Govt seeks to strengthen Bangladesh Navy’s capabilities further: PM

Govt seeks to strengthen Bangladesh Navy’s capabilities further: PM

 DHAKA, Dec 20, 2021 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her
government has more plans to enhance the capabilities of Bangladesh Navy
further inducting advanced ships, war equipment and technology to the force.

  “To further strengthen the capabilities of the Bangladesh Navy, we have
plan to adding more advanced ships, modern war equipment and technologies to
the force in the future,” she said.

  The premier was addressing the winter President Parade of the passing out
cadets of the “Midshipman 2019 Alfa” and “DEO 2021 Bravo” at Bangladesh Naval
Academy, Potenga in Chattogram, joining virtually from her official resident
Ganabhaban here.

  She said Bangladesh Navy has been turned to truly full-fledged “three-
dimensional” force through inducting two submarines “BNS Navajatra” and “BNS
Joyjatra” in 2017.

  She also mentioned that the navy is now enabled to play a stronger role in
ensuring the safety of the country’s vast maritime areas enriched with
natural resources.

   The navy is also contributing a lot to preventing human trafficking and
smuggling, ensuring security of fishermen, and the safe passage of merchant
ships for expansion of the force’s capacities, she said.

  The premier said work is underway to build a permanent submarine base “BNS
Sheikh Hasina” with modern basin facilities at Pekua in Cox’s Bazar to
provide safe jetty facilities to submarines and warships at the harbour.

  Sheikh Hasina said the construction work of the “Sher-e-Bangla Base” has
progressed a lot to enhance the operational and communication facilities of
the naval vessels in the coastal areas of the south-western Bangladesh.

  “In order to build the navy as a modern and regional strong force, the
government is taking and implementing realistic plans such as various
infrastructural developments, incorporation of warships to the navy and
strengthening operational capacity of existing ships,” she added.

  On behalf of the prime minister, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen
Iqbal distributed prizes among the cadets for their outstanding performance.

Among the commissioned cadets, Midshipman of 2019/a batch Md. Mohtasim Sifat
was awarded “Sword of Honour” as best all-round Midshipman for obtaining
highest standard in all fields.

   Apart from this, Midshipman Alif Abdullah received “Naval Chief Gold
Medal” for acquiring second highest standard in training while Direct Entry
Officer of 2021/b batch Acting Sub Lieutenant Md. Abdul Momin got
“Birshrestho Shaheed Ruhul Amin Gold Medal” for achieving highest results.

  The cadets also took formal oaths on the occasion.

  Bangladesh Navy also organised a spectacular parade, marking the ceremony
which the prime minister witnessed virtually from the Ganabhaban.

  Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal delivered vote of thanks at
the programme.

   The premier told the new Navy officers that in spite of the corona

situation they have participated in the training activities at Bangladesh
Naval Academy where they have shown their indomitable interest, strong morale
and courageous mentality in facing future challenges.

   She hoped that in any crisis of work or personal life, they will show such
prudent and leadership qualities.

   She said at the end of the training, today 44 new commissioned officers
are going to serve the Bangladesh Navy.

   She expressed her hope that, “You will work tirelessly for the protection
of the sovereignty and security of the motherland being imbued with the
spirit of the Liberation War.”

  The premier urged the new officers to keep the mantra of honesty, proper
leadership and self-sacrifice in their mind, saying the hard training that
they have completed is just the beginning of their life.

  She said, “You have to be ready to work shoulder to shoulder with the
members of the Army and Air Force in any necessity of the country.”

  Sheikh Hasina also expressed her hope that the new officers’ patriotism,
discipline and conscientiousness will inspire their subordinates to dedicate
themselves to the needs of the country in the same way.

  The prime minister also highlighted the initiatives taken by her government
for the development of armed forces including Bangladesh Navy.

  She said Awami League, after a long 21 years, came to power in 1996 through
people’s verdict and took various steps to modernize the navy.

  At that time, she added, they worked on various infrastructural
development, procurement of warships and strengthen the operational capacity
of existing ships.

  Since the formation of the government in 2009 after winning election in
2008, she said, they have started the implementation of the “Forces Goal-
2030″ in light of the Defence Policy formulated by Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

  Sheikh Hasina said they have already inducted a significant number of
modern warships, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and submarines
to the Bangladesh Navy with the state-of-the-art combat equipment and
technology.

  Mentioning that one new MPA from Germany has been commissioned to the
Aviation Wing of Bangladesh Navy last November, she said another one will be
inducted next May.

  In this perspective, she said construction of a second hangar with all
modern facilities for operation and maintenance of helicopters and MPA is
also underway.

  She continued Khulna Shipyard Limited managed by the Bangladesh Navy has
already attained capacity to build Patrol Craft and Large Patrol Craft.

  The prime minister went on saying a decision has been taken to build a
modern warship at Chattogram Drydock Limited run by the Navy, adding it would
transform the Navy as a “Builder Navy” from a “Buyer Navy”.

  Sheikh Hasina also said alongside the incorporation of new ships and war
equipment, her government is also working to increase and streamline the
organizational structure of the Bangladesh Navy to ensure the best use of
these sophisticated technologies.

  In this connection, she said Naval Administrative Authority of Dhaka has
recently been renamed as “Commander Dhaka Naval Region” along with elevating
its chief’s rank to Rear Admiral from Commodore.

  Along with the development of the armed forces, she said her government is
working relentlessly for the socioeconomic uplift of the country.

  The premier said the Father of the Nation had a dream to establish a modern
academy to develop a competent leadership for the military through advanced
training among the country’s young generation.

  And that is why “Bangabandhu Complex” with modern facilities has been
inaugurated in 2018, she said.

  Through this complex, she noted the training facilities at the Naval
Academy have elevated to international level.

  Alongside the training in classrooms and laboratories, the academy has
already undertaken initiative to install small arms firing, motor driving and
bridge simulators, the premier added.

  She expressed her firm belief that the naval officers trained in the
academy will take advantage of this increased opportunity to lead the navy
forward with more confidence.

  Today, Bangladesh Navy has gained the status of a highly organized,
efficient and professional force not only in the country but also in the
international arena, she said.

  She added their self-sacrifice and dedication in everywhere, including the
UN peacekeeping mission, has brought honour and dignity for Bangladesh, which
has also brightened the country’s image abroad.

  Extending her gratitude, the head of the government said the armed forces,
including the Bangladesh Navy, have stood by the people with utmost sincerity
during the Corona pandemic.

 Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu, from Bangladesh’s geopolitical and socio-

economic point of view, had realized the importance of protecting the
sovereignty of the country’s naval areas and maritime resources.

   That’s why he demanded the relocation of the naval headquarters to
Chattogram in his historic “Six-Point Demand”, she said.

  The premier added Bangabandhu’s apprehension was that there was no
alternative of a strong navy to protect the sovereignty of the vast maritime
region of Bangladesh to build a strong maritime-based economy.

   In this connection, she said that Bangabandhu had set out to build an
efficient, strong, modern and technologically advanced navy after
independence and procured five modern warships from friendly countries such
as Yugoslavia and India.

   At the same time, he (Bangabandhu) commissioned three bases including
navy’s largest training base BNS Ishakhan and three ships, she said, adding,
on the same day, Bangabandhu witnessed the first naval exercise at BNS Surma.

   The prime minister said the process of procuring warships from the United
Kingdom began with the efforts of the Father of the Nation.

   She continued the Father of the Nation enacted the Territorial Waters and
Maritime Zones Act in 1974, which was the base of Bangladesh’s maritime
policy.

   In continuation of this, it has already been possible to define the
country’s maritime boundaries with the neighbouring countries and rights have
been established in a vast sea area of 118,813 square kilometres, she
remarked.

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