The war on terror is far from over. Last November 26, the world was in for another shock when reports of a terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, surfaced. In the end, 172 people lost their lives, and 370 were injured.
The attacks saw its end when Indian special armed forces regained control of all the sites held by the organization Deccan Mujahideen. Footage of soldiers being dropped from choppers on top of the Nariman house reminded me so much of US Navy Seal tactics. And rightfully so, since the elite but least known of the Indian Special Forces – the Marine Commandos or MarCos – had some US Navy Seal training.
The Indian MarCos was formed with a nucleus team of three Naval Officers, all of whom were sent to train with the US Navy Seals in 1987. After their SEAL training, they were trained further by the British Special Forces.
Like the US Navy Seals, the Indian MarCos are especially trained to execute covert operations. True to form, they wore black overalls and masks, hiding their identities all through the operations – interviews included, as seen in this video.
Just like the Navy Seals, they exemplify bravery and courage, bringing with them an air of mystique. It was certainly a lighthearted moment to find women and girls swoon over the MarCos amidst all the chaos. Not a few of them whipped out their camera phones to record MarCos exploits for personal posterity.
The MarCos are highly trained sky and deep sea divers, and can operate in a variety, including the most difficult, of terrains. These include beaches and jungles, as well as deep ravines – again, reminiscent of the US Navy Seals.
They are now famous among terrorists, who refer to them as the “Dadiwali Fauj” or the Bearded Army, and are widely feared. Although their existence is obviously not a secret, their strength and detailed capabilities certainly are. There may be about 2000 MarCos operating out of Mumbai in West India, Vizag in the east, and Cochin in the south, but this is just an approximation.
We may not see the war end soon, but having teams like the SEALs and the MarCos reassure us that we will not lose.