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INS Cheetah, Guldar & Kumbhir decommissioned after 40 years

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New Delhi, Jan 13:  Indian Navy Ships Cheetah, Guldar and Kumbhir were decommissioned after rendering four-decades of service to the nation.

The Ministry of Defence said that the decommissioning event was conducted at Port Blair on Friday, wherein the National Flag, the Naval Ensign and Decommissioning Pennants of the three ships were lowered for the last time, at sunset.

Cheetah, Guldar and Kumbhir were constructed at the Gdynia Shipyard, Poland as Polnocny class Landing Ships and were commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1984, 1985 and 1986 respectively, official added.

The Commanding Officers of the three ships were Cdr V B Mishra, Lt Cdr SK Singh and Lt Cdr J Banerjee respectively.

During the initial years, Cheetah was based at Kochi and Chennai for brief periods, and Kumbhir and Guldar were based at Visakhapatnam. The ships were subsequently re-based at Andaman and Nicobar Command, where they served till their decommissioning, official added.

The Ministry of Defence said that these ships were in active Naval service for nearly 40 years, and collectively traversed about 17 lakh nautical miles, spending over 12,300 days in sea. As the amphibian platforms of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, these ships have conducted over 1300 beaching operations for landing of army troops ashore.

These ships participated in numerous maritime security missions and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.

Notable among them are their role during Operation Aman as part of IPKF operations and Operation Tasha, a joint operation carried out between Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard in May 1990. The operation was to control smuggling of arms and ammunition and illegal immigration across Indian Sri Lankan border. It also made stellar contributions in relief operations post 1997 cyclone off Sri Lanka and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, official added.

INS Cheetah, Guldar and Kumbhir have left an indelible mark on the maritime landscape and their decommissioning marks the end of a significant chapter of the Indian Navy’s history, official added.

The decommissioning ceremony witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries, including Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command, Vice Admiral Tarun Sobti, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Flag Officers, former Commanding Officers, and the commissioning crew.

The event holds a unique significance as three warships of the same class bid farewell simultaneously, marking the closure of a remarkable chapter in the history of the Indian Navy.

IANS

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