Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar retired in September 2009 after nearly 45 years of illustrious service in the Indian Navy. He is the former Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command and Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command. He holds an MSc in Defence Studies and is a graduate of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA. His afloat assignments include specialist tenures on board several fleet units between 1970 and 1983. He was a part of the commissioning crew of INS Ghorpad, commissioned in Poland, and of INS Rana commissioned in the erstwhile Soviet Union. He was also the Fleet Operations Officer, Western Fleet. He was the commanding officer of INS Panaji in 1973, INS Himgiri in 1987, INS Ganga in 1993 and the Indian Navy’s only aircraft carrier, INS Viraat in 1995. He took over command of the ‘Sword Arm’ of the Indian Navy as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet in January 2003. His operational experience is backed by active service during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, command of INS Himgiri during Operation Pawan and as Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command during Operation Vijay.