As many as 300 cadets of the 143rd course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) concluded their three-year-long arduous training as they slowly marched past the Antim Pag — final step — at the Quarterdeck flag mast on the Khetarpal Parade Ground with the lilting tune of Auld Lang Syne played by the military band in background on Wednesday.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar was the reviewing officer of the Passing Out Parade (POP) which saw a total of 1,065 cadets, including 300 from the passing out course, participating in the parade. The passing out cadets comprised 207 Army cadets, 39 Naval cadets and 54 Air Force cadets. These included 19 cadets from friendly foreign countries — Bhutan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Mongolia and Bangladesh.
After passing out from the NDA, the cadets will head out for one more year of pre-commissioning training at the academies of their respective Armed forces – Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala located in Kannur district of Kerala, Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, and Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Telangana.
Battalion Cadet Captain Gaurav Yadav won the President’s Gold Medal for securing the first position in the overall order of merit. Academy Cadet Adjutant Sourav Sharma won the President’s Silver Medal for standing second and Cadet Quarter Master Sergeant Vivek won the President’s Bronze Medal for standing third. The Kilo Squadron bagged the prestigious Chiefs of Staff Banner for being the Champion Squadron.
As a prelude to the POP, a physical training and equestrian display was conducted at Bombay Stadium of the NDA on Tuesday. The event showcased an ensemble of 250 cadets and 72 horses.
The NDA cadets jointmanship drill involved synchronised attack exercises by Navy and Air Force followed by an infantry platoon assault and capture of enemy bunkers. The Griffin team of the elite marine Commandos performed skydiving and landed in the Bombay Stadium.
The Suryakiran Aerobatic Team of the Indian Air Force held a display in the skies above the NDA after the POP. The team, popularly known as the Ambassadors of the Indian Air Force, has the distinction of being amongst a handful of nine-aircraft formation aerobatic teams in the world. The team is led by Group Captain GS Dhillon and flies nine Hawk Mk132 aircraft, designed by British Aerospace and licence manufactured in India by HAL Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The team has completed more than 600 displays across the length and breadth of India and in several foreign countries.