Visakhapatnam

IFR: MARCOS to showcase their might

Indian Navy's Marine commandos participate in a simulated war scenario on the beach as part of preparations for International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam. —Photo: K.R. Deepak

Indian Navy's Marine commandos participate in a simulated war scenario on the beach as part of preparations for International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam. —Photo: K.R. Deepak  

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Marine Commandos have the credit of undertaking various operations. To consolidate the position taken, another group of commandos slither down a rope from a Sea King helicopter.

As an underwater suppressed blast is remotely triggered, a fleet of about six high-speed Gemini rubber boats, each loaded with over six men, clad in black and armed to the teeth, reach the coast and in seconds alight and crawl to the enemy bunkers. They fire smoke grenades on the way to the bunkers to conceal their positions and in a few minutes the enemy is decimated and the beach come under their control.

To consolidate the position taken, another group of commandos slither down a rope from a Sea King helicopter to assist their buddies on the beach. The entire operation takes a few minutes, and it reminds one of the beach raids by the allied forces at Normandy, France, during the decisive phase of World War II, which was later picturised in many Hollywood films, including Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.

Folks, this was a war simulation enacted by the MARCOS (Marine Commandos) of the Indian Navy, during the rehearsals for the International Fleet Review (IFR). The demonstration by the MARCOS, which is part of the overall operation demonstration on February 7, at RK Beach, will enthral the spectators, both young and old.

One of the best

The MARCOS is considered to be one among the deadliest and best Special Forces in the world. They figure in the top 10, in almost all the lists and are on par with the Delta Force and Navy Seals of the USA, Special Air Service (SAS) of UK, GSG9 of Germany, EKO Cobra of Austria and Special Services Group (SSG) of Pakistan.

Specialise in many things

This special force was raised by the Indian Navy in 1985 and was then called the Indian Marine Special Forces (IMSF), and about two years later they were rechristened as Marine Commandos Force, MCF or MARCOS and their motto is ‘The few- The Fearless’.

Talking to The Hindu , an officer with MARCOS, who chose anonymity for security purpose said, “we cannot disclose our identity as we engage in various anti-insurgency and covert operations for the country. But we are trained to operate in any type of terrain and situations right from anti-piracy operations to counter terrorism and from underwater covert operations to raids across borders.”

Joining MCF is voluntary, just like the Submarine Arm of the Navy. But the selection process is extremely difficult and the training process is continuous, said the officer.

The selection process is a three-day affair and it includes rigorous physical tests and aptitude. And once selected they undergo the basic training at INS Abhimanyu in Mumbai. They then undergo training in para jumps at the Paratrooper Training School in Agra and a diving course at Navy’s Diving School in Kochi.

All MARCOS are trained and qualified in freefall para jumps both high altitude low openings (HALO) and high altitude high openings (HAHO).

A group of about 10 MARCOS will showcase their skydiving skills during the IFR when they would jump from a Sea King helicopter from a height of over 20,000 feet to make a precision landing on the beach to present Prime Minister Narendra Modi a book. Apart, from being trained in Krav Maga for unarmed close combat they also undergo training at High Altitude Commando Course at the Parvat Ghatak School in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, Desert Warfare School in Rajasthan, High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) in Sonmarg and Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) in Mizoram, and this makes them one among the few Special Forces in the world, capable of operating at any situation on sea, land and air.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 1:21:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/ifr-marcos-to-showcase-their-might/article8180883.ece

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