What is SFTS – Special Forces Training School of Indian Army?

The Special Forces Training School (SFTS) celebrated its Silver Jubilee on 01 Apr 2018. The school is responsible to churn out the elite Special Forces of the Indian Army.

SFTS is located in Nahan, Himachal Pradesh. It is under the command of the commandant, SFTS, who is the Chief Instructor of the rank of Major General.

Army’s First Special Forces:

The first SF unit was raised in July 1966 as the 9th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. On 1st July 1967, 10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment was raised by splitting 9 Para at Gwalior.

The Para Commandos were first deployed in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and subsequently in the 1984 Operation Blue Star and in Sri Lanka in 1980s during Operation Pawan.

The Special Forces battalions of the Para Regiment are – 1 Para SF, 2 Para SF, 3 Para SF, 4 Para SF, 9 Para SF, 10 Para SF, 11 Para SF and 21 Para SF.

Special Forces Training School
Lt Gen Balwant Singh Negi (left) Commander Central Command and Commandant Special Forces Training School (SFTS) , Nahan

History:

The School owes its origin to a humble beginning on 01 Apr 1993 where it was established as a Special Forces Training Wing (SFTW) to impart training to the then 3 Para Commando battalions. The aim of raising this School was to provide unique and specialist training which was not available in any other training institution.

Initially, Special Forces Training School was raised as part of Headquarters Special Forces of War Establishment.

The raising of this school gave a boost to upgradation of the parachute commando battalions to Special Forces which were capable of conducting a wide variety of strategic and operational tasks, both overt and covert, in war and low intensity conflict situations.

Training at SFTS:

The essence of training at SFTS is ‘Walk The Talk’ where absolute professional competence is built through a practical on ground training. The students are trained to be confident and develop a strong winning attitude for carrying out special operations in the entire spectrum of contemporary warfare. SFTS is a Centre of Excellence (COE) for Special Forces’ Training and is also nominated as Nodal Agency for training with Special Forces of Friendly Foreign Countries (FFC).

The Indian Army conducts joint Special Forces exercises and training with the special forces of countries such as the United Kingdom, Seychelles, United States, Sri Lanka, Russia, France, Bangladesh and Thailand at this school.

The motto of the School is “Sauryam Daksham Yuddhe” which means “Courage and Competence in War”.

Special Forces Training School 2

ARTRAC Citation:

Owing to the developments made in training and infrastructure, conduct of complex exercises like water para jumps and maintaining a high level of training standards, the School was awarded Army Training Command (ARTRAC) Army Commander’s Citation on 26 Jan 2018 along with 3 other units in recognition of their services.

The investiture ceremony of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) was held at Officers Training Academy premises on 16th March.

Army Service Corps (ASC) Centre and College (Bengaluru), Combat Aviation Army Training School (CAATS, Nashik), Simulator Development Division (SDD), Secundarabad and Special Forces Training School (SFTS) Nahan, received the citation from General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of ARTRAC, Lieutenant General M M Naravane, during the ceremony.

Need for a Permanent Location:

The School over the years has transformed into a Category ‘A’ establishment where it trains approximately 800 Officers, JCOs/ORs yearly.

The school at present is located at its intermediate or temporary location. Land acquisition process for the permanent location of the school is in progress. The Army needs 1,500 acres for the permanent location. The school will have its own airfield in its permanent location. Right now, after the initial commando training, the students go to Paratroopers Training School, Agra for their Parachute jumps training.

 

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