In the 16th century AD, Bombay was an archipelago of seven marshy islands which were leased by the King of Portugal, who got possession of the island from Gujarat monarchy in 1534, to his compatriot Garcia de Orta, a famous botanist-physician in 1548. He built a wooden permanent structure called Manor House, which was the first modern construction of Bombay. The re-built Manor House in INS Angre, today, is the seat of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. During the early times, the area around the Manor House consisted of a sea front wall and four guns mounted on it and it became known as the Castle Barracks. The British became the masters of the islands of Bombay when the Portuguese gave them in dowry to his Majesty King Charles II for the marriage of Catherine of Braganza, of Portugal and the Manor House officially became the seat of power of the British Empire in 1665. The islands of Bombay came into the possession of the East India Company on September 23, 1668. The Company shifted its headquarters from Surat to Castle Barracks in 1686. In 1830, the naval ensign then known as the ‘Company Jack’ was hoisted on the Castle for the first time when the Bombay Marine was re-designated as the Royal Indian Navy. In 1940, the Castle was commissioned as HMIS Dalhousie and renamed as INS Dalhousie on January 26, 1950. The establishment was renamed as INS Angre on September 15, 1951 in the honour of great Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre. Even after more than four centuries, the Castle Barracks still retains some of the original structures and relics.
INS Angre, is the shore based logistics and administrative support establishment of the Western Naval Command. This establishment carries out the duties and functions of the base depot ship for the Command. The establishment is also known as the Naval Barracks and provides multifarious facilities to all ships and units based at Mumbai. The Commanding Officer of this establishment is also known as the COMBRAX (Commodore Naval Barracks), who exercises full jurisdiction over the Naval properties at south Mumbai and carries out the functions of the Station Commander, South Mumbai. INS Angre is like a mother ship which controls and oversees the functioning of a wide array of diverse units and facilities. Some of the allied units of Angre are listed below:-
- WNC (O) Mess.
- Indian Naval Sailors Home ‘Sagar’.
- All accommodation built for Sailors in Navy Nagar at South Colaba.
- All accommodation built for Naval Officers in NOFRA at South Colaba.
- Command Swimming pool in South Mumbai.
- Naval Transport Pool
- Schools such as Naval KG, Little Angles I, II, III, IV and Kendriya Vidyalaya I.
- Station Cdr ECHS (Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme) Headquarters, Angre.
- Hostels such as Naval Girls Hostel, Boys Hostel, Working Women’s Hostel and Widows Hostel.