What makes Indian Army Para SF a Versatile force

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Indian Army Paratrooper Special Forces aka the Para SF are known to be one of the best special forces consisting of the most well-trained , professional and equally ferocious and ruthless soldiers abiding by their motto “Men Apart every man an Emperor”.

No wonder these men wear the coveted Maroon Beret and sport a ‘Special Forces’ tab and the ‘Balidan’ badge which speaks in volume what they are capable of. Para SF has gained success in every terrain they operated in ranging from fighting Pakistanis in Kashmir and inside their territory to various operations across the world like Maldives , Sudan , Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka .

Now you must be wondering what makes Para SF a unit to excel in every terrain ? The key to their success lies in the versatility of the forces which makes them capable to operate in every terrain they are required to fight in. Ranging from the dry biomes to impenetrable jungles , from the icy cold peaks to close quarters , these men train for any situation which makes them the best. To succeed in any situation and operation , Para SF has different battalions raised for a plethora of operations.

Para SF consists of 1,2,3,4,9,10,11,12,21 PARA who train for a specialized type of warfare. These are :

1 Para SF : First established in 1761 and converted to SF role in 1978 they were trained for Urban Combat.

2 Para SF : Established in 1797 and converted to SF in 2000 they train for Counter-Insurgency/Counter-Terrorism Operations and High Altitude Warfare. They are also known as “Predators”.

3 Para SF : Established in 1813 and converted to SF role in 2002 , they train for Desert Warfare. They are known as “Russel Vipers”.

4 Para SF : Known as “Daggers” they were raised in 1961 and converted to SF role in 2003. They train for Counter-Insurgency/Counter-Terrorism Operations and High Altitude Warfare and were one of the unit to take part in famous 2016 Surgical Strikes in PoK.

9 Para SF : Known as “Pirates” they were the first Para Commando Battalion established in 1966 and they tran for Counter-Insurgency/Counter-Terrorism Operations and High Altitude Warfare. They were one of the units to carry out 2016 PoK Surgical Strikes.

10 Para SF : Famously known for 1971 Chacoro Raid and nicknamed “Desert Scorpions” they train for Desert Warfare. Established in 1967 they are one of the most decorated and experienced Para SF unit.

11 Para SF : It is a relatively young unit established in 2011. They train for jungle warfare and CI/CT Ops.

12 Para SF : Known as “Dirty Dozens” they were converted from 23rd Battalion , Rajputana Rifles to SF role. They train for jungle warfare and CI/CT Ops.

21 Para SF : Known as “Waghnakas” they were established in 1985 and converted to SF role in 1996. They are famous for 2015 Surgical Strikes in Myanmar. They train for jungle warfare and CI/CT Ops.

This gives Para SF a sort of ‘geographical specialization’ not enjoyed by other SF units in India like MARCOS or Garuds.

Para SF also train for naval warfare as they undergo Combat Diver Course at Diving School along with their MARCOS counterparts. This does not give them better capabilities than MARCOS but give them almost same capabilities as MARCOS to perform underwater operations.

Para SF also train to do Combat Free Fall stressing upon HALO/HAHO techniques which gives them ability to perform operations from every sphere : Land , Water and Air. Apart from this Para SF also perform Close Protection Duties like NSG and SPG to some notable people.

Thus Para Special Forces can perform a wide variety of operations which is not possible the other way round by other Special Forces in India. Para SF also visit to other countries for advanced training on certain disciplines like Sniping and Intelligence gathering which help them perform better.

To be a Special Forces operative you have to soak yourself into a long gruesome training and probation period. Even after basic training you have to learn better to understand the terrain you operate upon and thus perform better. Para SF consist of seasoned and experienced operators and their training and skills is what makes them apart.