Lessons learnt in UK

THREE OFFICERS from the Army Central Command have just returned from England. They went to the British Isles for an interactive exchange of training methodology and experience-sharing regarding training for engineer recruits. It?s the process that was initiated over two years ago for the mutual benefit of the armies of both the countries. The first visit was made by the delegation from here, then last year a delegation from UK visited India and now a third delegation of the Indian Army, went for five days to two centres in UK?-Minley and Chatham.
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Published on Feb 25, 2006 12:33 AM IST
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THREE OFFICERS from the Army Central Command have just returned from England. They went to the British Isles for an interactive exchange of training methodology and experience-sharing regarding training for engineer recruits. It’s the process that was initiated over two years ago for the mutual benefit of the armies of both the countries. The first visit was made by the delegation from here, then last year a delegation from UK visited India and now a third delegation of the Indian Army, went for five days to two centres in UK—-Minley and Chatham. Their session ended on February 11. The delegation from Central Command is now, back..

Brigadier SK Wadhawan, Commandant of Bengal Engineering Group & Centre, Roorkee said: “It’s about evolution”. He and two officers Colonel A Bahl and Lieutenant Colonel VK Chhikara were in UK from February 7 to February 11.

But before he shares more about the UK visit, he talks about what the BEG & Centre, Roorkee does. “The Centre is involved in creating Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR), for engineering works both—of combat and non-combat nature. Class X pass-outs are recruited at engineer recruits, then soldier training is given to them. They are given training in combat engineering and construction engineering. Combat engineering involves works related to explosives, mine handling, bridging, water supply etc during war time. While Construction engineering involves training if fourteen different trades to make them mason, electrician, carpenter etc.”

The Brigadier said: “We studied and observed their methodologies at Combat Engineering School, Minley and Construction Engineering School, Chatham of British Army. At Minley we studied methodology of conduct of engineer recruit training, distribution of training periods in various subjects, methods of monitoring of progress and performance of recruits, methods adopted for enhancing courage and toughness, team spirit of the recruits, methodology of night training, motivation training, training methods to enhance individual combat engineer skills and battle field engineer functions. On the other hand, at Chatham, we studied methodology of conduct of training for different engineer trades, facilities and infrastructure for trade training, intermediate and terminal objectives of various trades training and method of monitoring progress of students proficiency in different trades and methods of testing trade skills.”

“We observed and studied how they train and told them how we conduct our training sessions. We learnt some lessons, they learnt some lessons. But it’s not that we are just going to apply what we observed into training our human resource. The two armies have many similarities but have vast differences too.

They have all their operations overseas, they do not fight on their land. While we are totally opposite here. The strength of their army is just about 1/100th of ours,” he explained.

However, the use of technology in upgrading the skills of their recruits is one thing that fascinated Central Command officers the most.

“We too would benefit if we use technology to upgrade skills. There was another striking feature of their training system. They, for certain aspects of training and administration, are using outsourcing. Like to train a driver some outside agency can be hired.

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Monday, January 24, 2022