The Training Policy Of Sri Lanka Navy
Now it is almost 68 years of service Sri Lanka Navy is having from the beginning as royal Ceylon navy.Intially the purpose of establish such kind of force is due to geographical location of our country. From its Sri Lanka Navy is doing vital service to our motherland being the first line of defense while safeguarding our territorial waters and attending most of the events based on nation’s interest. During the 30 years’ war navy has done a tremendous job to defeat LTTE war tigers with keeping greater cooperation with Sri Lanka army & Sri Lanka air force.
When it comes to the training policy of Sri Lanka Navy the main aim is to keep in full readiness to provide required assistance in the form of expertise and manpower in the time of national urgency and distress. During 30 years of LTTE war Sri Lanka Navy carried out and indispensable role to save dignity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of our motherland with available resources and technology which we armed with. After suffering very badly for 30 years, in present we are experiencing very calm & quiet situation in the country when comparing with the past. Basically we all know, comparing with other forces navy is a technical force. If we think little bit on modern technology, knowledge are we in a position to stand with those developments as a technical force?
“A senior advisory panel to United States Department of Defense (DOD) warns in a news report that current training of US military forces is inadequate to prepare troops for the demand that new electronic network and unmanned technologies will heap on them in the future “This quote has been taken from world famous defense magazine “Jane’s Defense Weekly”. Having modernized, knowledgeable, powerful US navy still thinks on how they should expand their power with modern technology. Then where we are in the world comparing with the attitudes of US and new technology. Are we still having proper mechanism, scope to train our soldiers based on real scenario of the world. When we will become as professionals of our task teams to challenge demand of the today’s world. Reality is still we are searching answers for those problems.
What is the purpose of training our soldiers? According to great famous philosopher Theodore Roosevelt once said that, it is only through work and strife that either nation or individual moves on to greatness. The great man is always the man of mighty effort, and usually the man whom grinding need has trained to mighty effort. Being the bloods of our navy we have one role and mission to achieve as one force while safeguarding our motherland. Basically it is to ensure proper maintain of our sea area according to the nation and its interest in accordance with national policies. Those achievements will gain through efforts of the training behind personnels. As per Mr. Biswajeet Pattanayak a management expert and a famous author in Management in India, “Planned programme designed to improve performance and to bring about measurable changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes and social behavior of employees for during a particular job “.The question is are we practicing such kind of sufficient training policy to train our men/women forecasting with the future.
If someone says Sri Lanka Navy is having training policy which sufficient to bare up challenges in future, he or she should think thousand time on his words. We are proud to say that Sri Lanka Navy is having more than 50 or 60 years of service to the country. We believe we have done tremendous sacrifices against 30 years LTTE war. But till the beginning to today we are having only one training institute for training our officers. After finishing LTTE war there is a tendency of increasing greater number of applicants willing to join with tri forces to become an officer. In few years back civilians also hoped that forces are to fight with enemies. That is only thing they hoped from us. But now that era has gone more far.Motherland hopes something strange outcomes, innovations from our forces. But still our training policies lagging behind with the same traditional patterns which we practiced years ago.
When a sailor recruited to a service, he or she gets his basic six months course and his branch will be decided through marks which he/she gains through exams during basic course other than for medical branch sailors and artificers. From the beginning to end of his service he or she is having some kind of an idea what he should follow or behave time to time due to same circulation of training pattern for several years. If we pay our attention on their syllabuses those are also same for several years. For an officer also they are facing to the same scenario. We are proud to say that I am fluent in navigation, seamanship, marine engineering, electrical or any kind of subjects. But most of the time we refer same PowerPoint presentation which handled by our several batches of seniors. By that can we hope professionalism through training?
When we pay more attention on this topic we can easily identify that still SL navy is having a proper path to divide branches of sailors other than medical and artificers. When a sailor put into a separate branches then he will be serving more than 20 years being with the branch. In such situations the preference of the sailors should consider first when taking such an important decision of his or her life. But today most of the times the branch will be decided by the instructors of their divisions. The capacity and ability of a person is differs from one to one. When dividing sailors for branches, those capacities should be understand with the preference of them. Otherwise after few years the sailor getting ran away due to lack of interest on his job. Still we are not having an proper mechanism for calculating efficiency management system to control their naval carrier to become a successor oneday.Through these kind of lapses he/she never become a professionalism though he served to the service ten, twenty or thirty years.
Few years back we came up with the new concept of special boat squadron to the Sri Lanka Navy. Sailors and officers were selected by after bunch of tough exercises. But in present it is limited only to a branch in the service. These sailors not having a proper path or mechanism to guide through their naval carrier. In present most of the sailors tends to attach marine branch except SBS.when we establish such kind of a branch we should have a proper target. People should trained to achieve that target within planned structured framework. Otherwise money, time and all efforts are in vain.
Today the world is changing day by day with the modern technology. Immense opportunities are being provided by technologies which play an important role in human life. The access to education, medicine, industry, transportation etc have been simplified due to modern day technology. Due to the convenience and efficiency provided by technology, our lives have improved significantly. Communication systems, navigational equipments, marine techniques and weapon systems have developed rapidly. But still we are not in a position to grab all this technology as a recognized force in the country. We still depend on the traditional T56. Once Donald Rumsfeld emphasize this idea very correctly by “our challenge in this new century is a difficult one: to defend our nation against the unknown, the uncertain, the unseen, and the unexpected”. Today Defense planners in the world cannot know precisely what kind of risks they have to avoid or fight, so that they must assure that forces can rapidly counter them by increasing their conceptual and organizational adaptability and flexibility. Such an evolution has strong implications at the procurement level, for acquired systems must be reoriented towards new missions, and new needs must be satisfied quickly.
We are highly concern on our NBCD training and exercises both in the sea and shores. Apart from that do you know there is something called CBRN? Most of us don’t have correct idea on that. World powerful countries like china, USA, japan are experimenting on those kind of inventions to increase their military weapon and overcome threats. Hiroshima-Nagasaki bomb during 2nd world war and Agent Orange attack (1955-1975) during Vietnam War are great examples for identifying the damage of CBRN attack. Due to that incident, affected families are suffering from health issues after more than several decades.
To face such kind of an incident still Sri Lanka Navy is not having proper knowledge, training or planned programme to overcome. Being Sri Lanka Navy we are here to save our motherland. But if we are not in a position to face such a modernized attack or even planned framework to counter those attacks what is the purpose of ours. We can’t counter those attack with tradional T56.we should grab the technology from the world. We should train our officers & soldiers, we should give them a proper training on those kind of aspects considering the modern technology in the world. In my point of view that will be the path for the professional navy.
Now it is almost we are lagging behind with the modernized technology. But still we are in a position to start our journey towards a professional navy if we start with a proper planned, frame worked, advanced training structures by changing traditional methods. We have the power, we have the strength if we put a right effort we can easily achieve the world. Being a still under the category of developing country we can’t do it alone. We should get the support of Asia like our neighbors of India, china and japan which considered powerful countries in the world.
Professionalism means perfect on which ever the subject area in very fluent manner. Our training schedules should change according to train our men/women to become a professional on his or her field as an expert. Still most of our examination systems are depends on the paper written exam types. But now the world believance is paper exam is not a hundred percent right thing to measure the abilities of a people. Our officers/soldiers should trained with more of practical experiments combined with theories. We should give them a time to interact with practical exposure on their training. Then they will become to know the correct way of doing whatever the thing related to his studies.
Further most of the trainees are not having a better idea why is he doing this? Why he needs to follow that theories? This mindset should change by instructors with examples. There are officers related to branches of engineering, medical, logistics, executives and etc. Through training instructors should give them a correct idea about their value to the navy and the motherland. Being an engineer in the tri forces he is considered as an engineer in the country too. There shouldn’t be a difference between a knowledge and capability of a government university studied one and military engineering on the same field. Military background can be changed but knowledge cannot be differs. Further observed that most of our officers and sailors are getting chances to attend foreign courses on various fields.
But they don’t get any chance to practice when they come to Sri Lanka to get experience those thing due to lack of facilities and technology to deal with. Due to that reason that foreign visit is considered like just a visit to another country. This thing should be changed. This a very nice chance to expose with modern military technology and share knowledge among other powerful countries. If we don’t get that exposure into our practice with their experience that visit is only a money wasting attempt. If changed that culture that will be very beneficial to standardize our force in marvelous way. Someone think that as a third world developing country we don’t have much money to contribute such kind of developments. But even we should have effort to put on these type of developments to create considering our future. That will definitely effect to improve the professionalism of our navy.
Further observation was the practice of English language limited to officers only other than very few numbers of sailors. If we focus towards a professional navy we should have greater companionship with other countries in the world. For that we should have good communication, cooperation among those countries. In my point of view English plays a major role in the path towards professional navy and standardization of training policy. English is a contact language between people who share neither a common native tongue nor a common culture, and for whom English is the chosen foreign language of communication. English is now the official or dominant language for two billion people in at least 75 countries. It has taken different forms in different parts of the world. To grab the new technology through modern mass media like internet it is the best way. Then we should more think on that and we should try more programmes to enhance English profiency of our all sailors to achieve the professionalism of Sri Lanka Navy. I think that will make huge difference between present navy and future navy.
We are the present responsible category of Sri Lanka Navy to sustain it is in operational level. Anyhow we successfully defeated LTTE war tigers and saved our motherland. But when considering the years we spent after 2009 we are lagging behind with the growth and developments of the world. We have done great mistakes by continuing our traditional way of training sessions of our officers and sailors. Now it is the time to stop this crisis otherwise we will be in a big trouble in near future. Training is the thing that can change this behavior and path of our navy to overcome those future threats. For that we have the power. We have the many more sources.
To manage those resources we should use our brain and experience to programme well-structured, profiency oriented, time framed plan to train our sailors and officers to keep standardization of world military exposure. We can’t achieve it within one or two years. We have to put much effort to do this. We should convey this message to our naval family of our officers and sailors. That feeling should come with the heart of themselves. Then it will guide nicely to a path of professional Sri Lanka Navy in all aspects competitively with the super power of the world. I think individual efforts of officers and sailors make huge development in standardization and it nicely direct to a path of turnover our navy to a challenging one with other forces in the world with available resources what we have today. Finally we should understand that the efforts come through individually of our hearts to get the outcome like as a said of Mark W Boyer “I am not smart, I pay attention. I am not considerate, I listen. I am not patient, I make time. I’m not lucky, I work hard.” When dealing with valuable time of training in our service.
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