VICE Admiral Anil Chopra, the second senior most officer of the Indian Navy, will assume charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, at Mumbai on June 6, 2014. He arrived in Mumbai on Thursday after relinquishing command of Eastern Naval Command.
The Admiral has the unique achievement of being in command continuously for over six years since January 2008, and also has the rare privilege of being only the second officer ever to head both the operational commands of the Indian Navy.
The Admiral was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command since October 31, 2011, a period which witnessed the induction of major combat platforms including three Shivalik class stealth frigates, nuclear submarine, INS Chakra, P-81 Long Range Reconnaissance Aircraft and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircrafts; as well as considerable infrastructure growth.
Prior to his tenure in the East, he was the Director General Indian Coast Guard, having taken charge just a few days after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Under his helm, the Coast Guard saw an exponential increase in both its force levels, and operational deployments. Earlier, he had been the Fleet Commander of the Navy’s Sword Arm – the Western Fleet in 2008.
Commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 July 1975, he is a graduate of the National Defence Academy and has undergone courses at the Defence Services Staff College, the Naval War College and the National Defence College.
He has commanded the Missile Corvette INS Kuthar, the Destroyer INS Rajput and the Aircraft Carrier, INS Viraat. His varied experience spans tenures as Principal Director Naval Plans at Naval Headquarters, Chief Staff Officer (Operations) at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command, Naval Assistant to the Chief of the Naval Staff and Senior Instructor (Navy) at the DSSC.
The Admiral was posted to Rome, Italy, in the mid-eighties, in connection with the induction of combat systems for the Navy’s frontline units. He has also spent a year in Washington DC, as a Senior Fellow at the United States Atlantic Council.
In Flag rank, he has been the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, Assistant Controller of Carrier Projects and the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy & Plans) at Naval Headquarters.
For his distinguished service, the Admiral was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2007 and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2013.