Meet our Commandos…..!

Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri from Pexels

India has many special forces ( SF ). The three branches of Indian armed forces have special forces units. There are other special forces which are operated by the civilian organization. Small groups from the military SF units are deputed in the Armed Forces Special Operations Division, which has a unified command and control structure. Research and Analysis Wing, the external Intelligence agency of India, has separate special forces under its control, namely the Special Group and the Special Frontier Force.

  • Para commandos :
    • The Indian Army has 7 units that are a part of a larger parachute regiment. This unit was created in June 1966 in the aftermath of the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war. An impromptu commando unit called Meghdoot Force, which took part in the 1965 war, formed the first nucleus of the permanent Para commando battalion which was to be raised under the Parachute Regiment. By 1969, the unit had grown into 2 battalions, viz. the 9 Para and the 10 Para. The unit’s first combat missions were conducted during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war in which they undertook raids against Pakistan’s military. They are trained to carry out intelligence collection subversion and sabotage of vital enemy infrastructure and communication through deep penetration and surgical strike behind enemy lines. In 2002, the 2 Para (SF) participated in Operation Khukri in Sierra Leone to rescue 223 soldiers of the Indian Army’s 5/8 Gorkha Rifles who were deployed as UN peacekeepers but were surrounded by militants from the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone. Some of the later reported missions carried out by Para (SF) include the 2016 ′Surgical Strikes′ and the 2015 Operation Hot Pursuit, purportedly undertaken inside Myanmar.
    • The list of PARA (SF) Battalions is as follows:
      1. 1 PARA (SF)
      2. 2 PARA (SF)
      3. 3 PARA (SF)
      4. 4 PARA (SF)
      5. 9 PARA (SF)
      6. 10 PARA (SF)
      7. 11 PARA (SF)
      8. 12 PARA (SF)
      9. 21 PARA (SF)
  • MARCOS ( Marine Commandos ) :
    • The special force unit of Indian Navy, is modelled on the US Navy SEALS. It was established in 1987. Months after their creation, MARCOS were deployed in Sri Lanka against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in July 1987. 
    • Some main operations of MARCOS:
    • 1. Operation Tasha (1991) against the LTTE,
    • 2. Operation Zabardust (1992) against a ship that was smuggling arms,
      3. In support of the United Nations in Somalia (1993),
      4. Participated in 1999 Kargil War,
      5. MARCOS had participated in efforts against the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
    • After a 10 week long basic training, MARCOS are sent to train alongside Indian Army’s Para commandos for 3 weeks. Advanced training follows, during which MARCOS learn skills such as sky-diving, weapons training, counter-insurgency, languages and warfare in different terrains, among other things. Each MARCOS squad, called Prahar, is composed of 8 soldiers.
  • Garud Commando force :
    • The Garud commandos are the special forces of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Their tasks include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, providing security to IAF’s vulnerably located assets and various air force-specific special operations. First conceived in 2002, this unit was officially established on February 6, 2004. It gets it name from Garuda ( A Hindu mythological God/bird ) .

      All Garuds are volunteers who are imparted a 52-week basic training, which includes a three-month probation followed by special operations training, basic airborne training and other warfare and survival skills. The last phase of basic training sees Garuds been deployed to get combat experience. Advanced training follows, which includes specialised weapons training.
  • Special frontier force :
    • The Special Frontier Force is a confidential special forces unit of the Research and Analysis Wing which was created on 14 November 1962, to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian war. It works under the operational command of Indian RAW. The units personnel are derived from Tibetan resistance fighters. Is a dedicated mountain and Jungle warfare unit.
  • National security guard or Black cats :
    • The National Security Guard, which is a specialized counter-terrorism Federal Contingency Force. The NSG was formally created in 1986. It is modelled on the basis of the British Special Air Service and the German GSG 9. The commandos are trained to conduct counter terrorist tasks, including counter hijacking on land, sea and air, bomb disposal, post blast investigation and hostage rescue missions.
  • Special protection group :
    • Formed in the 1988, SPG is tasked with proximate security of prime minister, former PMs and their immediate family members. They carry some of the most sophisticated weapons that include the FN Herstal (Assault rifle ), Glock pistol and FN Herstal ( P90 ) .

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