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Military 101: National Security Guard (NSG) – India’s Elite Counter Terrorist Force

military uri surgical strike tactics movie hindi NSG commando special forces national security guard

The Indian Armed Forces, alongside the National Security Guard or NSG, boast several elite special forces units, including the renowned Para SF, or Indian Para Commandos. This unit gained widespread recognition following its depiction in the 2019 Bollywood film “URI: The Surgical Strike.” Established in 1966, the Para SF is adept in a multitude of mission types, such as direct action, hostage rescue, counter-terrorism, and unconventional warfare, showcasing their versatility and critical role in national security. Image source: Bollywood Hungama.

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Indian Special Forces 

India’s Special Forces are a group of elite military units trained for high-risk operations that regular forces might not be able to execute. Some of the key special forces in the Indian Armed Forces are:-

  • The Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment Special Forces (Para SF) are known for their capabilities in airborne operations, counter-terrorism, and direct action missions.
  • The Indian Navy’s Marine Commando Force (MARCOS) specializes in maritime operations, including amphibious warfare, counter-terrorism, and underwater operations.
  • The Indian Air Force’s Garud Commando Force is tasked with providing protection to critical Air Force bases, search and rescue during peace and hostilities, and disaster relief.
  • The National Security Guard (NSG), also known as Black Cats, is India’s premier counter-terrorism unit, dealing with anti-hijacking tasks and bomb disposal.
  • The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) controls the Special Group (SG) and the Special Frontier Force (SFF), which are responsible for gathering foreign intelligence and conducting covert operations. 

National Security Guard NSG Commando India Special Force

The National Security Guard (NSG) of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has undergone significant modernization and restructuring to enhance its capabilities as an elite counter-terrorism unit. This transformation aligns with the government’s focus on strengthening national security and addressing the challenges of modern-day terrorism. Image source: Wikipedia/By NSG (GODL-India), GODL-India

History of NSG

The National Security Guard (NSG) is a special forces unit of the Indian government that was established in 1984. The primary objective of the National Security Guard is to combat terrorism and provide a quick response to any terrorist incidents that occur in the country. The National Security Guard is often referred to as the “Black Cats” due to their distinctive black uniform.

The National Security Guard was formed in response to the increasing threat of terrorism in India. The unit was modeled after the German GSG 9 and the British SAS, and it was initially tasked with handling terrorist incidents involving hostages and hijackings. Over the years, the NSG has evolved to become one of the most elite and highly trained special forces units in the world.

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The National Geographic Society’s documentary provides an unprecedented look into the National Security Guard (NSG), India’s premier counterterrorism unit. It captures the rigorous training and dedication of NSG commandos, who undergo a grueling selection process to become part of this elite force. The film highlights their specialized skills, from sniping and rock climbing to hijack interventions and bomb disposal, demonstrating the NSG’s critical role in safeguarding the nation’s security.

NSG Selection Criteria

The selection process for the National Security Guard is extremely rigorous and demanding. Only the best candidates are chosen to join the elite unit. The selection criteria include:

  • Physical Fitness: Candidates must possess exceptional physical fitness and endurance. They are required to undergo a series of physical tests to assess their strength, stamina, and agility.
  • Mental Aptitude: The National Security Guard requires individuals who can think quickly and make sound decisions under high-pressure situations. Candidates undergo psychological tests to assess their mental aptitude.
  • Experience: The NSG primarily recruits individuals from the Indian Army and Central Armed Police Forces who have a minimum of five years of service. They must have a clean service record and a commendable performance history.
  • Specialized Skills: Candidates with specialized skills such as combat diving, bomb disposal, or marksmanship are given preference during the selection process.

Renault Sherpa Scout Special Forces Military NSG National Security Guard Tactical

One of the latest tactical equipment of the NSG is the Renault Sherpa 4×4 known for its robustness and adaptability in various military operations and an operational range of 800 to 900 km. Designed primarily for scouting, patrol, convoy escort, and command and liaison missions, it can carry a crew of 4 or 5 and is equipped with armor that meets CEN 1063 and STANAG 4569 standards. Image source: Wikipedia/By Thesupermat

NSG Uniform, Training, and Weapons

The National Security Guard is known for its distinctive black uniform, which is designed to instill fear in the hearts of terrorists. The uniform consists of black combat trousers, a black jacket, and a black beret. The National Security Guard commandos also wear black balaclavas to conceal their identities.

The training provided to National Security Guard commandos is intense and comprehensive. It includes physical conditioning, marksmanship, close-quarter combat, hostage rescue techniques, bomb disposal, combat diving, and tactical driving. The training is designed to prepare the commandos for any situation they may encounter during their operations.

The NSG is equipped with a wide range of weapons and equipment to carry out their missions effectively. Some of the weapons used by the NSG include:

  • Assault Rifles: The NSG commandos are armed with assault rifles such as the Heckler & Koch MP5 and the AK-47. These rifles are highly accurate and reliable.
  • Sniper Rifles: The NSG snipers use rifles such as the Dragunov and the Barrett M82. These rifles are capable of delivering precise shots over long distances.
  • Pistols: NSG commandos carry pistols as their secondary weapon. The pistols used by the NSG include the Glock 17 and the SIG Sauer P226.
  • Explosives: The NSG is equipped with a variety of explosives and explosive devices for bomb disposal operations.

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The montage captures the National Security Guard aka Black Cat Commandos in a display of discipline and readiness, set against the backdrop of the iconic Rajpath in preparation for the Republic Day parade. Their black uniforms, synonymous with their elite status, are complemented by an array of tactical gear, reflecting the high level of preparedness that the commandos maintain. Each frame of the montage is a testament to their dedication and the rigorous training that makes them among the best in the world at counter-terrorism operations.

NSG Famous Operations

The National Security Guard has been involved in several high-profile operations throughout its history. Some of the most notable operations include:

  • Operation Black Thunder (1988): The NSG was deployed to neutralize terrorists who had taken control of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The operation was a success, and all the terrorists were eliminated.
  • Operation Ashwamedh (2002): The NSG was involved in the rescue of hostages during the Akshardham Temple attack in Gujarat. The commandos successfully neutralized the terrorists and rescued all the hostages.
  • Operation Black Tornado (2008): The NSG played a crucial role in ending the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The commandos engaged the terrorists at multiple locations and successfully neutralized them.
  • Operation Cyclone (2016): The NSG was deployed to neutralize terrorists who had attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station. The operation lasted for several days, and all the terrorists were eliminated.

These operations highlight the bravery, skill, and professionalism of the NSG commandos. They have earned a reputation for their ability to handle high-pressure situations and successfully neutralize terrorists.

UTK NSG Malaysia Special Forces Commando

Established much earlier than NSG, Malaysia’s Unit Tindakhas (UTK) of Malaysia, established on January 1, 1975, is a specialized tactical unit of the Royal Malaysia Police and played a significant role during the Lahad Datu intrusion in 2013, a significant event in Malaysia’s security history, where they were part of the operations against the armed militants. This unit is comparable to the German Federal Police’s GSG 9 and the United States SWAT, reflecting its importance and capability in handling high-risk security threats. Image source: Pinterest

Final Say

In Malaysia, equivalent to NSG is the Special Actions Unit, known in Malay as Unit Tindakhas (UTK) which is the tactical unit of the Royal Malaysia Police. Established on January 1, 1975, the UTK is Malaysia’s equivalent to a SWAT team and is tasked with high-stakes operations that include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, and providing close protection for high-ranking government officials.

Notably, the UTK played a pivotal role during the Lahad Datu standoff in 2013 and has been involved in various other significant operations both within and outside Malaysia. The UTK’s expertise in dealing with international terrorist threats makes it a critical asset in Malaysia’s national security infrastructure.

In conclusion, the National Security Guard (NSG) stands as a testament to the resilience and dedication of those who protect the nation’s integrity and security. From their inception to the present day, the NSG has been pivotal in neutralizing threats and safeguarding citizens. Their unwavering commitment is reflected in the successful missions they have carried out, often under the most challenging circumstances.

The NSG’s role in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue exemplifies their adaptability, precision, and courage. As they continue to evolve with the changing dynamics of national security, their service remains an invaluable asset to the nation. Their legacy is not just in the operations they execute but also in the peace of mind they provide to the people they vow to protect.

The NSG’s journey is ongoing, and their readiness to defend and serve will always be a cornerstone of national security.

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