National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 09 January 2019
Rear Admiral MD Suresh has taken charge as the new Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) – the Training Command of the Navy on 08 Jan 2020. He was commissioned in to the Indian Navy in 01 Jan 84 and is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and the Naval War College, Goa.
The Flag Officer is a “Navigation and Direction” specialist who has served onboard destroyers Rajput and Rana and as a Lieutenant Commander commanded missile boats Nirbhik and Vinash. He was the first Executive Officer of the stealth frigate INS Talwar, commissioned at St Petersburg, Russia and later headed the Project Training Team in Mumbai to train crews of Talwar class of ships. He was also the first Commanding Officer of the indigenously built P -17 stealth frigate, INS Shivalik.
His important appointments at naval headquarters include Commander “War Room” and Principal Director Naval Operations. He has also teneted diplomatic assignments such as the Defence Advisor to the Embassies of India Oman, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.
He has served as the Flag Officer Doctrines and Concepts and also as the Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor (CI) of the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala. He was the Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff at the Defence Intelligence Agency at the Headquarters of Integrated Defence Staff (HQIDS) since Jan 2018 prior assuming charge as the Chief of Staff, SNC.
A keen sailor, who has excelled at ocean sailing in particular, he was a member of a tri-service sailing team, which sailed onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Samudra during her ‘Round the World Sailing Expedition’ in 1988-89.
The Flag Officer is a recipient of the Nao Sena Medal for devotion to duty in 2001 and Ati Vishista Seva Medal in 2018.
In his present appointment, he would be deputising the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the discharge of the training and operational roles of the SNC. He took over from Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, AVSM, VSM, who would be taking over as Flag Officer Offshore Defence Advisory Group at Mumbai. Rear Admiral Suresh hails from Kozhikode. He is married to Mrs Kairali Suresh, who is an Assistant Professor in English at Shri Shankara College, Kalady.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.