New Delhi (India), June 1 (ANI): From commanding Mauritius National Coast Guards to being at sea during operation Pawan, the Kargil War, 26/11 terror attack, and also when the anti-piracy patrols were launched in the Gulf of Aden, the retired Navy Deputy Chief Vice Admiral MS Pawar had an eventful career of nearly four decades.
The retired officer, who oversaw multiple important operations including the swift movement of naval assets after the Pulwama attack to keep the Pakistan Navy in check, relinquished office on superannuation on Monday.
In his retirement address, the Vice Admiral recounted his life in uniform and said that it is with a sense of "great pride and fulfillment" that he is passing the baton to a set of able hands and wished the Navy success and glory, "no matter what the weather".
"As I transit to life after 51 years in uniform, including 11 years at Sainik School Korukonda and the National Defence Academy, I do so with the utmost satisfaction - of having kept a taut watch on deck in weather fair and foul; of keeping the 'Service before Self' whilst emulating the Chetwode Motto that is etched on the Sudan Block of NDA; of stepping onboard the deck of almost every ship in the Indian Navy and being at sea for long periods that were made to seem shorter by the rapid pace of activities," he said.
The former Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff said that he had also earned the distinction of having the longest service in seagoing billets by any officer to date, of operating in the air and underwater onboard diverse platforms including Launching and Tailhooking on a carrier as well as experiencing the power of India's nuclear submarines.
"Of excelling with awards in every course I undertook in India or abroad, of having commanded the finest set of professionals in the Mauritius National Coast Guard; of tenanting the most challenging appointments and leaving a mark in every single one of them; of being at sea during OP Pawan, the Kargil War, 26/11, the largest Indian Navy deployment to the Atlantic, and also when the anti-piracy patrols were launched in the Gulf of Aden which continue till date; of leading by personal example; of never sparing the rod but also never-ever dithering to hug as a mentor; of contributing to building a Navy that the Nation is proud of; of rubbing shoulders with my team-mates on the sports field; of forging lasting bonds with officers, men and families," he said.
Pawar said he rang off main engines as the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff of the most professional navy in the world, which during his watch "stared the adversary in the eye, forged bonds with like-minded navies to promote secure seas ever-respecting the rules of the game".
The former Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff said during his watch Navy "walked the talk" to remain the "preferred security partner" in the Indian Ocean Region, and "sailed with dispatch into the eye of the storm to rescue the shipwrecked".
Pawar said the launch of Operation Samudra Setu to provide succour during a pandemic was something the world has never seen before.
He had assumed charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff on February 1, 2019 and was immediately tasked to undertake post-Pulwama attack operations.
The officer also looked after the Indian Navy's deployment in the Persian Gulf amidst US-Iran tensions and the operations undertaken during the Galwan stand-off between India and China.
Pawar also oversaw large-scale relief operations, both within India and abroad, along with large-scale search and rescue operations, and relief operations undertaken during the COVID pandemic such as Operation Samudra Setu I and II and multiple Sagar Missions.
He held various challenging staff and command assignments including as Navigating Officer of the Landing Ship Tank (Large) Magar during India's Peace Keeping Operation 'Pawan' in Sri Lanka.
He was also the Fleet Navigating Officer of the Western Fleet during the Kargil War, and the Fleet Operations Officer of Western Fleet when the Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
He has also commanded the missile boat Nashak as the commissioning CO, the missile corvette Kuthar, and the frigate Talwar. (ANI)