PARA SF is a special unit of Indian Army Parachute Regiment which is capable of doing every type of special operation like hostage rescue , counter terror operations , unconventional warfare ,special recon missions and item or VIP recovery. Along with this PARA SF is capable of infiltration and operating behind enemy lines and surviving on their own , their purpose is to degrade the enemy defences and pave way for the main army, airforce etc.
Although Indian Parachute unit are among the oldest unit in the history of modern warfare but the unit was created in 1966 by the Indian Army.
Their motto is "MEN APART, EVERY MAN AN EMPEROR "
The list of PARA (SF) Battalions are:
- 1 PARA (SF) (Raised 1961, converted to para role in 1945, became part of para regt in 1952, converted to commando in 1978)
- 2 PARA (SF) (Ex-3 Maratha LI, converted to special forces in 1999.)
- 3 PARA (SF) (Ex-1st Kumaon, converted to special forces in 2000)
- 4 PARA (SF) (Raised 1961, converted to special forces in 2001)
- 9 PARA (SF)
- 10 PARA (SF)
- 11 PARA (SF) (Raised 2011)
- 12 PARA (SF) (Raised 2012)
The selection in the PARA SF itself is very tough and only the best of the best are able to qualify to undergo the training. All Indian paratroopers are volunteers. The volunteers include the regular soldiers to the officers of Indian army. Till the selection process the officers volunteering for the probation are stripped of their ranks till they are under probation. During the selection itself many volunteers have DIED.
Also only 10% of the volunteers are able to pass the selection and even after that many are unable to complete the training.
The training to become a PARA special force operator is 3.5 years, the longest anywhere but the training is also a continuous process, in the special forces. They are so elite and respected that many nation elite force including US AND RUSSIAN SPECIAL FORCES regularly practice with INDIAN PARA SF. Also Indian special forces conduct exercises with forces of the following 16 friendly countries: the United States, France, the UK, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Maldives, Seychelles, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
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.
In the special forces, the members are imparted both basic and advance training. They are taught specialised mode of infiltration and exfiltration, either by air (combat freefall) or sea (combat diving). Some trainees return to PTS to undergo the free-fall course, which requires at least 50 jumps from altitudes up to 33,500 feet to pass. Both HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) and HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) techniques are learned. The ability to use the HAHO method and specially designed maneuverable parachutes called HAPPS (High Altitude Parachute Penetration System) to conduct stealth insertions over distances up to 50 km is also perfected. Their training is kept secret and only a little portion of it is known, most of the training is confidential.
The PARA SF is one of the best special force in the world and it has proved it's worth from time to time. PARA SF is the shining star of INDIAN ARMY and they can defeat any enemy any day any time.