Marked by sheer nimbleness and practised precision, the drill showcased by personnel from the Navy’s missile and gunnery school INS Dronacharya at Fort Kochi stood out as a class act at the naval operational demonstration rehearsal as part of the Navy Day celebrations at the waterfront facing Rajendra Maidan on Saturday.

On Sunday, invitees, including Governor Nikhil Kumar, will witness the full operational demonstration at the same venue.

At the demo, the Southern Naval Command puts up on display a wide spectrum of tactical operations, platform-driven capabilities and personnel with a commendable range of skill sets. The synchronised weapon drill led by Dronacharya’s Chief Gunnery Instructor Nawal Kishore Dutta was easily the show-stealer on Saturday.

Trained by Master Chief Gunnery Instructor Nahar Singh, all 79 personnel on the show raised the bar of the drill with immaculate display of personal weapon control and astute coordination. The part where men in two files swiftly exchanged weapons as one of them walked through evoked awe and a huge applause from the spectators.

Water sports, patrol using rigid inflatable boats and fly-past by various fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters — from the ‘Albatross’ Tupelov-142 to the agile indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) — formed part of the show.

As in the previous editions, the action-filled demo had marine commandos (Marcos) blow up an enemy oil rig in a meticulously planned offensive operation. Marcos’ insertion into enemy territory and extraction using an ALH showcased the high skill of the commandos. They also demonstrated how search and seizure of hostile vessels are carried out.

The aerial display had a Seaking fly past with a jeep under-slung, but the versatile ALHs impressed yet again with their sheer manoeuvrability when they carried out low-level flying, high-speed crossing and nose-up acceleration.


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