Indian Special Forces use varied combat dresses and camouflage patterns as per their Area of Operation and Combat terrain which adheres to their fighting skills and capabilities. Here are the various combat dresses and camo patterns used by Indian Special Forces:-
MARCOS are trained to operate in a wide range of terrains and can be deployed from Sea, Land or Air. Though it is not exactly known how many camo patterns, MARCOS uses, they are mostly spotted using two camo patterns: Universal Camouflage Pattern or better known as Digital Camouflage and Black Camouflage.
UCP serves well in an urban environment like buildings, concrete structures and all which helps the operator to blend into the scene. Black camo is used for Close Quarter Battles like VBSS Operations, Hostage Rescue, and Room Intervention Operations. For other needs to perform operations in jungles like mildly dense forest they use Multicam and PC Disruptive camo. PC Disruptive camo is very effective in semi-arid and forests and is also used by Army in general. In addition, they use Flecktarn camo ( used by BSF also ) and Survival Pattern [SURPAT] for various combat profiles and needs.
Officially they sport a pure white naval uniform with a peak cap/maroon beret, Combat Diver Badge, Marine Commando Sleeve Patch which is authorized only to MARCO personnel and a MARCOS Badge which is awarded after a successful probation period. They might also sport medals, ribbons and other badges like a SEAL Trident ( for those who have undergone BUD/S ) and a Frogman Badge.
Para SF uses some 25+ camo patterns due to the varied terrains they operate in ranging from high reaches of the Himalayas to dense jungles of North East and scorching deserts of the west.
For Desert Special Operations, Para SF uses MARPAT or Marine Pattern Camo and Desert Camouflage. They even use UCP camo like MARCOS for Urban Operations. In addition, they use black camo similar to MARCOS/NSG for Close Quarter Battles and Night operations.
Para SF in addition uses different other camo patterns like Snow Camouflage for High-Altitude Operations , Flecktarn camo for Counter-Terrorism Ops in Kashmir , brushstroke camouflage pattern for airborne operations and also during parades , parachutist style smock with Goretex-type jackets for operations in arid jungles and features orange spots , French CE woodland , Multicam , PC Disruptive , SURPAT , mossy oak camo for jungle operations among others.
Officially they sport an iconic Balidaan badge along with a Special Force Sleeve Patch and a Parachutist Badge along with other medals, ribbons and their iconic maroon beret which distinguishes them as an Airborne force.
One of the heroes of 2016 surgical strike in PoK who stepped on an Anti-Personnel mine during the return
Guards also have a varied camo pattern in service and they most commonly use their new MARPAT camo and SURPAT camo along with other camo patterns like Army PC Disruptive camo and Multicam for specialized needs.
Officially the Airmen sport an ‘airman beret badge’ with a Garud Commando Badge as well and a Special Force Sleeve Patch like Para SF. They also sport Para wings like Para SF while the officers sport a Beret Cap Badge.
Harsh B Mishra is a writer on DefenceLover, he also loves to write on Quora. You can follow him on Quora for more interesting knowledge on special forces.