Now that we all talk army these days way too much and we all have faced the horrors of Nagrota Attacks and felt the burns of URI Attacks recently which eventually led us to successful surgical strikes to pakistani soils when the forces returned even without a scratch after destroying terror camps in Pok then it’s very important that we all must know about ‘Para Commandos”the RED DEVILS.‘ You know why? Because Para Commandos are the common factor in all these attacks. They are the Indian special forces and first one to fire back on the terrorists and mow an easy battlegrounds for the frontline forces to come and take over and then what happens? They vanish silently into the same Dhruv helicopters through which they were dropped down to the conflict zone. Yes that is what they do and so if not everything we all should know something about them. And here we go
Para commandos are part of highly trained parachute regiment of Indian Army and make the largest special forces. A rough estimation says out of 7500 elite paratroopers only 2500s are para commandos. Needless to say they are highly trained,motivated and super deadly.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is honorary captain in Indian special forces para commando and late captain Pawan kumar was also from Para special forces who martyred in Jammu & Kashmir recently.
The aim behind raising such special forces units is to create an army of commandos who can be quickly deployed behind the enemy lines,destroy enemy first line of defense and take control of the situation before the main forces arrive there.
So to be a para commando the volunteer army personnel should qualify as paratroopers first in the parachute regiment which is the oldest airborne units in the world. The volunteers must be serving army personnel,either the fresh recruits from the academy or the transfers from other army units.
So these para commando aspirants first need to get into any of the paratrooper (airborne) battalions (5,6,7) into 3 month probation and then undergo 6 months of rigorous training again which include sleep deprivation,humiliation,mental and physical torture etcetera to its extreme level. The special force training goes to 3.5years. A 21 year fresh Para recruit is here in pictures.
The attrition rate is very high only 10% of the applicants make it to be para commandos.Apart from traditional parachute force there are other parachute (SF) units dominated by para commandos like 1 Para, 9 para,10para para 21 para (special forces) and each one has different roles to play like 1 Para is for mountain warfare,9 Para for jungle warfare,10 para for desert warfare and so on.
The para beret is maroon is colour as it’s said that the green army beret is turned red by blood and then it’s earned and so is the story of ‘Balidan’ it’s the badge of sacrifice means whosoever wears it owes his blood to the nation.
The trainings are world’s toughest and harshest like surviving in the wilderness by eating plants,bugs and making tools,keeping warm etc, dealing with torture and capture,specialised methods of infiltrations,capturing friendly signals etc. HAHO and HALO techniques are important part of their trainings.
All paratroopers are sent to Paratrooper training school Agra where they learn high altitude jumping, skydiving etc Though the Para special forces HQ is in agra.They have access to one of the most advanced weapons and equipments like TAR-21 assault rifles,MP4 submachines guns and fly in the bests like HAL Dhruv helicopters, HAL Chetak etc.
They are so efficient that they can fire while lying down,rolling,running, looking into the mirror etc.Snaking their way through an actual mined path One of the interesting techniques of training is like keeping a coin near their partner’s feet and keep running towards them and firing. You just can imagine the amount of confidence they posses into each other.
They are perhaps the only unit in Indian Army which have participated in almost all the operations outside the country since the beginning including Gaza and Korea operations. Here is the picture from Indian counter insurgency operation in Myanmar 2015 when the Para commandos avenged 17 of their dead friends by ULFA terrorists. They crossed border in Dhruv Helicopters and slaughtered the terrorists and this is the picture of original team which returned without even a scratch in 2016.
They played key role in capturing Tiger Hill which changed the course of the war during Kargil War and actively patrolled in Wular lake. Then there’s another huge list of their heroics like Kashmiri Hostage situation 1995, Operation Khukri Sierra Leone 2000, and very recent surgical strikes 2016 when the teams of Para commandos entered POk and destroyed pakistani terror camps operating in pakistani soil and returned victoriously. All the para commandos have been awarded various medals during republic day 2017 parade.
Their stories are good enough to give you goosebumps and persona to make you pee. They are very young,motivated,intelligent and ‘Ghatak’. It’s said the paras sport beards and always out of uniform. Here is the pictures of Para commandos disguised as kashmiri militants. So the legends behind the maroon beret earned them the tags of ‘Red Devil’.
And yes now that you know about para commandos then do you ever wonder what kind of love life these lethal people would have? How it would be to love such deadly commandos ? And how life would treat a fashionista if she gets to fall in love with a para? Well if you are curious then do give a read to my book ‘SOLDIER’S GIRL’ which is to be published in April 2017. Well that’s my first book but the adventure and inside scoops are way too much. Give it a try!
Here if you want to read more on special forces and army life
Picture credit: well 1 or 2 pictures are by Shivam Tiwari.