In an initiative to intensify the interaction between the National Cadet Corps (NCC)and the Indian Navy, 10 NCC cadets, along with one staff member, are being provided the opportunity to sail twice a year onboard ships of the 1st Training Squadron. This is aimed not just at broadening their horizons, but also exposing them to the important diplomatic role the Navy plays in building ‘
Bridges of Friendship’ across the seas.
Accordingly, ten NCC cadets are currently embarked on ships of the Training Squadron visiting the Middle Eastern ports of Muscat, Dubai, Manama and Al Jubail between 27th September 2014 and 30th October 2014.
Making its presence in about 15,600 schools and colleges across the nation today, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) has more than 60 Naval NCC units, 38 of them in coastal states. The Naval Wing of the NCC has traditionally been supported by the Indian Navy for all its training and administrative requirements.
In another historic and interesting opportunity provided to the NCC cadets, the Navy’s Sail Training Ship, INS Sudarshini, is scheduled to visit Chennai in Nov 14 to take part in an expedition commemorating the Millennium Celebration of Emperor Rajendra Chola’s reign. The ship will provide NCC cadets short-duration sea experiences, furling and unfurling large-sized sails on tall masts, and negotiating strong sea winds off the East coast of India.
To further strengthen this connection between the NCC and the Navy, the Director General of the NCC has been requested to encourage NCC authorities at various locations to interact regularly with Command Headquarters and / or Local Naval Authorities of the Navy, and arrange for short duration sea sorties for cadets. This will provide a larger number of Naval Wing NCC cadets an exposure to the life of personnel in the Navy. Such sorties could also be undertaken on Sail Training Ships, which provide cadets a unique adventure and a memorable sea experience.
The Navy has traditionally been conducting Pre-Commission Training Courses for NCC officers at Seamanship School, Kochi. Apart from this, it organises two-week attachments annually for cadets at the Indian Naval Academy and conducts technical camps at INS Shivaji at Lonavla. Such attachments go a long way in providing cadets an exposure to the premier training establishments of the Navy.
In addition, the Navy also organises regular watermanship activities for cadets of the Naval Wing NCC, including ocean sailing expeditions, rowing, yachting, etc. Apart from the exposure to the vagaries of weather and water such activities offer, they also impart to cadets valuable lessons in building camaraderie, facing adversity, and enhancing their leadership abilities. In pursuit of this objective, the Navy makes its watermanship facilities available to NCC units, and in addition, conducts the annual regatta of the NCC at INS Chilka, a naval training establishment in Odisha.
As a regular feature, the Navy also hosts several important annual NCC camps, which include in their curriculum a sortie onboard naval ships, providing cadets valuable exposure to the rigors of a life at sea. Sea attachments and training camps are also conducted at various Commands of the Navy at least twice a year. These camps extend for durations of twelve days each, with one day of sailing onboard the Navy’s warships. These camps witness the participation of between 250 and 350 NCC cadets. Further, a ‘Nau Sainik’ camp is scheduled each year for Navy Wing NCC cadets to mark the culmination of their training. A total of approximately 590 cadets participate in these camps. The camps also include sailing onboard warships at sea.
The measures initiated by the Navy recently to reach out to the NCC will hopefully bring in greater appreciation of the sea and the Navy amongst students and NCC cadets across the nation, and instill in them a sense of pride for India’s maritime traditions and natural endowments.