Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, AVSM, NM took over the reins of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) as its 29th Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief. The Admiral replaced Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, ADC who retired after close to four decades of yeoman service. Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi was the Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy, Kannur, Kerala prior to taking over this appointment. The Flag Officer, a native of Dharwad, Karnataka arrived in Kochi on 29 Nov 21 for taking over the new assignment.
A ceremonial parade, consisting of 16 platoons including 4 armed platoons and a 50 men “Guard of Honour” was held at the Naval base on the occasion, in which both the Admirals were accorded General Salutes and the parade concluded with a “March in Review Order”. Subsequently, both the Flag Officers carried out the formal handing / taking over in the office of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief. Speaking to the members of the media, prior to his departure, Vice Admiral AK Chawla expressed satisfaction at the Command achieving its training goals in providing quality and trained manpower for the combat platforms. He also expressed happiness at the synergy achieved by the Command with the civil administration of the state in responding to different “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)” requirements.
On completion of the handing over, Vice Admiral AK Chawla was bid farewell by various Heads of Units, Commanding Officers, Chief Staff Officers, Officers, sailors and defence civilians of the Headquarters, SNC. The traditional pulling out ceremony, by the senior officers, officers and men of the Southern Naval Command was also held after the media interaction. Admiral AK Chawla was also presented a memento by the Office Bearers of Ernakulam Press Club on behalf of people of Kerala for supporting the State during challenging times.