Vice Admiral Puneet K. Bahl takes charge as Commandant of INA, Ezhimala, Kanur district

He has held an array of operational, staff and training assignments

Vice Admiral Puneet K. Bahl has taken over as the Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, Kannur district.

An alumnus of NDA Khadakwasla, the Flag Officer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1984. He passed Staff Course at DSSC, Wellington, and Naval Higher Command Course from the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai.

An experienced maritime reconnaissance pilot, he has flown six different types of aircraft. His operational experience includes active participation in Operation Tasha and Operation Vijay. He is also a qualified ship’s diver. He has held an array of operational, staff and training assignments.

He has had tenures at INS Garuda, INS Rajali, AFS Yelahanka and CGAS 700 while on flying duties and ship tenures onboard INS Vikrant and at Betwa, Godavari, Sujata and Porbandar. His training and staff assignments include tenures as directing staff at DSSC, Wellington, and JDNAS (aviation plans) at the Naval Headquarters where he successfully steered cases for aircraft inductions and drafted the Naval Aviation Perspective and Infrastructure plans.

Command tenures

His command tenures include the guided missile frigate INS Betwa, INS Sujata and INS Rajali, one of the premier strategic airbases of the country. While in command of INS Rajali, he successfully oversaw the smooth induction and operationalisation of the P8I aircraft from the base, which was awarded the Unit Citation by the Chief of the Naval Staff during his tenure.

He was also based at the Embassy of India in Tokyo from 2007-10 as the Defence Attache, Japan, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Korea where he was instrumental in coordinating and facilitating a landmark joint declaration on security cooperation between India and Japan and also for drawing up an action plan for furthering defence and security cooperation between the two countries.

Post elevation to the flag rank in January 2015, he has held the appointments of Assistant Chiefs of Integrated Defence Staff (ACIDS) (WSOI) at New Delhi, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Naval Area and Flag Officer Naval Aviation at Goa, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area at Mumbai, Chief Staff Officer (Training), HQSNC, and Chief Instructor (Navy), DSSC, Wellington. On promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral on January 1, 2021, he took over as the Director General, Project Seabird.

The Flag Officer was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2020, Vishisht Seva Medal in 2015, Commendation by the Chief of the Naval Staff in 2005 and the Lentaigne Medal at DSSC, Wellington, in 1998.

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