Sailor Training Centre – INS Chilka
Introduction. INS Chilka is a premier basic training establishment for sailor of the Indian Navy and serves to impart ab-initio training to recruits by a demanding and comprehensive training regimen as can be expected in a Boot camp. The duration of the course run at INS Chilka is 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 the frequency of the course is twice a year. On an average, 3000 raw recruits are transformed into Sea Warriors each year.
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Present Day Requirements. The Indian Navy is making rapid headways in the international arena and requires sailor with technical acumen to man the highly sophisticated equipments onboard ships, submarine and aircrafts.
Sea Warrior. The term Sea Warrior has been coined at INS Chilka to impart a martial connotation in defining the men who will serve onboard ships of the Indian Navy. Accordingly, besides naval orientation and physical training, mental condition is also inviolable part of the training package. This approach of training mind, body and spirit is quintessential to yield sailors who are professionally competent, physically fit, robust and rugged in temperament and have the drive and aggressiveness to tackle challenges posed in a military life.
Mission Statement. The mission statement of the establishment is Naval orientation and training of recruits to enable accomplishment of their immediate task with self-assurance.
Training Objective. The goals that have been derived from the training objectives for this establishment are :-
(a) Acquaint with the basic orientation so as to break the trainees into the Naval way of life.
(b) Prioritised training to template the Minds & Hearts of the raw recruits to Good Order and Naval Discipline, and to live by the Navy’s Core Valves. Inculcate habits of the Honesty, Integrity, Sincerity and Commitment.
(c) Develop a trainee into a sailor with excellent military bearing. Transform the trainees to become true naval ambassadors by their exemplary conduct.
(d) Particular emphasis to English language proficiency and swimming qualification.
(e) Instil a sense of spirit-de-corps, camaraderie and team spirit by participation in troop games and to have confidence in themselves.
Service Subjects. In a short period of nine to twenty four weeks, a AA/ SSR/ MR/ NMR is exposed to the following service subjects :-
(a) NAVAL ORIENTATION: As the name suggests, the subject covers importance and Role of the Navy, Basic Command structure of the Navy, Organisation of a ship/base, Naval Code of Conduct and Discipline, Naval Divisional system, Rank structures of officers and sailors, Pay and allowances of sailors, Branches of the Navy, Types and Class of ships, Wearing of Uniforms, and commonly used naval terms just to list a few.
(b) SEAMANSHIP: Anchors and Cables, Anchor work, Types of ropes and usage, Maintenance of ropes, fenders and usage, Bends and hitches, Boat work, introduction to special evolutions such as UNREP, Towing and Jackstay.
(c) GUNNERY: The training in this filed covers Parade training which includes basic drill and rifle drill, introduction to weapon training in 5.56 INSAS, LMG, 9mm carbine, 2 Mortar, .22 rifle and HE 36 Hand Grenade. Land Fighting, sensitisation to Asymmetric Warfare and Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) are some newly introduced packages.
(d) NBCD: A trainee undergoes instruction on fire fighting and damage control equipment with practical training on a NBCD Hard and Damage Control Simulator in order to develop requisite skills on the subjects.
(e) SHIPS HUSBANDRY: The importance of hull maintenance, introduction to ships husbandry, basic methods of hull preservation and maintenance are some of the topic covered.
(f) SECURITY: Importance of Security in the present scenario, Principles of security and basic remedial measure, Custody of identity card and punishments for its loss and Basic knowledge of Roving and Static sentries.
(g) NAVAL VALUE SYSTEM: Naval Value System, Customs and Traditions of the Navy, Ceremonials at Sea, Honour Code, social etiquettes, dress and personal appearance, interpersonal relation are some of the topics covered herein. Lectures by Senior Officer, Informal interactions are also resorted to in order to equip a trainee with the moral values and social skills befitting a man in uniform.
(h) Other capsules conducted include Lookout duties, Survival at Sea, First Aid and Safety.
Academics. The syllabus of a trainee at INS Chilka covers all basic skills that a trainee would require during his tenure at sea. On the academic front, the trainee is imparted instructions in English, Physics, Maths, General Science in the case of SSRs and English, Hindi, Maths and General Knowledge in the case of MR/ NMRs. The endeavour is to bring all trainees coming from diverse educational backgrounds onto the same plane prior undergoing professional training at various schools and establishments. Artificer Apprentices are not imparted academic instructions due to the short duration of their course.
Outdoor Training. The outdoor training schedule is demanding and multifarious. It is intended to develop physical fitness, mental toughness, team work and resilience and a spirit of adventure. The various outdoor activities that trainees participate are as following :-
(a) SWIMMING. Being a Key Result Area the importance of learning swimming in the Navy cannot be over-emphasised since naval personnel undergo swimming test as part of Physical Efficiency Test (PET) and as a mandatory requirement for promotions. Every effort is made to ensure that all trainees pass out from this establishment, as a qualified swimmer. An Olympic sized swimming pool is available for this purpose. On an average only five to six percent of the recruits are swimmers during the time of their induction. The trainee are put through a well planned swimming coaching resulting in maximum no. of trainees qualifying swimming before passing out from this unit. To consolidate proficiency in swimming, continuation swimming is also provided to all qualified swimmers.
(b) PARADE AND DRILL. Parade training is a major focus area of the training curriculum at Chilka. To introduce and train the recruits in parade training in such a short time needs a concentrated effort. The trainee is thought basic drill and rifle drill as part of the parade training.
(c) PHYSICAL TRAINING. A training programme GRAPES (Graduated Advancement of Physical Efficiency Standard) has been implemented to enable the trainee to reach stipulated physical efficiency standard in a graduated manner over of 20-24 weeks.
(d) SMALL ARMS FIRING. Firing of .22 and 5.56 INSAS are part of weapon training. The trainees are also introduced to LMG, 9mm carbine, 2 Mortar, .22 rifle and HE 36 hand grenade. An inter divisional musketry championship is also conducted every term.
(e) GAMES AND SPORTS. In order to inculcate the sportsman and competitive spirit, the trainees are introduced to troop games. The various championships conducted every batch are hockey, basket ball, handball and football. Two teams are fielded by all divisions and every recruit is given an opportunity to represent his respective division in the above mentioned championship.
(f) CROSS COUNTRY. Three cross countries are held during the term. The distance run is gradually increased from 4.5 to 7 km over the cross country runs.
(g) SAILING AND BOAT PULLING. As part of adventure activity, a whaler sailing expedition from INS Chilka to the Chilka lake mouth and back covering a distance of approximately 80 kms is undertaken once every term. Besides this, recruits are also encouraged to carry out duties of helmsmen on Whalers as well as on Enterprise Class boats. The recruits are trained to handle a pulling whaler and a pulling regatta is conducted towards the end of the term, which is a keenly contested event.
(h) LAKE SWIMMING/JALTARANG. A Jal Tarang event is held every batch wherein 75% strength of trainees participates. Lake swimming from Kalijai Island to Boat pool at INS Chilka covering a distance of 3 km is another swimming event in which selected trainees participate.
(i) CAMPS. An outdoor camp JAGRAT is organized for all trainees at permanent campsite located outside the base. The camp is held in phases, each phase being of two days with 160 trainees attending the camp in a single phase. The camp is aimed at developing outdoor survival skills, esprit-de-corps, stamina, endurance and to inculcate qualities of leadership. Emphasis is laid on security of personnel, information, material and equipment. The recruits are trained in Field craft, Land Fighting and Field organisation.
(j) OBSTACLE COURSE. A challenging obstacles course with obstacles of a nautical nature such as boat boom, gangway is used for improving the agility and strength of a trainee.
(k) UNARMED COMBAT. Unarmed combat serves to hone the martial spirit and instil self defence skills. All trainees undergo training in unarmed combat in order to learn self defence techniques.
(l) ROUTE MARCHES. A route march from INS Chilka to Narayani temple, a prominent land mark in the area covering a distance of 16 kms, is conducted every Sunday.
(m) EDUCATIONAL VISITS. As part of training curriculum, one educational visit to Bhubaneswar is organized for all trainees in batches. The Trainees visit a museum, a planetarium, and an historic heritage site.
Extra Curricular Activates. For development of a well rounded personality, a trainee participates in the following :-
(a) ENGLISH/HINDI DEBATE. To improve the overall personality of the recruit’s one English and Hindi debate is conducted. Current social topics are debated. Apart from this snap talks are organized and all trainees get a chance to put up their views.
(b) QUIZ. Two quiz competitions are conducted in each term.
(c) DRAMATICS. To bring out creative talent, an inter division-dramatics competition is conducted every batch. In addition, trainees put forth an entertainment evening as part of the passing out parade functions.
Organisation. The Trainees are organized into eight divisions for the ease of administration and to bring out a competitive spirit amongst them. Each Division comprises 150 trainees and is headed by Divisional Commander of the rank of Lt/Lt Cdr .One MCPO and four to five CPO assist the Division Commander in administering the functions of the division. The divisions are named after the heroes from Indian Mythology and history.
Training Infrastructure. The establishment has a total area of 1546 acres of land and has an outer perimeter of 11 kms. To support the training activities, the following infrastructure exists in the establishment :-
OLYMPIC SIZE SWIMMING POOL. A 50 mtrs swimming pool with a diving end is available to convert a trainee into a good swimmer.
(a) ACCOMMODATION. Trainees are accommodated in five Blocks (Multi-storeyed) with a capacity of 300 each. Three blocks are shared by two divisions each and the balance blocks house one division each.
(b) DINING HALLS. The establishment has three dining hall with a capacity of 1200 for the trainees. A 53 Philips TV is positioned at each dining hall. A well equipped and modernized galley with forced ventilation and exhaust system is attached to the dining halls.
(c) CLASS ROOMS. Forty three class rooms are available for imparting class room instructions. SSRs of each division are divided into 4 or 5 classes with an average of approximately 30 trainees per class. Apart from these two language laboratories, two computer literacy centres, NBCD model room, Seamanship model room and a Physics & General Science laboratory are also available.
(d) PLAY FIELDS. The various championship conducted every batch are hockey, basket ball, volleyball, handball and foot ball. To conduct these events, INS Chilka is equipped with three foot ball ground, eight volley ball grounds, seven basket ball courts and three hockey grounds. A five year plan to convert the above mentioned fields into synthetic surfaced is in progress.
(e) WATERMAN SHIP TRAINING CENTRE. Chilka is equipped with 23 DK Whalers, 21 Enterprise class boats and 2 Kayaks. The recruits are encouraged to learn functions of helmsmen in whaler and enterprise class sailing. Chilka conducts pulling regatta and EP class sailing regatta every batch.
(f) GYMNASIUM. A modern indoor gymnasium along with weight training equipment is available for use by trainees.
(g) COMPUTER LITERACY CENTRE. Two computer literacy centres equipped with 40 computers serve to train the recruits in computers. The establishment aims at computer literacy for all trainees irrespective of their branch.
(h) LIBRARY. The ships library is equipped with 28,000 books for easy reference by the Ships Company as well as trainees. Bar coding of all the books was recently completed. The library is open to all trainees and books are issued to individual trainees.
(i) LANGUAGE LAB. There are two state of art language labs which are extensively used to ensure basic English speaking and comprehension skills among the trainees prior passing out.
(j) PHYSICS & GENERAL SCIENCE LAB. A well equipped physics laboratory serves to instruct trainees by conduct of experiments structured towards understanding certain ship borne equipment such as radar and sonar.
(k) SEAMANSHIP PRACTICAL AREA. This is used to give practical training in usage of various seamanship fittings and seamanship evolutions on board ships.
(l) DC AND FF HARD. The damage control and fire fighting hard consists of two major fire pits, three minor pits, smoke chamber and damage control simulator. The hard is used to give first hand experience on fire fighting and damage control.
(m) AN INDOOR, 22 AND OUTDOOR FIRING RANGE. A well designed miniature .22 range and a 300 metres classification range serve the purpose of providing live firing practice to trainees.
(n) DRONA SIMULATOR. An eight lane Small arms simulator is extensively used to improve the marksmanship of trainees.
(o) AUDIO VISUAL ROOM. An audio visual room, Triveni, with a seating capacity of 200 serves as a hall for screening motivation movies and lectures.
(p) AUDITORIUM. An aesthetically designed auditorium, Apsara, is the venue for screening of movies and conduct of extracurricular activities like quiz debates and dramatics.
(q) A PERMANENT CAMPSITE. A permanent campsite with hard standing for tent pitching is located a few kilometres away from the base for conduct of Camp Jagrat.
INS Chilka has the unique distinction of being the only basic training establishment of its kind amongst the three services. Unlike the Navy, the Indian Air force and Army do not have a single common ab-initio training establishment on the lines of INS Chilka. The training at INS Chilka has been evolved over the years as a legacy of the British Navy and has been continuously restructured thereafter, to meet the challenges of a technologically advanced modern navy. Towards this, the concept of training mind, body and soul to obtain a Sea Warrior with the right attitude has been adopted.
Therefore INS Chilka makes a humble beginning in the shaping of a Sea Warrior poised to undertake a long journey in his service career. The young Sea Warrior is nurtured at every stage from basic training till completion of professional training after which he is ready to undertake any challenges posed to him.
Source :- Indian Navy