Discussion on Indian Special Forces

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Singha
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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Singha » 09 Feb 2014 19:52

imo SF is cool and all if the political will exists for them to target wanteds around the world including in TSP (more like SF being on deputation with RAW like maatkal operators go with mossad/shin bet units), but we need to disrupt and dislocate PLA formations in tibet is not SF but big VVS/Ranger type airborne batallions and brigades with the requisite helicopter and C130/AN32 support, portable armour etc. like say bottling up PLA units between sikkim and bhutan until armour units spearheads from north sikkim can close the claws of the steel trap.

anything less is just day dreaming.

tibet is a bare bones desert, not the kind of place where SF can do anything but observe and report...if they are outed, there is no place to disappear into and mobile bikers, golf carts and wheeled IFVs will easily chase them down.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Aditya G » 09 Feb 2014 19:59

Trivia: SFF was part of Bluestar. They were responsible for gassing the terrorists entrenched in the Akal Takht. The gas canisters unfortunately could not enter the structure, which lead to the controversial use of armour.

RajitO wrote:...

3) There has never been any problems of "eligibility" of using any military/spawned from military force in this country--else NSG would not have drawn its teeth from the Army. ....


I cant find any source at the moment, but calling in the Indian Army requires the state administration to declare an area as "Disturbed", if not invoke AFSPA altogether. This applies not only to terror strikes but also for riots, floods etc. Calling in CRPF, RAF and NSG does not require the same protocols. NSG draws on the Army for personnel, but is officially a police organisation.

There was a similar story on 26/11. The MARCOS could have deployed earlier but were waiting for state home secretary for such formalities.

A self-imposed bound, but one that exists none the less.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 09 Feb 2014 22:07

Singha wrote:imo SF is cool and all if the political will exists for them to target wanteds around the world including in TSP (more like SF being on deputation with RAW like maatkal operators go with mossad/shin bet units), but we need to disrupt and dislocate PLA formations in tibet is not SF but big VVS/Ranger type airborne batallions and brigades with the requisite helicopter and C130/AN32 support, portable armour etc. like say bottling up PLA units between sikkim and bhutan until armour units spearheads from north sikkim can close the claws of the steel trap.

anything less is just day dreaming.

tibet is a bare bones desert, not the kind of place where SF can do anything but observe and report...if they are outed, there is no place to disappear into and mobile bikers, golf carts and wheeled IFVs will easily chase them down.


We have the option to deploy the 50th Para Bgde. But they are too light for the role. It would work against Pak where we have open fields and deserts to ensure land oriented link up can be directed from multiple sectors. But for armoured forays into Tibet, the only approach will be from Sikkim or Ladhak. Easy for PLA to monitor and block such linkups, then surround and decimate a light airborne force inside Tibet. This requires an air dropped mechanized brigade size force with Fire Support platforms like Tata's WhAP (Ideal will be a couple of squadrons of para dropped Arjuns. But that is smoking too much :mrgreen: ). The pain will be the huge number of sorties required to deploy such a force inside Tibet after degrading the LZ and surrounding ADGES.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby anjan » 10 Feb 2014 04:05

KiranM wrote:Having said that, I disagree with Lt. Gen Katoch that Paratroopers is similar to regular infantry. Paratroopers are trained to operate behind enemy lines, though in large numbers, in an increasingly contended and denied enemy airspace. The concept is to deploy airborne forces as a strategic surprise. Given that modern wars are rapid and in our context vis a vis Pakistan/ China, will last a max of 1-2 weeks (before UN intervention); we cannot wait till IAF achieves theatre Air Supremacy/ dominance to deploy paratroopers. The most achievable would be for IAF to obtain a few hours of localized air superiority to deploy a Battalion to Brigade size deployment (as situation permits); by when enemy air defence and AF will close or at least severely degrade that air head. This requires the airborne forces to be highly survivable and self contained after deployment for 24-72 hrs till relieved by land forces. Hence, in no way will they function as a regular infantry.


All I get from the comments is the feeling that unit ethos is degrading military sense. So are Infantry batt. undertaking heliborne ops now to be temporary classed separately for the duration? Mech Inf is no longer infantry because - well, tracks I suppose. What about air inducted troops? And everything in a war is expected to be contested. Riverine crossings could be contested. So what? It starts to get farcical after a point when mode of delivery becomes conflated with tasking. What do they suppose Infantry actually does anyway and when did it become such a bad word?

If 'Highly survivable and self contained' is the criteria then most posts on the LC would qualify. Given weather and terrain they can expect even lesser support then a traditional airdrop would. Incidentally given the Air Maint. needs of units in the NE I suppose in the event of a war they too would overnight become elite non-infantry - operating in self-contained mode under contested airspace with great elan and all that. Also what "behind enemy lines"? Given a 48-72 hr linkup need and the expected speed of advance on our heavily defended IB, we might as well be catapulting troops.

Maybe it's a historical thing. The maroon beret being historical elite and all. (Of course one could make the case that Alpine troops have equally been considered elite (Alpini, Gebirgsjager) and most of the Indian Army would qualify as mountain troops at one time or the other. And er.. Siachen)

Personally what I get is that the problem is this need to somehow desperately differentiate from Infantry and the SF usurping the 'elite' tag plays against this. Everything else flows from that.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby member_23455 » 10 Feb 2014 08:31

Aditya G wrote:
I cant find any source at the moment, but calling in the Indian Army requires the state administration to declare an area as "Disturbed", if not invoke AFSPA altogether. This applies not only to terror strikes but also for riots, floods etc. Calling in CRPF, RAF and NSG does not require the same protocols. NSG draws on the Army for personnel, but is officially a police organisation.

There was a similar story on 26/11. The MARCOS could have deployed earlier but were waiting for state home secretary for such formalities.

A self-imposed bound, but one that exists none the less.


Calling in CPMF also requires certain procedure to be followed. Please check with your local district magistrate! Conflating procedural issues with "eligibility" is muddying waters.

The MARCOS, had there been pre-existing procedures laid out, would have operated just as efficiently and effectively on 26/11 as they do on the "civilian soil" of offshore platforms of Bombay High - a CT role they are formally tasked with.

tsarkar
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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby tsarkar » 10 Feb 2014 17:01

As per the recently published book The Siege, that I flipped/skim read sometime earlier on a flight, there was a PIO USMC fighter pilot at the Taj, who was/had served in Iraq. He was holed up inside.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/books ... .html?_r=0

On learning that MARCOS were deployed, he too was apprehensive on their ability to operated in a scenario they haven't trained for. Oil rigs have uninterrupted decks & far lesser number of compartments than a hotel that is like a wax beehive given the sheer number of rooms. Number of people on an oil rig is much lesser than a hotel packed with guests.

On oil rigs & pirated ships, the crew board themselves in either the engine room or a specially designated area. The crew train for such contingencies. Commandoes know these areas, and use full firepower elsewhere. In hotels, guests & staff train for no such contingencies.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby manjgu » 10 Feb 2014 18:16

@tsarkar....thanks for all the useful inputs/info coming from u. Unfortunately too many BR arm chair warriors brought up on seeing hollywood flicks and some brochures have not a clue abt how things are in the real world..but will constantly complain/whine.


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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rohitvats » 10 Feb 2014 21:27

KiranM wrote: <SNIP>

Having said that, I disagree with Lt. Gen Katoch that Paratroopers is similar to regular infantry. Paratroopers are trained to operate behind enemy lines, though in large numbers, in an increasingly contended and denied enemy airspace. The concept is to deploy airborne forces as a strategic surprise. Given that modern wars are rapid and in our context vis a vis Pakistan/ China, will last a max of 1-2 weeks (before UN intervention); we cannot wait till IAF achieves theatre Air Supremacy/ dominance to deploy paratroopers. The most achievable would be for IAF to obtain a few hours of localized air superiority to deploy a Battalion to Brigade size deployment (as situation permits); by when enemy air defence and AF will close or at least severely degrade that air head. This requires the airborne forces to be highly survivable and self contained after deployment for 24-72 hrs till relieved by land forces. Hence, in no way will they function as a regular infantry.


'Behind enemy lines' is a very fancy and catch-all phrase which sounds very dramatic.

But is hardly so in case of paratroopers. Lt. General Katoch is right - Paratroopers are infantry trained to jump out of aircraft. Only fact which separates them from line infantry - and which is the main reason for them being more successful and move cohesive fighting units - is that all men are volunteers who undergo a probation period. However, as far as their training goes, I don't think there is much difference between them and the line infantry units. Both in terms of small and large unit tactics. I will concede that they are 'crack' infantry battalions given the quality and nature of their manpower. And ethos.

In terms of equipment profile, they are equipped with weapons suitably modified for paratrooper role and issued in larger number (as compared to infantry unit) to compensate for likely loses in airdrops. In our case, each parachute battalion also has an organic platoon equipped with BMP-2.

Paratroopers are expected to hold ground till the main ground force links up - they simply do not have the firepower or reserves to hold enemy force on their own for prolonged period. Given the short internal lines of communication in Pakistan Punjab and plethora of paramilitary forces they have, PA could swamp the location with troops in double quick time. Just look up Operation Market Garden during WW2 to understand the vulnerability of paratroopers.

Asking them to do anything else is against their charter and naming them Special Forces (Airborne) does not alter this reality. Except to show the complete lack of common sense about special forces in the Indian Army. What the paratroopers do is special in the sense that it is unique and requires specialized training but to equate that with Special Forces in true sense is plain idiotic. And shows lack of clarity on the subject to begin with.

We don't have enough Parachute Infantry Battalions to man the 50 (I) Para Bde and the Para generals are happy converting Para Battalions to SF role. Only in India I guess one would see SF battalion as part of the Para Bde.

This particular entry in the comment section clearly shows the level of thinking with respect to special forces in Indian Army and especially amongst those in the Parachute Regiment:

Col JP Singh - I am a Paratrooper and I need to put in some clarifications here. I am not going to debate the politics of it all nor go into the specifics.

1.Firstly Parachute Battalions are NOT Infantry Battalions and do not operate like Infantry Battalions after an airborne landing. Parachute operations are always specialized operations and require meticulous planning and skill in execution.

Agreed, the airborne operations are a complex operations but does that make parachute infantry battalions anything more special to start equating them with special forces? Any operation which involves the coordination of disparate groups like is complex - same argument would make Marines in USA more 'elite' than US Army battalions.

2. Parachute Battalions have never tried to equate themselves with Special Forces; it’s incorrect to say so. We Paratroopers are very proud of our Airborne heritage and Elite status and we needn't and don’t equate ourselves to anybody. The question of pay and allowances was a different issue and maybe not put across well in its own perspective. The Parachute Formation has a strategic focus and is well trained for its job. The Special Forces are still not at that level.

Parachute Formation aka 50 (I) Para Bde having a strategic role does not make the parachute battalions as having a strategic role. Indian Army converted 91 Infantry Bde under 54 Infantry Division for maritime operations; it is likely to form the nucleus of proposed expeditionary force with strategic role. Will that make infantry battalions under this formation 'special forces'? The good Colonel is confusing the role of the formation with the nature of constituent battalions.

3. The problem with our Special Forces is that they read too much about US Special Forces and the SAS, without realising that these countries have a global perspective and India doesn’t. The employment and deployment of Special Forces in the Indian context will be different and what’s that going to be; needs to be looked into. They should stop trying to equate themselves with US Special Forces and the SAS and start thinking in the Indian context.

This one betrays the layman level of knowledge and complete lack of thought process in the paratrooper community when it comes to special forces. It is my opinion that it is exactly this thought process which equates Parachute battalions with Para (SF) and leads to orders for mass conversion. As once a paratrooper officer told this abdul, the SF guys do the same thing as us in CI operations :roll:

Someone should ask the good Colonel what good are SF in our case? To carry out operations x-kilometer on other side of LOC/LAC? I guess he is happy with special forces undertaking only direct action tasks in immediate support of ground operations.

What if tomorrow India decides to take out terrorists camps in Myanmar or Bangladesh? To say that we should not equate ourselves with western SF shows the level of intellect - is it difficult to fathom that while political outlook can change overnight, capabilities cannot be created at snap of fingers? By that yardstick, why have paratroopers and Para Bde in first place - I don't see India flexing its muscles in short to medium term or undertaking substantial operations in war involving the para bde. I'm almost ready to accept the fact that it is good that Special Group is under R&AW and not Indian Army!



4. The country desperately needs a special forces command and all specialized units to include the Special Forces battalions, The Parachute Brigade and the additional Parachute Battalions be put under its ambit. An ego play here is not the need of the day; it can be called The Airborne and Special Forces Command. The Airborne units also need a controlling HQ as the mandarins of Army HQ can’t quite manage these forces nor think sanely as to their management, equipment, training and employability.

So, while the mandarins in AHQ cannot manage the paratroopers, the paratroopers themselves can quite manage the Special Forces? But then given what the paratroopers think of special forces and what it entails, I sure they feel they can do the needful. And I'm sure this happens only in India. And no wonder we're stuck in this rut for such a long time - this when very detailed studies were done within IA recommending the policies required for such a force.

And a final word for my fellow Paratroopers – let’s not get personal here we have a common heritage and a change in badge doesn’t break long standing bonds.

That is the crux of the matter - the desire to retain 'common heritage'. General Sundarji was brilliant in this one aspect when he raised the Mechanized Infantry Regiment - he transferred the senior most regiments from line infantry battalions to MIR to give them a sense of history and made it into a separate regiment - as against the call to convert couple of battalions under each regiment into mechanized role (as is the case in UK). He knew very well that w/o their own regiment and Colonel of the regiment, there will be no one to raise voice on their behalf - as is happening in case of special forces in IA


What comes to mind is flexibility for paratroopers to function like US Army Rangers in company + size special operations to an air dropped mechanized Infantry role in Demi Brigade size. The closest that comes to mind is capabilities similar to a US Marine Expeditionary Unit which when needed forms part of the larger Marine Brigade. This kind of training and tasking will be more intensive than a regular infantry but not as much as a special forces unit.


You do disservice to Ranger Regiment by equating them with paratroopers. Ranger Regiment is a more evolved concept than simply paratroopers with more training. Further, Ranger Regiment carries forward from historical requirement for more elite infantry - who are also para qualified. In due course of time and given the commitments of USA, they have morphed into their current avatar. And they fit perfectly in the tiered Special Force structure of the United States. They do not undertake the role of as envisaged for US Army Airborne troops. Who have remained as they were - and no one suggested in UK or USA to consider parachute regiment or airborne troops as special force or even special operation force.

Therefore, it is for IA to decide what purpose will the Parachute Regiment serve and train them accordingly - if one bemoans the lack of applicability of Special Forces in Indian context (like the comment by the good Colonel quoted above), one wonders to what task would Ranger Regiment equivalent force be used in our case?

Let us get this very straight - the first job of Parachute Regiment is to fill the role of a Parachute Infantry. It cannot do both at the same time. It would simply be a waste of resources. If India is to persist with 1 x para bde, then back of the envelope calculation tells me that it would require between 6-7 battalions (assuming 3-year tenure with bde) to do this job.

If tomorrow, we require a Ranger Regiment type of force then Parachute Regiment could be one candidate to lend itself to such conversion as required - and also man the Para Bde. But neither is Ranger Regiment trying to emulate US Army Special Forces or Delta Force and neither should Parachute Regiment.

Finally, this excerpt from comment by Brigadier Deepak Sinha (Retd) in the article shows what ails the thinking on Special Forces in Paratrooper community:

I continue to believe that the Parachute Brigade, especially after having commanded it, is an extremely potent organization that in the prevailing air defence and operational environment would best be employed under a unified special operations headquarters in conjunction with other special forces. The US 75th Ranger Regiment and the 3 PARA based SF Support Group of the UK are employed in this very manner. I guess somebody forgot to tell them that this was an absurd proposition!

The fact that Brigadier sahab equates Ranger Regiment and SFSG of UK with Parachute Regiment or Para Bde shows the depth of understanding on the subject. Irony just died! As it is, in neither case are the regiments/units trying to equate themselves with Delta or SAS.

<SNIP>

Finally, it would be a disservice to all ranks if it was not reiterated that parachute pay needs to be substantially enhanced in line with SF pay as the existing differential adversely impacts motivation,morale and functioning within the Regiment.

Just ask yourself this - why would morale of parachute infantry battalions suffer if Special Forces were getting paid allowance due to their job profile? Does the morale in Navy suffer if the submariner gets paid higher allowance or if the fighter pilot gets paid higher allowance?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rohitvats » 10 Feb 2014 21:41

anjan wrote: All I get from the comments is the feeling that unit ethos is degrading military sense. So are Infantry batt. undertaking heliborne ops now to be temporary classed separately for the duration? Mech Inf is no longer infantry because - well, tracks I suppose. What about air inducted troops? And everything in a war is expected to be contested. Riverine crossings could be contested. So what? It starts to get farcical after a point when mode of delivery becomes conflated with tasking. What do they suppose Infantry actually does anyway and when did it become such a bad word?

<SNIP>


+108.

Excellently put.

Compared to the confused sense of thinking on SF matters, let me quote excerpt from Wikipedia on Special Forces Support Group of British Army: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Forces_Support_Group

The unit's creation stems from the need to provide infantry support to the United Kingdom Special Forces, which became evident after the Battle of Tora Bora during which two Special Air Service (SAS) squadrons assaulted the al-Qaeda cave complex.[2] Previously, this support was carried out on an ad hoc basis, with infantry units assisting special forces teams when needed.

During Operation Barras in Sierra Leone, soldiers from 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment were deployed alongside troops from the Special Boat Service (SBS) and D Squadron SAS. This was successful, as the SAS soldiers attacked the encampment containing the hostages while the soldiers from The Parachute Regiment attacked a second encampment.[3][dead link]

In December 2004, it was announced that a unit would be formalised for this role as part of the wider future army structure. It was initially conceived as a battalion of "Rangers", similar to the United States Army Rangers.[4]


The SFSG was established to support British special forces units in battle overseas and on domestic "counter-terrorist" operations. For this, it may encompass such roles as providing diversionary attacks, cordons, fire support, force protection, and supporting training tasks.[3][dead link]

Most unit personnel are Parachute Regiment soldiers, Royal Marine commandos or Royal Air Force gunners. All those selected for the SFSG have passed either the Pre-Parachute selection course run by the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Marines Commando course or the RAF Pre-Parachute selection course.[6] Army personnel can apply to join straight from the Pre-Parachute selection course irrespective of regimental affiliation; prospective recruits from the Royal Marines undergo a selection process run by the 43 Commando Royal Marines.[6]


The SFSG follows the general structure of an infantry battalion; it comprises an HQ company, four rifle companies (referred to as "strike" companies and designated A, B, C and F) and a support company.[12] The SFSG is mainly drawn from 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.[12] The Royal Marines mainly form F Company which specializes in supporting amphibious operations.[12] The RAF Regiment also provide a platoon in one of these companies and Forward Air Controllers to direct close air support.[12] The Support company comprises mortar, sniper and patrol platoons.[6] The Patrol platoon operates vehicles including the Jackal and includes Fire Support Groups which include Parachute Regiment, Royal Artillery and RAF Regiment personnel.

There is also a CBRN unit assigned to the SFSG to provide specialised knowledge and capability to military and civilian agencies in detection and handling of chemical, biological and radiological/nuclear weapons and materials.[6]


The above represents a level of clarity which is lacking in our case. British did not go about raising newer SAS Battalion or undertaking mass conversion - they created what they needed based on clear objectives. And here we have Parachute Regiment officers who consider Parachute Infantry Battalions to be equivalent to special forces.

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Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby vikassh » 11 Feb 2014 00:13

India Today article on Operation Sun Down mentions SG under control of RAW. Mentions its raising in 1981. Here is the link

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/oper ... 40981.html

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 11 Feb 2014 22:59

Dear Anjan and Rohit, we seem to be talking at cross purposes. I am not saying Paratroopers should be considered equal to SF.

anjan wrote:
All I get from the comments is the feeling that unit ethos is degrading military sense. So are Infantry batt. undertaking heliborne ops now to be temporary classed separately for the duration? Mech Inf is no longer infantry because - well, tracks I suppose. What about air inducted troops? And everything in a war is expected to be contested. Riverine crossings could be contested. So what? It starts to get farcical after a point when mode of delivery becomes conflated with tasking. What do they suppose Infantry actually does anyway and when did it become such a bad word?

If 'Highly survivable and self contained' is the criteria then most posts on the LC would qualify. Given weather and terrain they can expect even lesser support then a traditional airdrop would. Incidentally given the Air Maint. needs of units in the NE I suppose in the event of a war they too would overnight become elite non-infantry - operating in self-contained mode under contested airspace with great elan and all that. Also what "behind enemy lines"? Given a 48-72 hr linkup need and the expected speed of advance on our heavily defended IB, we might as well be catapulting troops.

Maybe it's a historical thing. The maroon beret being historical elite and all. (Of course one could make the case that Alpine troops have equally been considered elite (Alpini, Gebirgsjager) and most of the Indian Army would qualify as mountain troops at one time or the other. And er.. Siachen)

Personally what I get is that the problem is this need to somehow desperately differentiate from Infantry and the SF usurping the 'elite' tag plays against this. Everything else flows from that.



rohitvats wrote:'Behind enemy lines' is a very fancy and catch-all phrase which sounds very dramatic.

But is hardly so in case of paratroopers. Lt. General Katoch is right - Paratroopers are infantry trained to jump out of aircraft. Only fact which separates them from line infantry - and which is the main reason for them being more successful and move cohesive fighting units - is that all men are volunteers who undergo a probation period. However, as far as their training goes, I don't think there is much difference between them and the line infantry units. Both in terms of small and large unit tactics. I will concede that they are 'crack' infantry battalions given the quality and nature of their manpower. And ethos.


The very fact that separates them from regular infantry is what makes me think they are more 'elite' than regular infantry. I do not know the statistics (of how many people of have fear of heights, flying, etc) but it takes a different kind of guts to jump out of an aircraft in the midst of an enemy. Training for same again and again knowing that there is a tendency for something to go wrong (almost all airdrops have had casualties due to accidents) deserves them the extra risk pay than say a regular infantry (I do not know the structure in IA for allowances so please educate me if this is already happening). I totally agree with you this does not equate them with SF who need to undergo much more varied training for a vast range of missions and roles. All I am saying is that paratroopers training and employment fits between that of regular infantry and SF. So the SF generals are doing a disservice to them by saying 'Paratroopers are infantry trained to jump out of aircraft' just like Para generals tend to equate SF to something like 'Infantry trained to fight in small numbers'.

Anjan, I am not debating that deploying para Bgde in its current avatar is possible followed by link up in 48-72 hrs. That is the universal figure quoted to employ airborne worldwide learned painfully during WW2 (especially Market Garden). In our context all the more reason to ensure 50 Bde is Mechanized (similar to Russian Airborne) to enable it to survive that long and advance towards the linkup rather than wait to be relieved.

rohitvats wrote:
What comes to mind is flexibility for paratroopers to function like US Army Rangers in company + size special operations to an air dropped mechanized Infantry role in Demi Brigade size. The closest that comes to mind is capabilities similar to a US Marine Expeditionary Unit which when needed forms part of the larger Marine Brigade. This kind of training and tasking will be more intensive than a regular infantry but not as much as a special forces unit.


You do disservice to Ranger Regiment by equating them with paratroopers. Ranger Regiment is a more evolved concept than simply paratroopers with more training. Further, Ranger Regiment carries forward from historical requirement for more elite infantry - who are also para qualified. In due course of time and given the commitments of USA, they have morphed into their current avatar. And they fit perfectly in the tiered Special Force structure of the United States. They do not undertake the role of as envisaged for US Army Airborne troops. Who have remained as they were - and no one suggested in UK or USA to consider parachute regiment or airborne troops as special force or even special operation force.

Therefore, it is for IA to decide what purpose will the Parachute Regiment serve and train them accordingly - if one bemoans the lack of applicability of Special Forces in Indian context (like the comment by the good Colonel quoted above), one wonders to what task would Ranger Regiment equivalent force be used in our case?

Let us get this very straight - the first job of Parachute Regiment is to fill the role of a Parachute Infantry. It cannot do both at the same time. It would simply be a waste of resources. If India is to persist with 1 x para bde, then back of the envelope calculation tells me that it would require between 6-7 battalions (assuming 3-year tenure with bde) to do this job.

If tomorrow, we require a Ranger Regiment type of force then Parachute Regiment could be one candidate to lend itself to such conversion as required - and also man the Para Bde. But neither is Ranger Regiment trying to emulate US Army Special Forces or Delta Force and neither should Parachute Regiment.



Rohit, I am not advocating conversion of enitre regular para Bns into Ranger type role. Like you said 3 Bns (I do not advocate using SF Bn) for 50 Para Bde from 6-7 Bns of Para Regt, have 2-3 Bns in a role similar to Rangers/ UK SFSG with the formation being constituted like UK SFSG (that is ad-hoc from existing units). Expand the Parachute Regt to compensate this number. Have a separate SF Regiment to train and task small unit actions (4 to 50 men) and for company plus size action have this para staffed unit supporting a small core SF team (similar to SFSG).

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby member_23455 » 15 Feb 2014 08:04

Image

Captain Mahabir Singh - 9 Para (SF) team leader who took out the fidayeen that attacked 16 Cavalry.

9 Para's enjoyed some good hunting in Kashmir over the years...

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rkhanna » 15 Feb 2014 10:42

^^^ not to be a killjoy but do we need to put the operators mugshot up for the world to see?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby member_23455 » 15 Feb 2014 12:32

rkhanna wrote:^^^ not to be a killjoy but do we need to put the operators mugshot up for the world to see?


:roll:

You aren't being a killjoy, just ignorant, do trace the source of the image and you will see who has approved it for release.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby George J » 04 May 2014 18:32

Aditya G wrote:.....
There was a similar story on 26/11. The MARCOS could have deployed earlier but were waiting for state home secretary for such formalities.

A self-imposed bound, but one that exists none the less.


There is an entire archive on BR that tells you exactly how it unfolded.

Once it was confirmed that the CST shooting was not "Gang war related" (around 11:30ish-after the demise of Karkare, Kamte, Salaskar) it was clear that this was something completely different and outside of the realm of local law enforcement. This triggered three request from the state:
* Call went out to Home Sec requesting NSG- the chai biscoot delay is now well known.
* Call went out IA that was based in Andheri- they were dispatched immediately (1 Coy strength, IIRC)
* Call went out to CoS WNC if they have any assets? They replied they have this thing called as MARCOS who can deploy but they are very few in number. Whoever was there in INS Abhimanyu was deployed. Two Prahaar groups.

If you have access to video you will see Army type in Green Camo with Folding Butt Dragunov/MP-5s and bluish bullet proof vest being deployed by around mid-night around and inside the Taj. They were also deployed to the Oberoi but were not used.

So there was no way anyone could have been deployed before the Mumbai police themselves realized this is completely different. No one had seen anything like this.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby kmkraoind » 18 May 2014 11:12

Never seen so mean NSG (who are guarding NaMO).

Image

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Sid » 18 May 2014 14:10

Cool gear for hot and humid weather :mrgreen:

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Kakarat » 18 May 2014 18:11

A Vine video of NSG sweep at Bhartiya Janata Party headquarters by Shiv Aroor from Livefist

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby vivek_ahuja » 18 May 2014 21:04

The NSG equipment has come a long way from the scooter helmets over the last five years.

Good job.


P.S. : Looks and posture serve a lot in the deterrence role. Those clamoring about camouflage etc. need to distinguish between a deterrence force posture and a front-line combat unit with a clearly defined and visible enemy. Two very different scenarios.

I suspect for the NSG, a good day is when their deterrence role is enough by itself to prevent any attacks. They are not on a seek and destroy mission but rather in guard mode.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Austin » 19 May 2014 22:16

Wouldnt Modi be under SPG protection rather then under NSG ? I have rarely seen NSG getting close to any PM its SPG all the way.

Perhaps they have just come to do a security check of the premise.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby A Sharma » 19 May 2014 22:30

^^
This is prob before SPG took over

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby member_25399 » 19 May 2014 22:56

^^^
He is still a PM designate not a PM yet. I think, SPG kicks in when he has taken over as PM [officially].

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Ankit Desai » 20 May 2014 02:11

Modi is already under SPG protection kind of !

SPG gets ready to secure Modi, family

The SPG has done its groundwork for Modi, his wife and mother. If BJP emerges winner, SPG will not wait for Modi to be declared the PM-elect and get an invitation from the President. The elite security unit will send a skeleton security team on May 16 itself,”
a security official, requesting anonymity, told HT.

For Modi security detail, SPG to arrive in Gandhinagar today

State DGP PC Thakur said, “
We are in touch with the SPG and they are coming here to discuss the security cover in detail. The SPG cover would be given only after he is sworn in as the PM, and till then the NSG cover will continue. However, the SPG will give additional cover till procedures are over in these few days. After that they will take the full charge of their security.”


-Ankit

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 20 May 2014 02:34

nukavarapu wrote:^^^ Looks like it came straight from some Hollywood flick, with the only difference being this looks more real and more intimidating. Appearance like that can make any porki $hit in his pants!!! If Guru's can clarify, is NSG supposed to be the bhartiya version of SWAT or National Guard. I think their mandate is similar to National Guard, but their role is more like a SWAT team. This is where things get confusing!


Simple answer is no. NSG is a counter terror/hostage rescue unit and not a general purpose unit like National Guard. It can fulfill roles that SWAT teams in US do but that's just a subset of what it does. SWAT teams are great for taking down drug dealers and crazed civilians but is not a true blue CT/HRT unit. NSG on the other hand has seen action in J&K and other places - roles which are typically done by Army/Navy SF in the US. The closest approximation to NSG would likely be GSG9 but even that is a pretty broad approximation.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rohitvats » 26 May 2014 11:17

A certain percentage of responsibilities undertaken by NSG can be compared with GIGN of France and GSG9 of Germany and HRT of FBI. But it is supposed to do more than simply be a hostage rescue and anti-aircraft hijacking unit. It is a proper urban counter-terrorism outfit and is equipped and manned as such. Many western outfits would simply not have the manpower to do what was required in 26/11.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Pratyush » 26 May 2014 11:30

On the subject of the NSG. Do we have any update regarding the activation of the planned regional hubs for the NSG.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 26 May 2014 11:54

The closest approximation for NSG would be Yamam of Israel. They also work closely with Shin Bet for Internal Security like NSG does with IB.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Rony » 19 Jun 2014 22:25

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

Iraq: India wastes Army’s Special Forces resource

Many calls have been made on the social media to employ our Special Forces to evacuate the Indian nurses from Tikrit and abducted Indian workers. Post the US Seal Team 6 operations to kill Osama bin Laden, our electronic media was agog in speculation whether this raid could have been executed by our Special Forces.

Questioned about it on electronic media, I had said that yes it could have been done by our boys ‘provided’ the nation had the capacity to similarly put our force down in Osama’s compound, which by no means can be construed as simply provisioning of helicopters.

The requirement of intelligence cannot be overemphasized, which may not be 100 percent precise but then must be to an extent where reasonable level of success is guaranteed. In this particular case do we have any actionable intelligence at all? Yes, staging forward of Special Forces to Baghdad is a possibility but whether it can be kept under wraps is questionable with our own media sans any sense of security.

Watch the manner in which the presence of 46 Indian nurses was being publicly announced to the ISIS, an organization that Al Qaeda considers ‘brutal’ and who have no inhibitions about of massacring even Shias as ‘infidels’. In such circumstances, it may be prudent to send one or two Special Forces specialists to Baghdad for necessary liaison, assess the ground situation, gather intelligence and assess possible actions.

One possible reason why ISIS may not be averse to Indians could be that many of their cadres are from erstwhile Saddam Hussain’s army and India had a permanent military training team in Iraq to train the Iraqi military. The way the situation has developed, it would be prudent to keep contingency plans totally under wraps, for use only if emergencies occur. Premature use of Special Forces could instigate the ISIS to retaliate against the Indian Diaspora in Iraq.

It is unfortunate that we think of Special Forces only in emergencies like this and continue to relate employment of Special Forces exclusively with direct type of raids. We need to get over this time wrap. The US Special Forces are deployed in some 200 countries including in considerable numbers in India. They are not visible and are not likely to undertake any raids here at least in the foreseeable future. Russia’s Spetznaz has been operating inside Pakistan.

The tasks of Special Forces in modern armies covers the canvas of strategic intelligence, perception management, building partner capabilities, controlling enemy fault-lines, shaping the environment in favour of own country and like, over and above direct type of actions, if required. These are politico-military task at the strategic level executed under directions of the highest political authority.

The Chinese Special Forces are spread incognito in development projects globally. These projects are actually being executed by the PLA or through PLA owned companies. In 2012, an Australian Special Forces officer came across a Chinese Special Forces officer deployed incognito with a Chinese development project in an African country. Latter told the Australian that his main tasks included planning and overseeing evacuation of Chinese nationals in the event of an emergency.
Obviously, such tasking would lead to close monitoring of the situation, developing and updating contingency plans, keeping the Chinese government informed and oversee execution of contingency plans (as approved) in case of the emergency occurring.
We need to take a cue from this. We may have more emergencies of this nature in future, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The simplistic approach that we already have intelligence operatives in our embassies is foolhardy. Though there has been speculation about a Special Forces Command being set up, what we need is employment of Special Forces at the strategic level covering all our areas of strategic interests, which is not a game of numbers. The policy makers may wish to examine recommendations in the book ‘India’s Special Forces’, which is available online or through its publisher in Delhi.

Post the Parliament attack, our media kept on graphically describing the layout and inside of the Parliament including which minister sits where without realizing this would only help terrorists plan better for a future attack.
During the 26/11 Mumbai terrorists attack, the continued blabber of our media helped handlers of the terrorists in Pakistan to progress the operation further. Similarly the terrorists received information where and what time frame the reaction forces have arrived and where they are on minute to minute basis, allowing them time to sleep and execute those trapped at will.
In the instant case, God has been merciful that the ISIS has taken kindly to the nurses otherwise openly publicizing their presence could have led to their abduction, torture, rape or killing. Post the 9/11 attack on Twin Towers, the US media was not permitted within a five kilometer radius for many days. The Government needs to focus on the issue seriously. Free speech should not imply that you put national security and human lives at stake.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rkhanna » 21 Jun 2014 14:46

The US Special Forces are deployed in some 200 countries including in considerable numbers in India. T


The "Connotation" of this statement implied by the Good General is quiet Wrong. These figures were given by the Pentagon/SOCOM and do not denote a covert presence. There were the deployment statistics of SOCOM for 2013 including all Training/Advisory type of deployments.

1\ Combat action into Iraq-

- Simply put our forces do not have the training / logistics or the Intelligence to carry it out (intelligence is only a part of the equation). Controling the battle space over land and air would be critical for this op. Not just staging from an Iraqi Base. IMO you need to put Intel and CAS birds/UAVs in the air. You would also need to insert a recon element to guide the assault force in. Considering we have no political capital in Iraq and have little knowledge of the landscape, the recon element itself would be herculean task.

- Can our Carrier Group deploy to IRAQ ASAP right now to provide these Air Assets, or do we have to rely on the AF to fly to an Iraqi base. ? Can we trust Iraqi leadership to keep it quiet. Are there sympathisers within the Iraqi estblishment (like Pakistan)

- IMO this is more of a Role for SG than the Para's or MAROS. How often have the SG trained with AF COmbat Controllers to call in CAS in a highly dense urban environment.

- What is our capability to manage and control the information grid in a complex high speed Mission far from our own shores. We may have trained for it in controlled environments but have we ever done it for real? This maynot be the best location to test our capabilities in this.. ISIS would outnumber any unit size we throw into this senario. How often have our operaters trained with AF personnel. How many AF helo pilots can keep their cool under constant fire for 60+ minutes. Remember The failed US misison to Iran?

- Those Whole Element will require a Recon team, a Smaller Team For the DIRECT Action role and a larger (para?) QRF Team. Can India move so many Air Assets so far away? Armed Helos would be as Critical as Fixed Wing CAS. Do we have any?

- The Osama raid was successful as 1) did not inform the Pakistani Govt 2) Close to Border which had substantial US Mil presence
- This isnt pakistan - where everybody was asleep in the middle of the night. This is an active combat zone that too in a very Urban Area

- Entebbe was successful as well the Ugandans were a 4th rate military and the intel on the hostages was much clearer and the hostages were housed in an Airport (low civ population density)

- Lastly Can our Politicians and country stomach 40% loss of hostages and probably similar % loss amongst the the rescue force. Somalia showed how one RPG can ruin your day.

IMO No country could pull of this rescue op given the restricted political + technological + distant parameters India has visavis Iraq. If the Americans or Brits did do it they would do it in conjunction with Iraqi forces. Would take in a large Ground Component + Overwhelming Air to accomplish it with the SF units solely dedicated to the Rescue and Extraction and Regular conventional forces engaging and holding the perimeter.


2\ On all the other countries SF figures quoted:

- Special Forces are not SPIES. They do not live in other countries and just suck on their thumb building intel and waiting for the Motherland to issue instructions.

- Spetznas in Pakistan? yea right. to what end. the War in Afghanistan got over long ago. Russia has no need to be in AFPAK. the Uzbeks and Chechnyans in the NWFP are not concerned with Russia

- Chinese SF are not spread Incognito across the world. They are primarily acting as Security units (and i doubt they we can even call them SF, probably just PLA or PAP) for their construction companies in some of the worlds most dodgiest locations in Africa. Many a time they are also imparting training to local forces as part of bilateral agreements.


just my 2cents
Last edited by rkhanna on 21 Jun 2014 14:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rkhanna » 21 Jun 2014 14:46

Delete

satya
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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby satya » 21 Jun 2014 19:48

KhannaSaab

Read between the lines . He is telling something other than just a hastily organized rescue operation through his facts or rumor ( debatable) filled article. Clearly he is outlining a vision of something that goes beyond manpower ,training & equipment requirements very much grounded in reality. Hope he catches the eye of 'right people' in 'right place' .

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ramana » 21 Jun 2014 20:28

Satya, have you read Gen Paddy's book and went thru fine details?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby satya » 21 Jun 2014 21:27

Ramanaji
I haven't read the book but are you referring to the part in the book where IA finds or found(rumors? during op.Prakaram) US special ops soldier found in disguise as a shopkeeper in rural India ?
If we can see Gen. Katoch's aticle with what's happening on Ukraine Front & now in Middle East, it clearly shows the change in posture of US & Russia that you pointed out very clearly : US is moving away from overt troops presence ( for whatever reasons) to covert one ( terrorists/rebels/martians in disguise ) . Look at Russia , it used its buildup of troops to deter but is using its special op troops in Ukraine.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby member_20453 » 21 Jun 2014 22:37

rkhanna wrote:
The US Special Forces are deployed in some 200 countries including in considerable numbers in India. T


The "Connotation" of this statement implied by the Good General is quiet Wrong. These figures were given by the Pentagon/SOCOM and do not denote a covert presence. There were the deployment statistics of SOCOM for 2013 including all Training/Advisory type of deployments.

1\ Combat action into Iraq-

- Simply put our forces do not have the training / logistics or the Intelligence to carry it out (intelligence is only a part of the equation). Controling the battle space over land and air would be critical for this op. Not just staging from an Iraqi Base. IMO you need to put Intel and CAS birds/UAVs in the air. You would also need to insert a recon element to guide the assault force in. Considering we have no political capital in Iraq and have little knowledge of the landscape, the recon element itself would be herculean task.

- Can our Carrier Group deploy to IRAQ ASAP right now to provide these Air Assets, or do we have to rely on the AF to fly to an Iraqi base. ? Can we trust Iraqi leadership to keep it quiet. Are there sympathisers within the Iraqi estblishment (like Pakistan)

- IMO this is more of a Role for SG than the Para's or MAROS. How often have the SG trained with AF COmbat Controllers to call in CAS in a highly dense urban environment.

- What is our capability to manage and control the information grid in a complex high speed Mission far from our own shores. We may have trained for it in controlled environments but have we ever done it for real? This maynot be the best location to test our capabilities in this.. ISIS would outnumber any unit size we throw into this senario. How often have our operaters trained with AF personnel. How many AF helo pilots can keep their cool under constant fire for 60+ minutes. Remember The failed US misison to Iran?

- Those Whole Element will require a Recon team, a Smaller Team For the DIRECT Action role and a larger (para?) QRF Team. Can India move so many Air Assets so far away? Armed Helos would be as Critical as Fixed Wing CAS. Do we have any?

- The Osama raid was successful as 1) did not inform the Pakistani Govt 2) Close to Border which had substantial US Mil presence
- This isnt pakistan - where everybody was asleep in the middle of the night. This is an active combat zone that too in a very Urban Area

- Entebbe was successful as well the Ugandans were a 4th rate military and the intel on the hostages was much clearer and the hostages were housed in an Airport (low civ population density)

- Lastly Can our Politicians and country stomach 40% loss of hostages and probably similar % loss amongst the the rescue force. Somalia showed how one RPG can ruin your day.

IMO No country could pull of this rescue op given the restricted political + technological + distant parameters India has visavis Iraq. If the Americans or Brits did do it they would do it in conjunction with Iraqi forces. Would take in a large Ground Component + Overwhelming Air to accomplish it with the SF units solely dedicated to the Rescue and Extraction and Regular conventional forces engaging and holding the perimeter.


2\ On all the other countries SF figures quoted:

- Special Forces are not SPIES. They do not live in other countries and just suck on their thumb building intel and waiting for the Motherland to issue instructions.

- Spetznas in Pakistan? yea right. to what end. the War in Afghanistan got over long ago. Russia has no need to be in AFPAK. the Uzbeks and Chechnyans in the NWFP are not concerned with Russia

- Chinese SF are not spread Incognito across the world. They are primarily acting as Security units (and i doubt they we can even call them SF, probably just PLA or PAP) for their construction companies in some of the worlds most dodgiest locations in Africa. Many a time they are also imparting training to local forces as part of bilateral agreements.


just my 2cents


Khanna Sahab, I disagree on some of the things mentioned, all SF units including Marcos, Garuds, SFF and Para SF are very well trained and have specialist Air combat controllers in order to direct accurate CAS when needed. This training has been provided starting Kargil including in urban settings.

Secondly, such a job would be given to the SFF which works closely with RAW. If such a mission is undertaken, it would be with the Govt. requesting a covert permission with Iraqis to do this. Sure, we don't have much political influence in IRaq but can be extended very quickly, they as a nation have plenty of things they need where India can help. Thirdly such a mission would not need direct CAS. Rather high altitude recon UAVS which Unkil can provide in Iraq. I doubt India has to take too many birds except the C-17 to carry in a couple of platoons of SFF. Any insertion through helos would attract attention from far far away. Would be easier to HAHO in. A QRF force to extract the hostages would require 3 to 4 new armed Mi-17s, they could be waiting at base while mission begins.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby vishvak » 21 Jun 2014 23:37

Consedering that the Indian media has already highlighted location of Indians left behind, is it not an urgent task to begin cooperating with the Iraqis and neighboring countries like Syria and Iran now. The media glare seems to be on hostages and surprisingly completely avoids mention of barbarism of ISIL.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby member_20453 » 22 Jun 2014 23:06

I don't see why SFF can't succeed in a hostage rescue mission. We see such brutal terrorists all the time. Also, we specialise is taking down these ******** with mostly troops on the ground. Somehow I for don't think this CAS attitude to fighting insurgents works to much effect. I think if we had precise intel on where the hostages are, a couple of SFF platoons can easily take down all the bad guys in the area and rescue the hostages, all this without ever alerting enemy re-enforcements.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 02 Jul 2014 10:14

X-post:
sum wrote:
joygoswami wrote:Special Report - National Security Guard (NSG): Making of Black Cats


A "phantom unit" unveiled in this video which is made up of 1% of the NSG, "best of the best". Starts around 15 mins mark

Seems to be some SF unit within NSG since mentions that these folks are taken elsewhere for training after NSG basic training.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rkhanna » 02 Jul 2014 12:10

Does this mean that this Phantom Unit + the SG are essentially India's Tier I SOF units. I have heard of a similar Special Missions Unit type formation within Marcos as well in the past but never got any confirmation.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 02 Jul 2014 12:39

rkhanna wrote:I have heard of a similar Special Missions Unit type formation within Marcos as well in the past but never got any confirmation.

I think you are talking about the QRT (Quick Reaction Team) for countering maritime terrorism on high seas and offshore oil rigs.


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