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Top changes in the Navy, Army in the offing

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Major changes in the top hierarchy of the Navy and the Army are in the offing with Admiral Sureesh Mehta retiring this month end and Army vice chief Lieutenant General Noble Thamburaj completing his tenure next month.

When Mehta retires on August 31, Vice Admiral Nirmal Verma, who is at present the Eastern Naval Commander, will take over as the next chief.

Verma would be replaced in the Eastern Naval Command by Vice Admiral Anup Singh, who is currently the Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, Navy sources said here Monday evening.

The present Chief of Personnel Vice Admiral D K Diwan will be replaced by Vice Admiral M P Muraleedharan, which is part of the 11 top changes in the Naval top brass.

Vice Admiral Sekhar Sinha, who is in charge personnel matters, will replace Vice Admiral Anup Singh as the next Deputy Chief of the IDS.

The present Inspector General of Nuclear Safety Vice Admiral Krishnan Nair Susheel will take over as the new Southern Naval Commander from Vice Admiral S C S Bangara

Vice Admiral D K Joshi, the present Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, will move to Andaman and Nicobar tri-services command as its new Commander.

Joshi will be replaced in the Naval headquarters by Vice Admiral R K Dhawan, who is at present the Commandant of the Khadakvasla-based National Defence Academy (NDA).

In the Army, when Thamburaj retires on September 30, his position is likely to go to Eastern Army Commander V K Singh or the Northern Army Command P C Bhardwaj.

Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor prefers Bhardwaj as the next vice chief considering that the latter has enough service left to carry on as Vice Chief for two years, sources said.

But being the senior most Lieutenant General, V K Singh was in line to take over from Thamburaj. Singh is also next in hierarchy to take over as the Army Chief when Kapoor retires in the middle of next year.

Also, the Navy will witness a change of guard in the top posts of Eastern and Western Fleet with Rear Admiral P Murugesan and Rear Admiral Patnaik going as the Flag Officers Commanding respectively.

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