Being a part of the Indian Special Forces is an exceptional achievement in itself. An adventure for a lifetime and you feel it that you are better than most of the men of your age who are walking around the world. Special Forces soldiers are trained for unconventional warfare, the only unit in the military specifically designed to fight the type of counter-insurgency operations that is the need of the day. While India is ranked as the 7th largest country in the world and is consistently racked and bothered by its difficult neighbours, it definitely is a Herculean task to safeguard the entire country. But we Indians don’t know to surrender or get knocked down, thanks to the elite Special Forces of our country that protects us from the terrorists and insurgent attacks.
Here are 9 Indian Special Forces which are lesser known and every Indian should be proud of.
- MARCOS: MARCOS (Marine Commandos), is a special forces unit that was established by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter-terrorism. The training of the MARCOS is probably the most stringent in the world with the commandos being tested for physical and mental toughness. In the past, it was referred to as M.C.F or ‘Marine Commando Force’. They are called as the “Dadiwala fauj”, meaning the “bearded army” by terrorists because of their bearded disguise in civil areas, MARCOS are capable of operations in all types of terrain but specialise essentially in maritime operations.
- Para Commandos: It was created in 1966, the Para Commandos are part of the highly-trained Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army and are the largest part of the Special Forces of India. The parachute units of the Indian Army are among the oldest airborne units in the world. The main aim of a Parachute Regiment is the quick deployment of soldiers behind enemy lines to attack the enemy from behind and destroy their first line of defence. The Para Commandos played a crucial role in helping India claim the peak of Tiger Hill across the Indus River from the Pakistanis during the 1999 Kargil War.
“Balidaan” Badge of the Para SF
- Ghatak Force: As the name suggests, Ghatak (which means ‘killer’ in Hindi), this infantry platoon goes for the kill and spearheads strikes ahead of a battalion. Every infantry battalion in the Indian Army has one platoon and only the most physically fit and motivated soldiers make it to the Ghatak Platoon. The Ghatak soldiers are well-trained, superiorly-armed and equipped to manage situations like terror strikes, hostage situations and counter insurgency operations.
- COBRA: COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) is a specialised unit of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) that was formed to counter Naxalism in India. It is one of the few Indian special forces that is exclusively trained in guerrilla warfare. Since its commencement in 2008, it has successfully wiped out a number of Naxalite groups from India. Set up with a grant of Rs 13,000 million, it is one of the best-equipped paramilitary forces in India.
- Force One: Force One came into being in the year 2010 after the deadly and gruesome 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The prime role of this special elite force is to protect the city of Mumbai from terrorist strikes and aggressions. This force boasts of the fastest response time in the world and responds to a terror strike in less than 15 minutes. Respect!
- Special Frontier Force: It was established in the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-Indian war as a special force for secret operations behind Chinese lines in the case of another war with China, it was never really used for its intended purpose and has mainly served as an elite special operations and counter-insurgency force. This covert para military special force operates under India’s external intelligence agency RAW and reports directly to the Prime Minister via the Directorate General of Security in the Cabinet Secretariat. It is so classified and anonymous that even the army may not know what it is up to.
- National Security Guard: The National Security Guard is India’s premier counter-terrorist force. The NSG provides security to VIPs, conducts anti-sabotage checks, and is responsible for neutralising terrorist threats to vital installations. The selection process of NSG is itself so demanding that it has a dropout rate of around 70–80 percent. The 7500 personnel strong NSG is evenly divided between the Special Action Group (SAG) and the Special Rangers Group (SRG).
- Garud Commando Force: The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force that was formed in 2004. The training for being a Garud is the longest among all the Indian Special Forces. The total duration of training before a cadet can qualify as a fully operational Garud is around 3 years. It is the youngest special force of the services and is entrusted with the duty of protecting critical Air Force bases, carrying out rescue operation during calamities and other missions in support of air operations.
- The Special Protection Group: The Special Protection Group is a security force of the Government of India which is responsible for the proximate security and protection of the Prime Minister of India, the former Prime Ministers and members of their immediate family.Their task is to gather intelligence, assess threats and provide protection. Their track record has been excellent after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and no attacks have been carried out on any Prime Minister ever since.