We usually talk about the Indian Army, Indian Air force and Indian Navy. Lots of people think our defense system is limited to only these three main forces. If I ask you to tell me about some more forces of the Indian defense system. You can hardly tell me about National security guards or Paramilitary forces of India. But, do you know there are many other Special forces of India? You don’t know about them because they are not in limelight.
• Ghatak Force
Ghatak is a Hindi word which means ‘Killer’. Ghatak force is present in every infantry battalion in the Indian Army. Its name was given by General Bipin Chandra Joshi. If we talk about the structure of Ghatak Platoon then it is a group of 20 strong men. In each group, there is a commanding captain, 2 non-commissioned officers and some special teams like marksman, light machine gunners, medic and radio partner. Rest of the soldiers are called Assault troopers.
Ghatak Force Training
The fittest soldiers of infantry battalion are selected in the team of Ghatak Platoons. They have to undergo a very strict Commando training course. Under the training, they have to carry rifles and 20 kg of rucksacks and they are asked for speed march from a speed of 20 to 60 km.
They are equipped with highly automated weapons. Currently, the Indian Army is upgrading its weapons with new lighter body weapons.
• National Security Guards Or Black Cats
National Security Guard is a most popular unit the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs. It was established in 1984 for retaliation of terrorist activities. They are also regarded as Black cats because they wear a black uniform. They are also deployed to proved personal security to influential politicians. They are highly trained for counter-terrorism task, counter hijacking task and Detection and neutralization of IEDs.
It is based on the GSG 9 of Germany. Its headquarter is situated in Palam, Delhi. After the Mumbai terror attack, it is decided that National security guards will also be deployed in some major cities in India. Some of the cities are Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
A. Director General(Lieutenant General)
B. Additional Director- General(Lieutenant-General)
C. Inspector- General(Major- General)
D. Deputy Inspector –General(Brigadier)
E. Group Commander (Colonel)
F. Squadron Commander( Lieutenant-Colonel)
G. Team Commander(Major/capt.)
• Assistant Commanders(JCOs)
A. Assistant Commander Grade I. (Subedar Major)
B. Assistant Commander Grade II. (Subedar)
C. Assistant Commander Grade III. (Naib Subedar)
• Other Officers
A. Ranger Grade I.
B. Ranger Grade II.
C. Ranger Grade III.
Selection and Training Process in National Security Guards
The selection process is very challenging. Because there is a 70-80% dropout rate in this selection. The training process is of 14 months. The training center is located in Manesar, Haryana. The training process is also very challenging, Cops are given the task of Jumping from heights and scaling different kinds of terrain. After completion of this training, cops are sent for advanced training of nine months.
If we talk about its past mission and achievements then they have participated in Mumbai terror attack in 2008, Hyderabad Blasts 2013, Patna Blasts 2013, Bangalore Blasts 2013 and recently they completed the mission after the Pathankot attack by neutralizing 6 terrorists. Apart from these missions, Several times they deployed in different conditions and saved our country.
COBRA is a specialized unit of Central Reserve Police Force. COBRA Commandoes are proficient in Guerrilla tactics and Jungle Welfare. It is basically established to combat with the Naxalites. At present, it has 10 battalions. COBRA was established in 2008.
COBRA Battalion is trained with all the modern combat requirements. They are given the training of Guerrilla welfare, Field engineering, tracking of explosives and jungle survival techniques. They are equipped with all the modern technology weapons like Heckler & Koch MP5, Heckler & Koch MSG-90 and INSAS Rifles, etc.
Training Of COBRA Commandoes
They are provided the training at the CRPF Elite Jungle Welfare Institution, which is situated in Belgaum and Koraput. During training, the main focus is on the Jungle welfare tactics. The duration of their training is 3 months. After the successful training, they are deployed at Naxalite areas.
Major Operations Carried out in the past
On 17 November 2009, in the Dantewada district COBRA Battalion successfully completed an operation against Maoists. In that approx 30-40 Maoists were killed. Another operation is carried out in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand where 1 Maoist was killed, 4 were arrested and 12 camps were busted.
• FORCE ONE
Force one was established after the Mumbai Terror attack by the Maharashtra government. The best and youngest commandoes are taken in the FORCE One Unit. The main motto behind the establishment of this unit was to protect the Mumbai metropolitan area.
They are considered as one of the very fast units of the world. They can be ready even in less than 15 minutes for any combat. So you can assume how they are trained. 216 best soldiers are selected from 3000 applicants for the FORCE ONE Battalion. They are given the training under the guidance of Israeli special forces.
MARCOS is the special unit of the Indian Navy. Its previous name was Marine Commando Force(MCF). It was established in 1987. Its regimental centers are situated in Mumbai, Goa, Vishakhapatnam, Kochi, and Port Blair.
Selection and Training of Macros Battalion
The MACROS battalion contains only male soldiers. They are selected at the early age of 20. The selection process is very challenging that makes it one of the best special forces of India. It takes almost 2 years for the training of MACROS Battalions. Under the training, they are guided by American and British Special Forces. Most of the training is carried out at INS Abhimanyu, Which is also the home base of MACROS Battalions. During the training they are trained with airborne operations, Combat diving courses, counter-terrorism, anti-hijacking and anti-piracy.
Only the Indian Navy candidates are allowed in the MACROS Battalion. First of all, they have to undergo a 3 days Physical fitness test and also an aptitude test. Here it is considerable that 80% of the candidates are screened out in the first round. The selected candidates are sent for second screening which is known as ‘Hells’s week’. This training is similar to the United States Navy SEALs “Hell week”.
Some Successful operations carried out by MARCOS Battalion
Its first successful operation was held in 1987. In that, this battalion helped in capturing the harbors of Jaffna and Trincomalee, which is a part of Sri Lanka. Other successful operations were Operation Cactus1988, Operation Tasha 1991, Operation Zabardust 1992, operation Rakshak. MACROS also assisted during the Kargil war in 1999. They also participated in ‘Operation Black Tornado’ which was carried out against the Mumbai terror attack 2008.
Para commandos are commonly known as PARA SF. It is attached with the parachute regiment. It is considered as the highly trained special forces of the Indian Defense. It has 9 battalions. They have participated in many wars like 1971war, operation Blue Star1984 and recently they are the part of Surgical strike team.
Now come to the Selection and Training Process
Some of its Para commandos are recruited on fresh recruitment and some are transferred from Army units. It is considered as one of the toughest training in the world. They are trained with sleep deprivation, humiliation, and mental torture so that they can survive in any critical conditions.
A. Basic Military Training- To be a part of PARA Commando a candidate must be a part of Indian Army.
B. Pre Selection Process- In this phase administrative procedures are filled by the candidate and they have to choose either the Para Air or Para SF.
C. Selection Phase- The duration of the selection stage is 90 days for both the Para Air and Para SF. If I talk about the Para SF selection then it is carried out twice in a year. Once you got selected you have to go for the probation period. There is no specific schedule during the probation period. Soldiers have to go without food for 4 days, they have asked to survive in 1-liter water for 3 days and they are not allowed to sleep for 7days. They are trained to run for up to 40 km in a day.
D. Advanced SF Training- after completion of the Probation period they undergo in an advanced SF Training. Here you have to get the training under different organizations. All the activities are organized by Parachute Regiment. Soldiers are trained for weapon handling the training, Navigation training, Field Craft Training, Closed Quarter Battle and Infiltration.
Major Operations carried out by PARA Commandos
First of all, they participated in the war of 1971 against Pakistan. Again they successfully operated the ‘operation blue star’ in the premises of Swarn Mandir in 1984. They also participated in Sri Lanka 1987, Operation Cactus in Maldives 1988, Kargil War 1999, Operation Summer Storm 2009.
Recently they successfully participated in the surgical strike in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK )Region. They carried out this operation and made the whole nation proud and also gave a proper retaliation to terrorism.