Decommissioning Ceremony of INS Magar
INS Magar, the oldest Landing Ship Tank (Large) of the Indian Navy laid her oars on 06 May 23 after serving the nation for 36 years. A solemn decommissioning ceremony was held at Naval Base, Kochi. The ship commanded by Commander Hemant V Salunkhe was decommissioned at a sunset ceremony held at Naval Base Kochi. Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, PVSM, AVSM, NM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command who also had been in helm of the ship from 2005-06 was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. Amongst the dignitaries, Air Marshal B Manikantan, AVSM, NM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command graced the occasion. In addition, the ceremony was witnessed by personnel from the Armed forces, veterans and civil administration. A ship's timeline and special postage cover was also released during the event.
Prior to the decommissioning ceremony, a Barakhana was organised by the ship in honour of erstwhile Commanding Officers, Officers, men and veterans who had served onboard the ship. The reunion of Magar crew was a nostalgic moment binding them with the reminiscences of the ship.
INS Magar was launched on 16 Nov 1984 by Smt. Meera Tahiliani and commissioned on 18 Jul 1987 at Garden Reach Shipyard and Engineers Limited, Kolkata by late Admiral RH Tahiliani. The ship had the unique distinction of being the first indigenous ship of Indian Navy with more than 5500 GRT and the first ship of LST (L) class. During her service, she participated in numerous operations, amphibious exercises and humanitarian missions noteworthy being Op Samudra Setu wherein more than 4000 Indian nationals were repatriated from various corners of the world, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship was also instrumental in evacuation of over 1300 survivors post Tsunami in 2004 and had been part of several joint military exercises with the Indian Army. In 2018, the ship was converted into a Training ship and joined the First Training Squadron at Kochi.
As a precursor to the decommissioning, various outreach activities were conducted by the ship. A blood donation camp was organised in collaboration with Indian Medical Association (IMA) Kochi on 16 Feb 23. A cycle expedition was conducted from Kochi to Trivandrum from 22-27 Feb 23 boosting jointmanship and synergy with 91 Infantry Brigade. 20 sea warriors of the ship undertook bike expedition from Pune to Kochi from 27 Mar-08 Apr 23 fostering spirit of camaraderie with its affiliated Army Unit, the Bombay Sappers.
Whilst the ship retires from active service, her long and illustrious history and contribution to the Indian Navy would always be remembered
Decommissioning ceremony of INS Magar held at Naval Base, Kochi
Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, PVSM, AVSM, NM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command reviewed ceremonial guard
A ship's timeline released during the event
A ship's special postage cover released during the event