Discussion on Indian Special Forces

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Sid » 12 Dec 2008 15:04

After Mumbai incident, everyone in India is an expert on special operations and tactics. And now every rag-tag reporter is saying NSG should wear this, should carry that, should clear rooms like this, should wear glasses, they should have secured the stair cases...blah blah. Why?

Saying this is like telling NSG they didn't knew what they were doing, which is an insult to their profession. Real life operations are not Hollywood movies.

Look at the area of operation, their adversaries, time constraint etc etc and the enormity of their task will dawn on everyone. Nowhere in the world has any HRT team ever engaged 3 to 4 places simultaneously, that too against suicide attack.

Had they stopped the operation (like Hollywood) to secure the parameter, and prepared to talk with attackers (like Hollywood) it would have ended up in second Kandahar. Terrorists would have placed bombs and threatened to blow the whole place up along with all the hostages.

Believe me, NSG can do a operation in Hollywood style too with amriki style stack entry, flash bangs and all gizmos. I have seen one. But different scenarios require different approach. This was not normal hostage rescue operation.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Aditya G » 12 Dec 2008 18:03

Gerard wrote:Mumbai siege turns spotlight on crisis within NSG
Conventional military thinking dominates elite force, insiders say


Half of the problem Praveen mentions are because of the large size of the force.

NSG should be:

- a small, elite force
- comprised of competent army, police, SF or CPO men in the same unit
- based at Delhi
- to be used in case of national level emergencies
- with small detachments outside Delhi for specific operations.
- should have deputed air assets at Manesar

Instead:

- it has a large size with more than half doing routine/mundane VIP duties
- is divided into two wings with one from Army and other from IPS
- proposed to be broken up into different cities
- relies on ARC and IAF for transport from Palam

The only detachment should be to J&K at Srinagar airport.

NSG officials say the route to building a world-class counter-terrorism organisation lies in developing a core of professionals who see themselves as members of a dedicated special force, not soldiers or policemen on deputation.


Bollocks. the reason for deputation is to ensure a young age group :roll: why does everyone in this country have a problem with everything that they see?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Anshul » 12 Dec 2008 18:20

Aditya G wrote:
Gerard wrote:Mumbai siege turns spotlight on crisis within NSG
Conventional military thinking dominates elite force, insiders say


Half of the problem Praveen mentions are because of the large size of the force.

NSG should be:

- a small, elite force
- comprised of competent army, police, SF or CPO men in the same unit
- based at Delhi
- to be used in case of national level emergencies
- with small detachments outside Delhi for specific operations.
- should have deputed air assets at Manesar

Instead:

- it has a large size with more than half doing routine/mundane VIP duties
- is divided into two wings with one from Army and other from IPS
- proposed to be broken up into different cities
- relies on ARC and IAF for transport from Palam

The only detachment should be to J&K at Srinagar airport.

NSG officials say the route to building a world-class counter-terrorism organisation lies in developing a core of professionals who see themselves as members of a dedicated special force, not soldiers or policemen on deputation.


Bollocks. the reason for deputation is to ensure a young age group :roll: why does everyone in this country have a problem with everything that they see?


The SRG...is reported to be less trained than the SAG.Is the SRG just for satisfying the mantriji's fetish for black dungarees and MP5s? If so,then the force has lost direction and bloated in size....more so...because of the whim and fancy of the MHA.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 12 Dec 2008 19:13

Is the SRG just for satisfying the mantriji's fetish for black dungarees and MP5s?

That certainly seems to be the case...

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby neerajb » 12 Dec 2008 21:06

Sid NSGs professionalism is not being questioned but it's evident that they are lacking equipment. Shrapnel from grenade lead to one NSG guy loosing eyesight in one eye (and he is about to get married). Had blast proof eyeware provided to them, that injury could have been avoided. Major Unnikrishnan was shot 3 times in the chest and he should have survived because he was wearing NIJ III level BPJ but he didn't. In the MARCOs press brief, the commando said that they coouldn't see in the dark. Why they were not using NVG? Probably they didn't have the equipment.

Cheers....

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ramana » 12 Dec 2008 22:26

We need to be clear about NSG roles and missions. It is VIP proximate security like the US Secret Service and Anti-terrorist operations like US Delta force. And its under Police leadership. Due to the contradictions in the r&M it will not do the the job optimally. I thin kthe SPG and SAG be bifurcated. All the lacuna in the NSG ops- IC 814 hijack and the current Mumbai attack are due to transportation difficulties in getting them from tehri base to the incident location.

Every incident gives an opportunity to study what worked and what didnt so that atleast it doesn't happen next time. However after IC 814 hijack looks like no lessons were learned about fixing the transportation delay. Nor were local resources raised for holding operations. Was the Akshardam temple attack studied?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Vikram_S » 12 Dec 2008 22:49

Aditya G wrote:Half of the problem Praveen mentions are because of the large size of the force.

NSG should be:

- a small, elite force


a small force cannot handle 4-5 locations with multiple large hotels
the small elite force business is discredited even in US
the number of SF have been on a constant increase as demand increases

- comprised of competent army, police, SF or CPO men in the same unit


army man brings the army mindset including training of several years and operational experience
training from ground up is not easy

- based at Delhi


several hours lost in travel
what are you going to do in case of attack in kerala

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby kaangeya » 13 Dec 2008 01:01

The military is also distrustful of the police leadership because of their record of giving in easily to the whims and fancies of our netas and babus. Every time a military personnel encounters sloth, inefficiency, corruption and incompetence on the part of the police, they lose a little faith in the system. I don't blame them. Besides we don't have the practice of rotating personnel between the military and PD/FD as in the US. As you have very large short service reserves, week-end warriors/national guard etc., there is always a cohort entering the PD and FD (and FBI and CIA too) from the military. This helps the two trust each other.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby hnair » 13 Dec 2008 04:58

A few points about NSG and Mumbai operations in general

By accident or not, India has shown what it means to **actually** embed network news into an **actual** operation with **credible** opponents. Despite the chaos that it caused and some leak of tactics, the whole world saw what their own soldiers feel like, unlike the tripe that the western news channels are fed and who in turn regurgitate out. For the first time, the focus was not on Christine Amanpour's hideous face or War Pullitzers. The very reason the world was silently applauding us was that we prevailed against multiple odds and yet hid or spun nothing. Not the inhuman amount of blood that got spilled by the pakistanis or suffering of family members or exhilaration of the soldiers on completing their missions. There were unassuming and decent Indians helping people of all nationalities. And there were weary, sweaty and scruffy looking elite soldiers, whose heroism shown through all the haze. The images that western media loves, those regiments of shiny and "competent looking" soldiers from Roman times to British Red coats to German SS to the current American troopers - they did not matter. One of the best collateral benefits of this operation was that. That is why we see a scramble in the west to make claims "if it had been us, we would have finished this in 15 minutes". In short: Hollywood's fog lifted for a few seconds from the eyes of the world.

On to other points. I see a lot of posts feeling "sorry for NSG operatives having to guard political types". NSG operators protecting a VVIP is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially from an NSG trooper's viewpoint. If you are lucky enough to know any one in the organization with guard duty, ask that person about what he feels and they will tell you that they feel honored and in general has a sense of empowerment. Centuries ago, I remember chatting with one such person in Delhi, while sharing an elevator ride and he was happy to be protecting this politician (a particularly unpleasant specimen to me, even by stds we are used to). These are proud professional soldiers and are not judgmental about the subjects they protect. So we need to stop having sympathy for them having to protect "politicians". They really dont care. Any politician, who is given their protection will cause a lot of disruption on Indian civil society or administration by violent deaths. And a lot of politicians (corrupt or not) do help these humble guardians with small favors.

NSG operating in sultry Mumbai with the gear we see in Doom or Halo 3 is a joke. Nomex in Mumbai would be like a furnace in a few seconds. Same with any blast eye shields, they will get fogged up in seconds, when the men starts moving fast. And they are either operating or on position for hours together. Helmets however seems to have evolved so much in the matter of ventilation and sweat wicking that one can wear the modern ones quite comfortably in hot and humid weather.

A lots of people compare the umpteen gadgets that festoon a soldier in Iraq/Afghan with our's in India. There in lies the answer: our's is still in India, their home. Most of Indian COIN forces never need gear like what we see in Afghanistan or Iraq, because these are soldiers who are protecting their homeland, with easy access to logistics. Only a hostile invasion or expeditionary type troop needs to carry everything on their person.

Indian construction materials are heavy and you cannot punch in an armored assault vehicle like what is possible in the dry-wall/wooden-stud construction we see in US. And others have touched upon window grills, a feature in every Indian home.

The scout robots for SWAT are at the moment solely for Discovery channel addicts and are efforts in digging "contractor gold" out of pentagon. The only serious funding on any such remote gadget-projects by pentagon was for stuff that they were convinced in over a long period of successful operations, the Predator and Reaper drones.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby kaangeya » 13 Dec 2008 09:17

Hnair, thanks for setting the record straight. SWAT teams working for anything more than an hour get pumped up and all hot. Dammit I have done ride-alongs in fall nights in police cruisers - the tension is palpable and it does get very stuffy inside the car and all smelly in about an hour. And these guys were working for how many hours ata stretch? The NSG commander was talking of setting up relay runners at the Oberoi to run up and down 21 floors to get battery packs recharged. Now that the Bombay Police has released control room audio with the Taj CCTV footage of the pre-commando intervention, we can see what a good job our police have done. Drawing out fire, confining the piglets to middle floors and evacuating hostages. This requires not only courage but great improvisation and smarts. Excellent. Rakesh Maria's 3 part interview is up on rediff.com. A must read. The cops kept going even after hearing about the death of their leaders, without as much as a quaver in their voices. Stirring stuff. No dramatics, no gnashing of the teeth, no histrionics.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 13 Dec 2008 13:49

I don't blame them. Besides we don't have the practice of rotating personnel between the military and PD/FD as in the US.

What is PD/FD?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Avinash R » 13 Dec 2008 14:39

^Police Dept, Federal Dept?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby kaangeya » 13 Dec 2008 19:41

PD = Police Department as in New York PD
FD = Fire Dept as in FDNY

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby kobe » 14 Dec 2008 11:31

indian commandos nab 23 pirates

any more details on the operation?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Dec 2008 02:12

kobe wrote:indian commandos nab 23 pirates

any more details on the operation?


Involved IN MARCOS.
Probably should be X-posted in Navy thread or if the Tabar/piracy thread survived in that. Was more of a VBSS type of deal not a SF ops.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Dec 2008 02:16

Anshul wrote:The SRG...is reported to be less trained than the SAG.Is the SRG just for satisfying the mantriji's fetish for black dungarees and MP5s? If so,then the force has lost direction and bloated in size....more so...because of the whim and fancy of the MHA.


Is this your observation, opinion or is it based on fact(credible sources please?)? Please specify as to exactly in which ways is SRG 'less trained' than SAG? I also do hope that you realize that SAG and SRG have different roles.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Dec 2008 02:46

hnair, Thank you for one of the few sane and very informative posts on this thread during the past week. I have been yelling some of the same things on B-R for a while.....doesnt seem to make any difference so I just stopped replying to any posts.

Apart from a few posters, rest of the posters seem to be afflicted with brochuritis and shiny kit syndrome and everyone has become an expert on how HRT must be conducted...especially in a scenario where real-life HRT has never been conducted! :roll:

I am not saying NSG is perfect and that there should be no criticism. For example, their long travel time is definitely a big problem and a lesson not yet learnt from the past...for which their higher-ups should be taken to task (note that NSG had put in a requisition for their own autonomous air wing quite a while back). Every real world experience is a learning experience to address shortcomings and evolve....this cycle never ends and every experience will always have some shortcoming.

But before second guessing why NSG didnt do this or that, why they weren't wearing shiny kit #1 or #2,...why no NVGs (despite ample evidence of use of NVGs and TIs)....if they used NVGs why couldnt they magically see everything (including the brands of chaddis the paki terrorists were wearing) in middle of massive fires, smoke, sprinklers, why level III BPJ did not stop AK bullets at point blank range, why isnt every NSG trooper not loaded out like Rambo, why is a trooper standing in public view not wearing this or that (without realizing that NSG had a staging area in each place which was not open to the hoardes of press) etc. etc., take a moment, educate yourself (and that does not include Hollywood, Dallas SWAT and Bruce Willis) and then post. Otherwise you are bringing B-R to the level of D&D forum and myriad other forums on the internet which are filled with wide eyed fanboys whose only knowledge of the military is Call of Duty and Oliver Stone. :roll:

And finally to reiterate what I said earlier on one of the threads here (maybe this one)....in this age of 30 second attention spans aided by hollywood movies and 'reality police shows', we expect 1000 room buildings to be taken down in 15 minutes. If that doesnt happen we complain (like one of the above quoted news articles) why NSG had to take 60 hours doing a room by room search without realizing this is how real life HRT works. Its grimy gritty dirty bloody (and some will say 99% time boring and routine) and for the first time the world saw it as is...no spin...no select cut scenes...nothing left out. The fancy storming of buildings in black kits whispering into throat mikes is for the movies. Even in Op.Nimrod (SAS op on the iranian embassy) one trooper got caught while abseiling down and got burnt by a flashbang....that is reality. His mates probably dont remember how cool they looked while entering the embassy....they probably are just grateful that he survived and they got all the bad guys that time. The next time it might be different (and for them it was). Special Forces is not about glamour or fighting with shiny kit....it is about highly trained fine soldiers who attempt the impossible and sometimes succeed and sometimes they pay with their lives, without remorse without regret. As Maroof Raza said in one of Maurica Biswas's documentaries....(paraphrasing) Special Forces is about special men (and women) who can think straight and act when other soldiers just want to lie down and die.

Just saying that you respect their bravery and then proceed to second guess them is as insulting to their profession as saying that they were 'poorly trained' (for people who think that the latter case of being poorly trained etc. was true I am still waiting for someone to tell me a real-world operation undertaken by a western/israeli SF on this magnitude facing terrorists of this caliber).

Answer to one of the poster's questions....
NSG (SRG) is one of the few units in the world which has had women in its active ranks (with same evaluation criteria as men). Google and ye should find (the article was a few years old).

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Jagan » 18 Dec 2008 08:34

TN Police Commandos?

Image (Indian Express)

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Avinash R » 18 Dec 2008 19:06

Person on right is wearing para badge.Image

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Aditya G » 18 Dec 2008 19:17

X-posting my question here ...

Aditya G wrote:This JAK LI officer is wearing a balidan badge. How come? Isnt Balidan badge for Para SF alone?

Image

Image


Has Balidan badge become a 'medal' that can be worn by men of other regiments after serving a tour or two with the Para SF Bn?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 18 Dec 2008 19:24

Jagan wrote:TN Police Commandos?

(Indian Express)

TN SAG(swift action group)...Saw a few of these guys with para wings also in a few pics!!!

Impressive force the TN govt seems to have raised.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby dinakar » 20 Dec 2008 08:35

sum wrote:
Jagan wrote:TN Police Commandos?

(Indian Express)

TN SAG(swift action group)..

Indeed they are from TN Special Action Group.. Former CoP Vijay Kumar played a important role in making them a potent force.. Now he has been appointed as the head of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Indrajit » 20 Dec 2008 09:09

Here's the photo from Military photos...

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff11 ... 295362.jpg

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff11 ... 295362.jpg

Caption
The Indian INS Mysore warship is seen off the southern Yemeni port of Aden on 17 December 2008. Yemeni coast guard authorities received 23 suspected pirates, including 11 Yemenis, who were arrested by the Indian INS Mysore warship in an anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Indrajit » 20 Dec 2008 09:10

Here's the photo from Military photos...

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff11 ... 295362.jpg

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff11 ... 295362.jpg

Caption
The Indian INS Mysore warship is seen off the southern Yemeni port of Aden on 17 December 2008. Yemeni coast guard authorities received 23 suspected pirates, including 11 Yemenis, who were arrested by the Indian INS Mysore warship in an anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby somnath » 20 Dec 2008 18:08

A pertinent article in the current edition of Outlook

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fo ... F%29&sid=1

While there are some mistakes in the article (the Special GRoup is a part of SFF, not a spearate outfit under RAW), the overall thrust of the article is quite relevant.

For a country facing sub conventional warfare for so long (starting with the Kashmire operation in 1947!), the lack of a doctrine and structure to fight sub conventional warfare (or 4th generation warfare as it is termed now by some) is shocking. The co-location of the Army SF with the parachute regiment is such an old story that it isnt even a joke anymore. India must be the only country whose elite "special forces" have their premier training and operational base colocated with a regular para infantry regiment!

The ultra conventioanl thinking in the upper echelons of the services, and absolutely no thinking in the civilian leadersip, has meant that each major security outfit has some sort of a "special force". None of these forces are truly equiped to be special. This includes the Army SF, whose training and equipment, by admission of army officers themselves, make them a little more than a better trained infantry force.

This obviously percolates down to equipment procurement - dedicated choppers with night flying capabilities, special EW kits, dedicated communications infrastructure, midget subs, above all language skills - none of these get any mention either in the press or for that matter, obviously gven the state of affairs, in the top brass. All the chat is about multi billion dollar MRCA, aricraft carrier, heavy arty and main battle tanks. NEver mind the fact that the only type of war we are likley to fight is "sub conventional" in nature, and we should be conceivably doing that pronto.

After an incident like Mumbai, there are thankfully a few noises made - but without a change in the mindset of the senior services brass, nothing's going to change.

Somnath

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Jagan » 21 Dec 2008 09:45


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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 21 Dec 2008 14:38

Image
So, the image of the Tavor holding mystery man(seen in above pic) for which almost 4-5 pages were dedicated in BR a year back was from the Special Group?

Also, sad to see the army SF pictured doing the Arabic jog/dance(must have been taken during the 06 republic day)!!!!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ParGha » 21 Dec 2008 21:10

-Moved to MARCOS & NSG ops in Mumbai Attack :Discussion Thread -
Last edited by ParGha on 22 Dec 2008 00:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Amrinder » 22 Dec 2008 08:59

Quick question: can someone please explain how the security system works?
in particular what is Z security? What about the security of regular MLA's and MP's?
How does that compare to security of American senators and congressmen?

Thanks in advance..

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby somnath » 22 Dec 2008 09:29

So, the image of the Tavor holding mystery man(seen in above pic) for which almost 4-5 pages were dedicated in BR a year back was from the Special Group?


Nope thats a mistake again from the author - The photo shows the soldier on static security "mode" (there was another photo as well) - unlikely that the Special Group will be engaged in that role in Kashmir.

Over the years, the political leadership has started taking enourmous short cuts at the doctrinal level. Earlier, the Secretary RAW and Director IB used to be reporting directly to the Prime Minister. From ABV's time, somehow the National Security Advisor became the Intelligence Czar - a trend institutionalised by MK Narayanan in his tenure. Everyone working in corporate organisations understand the concept of gatekeepers - the NSA has become some sort of a "one-in-all" security gatekeeper to the PM, with deleterious consequences.

In the UK, Maggie Thatcher used to treat the SAS/SBS as her "direct reportees", and the trend continues to a large measure even today. In India, the panoply of "special forces" are under the direct supervision of a whole range of relatively junior officials (an IG for the SFF, a Brig for the Army SF and so on), none of whom obviosuly talk to each other!

Creation of a joint services special forces command has been a crying imperative - but unfortunately the biggest hurdle has been from within the services themselves, with most of the senior brass too "conventional" in their thinking. Unfortunately the political leadership has left this at the hands of the generals, even though it is far too important to be decided by a bunch of generals!

Somnath

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Aditya G » 22 Dec 2008 15:00

somnath wrote:
So, the image of the Tavor holding mystery man(seen in above pic) for which almost 4-5 pages were dedicated in BR a year back was from the Special Group?


Nope thats a mistake again from the author - The photo shows the soldier on static security "mode" (there was another photo as well) - unlikely that the Special Group will be engaged in that role in Kashmir.


Per the pictures the two did not appear to be on static security at all, but were patrolling the town.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 22 Dec 2008 21:11

IIRC they were on bandobast duty during a bundh in Srinagar... in hindsight(assuming they were indeed SG), they might have been informed of suspicious characters in the vicinity and might have come there in normal fatigues to keep an eye!!! :wink:

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Aditya G » 23 Dec 2008 08:46

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/art ... page-1.cms

New NSG hubs to be spared VIP duties
23 Dec 2008, 0720 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau


NEW DELHI: There is no move as yet to disengage National Security Guard (NSG) from VIP security duty though its four new regional hubs—to be
located at
Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata—will not have any VIP protection component.

“The NSG’s job at the four regional hubs will be strictly confined to anti-terror crack operations,” a senior MHA official told ET on Monday. The Union Cabinet is expected to clear the proposal regarding the additional NSG hubs soon.

The government, as part of its efforts to expedite the NSG’s response to terror attacks and hostage situations, has also identified the IAF aircraft that will be on standby for airlifting the commandos during contingencies. According to a senior NSG official, an arrangement has been worked out to the last detail, including a faster aircraft and a requisitioning drill that virtually rules out any administrative delays, to cut the time needed to take the commandos to the site of emergency. The particular aircraft will be stationed at Delhi for NSG’s use.

However, there is no plan for a separate aircraft for the NSG per se. This was not found to be feasible as it would have required the creation of a separate air wing of the NSG. Given the shortage of pilots plaguing even the bigger Central police organisations like the BSF (which has a dedicated air wing), the proposal, it was felt, would come unstuck.

As for the four regional hubs, the NSG brass are still assessing the personnel requirements and availability to have them up and running. Though NSG sources say the personnel can be culled out of its existing numbers to get the hubs going, their strength would have to be augmented in due time to make the hubs function at full capacity.

Though the strength of NSG is to be raised significantly, it would take time before the personnel are trained and can join duty.

At present, the NSG is still working out how to get together from its available strength all the components needed to set up a self-sufficient hub — commandos from the Army, CRPF, etc and personnel for communication and signals division, bomb disposal, intelligence, training, medical units and even provisioning. A meeting in this regard was taken by Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta, with NSG chief J K Dutt and joint secretary (police) V N Gaur in attendance, here on Monday.

Though the plan is to have the hubs functional as soon as the core team, comprising all the aforesaid components, is in, for all practical purposes, they will have to be staffed to the required levels in phases. Such an approach will rule out delays in setting up the hubs, either together or one after the other, while giving them enough time to start operating at full capacity.

The decision to strictly go by the NSG charter in setting the tasks for the regional hubs is in line with the an earlier recommendation of the group of ministers on national security seeking the NSG to be disengaged from VIP duties and retain its essential character as an anti-terror crack force. The NSG, which extends central protection to 20 VIPs at present, will continue to do personal security duties but the personnel for this will only be spared from its Manesar headquarters.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Singha » 23 Dec 2008 09:06

I see some reports and posts that pakis "get it" wrt SF and are the real kamandu.

in terms of command structure I believe the SSG reports directly under COAS?

afaik the backpaks dont have a parachute regiment hence nothing to slide the
SSG under.

secondly, can anyone educate me about the major successes of the SSG - apart
from training terrorists well?

we know about 1965, am eager to know their later exploits.

amirkhan has doled out a few 100 pieces of nvg and a few 1000 pieces of bpj
to aid the munna hunt in the dark. the article above makes it seem like the
entire PA is equipped on the level of delta force with each guy having a FN-SCAR, three types of nvg and a PSG1 beltfed from a 200 rd drum mag :rotfl:

enough already with the wailing and rona dhona.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby somnath » 23 Dec 2008 09:30

Singha,

While I have no idea on the SSG's successes, the idea of having it directly under the COAS is a first class one, IMO. Given that the COAS is the Chief Executive of Pakistan, whatever the official position (martial law, democracy etc), it makes Pak's Special Forces directly under the head of the "state". It means that SSG is considered to be a "strategic force", not a tactical better trained infantry.

On another vein, hostage rescue is the only "visible" part of the job description of the special forces. By definition, most of the other jobs are not in public domain. So its very difficult to gauge the effectiveness of special forces on a stand alone basis. It can only be inferred from the broader outcomes. Therefore, Ops Grand Slam was a disastrous operation, while the Bangladesh operation was a successful one. But does it mean that SSG was a bunch of nincompoops while a nascent Meghdoot force was Sayaret Matkal verII? Or is it that the politico-military strategy utilising the forces were different in both cases, and hence enabling the Special forces to be effective? I would go for the latter conclusion.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby kaangeya » 23 Dec 2008 09:55

There's a half-xxxxd post on the companion thread based on an alleged whine and moan report from a senior retired IA officer, published in Outlook. Extraordinarily dumb of the reporter to demand that a unfied command be created to manage six v.v.different units - NSG, Marcos, SG, SFF, IA Commandos, IAF Garuds. Such shocking ignorance. Each one of these forces has a very clearly defined role, doctrine, training, mission profiles. On top of this some dork alleges that the IA is jealous of its authority and wants to absorb all SFs into the Paras. Poppycock! Sadly KPS Gill has once again indulged his pet peeve, the IA engagement in what he sees as purely civilian ops. He did the same after the Akshardham Op and has been saying the same thing this time too. Worse still his collaborators who aren't ignorant and should know better are whining in harmony. In the meanwhile a few police forces - TN and Greyhounds have already gone ahead and formed special teams and gotten them trained. TN especially has been fairly successful to date - let's hope it continues. When these whiners demand that India have a unified command a la Amrikhans and darn it - the TSPs - don't these duffers realise they are talking about very different scale of Ops. The US Spec Ops Command is meant to take on v.large SF deployments using things like AC-130 among others! The TSP thing is incidentally a name plate attachment exercise. And let's quit whining about equipment for SF. These guys can lay their hands on just about any small arms they want by the truck load. Some of these NSG/Marcos guys are grizzled veterans and have been through worse having sustained bullet injuries 3-4 times before.

Somnath
While I have no idea on the SSG's successes, the idea of having it directly under the COAS is a first class one, IMO. Given that the COAS is the Chief Executive of Pakistan, whatever the official position (martial law, democracy etc), it makes Pak's Special Forces directly under the head of the "state". It means that SSG is considered to be a "strategic force", not a tactical better trained infantry.


And what really is wrong if the SF are a better trained infantry? And what the heck is a "strategic force" compared to a "tactical force". This is the sort of boilerplate infested jargon that keeps dorks in business. So is a Strike Corps strategic or tactical?

What has this direct authority achieved for the TSPA's much hyped SSG? There are good reasons why the COAS doesn't directly do anything - there's the VCOAS, DCOAS, and a host of other senir officers and functional heads. This is really old hat. Is the COAS going to run his own battle and war? And when we want the NSG/SG/MArcos/SF/SFF/Commandos at 2 am, do we wake up Gen.Kapoor and ask him to depute them? Can you see where this is headed? Absurd!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rohitvats » 23 Dec 2008 10:29

kaangeya: You've yet not provided any logical argument against unified command except for the very different profile argument. As for

Code: Select all

There's a half-xxxxd post on the companion thread based on an alleged whine and moan report from a senior retired IA officer, published in Outlook.
, it comes from an ex. Lt General and a former PARA(SF) chap himself. So he does command more respect then a snide remark.

1. But tell me whats wrong with a unified command and control? Its a common practice to have a your strategic assets under one unified control. As for the v.v.different roles of various SF units, what prevents them to be under one command which can allocate the resources as per the requirement. What has this to do with scale? Even if the argument of scale is taken into account, given the number of operators, spread of geography and multiple nature of threats it is more imperative that all the SOF be under one command. In a crisis situation, the single piont of contact/HQ can best decide how to allocate resources rather than calling up different people. In a country which by the day is fighting a complex sub-conventional war, it is imperative that a Joint Command structure be created for the SF (and you do not need to call up Gen Kapoor if you know someone out there controls these forces)

2. As for the seperate PARA(SF) Regiment in the IA, this has been a long standing demand. Lets take an example: When Gen. Sundarji mechanized the Infantry, he deliberately raised a a seperate regiment rather than have line infantry regiments retaining their name but converting to mechanized role (UK being an example). He also took some of the senior most regiments if IA and converted them to Mechanized Infantry. IN doign so he ensured that a new regiment has a sense of history but more important it had its own peer and pressure group with the IA. Same holds for the PARA(SF) also. They need to have their own seperate identity as a regiment. As it is,there is no point having having them together as only thing they share is maroon beret and lineage.

3. As for the SSG, wether one likes it or not, PA does have a better Command Structure for its SF. And the argument that what has this command structure achieved for PA is a non sequitor. We talk only of 1965 para drop and Siachen (Qaid Post) as examples of SSGs failure in its entire operation history. Do we know of all their operations? Or for that matter of fact do we know of all IA SF operations? And let me ask you a question? What did IA Para(SF) achieve in 1965 and 1971? Why? Was it becasue they could not? Or was it because no one knew what to do with them? IIRC,9 Para(SF) was used a line infantry in Chamb sector in 1971.
Last edited by rohitvats on 23 Dec 2008 10:41, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Singha » 23 Dec 2008 10:29

I had thought of posting similar comments but held myself in check. the PA COAS is always guarded by a few platoons of SSG being the dictator of the day
and maybe the SSG is dual tasked to kill or capture coup leaders should anyone
make a move on pindi. hence they are held very close to the COAS.

what a SF unit can do depends on the political and military space for manouver carved out by the economic and diplomatic strength of country.

eg. if tomorrow a couple of socom units drop in on chittagong and lay waste
a couple of blocks because someone's toilet didnt flush properly, BD will take
it on the chin and keep quiet. if India did that, there will be far more activity
and razakar militias being unleashed on border villages.

as a nations power increases, the "strategic" and 'deep strike' nature of SF
may increase. US is at one end. PA/BD is at the other - i.e. more like anti-coup
QRT than a real Lal Quila raiding party

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Singha » 23 Dec 2008 10:34

imho a case can be made for putting marcos, SFF and IA SF units under one command, but the NSG's training profile is very different and they are best left
alone, as also the IAF Garuds if they are indeed base defence and csar only.
Garuds can probably work with the parachute regiment?

need of hour is more fixed and rotary wing assets for everyone. when resources
increase, many problems go away on their own.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rohitvats » 23 Dec 2008 10:36

Singha: Both the incumbent and former chiefs of the IA are protected by the PARA(SF). So lets keep the flights of fancy at bay. The practice was introduced post the assasination of Gen. Vaidya in Pune by Sikh extremists.


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