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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Close Combat-3 | Jungle Camp: 12 minutes, 22 obstacles & a trigger-happy climax

 Photos: Altaf Hussain in special
arrangement with MLIRC
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Belgaum: For the recruits of Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre (MLIRC), the training at the Jungle Camp is one experience they will carry all through their lives. Situated 25 km from heart of the city, Rohideshwar Camp (Jungle Camp) is one of the premier training facilities for the recruits with the settings similar to that of a jungle. The camp acts as a perfect platform for the recruits to fine-tune their jungle craft.
There are 22 obstacles laid out in a span of 1.2 km and each recruit will have to clear them under a simulated condition, in the minimum possible time. Some of the obstacles are: Burma bridge, Spider web, Tarzan swing, Hand and Foot bridge, 10-feet wall, Tiger jump and a nine-feet ditch with fire. The bonding among the group was visible, when Express was taken through a demonstration by 15 recruits. Some were seen using their rifles to pull out their buddies, while doing the Barrel Crawl and the wire obstacle.
“Every recruit has to clear these obstacles within 12 minutes, without missing any single point. During their 34-week training, the recruits have to undergo a 15-day capsule at the Jungle Camp, which culminates with a 22 km speed march. Here the recruits are tested for their endurance and team spirit. During the speed march, a recruit will have to may have to bear the load of others, or even carry a buddy who might have got injured,” says Col Tushar S Bhakay, Deputy Commandant, MLIRC.
The Army officials at MLIRC say that the Jungle Camp is the grand finale of the rigours 34-week training. “It is here that a recruit is taught the basic concepts of ambush, patrolling, night navigation and two-sided defence exercises. He gets to learn these basics by actually performing them on ground. We also ensure that, at the end of the day, he draws certain important lessons and also the mistakes that he made, which are made known to him so that they are not repeated, “ says Maj Yogesh Dhumal, Training Company Commander, MLIRC.
After negotiating the obstacles and when the heartbeat is running high, the recruits are to immediately engage the different types of targets at the firing range, located at 200-meter distance. The targets are moving, static and rotating, again testing the concentration and skills needed to take on them. Each platoon is given adequate number of ammunition to engage the targets within a stimulated time.
This correspondent was also given a chance to fire at square plates with 10 rounds with the instruction to clear each target with one bullet. “During this firing practice, given the limited time, one has to carefully choose his target and not waste his ammunition,” says Maj Yogesh, who was seen hitting the target with every shot.
To be continued 
(Copyright@The New Indian Express)

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