INS Magar rests the oars after 36 years of service | News from India

KOCHI: INS Maybethe lead ship of the Magar-class amphibious warships of the Indian Navy, was decommissioned on Saturday after 36 years of service. The ship, which is the oldest Landing ship tank (Large) of the navy rested their oars during a decommissioning ceremony held at Naval Base Kochi South Naval Pier at sunset Saturday.
The Commander-in-Chief Flag Officer of the Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, who had also commanded INS Magar in 2005-06, was the chief guest at the ceremony. Also present were Air Marshal B Manikantan, Air Officer Commander-in-Chief, Southern Air Command, Ship’s Last Commanding Officer Cdr Hemant V Salunkhe, all former Commanding Officers, Navy Veterans, Forces personnel military and civil administration.
At the sunset watch ceremony, the national flag, naval ensign and ship’s decommissioning banner were lowered for the last time at sunset in the traditional manner with a nine-man watch signifying the end of the ship’s commissioned service. A ship’s history and a special postal envelope were also released during the event.
INS Magar was commissioned on 18 July 1987 at Garden Reach Shipyard and Engineers Limited, Kolkata by the late Admiral RH Tahiliani who was then the Chief of the Naval Staff. The vessel had the unique distinction of being the first indigenous vessel in the Indian Navy over 5500 gross register tons (GRT).
Over the past 36 years, the vessel, which has proved to be a valiant workhorse of the navy, has participated in numerous operations, amphibious exercises and humanitarian missions. They include milestone operations such as Operation Pawan to support the Indian peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka and Op Samudra Setu, in which more than 4,000 Indian nationals have been repatriated from various corners of the world, during the COVID-19 pandemic .
The vessel was also instrumental in the evacuation of over 1300 survivors after the tsunami in 2004 and had been part of several joint military exercises with the Indian Army. In 2018, the vessel was upgraded to a training ship and joined the 1st Training Squadron in Kochi under Southern Naval Command.
As a precursor to decommissioning, the vessel conducted various outreach activities, including a blood donation camp in partnership with the Medical Association of India (IMA) Kochi and a cycling expedition from Kochi to Trivandrum in February.


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