President’s Fleet Review, Visakhapatnam
Complete set of 4 commemorative postage stamps on the Indian Naval Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam in February 2006 :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 12, 2006
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a se-tenant set of four stamps commemorating the occasion.
Design : The stamps depict the multidimensional role of the Navy, the air power by the aircraft carrier (INS Viraat) and fighter plane (Sea Harrier); the surface force through warships (Talwar and Brahmaputra class frigates) and anti-submarine Seaking Helicopter; supported by Sandhayak class Survey Vessel and an Off-shore Patrol Vessel Vigraha of the Indian Coast Guard along with a Dornier aircraft and the third dimension – underwater by submarines (Sindhughosh and Shishumar class). The First Day Cover displays the fluttering Naval Ensign with the anchorage plan off Visakhapatnam Harbour with the ships lined up and showing the President’s Yacht and her route for the 9th President’s Fleet Review. The special cancellation is an adaptation of two masted ship from the inscription of a 2nd century AD Satavahana period lead coin.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta (Based on the photographs provided by the Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy))
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Block of 4 Se–tenant Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolor
Denomination : 500, 500, 500 & 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.8 Million each
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- A Naval Fleet Review is a long-standing tradition followed by navies all over the world. It is a grand occasion when every operational ship is spruced up, proudly displaying its crest and its company in a spirit of loyalty and allegiance to the country. The idea of a Review was perhaps conceived as a show of naval might or an inspection of readiness for battle at sea. It still has the same connotation, but assembling of warships for peaceful purposes is now the norm in modern times. Later reviews were used as a celebratory demonstration for victories in battle or for other special occasions. Sometimes ships have sailed across the seas to participate in fleet reviews of friendly nations. These reviews inspired the sailors to avow their allegiance to their country and preserve its sovereignty. It is indeed a strong bond which links seafarers of the world and often follows exactly the same drill even on different continents.
- Post independence, traditionally, the President, as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces reviews the Fleet once during his tenure. In this most formal of naval ceremonies, ships, submarines and aircrafts from all the Naval Commands, ships from the Indian Coast Guard and vessels from the merchant navy (during war/adversities, some of the merchant ships also join to support the Naval effort in fighting the enemy), are ceremonially dressed up with families embarked, and anchored in lines at the precise spot allotted to them. After a 21 gun salute, the President embarks on the Presidential yacht, distinguishable by the Ashoka emblem on her side and reviews all the ships by cruising past them. Each ship is manned by her ship’s company, dressed in sparkling white ceremonial uniforms. In a moment that stands still in time, white caps are doffed in unison in a grand salutation. The resounding sound of three “jais” echoes over the waves, carrying the promise of the allegiance of each and every sailor and officer to the Nation and the President, their Supreme Commander. It is this bond that will carry them through the adversity of war and make the supreme sacrifice, if needed.
- The present Fleet Review, which is the 9th review, is being held on the East Coast for the first time, all earlier being off Mumbai on the West Coast. The last was an International Fleet Review in 2001 in which, 97 warships and submarines including 24 foreign Navy ships and one submarine and fly past by 56 aircrafts, paid their mark of respect to the then President of India, Dr. K.R. Narayanan. For the present Review, all the ships, submarines and vessels will be anchored in the Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam harbour and will be reviewed by President APJ Abdul Kalam on 12 Feb 2006.
- Text: Material provided by the Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy).