The reply of Uri terror attack was a befitting one from the brave men of Indian Army. There are brave men, then there comes the bravest of brave. When 4 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked the Army’s 12th Brigade in Uri sector on September 18, as many as 19 Indian soldiers lost their lives. Sixteen of those soldiers belonged to 6 Bihar, while three belonged to 10 Dogra. The following surgical strike was conducted by the Para units in which the troops included the crack Ghatak platoons of the very same 6 Bihar and 10 Dogra battalions in a flanking role for the attack on enemy territory. One of the objectives of Ghatak platoon of these units was to accompany the Special Forces and ensure a sense of revenge is achieved by these units.
What is a Ghatak Platoon?
Ghatak are specialized elite infantry platoons within Indian Army units. Their primary role and purpose is to be heavily armed spearheads or shock troopers in case of an operation or a conflict.
They are composed of the most physically fit and motivated soldiers in an infantry battalion. With their main role as the shock troopers within the battalion they are trained to flank around their enemy and attack them from the rear without needing any support from the rest of the battalion.
We can say they’re first unit to attack in any war.
Role of Ghatak Platoon
They can undertake direct raids on enemy artillery positions, air fields, supply dumps and headquarters and can also direct artillery and air attacks while behind the enemy lines.
They are also trained in heliborne assault , mountain warfare , rock climbing , demolitions, close quarter battles , and also in administrative and logistical roles.
Composition of Ghatak Platoon
A Ghatak Platoon is usually 20-men strong, consisting of a commanding Captain, 2 non-commissioned officers and some special teams like marksman and spotter pairs, light machine gunners, medic and radio operator. The remaining soldiers act as assault troopers.
Training of a Ghatak Commando
To train them for their purpose they undergo training at Commando Training Course in Belgaum, Karnataka where the soldiers are evaluated through speed marches in battle gear ranging from 20 to 60 km, carrying their rifles and 20 kg of weight in their rucksacks.
They are armed with INSAS Assault Rifles , AKM Assault Rifles , Pika General Purpose Machine Gun , M4 Carbine , B&T MP9 Submachine Gun , TAR-21 Assault Rifles , Carl Gustav Recoil-Less Rifle , SVD Dragunov Sniper Rifle , MP5 Submachine Gun and INSAS Light Machine Guns. Depending on the mission, they may carry other items like ropes, climbing gear, grenades, rocket launchers, laser target designators and night vision equipment.
Special Forces vs Ghatak Platoons
One thing to note is that they are not a special operations force nor a Special Forces unit like Para SF of the army.
Unlike the Paras, Ghataks do not have to go through the rigorous probation plus they may not be tasked with specific SF tasks like sabotage, foreign internal defense, Counter Terrorism/CQB, LRRP(long range reconnaissance patrols).
Further, Ghataks lacks extra qualifications that is needed by SF like HALO/HAHO, Combat divers(both essential for infiltration), demolitions, signal courses which are conducted only for SF at the SFTS(Special Forces Training School).
Famous Ghatak Commandos:
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav of 18 Grenadiers (Param Vir Chakra)
Lt. Navdeep Singh of 15 Maratha Light Infantry regiment (Ashok Chakra)
Lt Balwan Singh (Mahavir Chakra)
Capt. Chander Choudhary
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