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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vice Admiral Soni takes over as NDA chief

PUNE: Vice Admiral Satish Soni took over as commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, on Sunday from Vice Admiral RK Dhowan. Dhowan has been appointed Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.

According to a press release issued by the NDA, Soni, a navigation and direction specialist, is an alumnus of the NDA. A member of the Academy's 48th course, he was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1976.

Soni is also a pass-out of the prestigious Defence Service Staff College, Wellington, and has undergone various courses, including the Naval Higher Command Course at the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai.

The Vice Admiral is a qualified ship's diving officer. He has also been the commissioning commanding officer of two warships in Russia INS Kakinada, a Natya class minesweeper, and INS Talwar, India's first guided missile stealth frigate. He has also commanded frontline warships such as INS Kirpan, a missile corvette, and INS Delhi, the country's first guided missile destroyer.

Soni has also commanded the coveted Eastern Fleet, based in Visakhapatnam. He has held several positions in his career, notable among them being assistant chief of personnel (human resource development) at the Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy), and Chief of Staff of Eastern Naval Command.

The new NDA commandant is a keen sportsman and has represented the navy in squash and golf in the Inter-Service Championships.

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