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Story Of A Naval Aviator - My Experience With Indian Navy

Discussion in 'The Officers Mess' started by vstol jockey, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    In every military force, all over the world over, A Second Lt with a compass and Map is considered the most dangerous thing in the world. What he will do and what it can result in, can have devastating consequences for the world.
    NOW imagine a bunch of cadets with a compass and a map trying to find their way. In NDA as second termer we had to go for "Camp Green Horn". It was a training exercise to check our ability to navigate and live in a jungle environment. India has chosen its official stamp from the four lions of Sarnath. Well we have a single pole with four different lions facing in four directions. We were taught basic navigation using maps with the help of a compass. Shockingly for most of us, we came to know that north is not JUST north. We had five kinds of NORTH-True north, Magnetic North, Compass North, Grid North and a North accepted by majority as real North. The great Indian Democracy had taken roots even in our armed forces where the NORTH was decided by majority. it was immaterial if North meant South as long as majority supported it.

    There are many hill features around NDA which were perfect testing grounds for idiots like us who had a very individualistic approach to NORTH. Mind you, we were very emotional about our individual NORTH. We went for the camp as second termers and our route navigation exercises started. Everyone of us wanted to be a navigator of the course. We had frequent verbal fights. We chose our first navigator based on Great Indian democracy with majority of army guys choosing one of my coursemates from Rewari who later joined 4th Raj Rif to lead us. we reached no where. we were miles away from our actual point and suddenly everyone realised that Democracy is not best way to select a leader. I had been a pilot before joining NDA and if you can navigate an aircraft, you can never go wrong in navigation. The IAF cadets, Naval cadets and majority of Army cadets now made me the navigator. I took them to every point as given by our directing staff. The NORTH was no more subject to democracy but based on reasoning. The last point was a lone tree. I navigated my team to the exact tree. But there was no one. Again a democratic verbal duet started and I was called a guy who was good as a fluke as a navigator. We had lot of verbal arguments in chaste Indian languages. Suddenly we heard the crackle of an RT set. We looked up and found our directing staff sitting atop the tree. All my life all was told that keep your eyes on the GROUND ahead of you. For the first time I realised that You need to keep even the sky above you under your watch to be a good service Officer.
     
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  2. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    This is beyond brilliant. That book needs to be written, Sir.



    On a completely different, whimsical note:
    Corbett wrote that leopards were brilliant at merging with the background - their camouflage is part of the package! - but for one fatal failing; they never figured out that their tail, hanging down from an apparently uninhabited branch, gave the game away.
     
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  3. Vidyanshu

    Vidyanshu Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    @vstol jockey Sir, both your experience and narration are brilliant. Keep going. Waiting for further posts:cheesy::cheesy:
     
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  4. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    The bathrooms are designed in two parts, first part has many wash basins for us to shave and brush our teeth. The second part has a big central washbasin, on its three sides are fully enclosed W/Cs and the fourth side had showers arranged in a line about 8-10 of them with no curtain/divider between them. One of the punishments in NDA was that alternate showers wud have cold and hot water coming from them and we were asked to roll under them. So we used to get alternatively hot and cold treatment.
     
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  5. Inactive

    Inactive Guest


    It's a commune bath ..... just like in Hollywood movies :azn:

    Now the humor in that is not apparent for the masses ... good one sir!!!!!:dance3:
     
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  6. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    In NDA, friendships between seniors and Juniors are based on either the school you have studied or the place you come from or your caste or religion. Its called being a PAL. Most second termers wud go and relax in the rooms of their PALs to avoid the ragda routines. NDA follows the dictum of collective responsibility. Irrespective of who makes a mistake, whole course within the sqn has to undergo punishment. We had a classic character from Orissa in our course. The biggest idiot who wud make one after another mistakes and wud never turn up for ragda. Very surprisingly, all oriyas, & Bongs are pals even though they are still fighting to claim the "Rosogulla". But in NDA they were pals. This guy wud run away to some bong or oriya after creating chaos while we all had to suffer. We tried everything from advising him to threatening him and also finally executing our threat but this guy wud not improve his ways. On top of that he was a naval cadet and rest of us Naval cadets were shit scared of him as we knew his ability to create a problem where no one can. And we used to fear what will he do when we started our sea training. Thankfully he joined engineering after NDA and we saw the last of him.
    During Camp Green horn, we are given just one bottle of drinking water for the day with just one litre of water. The route marches are long and in end March the heat is terrible in Pune. He wud throw his water away to lessen his load or drink it in no time. After that, he will ask rest of us for water when he felt thirsty. In NDA you can ask your coursemate for your life which he might readily give but water----------- well pls don't even dare.
    We decided to teach him a lesson and told him that he will have to take a slap from each of us, if he needed water. He learnt his lesson and started conserving his water. Laaton kay bhoot, baton say nahin maantay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  7. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Nothing much happened in second term and we moved to third term. I now became an overstudy and I had two second termers to TEACH. I never liked the way we spent our time and the way my overstudy treated me, so I took a vow that I will never trouble my juniors and I have followed it till date. I used to give them proper briefing, give them time, ask them their difficulties and helped them overcome them. But never resorted to oft repeated sentence of NDA-Go and Find out. In Third term I also went for selection for NDA football team and got selected in my fav position of centre full back.
    Can you play a game after having a warm up which was more than the duration of the game itself? Well it happens in NDA. We were made to do a warm up for 90mins and after that the selection started. But strange and very well tried are the ways of NDA. In my fifth term as Captain of NDA football team, we managed to beat a very technically sound and professional side by our sheer stamina.
    On the lighter note, as coursemates we don't have to knock on our coursemates door to enter his room. In third term, one of my coursemate was busy in khud-khushi and two of us barged in and caught him in the act. His reaction was very very funny. But my other coursemate noticed that he was a righty who was using his left hand so he questioned him about it. Guess what was his reply?
    he said when you use your left hand, it gives you a feeling that someone else is doing it to you so its more fun. We went mad laughing and told this to rest of our coursemates. Next day the guys were on his side and vouching for him. Seems he had given a new dimension to sexual release to all the tharkies of NDA. this shud tell you why our armed forces are so innovative.
     
  8. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    My Tryst with SAHIBA

    In NDA nearly every thing is named after the private parts of man & woman and they can use nearly anything to turn it into a torture tool. Our doors had a grill above them with 15 cross rows. The topmost that you can hold is fourteenth, So as a punishment we were told to hang by them starting from seventh heaven-seventh grill to fourteenth heaven. And that was bloody painful as those thin wires caused extreme pain to our fingers.
    The equestrian lines somehow had a main door which resembled the private part of a woman. So it was named after a very famous heroine of our times. In my fourth term, I was doing very well in every field including horse riding. My riding Saabs had lot of faith in my riding ability as I was already doing bare back riding and lane jumping. At the end of fourth term, we undergo a "Spurs Check". These are those small things you see master riders wear at the back of their shoe.
    A Horse does walk, trot, canter and Gallop. For each of these motions, the horse uses its legs in different ways and the rider has to adjust himself accordingly. But for Gallop, it is important that you rise above your saddle and ride the horse with you thighs and kneeled forward. Maintaining your CG w.r.t horse is very important to ride it correctly. NDA has lot of uneven ground around its equestrian lines and we used to practice riding in those pits. Some new horses/mares who were young and had still not been mated and had the habit of kicking, had a red ribbon tied to its tail. In one of my riding classes, I was asked to ride a new mare called Sahiba. She had just turned six years which was like a woman of about 27 yrs of age. Nearly every horse used to like her. My fav mount Deepak was taken away by one of the officers for riding with his wife. Sahiba had this red ribbon on her tail. As I patted her and caressed her, I felt something funny about its eyes. They were full of naughtiness and contempt. But I was sure of handling her due to my riding abilities or was I over confident? I adjusted the saddle and rode her to those pits. And I started forcing her against to do what I wanted. In one of the steep descends followed by climb at gallop, she just stopped dead on reaching the top of climb. I was bent forward to maintain my CG and her sudden stop, gave me no time to react. I overflew her, landed right in front of her on my bum and, she jumped over me to run away. Everyone who saw this laughed at me and I was in terrible pain as my spine had taken all the shock of the fall. In NDA, if you fall of from a horse, you have to go on your feet to fetch it back and ride it again. This mare was in a mood to have fun with me. it wud stand at one place and as I neared it, it will run away. I spent nearly an hour trying to catch her and finally asked one of my riding Saabs for his horse to catch. With a new mount and chaabuk in my hand I cornered her, jumped on her and took control of her while still holding the other horse in my hand. Came back, handed over the horse back to my riding instructor and kept the chaabuk with me.
    I took her back to those pits and hammered her nicely till she was sweating and started behaving as per my wishes. The beating and ragda I gave her, made her fall in line. I finally took her to lane jumping and she showed the strength better than most horses. BUT my back was paining like hell. And I had seen many a guys fall from horses, break their limbs, become medically unfit, only to be thrown out from NDA. I decided to give up on horse riding. I had joined NDA to be a fighter Pilot and not to ride horses. I have only one message for all members,
    Females of all species are dangerous compared to their male counterparts, Younger they are, more they take you for a ride. If you love riding and enjoy it, look for experienced one-it is true in more than one way and for more than one species.
     
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  9. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Camp Rovers
    This camp holds the notorious record in most record books of the world for being the toughest training exercise Undertaken by non professional soldiers in the world. AND I will explain to you why. It is particularly hell for guys who join in summers and rather easy for guys who join in winters.
    NDA has its calendar of activities. Camp Green Horn for second termers takes place in March/Oct, Camp Rovers for fourth termers takes place in April/November and Camp Trishakti for sixth termers takes place in May/December.
    The Tantya fields as we called the land in Pune, starts receiving pre-monsoon showers and orographic rainfall due to western ghaats in end April. Camp Rovers is a re-enactment of Chindits of Gen. Wavell of WW-2 in Burma. We carry every thing with us to survive for 7 days including food. There are no replenishments. Only water is given and that too at such a place that to win the trophy, you will give up on water to ensure that you are not delayed which can cost you points. The camp starts with an approach route march of 70 kms with full FSMO and bada bhai-Field service march order and Bada bhai+ Rifle+LMG+Stretcher with a total weight of nearly 40 kgs. FSMO is our battle gear, bada bhai is our biggest bag which contains our food, Bivouac pitching equipment, food and other things. The water bottle was slung on one side and chota bhai on the other while this huge pack called bada bhai was carried on our backs. The game starts in the morning with first co-ordinates of the route march being given to each sqn. The sqns are let out with an interval of 10 mins. and the time taken to complete the whole exercise including return to base after seven days, decides the winner. In my second term, My coursemates found that my North was the North which they cud safely rely upon and so for this camp I was DECLARED the Navigator.
     
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  10. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    We started the route march as third sqn. Like every other sqn we also ran as long as we cud and finally started speed march which is a combination of running and brisk walk. But after our first point of reporting, we had the second point which was across a horse shoe valley and we were at one of its tips. I suggested that instead of following the contour of the hill and maintain our height, we shud go down across the valley and climb up. Once again the mad debate started. But this time I was prepared and I told my guys that we can gain about 20 minutes if we did as per my calculations. As you may remember my North was accepted by everyone as correct North, so they accepted my calculations and agreed to follow my navigation. We beat the other two sqns who had started before us by five minutes. Finally we reached the camp area much before any other sqn. My coursemates lifted me up and tossed me up. After that the Bivouac pitching competition started. each bivouac is carried by three guys which includes the sheets, poles and associated equipment and each of them must have anti-snake pit with it of 18"wide and 18" deep dug around it. We won that also. Now a word went out in NDA that my sqn was going to win it hands down. My seniors were allowed to visit us only once to increase our moral, and they did that duty.
    The real game was to start now. Day and night route marches with frequent camping and re-routings. Night long route marches and no time to have relaxation. I lead my sqn successfully. The most unfortunate part for us was that rains started in that area. Western ghaats and tantya fields have orographic ascent and that results in lot of rainfall in the hills of western ghaats. We used to float in our Bivouacs. No sleep, no relaxation and with cloths wet always, we used to start our camp exercises. We learnt a new thing about human capabilities. We could walk while still asleep. All we need to do was touch our next guy while walking and if he turned away sharply and we had a tree to holds, we will continue walking on the spot like a blind leading a blind. We used to walk and sleep and those tantya fields with big boulders gave us enough of a chance to get our heads hammered by our SLR. For night march we had white cloth behind our back which told our guys that we are friendly. Indian 7.62mm SLR is the worst weapon you can carry. The moment you fall down, it strikes your head to tell you to wake up. In Camp Rovers, we wear Jap Caps. Its carrying handle is probably the worst as it is not harmonised with its CG, you need your first finger to balance it if you want to carry is in your arm. But It is the the most stupid and the finest weapon I have ever carried in my life. The LMG was even worse and better. As a Navigator for night route marches, I had a counter who wud count our steps and based on that we wud know where we are w.r.t our designated point. But compared to the counter, The LMG guy knew the counts better as he had to hand over the LMG to next guy. Same was the case with the guy who carried the stretcher.
     
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  11. Grevion

    Grevion Think Tank TROLL ELITE MEMBER

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    @vstol jockey why is this thread silent for the past few days??
     
  12. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Camp Rovers ended and we came second in it. I have been a boxer and also a footballer which gave me very strong thighs but also an anaerobic body. I can give out spurts of extreme energy in short bursts but can't for long distance running, I had my own pace which was not as good as others. In my course in NDA within my own squadron, I had five guys who used to finish the cross country run within the top 15. The time of arrival of first cadet decided the time factor for creating segregation of cadets based on enclosures. Two minutes for each enclosure. I always landed in fourth. But always topped the fourth enclosure as I was always the first one to enter it. Some one said its better to be a king in hell than to be a servant in heaven. I was always the lord of fourth enclosure.
    Most shocking thing I realised was that all those excellent long distance runners were useless in endurance on hills with 40kgs load. I have carried the rifle and load of guys of my squadron in NDA who later on went on to become commandos and MARCOs. In fact they dehydrated and we had to give them our own water to keep them going. If a cadet fails to complete the camp, the squadron gets negative points so we had no option but to carry these duds with us for the sake of squadron honour. I along with a guy from rewari who is now a serving Brig, used to take out the pole of stretcher and ask our week guys to hang their back packs and rifle on it and two us wud carry it all thru till they regained strength to carry those loads themselves.
    The lesson learnt was that excellent runners can only run away from battle but poor runners will need to stand and fight. All the guys from NDA till date who have got PVC were poor cross country runners. They all belonged to Royal class of fourth enclosure. Just like me. AND our Sahebs in NDA respect fourth enclosure guys more than the cross country gold medalists.
     
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  13. Kalmuahlaunda

    Kalmuahlaunda Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    how have i not seen this thread before. Goddamit
     
  14. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    After our 4th term camp, we had mid-term holidays and it was an extended holiday due to sundays on each side. I along with some of the cadets who belonged to Delhi and one cadet who belonged to Pune devised a fool proof outstanding plan to opt for bike expedition and go out. Our game was clear, Park the cycles in the house of this guy from Pune, leave all the food and chocolates at his house and visit our homes. We boarded Jhelum express and came home. Our families were shocked to see us and loved it. This also gave us that elated feeling that we have finally fooled the great Indian Army. We spent time with our families and went back to NDA. The night we landed in NDA, we had a mid night visitor and that was our senior most Divisional Officer from unlucky 13th division. Every squadron in NDA has four divisions and a Battalion has 16 divisions. Delta squadron has 13-16th division.
    I was asked to write down my experience of the bicycle hike that we undertook. I did that. Next day morning, all of us who had tried to fool the great Indian Army, were lined up before our Squadron Commander for cheating the system and behaviour unbecoming of Officer Cadets. The 13th Shani was a Maratha LI officer whom we called Bhatawadekar. That guy was a pain. Saala na toh kabhi sotaa thaa naa hee kabhi kissi ko maaf karta tha. He was ri-incarnation of Cammandant of German Concentration camp.
    One of the bicycle expeditions guy had a road accident. he was not supposed to be where he had that accident, so NDA launched an enquiry to find out how many bicycle expeditions have actually been on BICYCLES.
    We were caught as all of had a different story and also different locations which we visited in our Bicycle expedition. A total of 34 guys were condemned to Singhad Run. The Singhad fort of Marathas was the most formidable and had very steep climb. I belonged to the group which had been given that punishment after 20 courses for lying and cheating and for a behaviour un-becoming of an officer. The best part was that till you return back before sun down, you will continue to do it without respite.
    Once again, My course-mates looked at me and asked me to show the way. Our own Sahebs dreaded this as they had to follow us on their bicycles. We were given a token in Snghad fort by an officer which we had to show for having reached the return point. I had one line advice for my course-mates-We will follow the road way up and take the dangerous way down which was very steep using the trails of the locals. We were given four Singhad runs, every sunday. Everyone in my course accepted me as the leader and we completed the punishment within four Sundays. We took the downhill from the routes of old Marathas. And that saved us lot of time.
    The guy from Pune was an IAF officer and died long back while operating MIg-21Bis from Pathankot as his ejection seat was not set for separation from the heights of Leh.
     
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  15. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I have already posted what happened in fifth term. The way I led my course-mates in Singhad run became a folklore in NDA. My analysis of Battle between Alexander and Porus became a case study in NDA even for most senior officers of Army. AND they all agreed with me. My own squadron Sixth termers who were to embark on Camp -Tri-Shakti asked me to explain the reasons for my decision and that Included The head of MARCOs who assaulted Taj in 26/11. Delta Squadron sixth termers won Camp Tri-Shakti. I was now established in NDA as the Ultimate Pundit and all my course-mates started calling me Pundit. AAP MLA from Bijwasan in Delhi, Col Devinder Sherawat is my course-mate from India squadron and also one of those who did Singhad Run with me.
    In sixth term of NDA, we all stay in flanks which has just six rooms. One of them is usually kept for a second termer who takes care of sixth termers. Each flank has a name for itself. I named my Flank-Mafia Den and we five sixth termers were collectively called Mafia Dons. Our names were Jagga, Billa, Mojja, Pundit and sukka. I ensured that the second termer in my flank was treated as royal. We used to go and get his morning tea unlike what I did as a second termer. Billa died long back in Kashmir fighting tangos. Rest all are serving Brigs or equivalent.
     
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