Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, will be the Chief Guest, and the Reviewing Officer of the POP

New Delhi: The passing out parade (POP) of the first batch of Agniveers recruited under the Defence Ministry’s Agnipath Scheme will be held today at INS Chilka. Traditionally, conducted in the morning hours, this “historic POP is scheduled to be conducted post-sunset, a first of its kind in the Indian Armed Forces,” the Defence Ministry said.

The POP will mark the successful completion of training of close to 2,600 Agniveers, including 273 women Agniveers, undergoing training at Chilka in Odisha, the release said.

This first batch of Agniveers also includes those Agniveers (men and women) who were part of the Indian Navy Republic Day Parade contingent on the Kartavya Path on January 26 this year.

“As part of their transformation to sea warriors, the Agniveers underwent 16 weeks of ab initio training at INS Chilka, the premier sailors’ training establishment of the Indian Navy,” it said.

The training at INS Chilka encompassed academic, service, and outdoor training, based on the core Naval values of duty, honour, and courage, it said, adding that the successful trainees would be deployed on frontline warships for their sea training.

The Agnipath Scheme was launched by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three Service chiefs of the Indian armed forces on June 14, 2022.

Live streaming of the POP will take place on Indian Navy’s YouTube channel and Instagram page, as well as on the Doordarshan Network, it said.

“The POP is a momentous occasion for the trainees and a proud moment for their families. This is the first-ever passing out of the Agniveers from any training institution of the country post successful completion of ab initio training – a significant landmark towards a new beginning for the armed forces and the bation,” the release stated.

Vice Admiral M A Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command would also be present on the occasion along with other senior naval officers and dignitaries.

The event would also be attended by Rajya Sabha MP and acclaimed Indian athlete PT Usha and former Indian cricket team captain Mithali Raj, officials said.