INS Chilka is the Indian Navy's premier basic training institution, providing recruits with ab-initio training through a demanding and thorough training program similar to that of a Boot camp. The course lasts nine weeks for Artificer Apprentices/DEDH, fifteen weeks for NMERs (MR- Matric Recruits/NMR (Non-Matric Recruits), and twenty-four weeks for SSR (SSR- Senior Secondary Recruits Entry), and it is held twice a year at INS Chilka. Every year, hundreds of fresh recruits are turned into Sea Warriors.
The word "Sea Warrior" was invented at INS Chilka to give the men who would serve on board ships of the Indian Navy a martial connotation. As a result, in addition to naval orientation and physical training, mental fitness is an essential component of the training package. This holistic approach of training the mind, body, and spirit is important for producing sailors who are technically skilled, physically fit, resilient, and rugged in temperament, as well as having the motivation and aggression to meet the challenges of military life.
The establishment's mission statement is to provide naval orientation and preparation to recruits so that they can confidently complete their immediate assignment.
The training aims to improve your skills. The following are the priorities that have been extracted from this establishment's training objectives:
- To ease the trainees into the Naval way of life, familiarize them with the basic orientation.
- Prioritized instruction to instill Good Order and Naval Discipline in the minds and hearts of the recruits, as well as to live by the Navy's Core Valves. Instill the values of honesty, integrity, sincerity, and commitment in your children.
- Develop a trainee into a capable sailor with a strong military presence. By demonstrating exemplary conduct, the trainees will be transformed into true naval ambassadors.
- The ability to communicate in English and the ability to swim are particularly important.
- Participation in troop games instills a sense of spirit-de-corps, camaraderie, and team spirit, as well as faith in themselves.
AA/ SSR/ MR/ NMR is exposed to the following service subjects over nine to twenty-four weeks:
- Naval Orientation: As the name implies, the subject covers the importance and function of the Navy, the Navy's basic command structure, the organization of a ship/base, the Naval Code of Conduct and Discipline, the Naval Divisional system, the Rank Structures of Officers and Sailors, Pay and Allowances of Sailors, Navy Branches, Types and Classes of Ships, Wearing of Uniforms, and commonly used naval terms, to name a few.
- Seamanship: Anchors and Cables, Anchor Work, Rope Types and Applications, Rope Maintenance, Fenders and Applications, Bends and Hitches Job on the boat, as well as introductions to special evolutions like UNREP, Towing, and Jackstay.
- Gunnery: Parade training, which involves basic drill and rifle drill, introduction to firearm training in 5.56 INSAS, LMG, 9mm carbine, 2 Mortar,.22 rifle, and HE 36 Hand Grenade are all covered in this area. Land Fighting, Asymmetric Warfare Sensitization, and Low-Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) are some of the latest sets.
- NBCD: A trainee receives lessons on firefighting and damage control equipment, as well as hands-on experience on an NBCD Hard and Damage Control Simulator, to gain the necessary skills.
- Ships Husbandry: Topics discussed include the value of hull repair, an introduction to ship husbandry, and simple hull protection and maintenance methods.
- Security: The Importance of Security in the Current Situation, Security Principles, and Basic Remedial Measures Basic knowledge of roving and static sentries, as well as the custody of an identification card and the consequences of losing it.
- Naval Value System: Subjects discussed include Naval Value System, Navy Customs and Traditions, Ceremonies at Sea, Honour Code, social etiquettes, dress and personal appearance, and interpersonal relationships. Senior Officer's lectures, in order to equip a trainee with the fundamental values and social skills befitting a man in uniform, informal interactions are often used. Lookout duties, Survival at Sea, First Aid, and Safety are among the other capsules that have been completed.
A trainee's syllabus at INS Chilka covers all of the fundamental skills that a trainee would need during his time at sea. In terms of academics, SSRs receive instruction in English, Physics, Maths, and General Science, while MR/ NMRs receive instruction in English, Hindi, Maths, and General Knowledge. The aim is to get all trainees from different educational backgrounds into the same level before they begin professional training at various schools and institutions. Owing to the limited length of their course, Artificer Apprentices do not receive academic instruction.
The schedule for outdoor training is demanding and varied. It aims to promote physical fitness, mental toughness, teamwork, endurance, and an adventurous spirit. The following are some of the outdoor events in which trainees participate:
- Swimming: As a Key Result Area, the value of learning to swim in the Navy cannot be overstated, as naval personnel must pass a swimming test as part of their Physical Efficiency Test (PET) and as a prerequisite for promotions. Every effort is made to ensure that all trainees graduate as trained swimmers from this facility. For this reason, an Olympic-sized swimming pool is available. Just around 5% to 6% of recruits are swimmers at the time of their induction. Until passing out of this unit, the trainees are placed through a well-planned swimming program that results in the maximum number of trainees qualifying in swimming. Both eligible swimmers are also provided with continuation swimming to help them maintain their swimming proficiency.
- Parade and Drill: Parade preparation is a major component of Chilka's training program. In such a short time, it takes a concerted effort to implement and train the recruits in parade preparation. As part of the parade preparation, the trainee is taught basic drills and rifle drills.
- Physical Training: A training program called GRAPES (Graduated Advancement of Physical Efficiency Standard) has been put in place to help trainees meet the required physical efficiency standard in a graduated manner over 20-24 weeks.
- Mall Arms Firing: Part of firearm training includes firing.22 and 5.56 INSAS rifles. LMG, 9mm carbine, 2 Mortar,.22 rifle, and HE 36 hand grenade are also presented to the trainees. Every word, an inter-divisional musketry championship is held.
- Games and Sports: The trainees are exposed to troop games to instill a sense of sportsmanship and competition. Hockey, basketball, handball, and football are among the numerous championships held each batch. All divisions field two teams, and each recruit is allowed to represent his division in the aforementioned championship.
- Cross Country: During the term, three cross-country races are held. Over the cross country races, the distance is steadily increased from 4.5 to 7 kilometers.
- Sailing and Boat Pulling: A whaler sailing expedition from INS Chilka to the Chilka lake mouth and back, covering a distance of approximately 80 km, is conducted once per term as part of the adventure activity. Aside from that, recruits are encouraged to take on the role of helmsman on Whalers and Enterprise Class vessels. The recruits are taught how to operate a pulling whaler, and at the end of the term, a pulling regatta is held, which is a hotly contested affair.
- Lake Swimming/JalTarang: Every batch, a Jal Tarang event is held in which 75 percent of the trainees participate. Another swimming event in which chosen trainees participate is a 3 km lake swim from Kalijai Island to the Boat Pool at INS Chilka.
- Camps:JAGRAT, an outdoor camp for all trainees, is held at a permanent campsite outside the base. The camp is divided into stages, each lasting two days and attracting 160 trainees in a single period. The camp aims to learn outdoor survival skills, esprit-de-corps, strength, endurance, and leadership qualities. Personnel, documents, content, and equipment protection are all prioritized. Field art, land fighting, and field organization are all taught to the recruits.
- Obstacle Course: A daunting obstacle course with nautical obstacles such as a boat boom and a gangway is used to improve a trainee's endurance and strength.
- Unarmed Combat: Unarmed combat is used to develop the warrior spirit and teach self-defense. All trainees receive unarmed combat instruction to practice self-defense techniques.
- Route Marches: Every Sunday, a route march is held from INS Chilka to Narayani temple, a prominent landmark in the city, covering a distance of 16 km.
- Educational Visits: One educational visit to Bhubaneswar is arranged for all trainees in batches as part of the training curriculum. The Trainees go to a museum, a planetarium, and a historic landmark.
A trainee engages in the following activities to build a well-rounded personality:
- English/Hindi Debate: One English and Hindi debate is held to boost the overall personality of the recruits. Current social issues are discussed. Aside from that, snap talks are held, and all trainees are allowed to express their opinions.
- Quiz: Each term, two quiz competitions are held.
- Dramatics: Every batch, an inter-division drama competition is held to bring out artistic talent. In addition, as part of the handing out parade activities, trainees put on an entertaining evening.
The Trainees are divided into eight divisions for administrative convenience and to foster a competitive spirit among them. Each Division has 150 trainees and is led by a Divisional Commander with the rank of Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander. The Division Commander is assisted in administering the division's duties by one MCPO and four or five CPOs. The divisions are named after Indian mythological and historical heroes.
The Indian Air Force and Army, unlike the Navy, do not have a single common ab-initio training establishment like INS Chilka. The training at INS Chilka has developed over time as a legacy of the British Navy, and it has been constantly restructured to meet the challenges of a technologically advanced modern navy. To this end, the philosophy of mind, body, and soul preparation has been embraced to produce a Sea Warrior with the proper attitude.
As a result, INS Chilka makes a modest start in the development of a Sea Warrior ready to embark on a long journey in his service career. From basic training to completion of advanced training, the young Sea Warrior is nurtured at every point until he is ready to face every obstacle.
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