Indian Naval Ships Konkan, Cannanore and Cuddalore were decommissioned in a solemn yet grand ceremony conducted at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam on March 23, 2018. Vice Admiral MS Pawar, Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The three retired commissioning Commanding Officers - Rear Admiral Ravi Gaikawad of Canannore, Rear Admiral PK Nair of Cuddalore and Commodore Mohandas of Konkan were the Guests of honour. As the sun slowly set in the distant horizon, the three ships gracefully 'retired' as operational ships after three decades of glorious service in the Indian Navy. The decommissioning ceremony was attended by as many as 38 erstwhile Commanding Officers and nearly 500 personnel who have served on board these ships.
Vice Adm Pawar paid tribute to the crew of the three ships and highlighted the contributions of the ships to the country's maritime security and their participation in various operations ranging over three decades. As part of the decommissioning ceremony, a ceremonial dinner was held on March 22, 2018 followed by a Barakhana for retired and serving sailors and their families this afternoon.
It was a poignant moment for those witnessing the ensigns of the warships being lowered for the last time, as the ceremonial guards on board, gave these vessels a final salute as a tribute to three decades of glorious service rendered by each of these ships. The Decommissioning Pennants were thereafter lowered. Each of these Minesweepers sailed nearly 30,000 nautical miles during their operational life, which is comparable to circumnavigating the globe four and a half times over.
The three minesweepers commissioned three decades ago at Riga in erstwhile USSR, were part of the 21 Mine Counter Measure (MCM) Squadron under the Naval Officer-in-Charge, Visakhapatnam.