Deolali: The School of Artillery, Deolali is the alma mater of all artillery men, who take pride in being called the “Gunners”.
The 13th Reunion of the Regiment of Artillery (ROAR) was organised at the School of Artillery and Artillery Centre from December 2 to 4. A large numbers of officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks, both serving and retired attended the reunion. The event concluded with a colourful function on Friday wherein the history and transition of the Indian artillery into a formidable modern artillery force was showcased through a light and sound show.
Lt Gen Arun Kumar Sahni, (UYSM, SM, VSM, ADC), GOC-in-C of South Western Command, was the chief guest on the occasion. The General spoke to the gathering “The Indian artillery has always played a crucial role in defending the nation from enemy and now the strength of artillery has been boosted with major technical enhancements,” said the officer.
Reunions have a special significance for the Armies world over, primarily to retain the bond between the serving and the retired fraternity. It also infuses a sense of pride and belonging in the organisation.
Various events were conducted as a part of the celebration, which included discussions on issues affecting, training, professional growth of individuals, innovations, adventure activities and welfare of men. The reunion also focused on honouring the martyrs from the regiment. who made the supreme sacrifice for the defence of their motherland. Lt Gen AK Sahni, along with veterans and serving officers laid wreaths at the War Memorial in Artillery Centre, Nasik Road. The veterans,who have contributed immensely towards the growth of the Army, wore their medals and on the occasion with a sense of honour and pride.
Lt Gen PR Shankar, VSM, Director General of Artillery said, “for the die-hard historical heroes, a visit to the Artillery Museum is a must”.would be both refreshing and educative. The veterans will definitely feel nostalgic when they see the Lineage Exhibition. It gives the viewer an insight into the rich and glorious history of Regiment of Artillery, each of its units, formations and training institutions,” he said.
Another exciting event of the day was the demonstrations of skills like free fall Parachute-drops, Para Motors, Powered Hang Gliding, Horse Polo, Horse Jumping and Gymnastics in the Tattoo show by the gunners.Lt Gen AK Sahni, also heard the issues of war widows and families of JCOs and jawans. He got them up to speed with the latest pension benefits. A pension sammelan was also organised to address outstanding issues.
Laser show and musical evening enthrals the audience
While the entire event was reserved for the men in uniform and their families, the light and music show organized in the evening was open to the public. A large number of people attended the show that took the audience on a tour of history of the artillery.
The show began with a unique march presented by the Jawans of Hyderabad, Nashik Road, Southern Command and Dogra Regiment. They wore specially designed LED uniforms and gave a guard of Honour to the senior officials present at the gathering. This served a complete unique visual treat for the audiences.
The journey of the Indian artillery was shown on a grand 40X20 ft LED screen in which the rare footage of the guns used during different wars was shown. It began with the guns used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and Mogal rulers and went on to describe the metal guns used by Sikh worriers in Punjab. The video clips of Brahmos, and Pinaca missiles thrilled the audience and created an atmosphere of pride and strength about Indian defence.
The light and sound show was followed by a musical evening in which singers presented popular patriotic songs from Hindi movies. War veterans also had the opportunity to interact with the younger lot and share their experience with them. The next re-union will be held in year 2020.