To all our readers, who have been regulars to this website, I would like to thank you guys for making this site very special. We just completed a year this month and from this month onwards we are going to add more writers to this site. Today, we are going to introduce you guys to our new writer, Dhairya Gupta, an University of Delhi graduate, who like me likes to portray India in positive light rather just discussing its negative site.
So let’s get down with today’s article. Special missions require special tactical teams and special force and India has a number of them. We are now going to list here 7 Elite Special Forces of India.
The Force One is an elite commando force, which is a specialised counter terrorism unit to guard the Mumbai metropolitan area, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, formed by Government of Maharashtra on the lines of National Security Guards (NSG) in response to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Out of 3,000 applications from the state police force who volunteered to be part of the force – many of whom were part of 26/11 response team – 261 personnel were selected and trained in Pune, apart from the College of Military Engineering and the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action is a specialised unit of the CRPF created to counter Naxalites insurgency. This specialised CRPF unit is one of the few units of the Central Armed Police Forces in the country, who are specifically trained in guerrilla warfare. This elite fighting unit has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups. There are currently 10 COBRA units. Their role is to carry out reconnaissance and long range patrols, gather intelligence on the whereabouts of the insurgents, and also carry out ambushes and precision strikes when required. Their sniper teams can also be used to headshot key targets. All the equipment for the Cobra is manufactured indigenously by the Indian Ordinance Factories controlled by the Ordnance Factories Board, Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
The Special Protection Group (SPG) is the executive protection agency of the Government of India. It is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister of India, former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members. They comprise of ring round teams, isolation cordons, the sterile zone, and the rostrum and access control to the person or members of his immediate family. Recruits are drawn from the various Indian police forces, who undergo training similar to that conducted by the United States Secret Service. The officer cadre is made up of officers drawn from the various state and central cadres.
The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is a paramilitary special force of India created on 14 November 1962. Its main goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Indo-China war.
The SFF came to be known as ‘Establishment 22′ due to its first Inspector General, Major General (Retd.) Sujan Singh Uban of Indian Army, who used to be commander of 22 Mountain Regiment during World War II, a Military Cross holder and a legendary figure in the British India Army. Over the years, the Special Group has shared their expertise with a few friendly nations like Maldives and Nepal, training their own special forces. SFF was used in combating communal riots in mid 1970s and later was used in Operation Blue Star in 1984. It was also used briefly for VIP security in late 1984 around the Prime Minister following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Later this role fell upon the Special Protection Group.
This force draws heavily from the army, but has personnel from other forces as well. Better known as the ‘Black Cats’, the black overalls of its commandos makes them look distinct from other forces of the country. NSG commandos battled terrorists on 26/11 for over three days before eliminating them. Regional NSG hubs have come up in major metropolitans. The NSG has maintained an edge over terrorist outfits in possession of latest technology and are considered among the best special operations units in the world. NSG goes through a very specialized training program, but it is generally focused on urban warfare due to its primary role as a Counter-Terrorism Hostage crisis force.
In September 2004, Indian Airforce established its own special operations unit called the Garud Commando Force, consisting of approximately 2000 personnel. The unit derives its name from Garuda, a divine bird-like creature of Hindu Mythology.
Garud is tasked with the protection of critical aviation installations; undertaking combat search and rescue, suppression of enemy air defence, radar busting, combat control, missile and munitions guidance (“lasing” of targets) and other missions in support of air operations. They can also undertake an offensive role including raids on enemy air bases, etc., during times of war. Presently, Garud’s are deployed in Congo as part of the UN peace keeping operations.
An elite special operation unit strictly kept out of the public eye by the Navy, the Marcos is capable of carrying operations in all the three domains – air, sea and land – though they specialize in maritime missions. MARCOS are widely feared among the terrorists, who call them “Dadiwala fauj“, meaning the “Bearded army” because of their bearded disguise in civil areas. MARCOS have also been known to carry out wide variety of operations in foreign soil. Very few know that MARCOS were utilized in the Kargil war for operations beyond Pakistani positions, the exact purpose of which remains classified. Currently the MARCOS are highly active in Jammu & Kashmir. Their main task is to prevent the infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan through Jhellum river and Wular lake. There are very few units in the world qualified to jump into water as well jump out of aircrafts with full combat load. The MARCOS can be deployed from Aircrafts, Ships and Submarines in full battle gear. The MARCOS alongside the Indian Army’s Para Commandos also use the most advanced and sophisticated weapon systems in entire Indian Armed Forces.