Special Operations: More Indian Operators To Face China


May 2, 2013: The Indian Army is continuing to expand its airborne forces. The current ten battalions are to be being expanded by two. There are two types of Indian parachute battalions. Eight are special forces (formerly Para Commando) battalions. That is, they are trained for operating against terrorists and irregulars in peacetime but are also trained to use parachutes and would do so in wartime as light infantry landed in enemy territory. The other four battalions are not trained as special forces and are just parachute infantry. The two new battalions will be parachute battalions (not special forces, at least not immediately). India will station the two new parachute battalions near the Chinese border, where more army and air force units are being moved to match the Chinese buildup there that has been going on for years.

The parachute battalions are but one component of Indian special operations troops, which is a very varied group. For example, the Special Protection Group personnel are assigned the task of protection for India's Prime Minister and VIPs from terrorist attacks.  The elite MARCOS unit acts as India's Navy SEAL teams and performs special ops on the high seas.

The primary counter-terror unit in the country is the 15,000 man National Security Guards and the ones who have borne most of the responsibility for tackling India's persistent insurgent problems over the last couple of decades. Over the last decade the army has formed a force of over 7,200 commandos so that each of the 359 infantry battalions in the army could have a twenty man Ghatak (commando) platoon. This gave each battalion some well-equipped shock troops.

There are also special police units. These are not just SWAT but trained and equipped for more complex commando operations. These police units, like most of the military special operators, spend a lot of time dealing with Islamic terrorists and political and ethnic rebels inside India.


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