Para is a special forces unit of the Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment and is tasked with missions such as special operations, direct action, hostage rescue, counter-terrorism, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, counter-proliferation, counter-insurgency, seek and destroy and personnel recovery. The unit’s heritage stems from World War II, with the creation of 50th Parachute Brigade on October 19.
Some of the Interesting facts about Para commandos.
- The selection process for becoming a para commando is one of the longest and toughest phases in the world where the applicant is exposed to sleep deprivation, humiliation, exhaustion, mental and physical torture. The selection has reported deaths in the process itself. The attrition rate is very high and is in between 90-95 percent. In fact, the training is so hard that the Parachute Regiment has tried raising new battalions to augment the strength of the special forces however the task hasn’t been completed due to the tough selection phase.
- The initial training to be a special forces operator is 3.5 years, the longest anywhere in the world.
- They are trained in both HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) and HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) techniques which very few special forces around the world learn.
- Only the para commando forces are allowed to grow a beard so that they can blend easily with civilians.
- The para commandos train at various military schools throughout their training process and one such school is the Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School. this is the school is famous through out the world and different special forces through out the world seek to train in this school. 1 such special force is the French Foreign Legion who has approached CIJWS regarding the courses taught by them.
- Only the para commandos are allowed to wear the ‘BALIDAN’ Badge.
- Operation Khukri was a rescue mission conducted by the 2 PARA (SF) in Sierra Leone, June 2000. About 90 operators commanded by Major (now Lt. Col.) Harinder Sood were airlifted from New Delhi to spearhead the mission to rescue 223 men of the 5/8 Gorkha Rifles who were surrounded and held captive by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels for over 75 days, just 90 Para (SF) forced 2000-5000 members of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) divided into 5 battalions to surrender that ultimately led to the liberation of Freetown. 90 men made 2000–5000 surrender. pretty hardcore.
- The para special forces have fought in every war that India fought after they were created and also are actively involved in COIN (counter insurgency ) operations in Jammu & Kashmir. Since they are allowed to grow beards, this guys gel with the local population and stealthily kill their targets a.k.a militants and are dreaded by the militants and hence they are called dhadhi wale fouji (soldiers with beards.) by the militants in Kashmir.
- The para commandos have a different style of marching on the republic day parade. they basically do not march but walk in such a way that every step they take looks like they are spot jogging
- Only the soldiers of the Para regiment wear the maroon beret and when they are inducted into the para regiment the maroon berets given to them are first dipped in the officer’s drink and then presented to them according to the traditions of the Parachute Regiment.
- This process of giving a maroon beret to an officer is known as marooning and after the officer is given a maroon beret he is supposed to drink the drink in which it was dipped.
- Firing while rolling and snaking their way through an actual mined path, are some of the days to day training exercises for the Para soldiers.
- Personnel from the Para (SF) have participated in international competitions, including Cambrian Patrol. This exercise was designed to test the endurance, combat efficiency, and combat readiness of the special forces community. In 2014, 140 teams participated, and a team from the Indian Army won a gold medal.
- Each man in the Para special forces truly holds to their motto which is
“Men apart, every man an emperor”.
Want to write your own article?
Submit your article & we will publish it on the website giving you full credit!