Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla

Emeritus Resource Faculty, School of Integrated Coastal and Maritime Security Studies (SICMSS),PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, ADC Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command

About Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla

Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla joined the National Defence Academy in Jan 1978. On completion of his midshipman training he was awarded the `Sword of Honour’ for being the outstanding midshipman of his course. Commissioned in the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1982, he specialised in Navigation and Direction in 1988 and subsequently navigated two of the Navy’s frontline frigates.

His five sea commands include Coast Guard Ship C-01 in 1986-87, INS Vinash (which he commissioned) from 1992-94, INS Kora from 2001- 02, INS Tabar from 2006-07 and INS Viraat from 2008 to 2010. His ashore and staff appointments include a stint as an instructor at the National Defence Academy (1989-90), Dy Director of the Navy’s Centre for Leadership and Behavioural Studies (1997-98), Defence Attaché in the Embassy of India, Jakarta (1998-2001), Senior Instructor (Navy) and HOTT (Navy) at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington (2002-04) and Naval Assistant to CNS (2004-2006). He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in Aug 2010 and was appointed as the Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation & Intelligence) followed by Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) at Naval Headquarters. As ACNS (P&P), he was responsible for the formulation of Maritime Capability Perspective Plan 2012-27, the first Maritime Infrastructure Perspective Plan, the plan for the ‘Re-organisation of the Navy’, promulgation of the Weapon and Sensor Procurement (WASP) Guidelines for the Navy and envisaging the process for ‘IN-DRDO Synergy’, which has now been institutionalised.

He commanded the Western Fleet from Aug 2013 to Oct 2014 and oversaw the integration of Vikramaditya into the IN’s concept of operations. On promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral he took over as the Director General Naval Operations on 31 Dec 2014. In Apr 2015, he oversaw Op Rahat, involving the evacuation of Indian and foreign nationals from war-torn Yemen. He was the Chief of Personnel of the Indian Navy from 28 May 2016 to 30 Jul 18. During this period he oversaw the management of the human resources of the Indian Navy and formulated several policies to enhance its effectiveness. He took over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command, Kochi on 31 Jul 18.

Vice Admiral Chawla attended the Royal Naval Staff Course at Greenwich in 1995 where he was awarded the Pelican Prize for being the most outstanding student. During his tenure in Jakarta, he authored a paper on the ‘East Timor Crisis – Opportunities for India’ and also catalyzed the signing of the India-Indonesia Defence Agreement in Feb 2001. He attended the Naval Higher Command Course in 2003 where he was awarded the inaugural CNS Gold Medal for his dissertation on the ‘Navy’s Role in Foreign Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region’, based on which a dedicated Foreign Cooperation organization was instituted at IHQ MoD (N) in 2005. He was also voted as the ‘Purple-man’ of his course during the JOCAP. He was one of the authors of ‘Freedom to Use the Seas – India’s Maritime Military Strategy’ in 2006, which was revised and re-issued under his guidance in 2016 as ‘Supremacy at Sea for Influence on Land– India’s Maritime Security Strategy’. He attended the 48th NDC course in 2008 and was awarded a book prize for his dissertation on ‘India’s Maritime Strategy 2025’. He is currently pursuing his PhD on ‘China’s Maritime Strategy’ from Bombay University.

He has participated in Op Pawan in Sri Lanka in 1989 while on board INS Arnala and was commended for gallantry by FOC-in-C East. He was awarded the Nausena Medal in 2003 while in command of INS Kora during Operation Parakram. Vice Admiral Chawla was conferred the VishishtSeva Medal on 26 Jan 13 and the AtiVishishtSeva Medal on 26 Jan 2015 for distinguished service. He was conferred with the honorary title of Aide-De-Camp to President of India in 01 Dec 2019. He was awarded the ParamVishishtSeva Medal for distinguished service of the highest order on 26 Jan 2020.

Vice Admiral Chawla is married to MrsSapana Chawla, who is currently heading NWWA(SR). They have two sons – Ishaan, who is married to Smriti, both working in Canada, and Rishabh Dev, working for Deloitte in Bengaluru. Vice Admiral is an avid golfer and tennis player and is a keen student of military history and strategic affairs. A keen environmentalist, he was awarded the Golden Peacock Environment Management Award for 2020.