the memories in her Camera. At this point in time it would be prudent for the reader to glance at the enviable profile that our CinC and Patron is blessed with.
VADM AB SINGH, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, FOCINC WNC
Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh assumed the duties as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief. Western Naval Command on 01 Dec 21. An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2011. Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2016 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2022 for his exemplary service to the nation.
The Flag Officer has served on a large number of operational naval ships. He was the Navigating officer of INS Kamorta (during OP PAWAN), and Destroyer Ranjit, besides being the Fleet Navigating Officer of Western Fleet during Op PARAKRAM.
The Officer has commanded Indian Naval Ships Veer (Missile Vessel), Vindhyagi (Frigate). Trishul (Guided Missile Frigate) and Viraat (Aircraft Carier). He has also been an instructor at the National Defence Academy at Pune, Navigation & Direction School at Kochi and Directing Staff at Defence Services Staff College Wellington.
The Flag Officer received his first Masters from Madras University during the Staff Course at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, wherein he was awarded the Scudder Medal. The Flag Officer has also earned a Master's Degree in Global Security from Cranfield University, United Kingdom in 2005.
He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in 2012 and has served in the important staff appointment of Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy & Plans) at Naval Headquarters. Thereafter, he was selected for the prestigious operational command of the Eastern Fleet. On promotion to Vice Admiral, in 2015, he was appointed as Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command, and has also been the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations & Training) at the Tri-Service Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff, New Delhi from Sep 20 to Feb 21. Prior to taking over the reins of Western Naval Command, he was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command since March 21. VAdm Ajendra Bahadur Singh has an immense experience of serving at Mumbai in several different appointments, both operational and ashore (for almost 15 years). He was also the Chief of Staff of the Western Naval Command from Jan 18 to May 19. He is one of the very few officers who has the unique distinction of being the C-in-C of both operational Commands of the Indian Navy.
The Flag Officer is married to Mrs Charu Singh and the couple are blessed with two daughters, Ambika and Ajita.
RECEPTION HALL COMMAND MESS
The meet and greet session continued for an hour with drinks of choice and assorted small eats, before Cdr Vadhera took to stage, warmly welcomed our CinC, spelt out the significance of this special occasion and attired him with a smart blue NFMC Blazer and the Mufti Side Cap. White NFMC T-Shirt and the elegant Golden Sail Boat were also presented to our future Veteran. Indeed our CinC looked smart in his new Veterans uniform. Mrs Sunita Vadhera presented Mrs Charu Singh with the wonderful book, “How to light 100 Candles” authored by our NFMC Veteran Cdr Ashok Shinde. Cdr Vadhera then welcomed our CinC to address the gathering (Pics and Speeches Video below). The CinC lauded the NFMC for the noble task being performed by the foundation as also the various Veterans Day activities undertaken during Jan 2023.
The Soup was served after which the assemblage moved to the Gold Room on the first floor for a sit down ceremonial Lunch. Four silver-ware decored tables with a seating plan awaited the guests. White/Red Wine was offered along with Continental Lunch being served by smart stewards in sparkling whites (as in a Dinner Nite). The cuisine was indeed delectable topped up with mouth-watering dessert of cream pastry, Trunk of tree and assorted fruits. It was a pleasure to interact with Admirals and their charming ladies during the Lunch.
After gracefully seeing of Admiral AB Singh, COS and CSO(P&A) and their good ladies, Veterans and spouses stepped into the main hall for a Karaoke session of Songs by Cdr Vadhera, Raj and Mrs Archana Rai. Meena snapped the ladies with the Enterprise at the Command Mess entrance before the Sayonara time. We all wished Cdr Vadhera and Sunita Ma'am a wonderful vacation at Melbourne for 7 weeks with their daughter Latika, Son-in-law Vikram and their Cutie Sahana.
Sam No Varunah
About the Author
Commander Rajinder Dutta (Retd) has been a Naval Pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor with about 3000 hrs of flying on various fixed wing Aircraft of Indian Navy, viz HT-2, HPT-32, Kirans, Islander, Super Connie, Fokker F-27 and IL-38. He's been commended by Director General Coast Guard (1986) and FOCINC (South) for flying proficiency.
He is the Hon Secy of NFMC, a Master of Ceremonies and an avid blogger. http://rajdutta26.blogspot.com/
Thanks Sir, RajDelete
Very nice function, beautiful pictures and awesome written coverage. ThanksReplyDelete
Wonderful coverage of the function, beautiful pictures and awesome description. ThanksReplyDelete
Regards——- Commander(R) Sulakshan Sharma