Admiral Lanba, is a Navigation and Direction specialist who has served as the navigation and operations officer onboard numerous ships in both the Eastern and Western Fleet. His nearly four decades of experience include tenures at sea, ashore at various Headquarters, operational and training establishments as well as tri-services institutions. His sea tenures include command of INS Kakinada, a specialised Mine Counter Measure Vessel, INS Himgiri, the indigenous Leander Class Frigate, INS Ranvijay, a Kashin Class Destroyer and INS Mumbai, the indigenous Delhi Class Destroyer. He has also been the Executive Officer of the Aircraft Carrier, INS Viraat and the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet.
Admiral Lanba’s career has been enriched with his vast experience at sea, training, operational and tri-services tour of duty both within India and with international navies. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and Royal College of Defence Studies, London.
As a Training Officer at the National Defence Academy, Directing Staff at the College of Defence Management and as the Commandant of the National Defence College, Admiral Lanba has been deeply engaged with professional training, shaping future leadership and skilling of the officers of the Indian Armed Forces. Whilst being part of the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation at the Local Workup Team (West), he sharpened the combat skills of ships of the Western Naval Command.
On elevation to the Flag rank, Admiral Lanba has held several significant assignments in the Navy. He was responsible for transformation in training methodology for the future Indian Navy as the Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command. The Admiral thereafter, took on the mantle of the Flag Officer Sea Training, where he ushered changes to enhance battle effectiveness of ships and rationalised combat manning onboard. Later, he took over Command of the vital Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area as the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area and implemented significant coastal security initiatives along with multiagency coordination mechanisms that have since ensured safe seas and coastal areas.
On promotion to Vice Admiral, he has been the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, thereafter took over as the Commandant of the National Defence College. In his capacity as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, the Admiral streamlined the framework for transformation of the Navy’s combat capabilities and infrastructure development as well as Tri-Service initiatives towards integration and jointness.
Prior to taking over as the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Lanba has been the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern and Western Naval Commands, wherein he provided impetus to training and skill development, synergising combat operations, coastal security and safety, and infrastructure development along the Western Seaboard and in the Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands.
The Admiral is a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Vishist Seva Medal for meritorious service, and is also the Honorary Aide-De-Camp to the President of India. He took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee on 01 January 2017.
Admiral Sunil Lanba is married to Reena. The couple is blessed with Moneesha and Sukriti, their daughters and Adhiraj, their son.