Port Wings News Network:
Director General K.Natarajan took over as the 23rd Chief of Indian Coast Guard on 30 June 2019. A 5th Batch Officer of the Indian Coast Guard, he joined service in January, 1984.
During the initial years, he specialized in select core competencies viz. Search and Rescue as well as Maritime Safety and Port Operations at the US Coast Guard Reserve Training Centre, Yorktown, Virginia. The Officer holds a Masters’ Degree in Defence & Strategic Studies from Madras University and is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
In his illustrious career spanning over 35 years, the Flag Officer has had the distinction of holding important Command and Staff appointments, both afloat and ashore. He has commanded all classes of Indian Coast Guard ships, viz. Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV), Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) and Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV). He has also served as the Commander Coast Guard District No.5 (Tamil Nadu), the Commanding Officer ICGS Mandapam and as the first Officer-in-Charge of Coast Guard Training Centre (Kochi). At the Coast Guard Headquarters, his key staff assignments include Principal Director (Policy & Plans), Chairman Coast Guard Service Selection Board, Principal Director (Projects), Joint Director (Operations) and Coast Guard Advisor (CGA) to the Director General Indian Coast Guard.
Post 26/11, the country was recovering from one of the worst terrorist attack. His moment of reckoning came during that period, when as the Deputy Director General (Policy & Plans), on being elevated to the Flag Rank he spearheaded the Staff Division of Policy & Plans at the Coast Guard Headquarters and was instrumental in giving a major fillip to the overall growth of the Coast Guard in terms of setting up of additional 20 Stations, 10 Air Establishment, 2 Regional Headquarters, 2 Seaboard Headquarters, contract for 120 ships & boats.
In the rank of Inspector General, he was also Commander of the Operational Formations – Coast Guard Region (Andaman & Nicobar) and Coast Guard Region (West) from 2014 to 2016 wherein he heralded a tactical shift towards Preventive Operations that saw marked decline in security and safety related incidents at sea in respective Area of Responsibility.
The Flag Officer was elevated to the rank of Additional Director General in August, 2016 and took over the reins as Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard). Under his apex watch on the sensitive Western seafront, whilst there were no major marine incidents, the period saw surge in major operations that included apprehension of 1.5 Ton of narcotic substance, mass rescue operations during cyclones, humanitarian assistance during natural calamities in coastal states and focussed Coastal Security Operations.
The Flag Officer is a recipient of President’s Tatrakshak Medal and Tatrakshak Medal for his distinguished service to the nation.