Civilian aircraft to be hired for NSG training

In order to hone their skills in counter-hijack and anti-terror operations, NSG commandos will carry out mock drills on specially-hired civilian aeroplanes for airborne training.

Last Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 12:25 PM IST

New Delhi: In order to hone their skills
in counter-hijack and anti-terror operations, NSG commandos
will carry out mock drills on specially-hired civilian
aeroplanes for airborne training.

The drills are planned for the `Blackcats` who have
been deployed at the new NSG hubs at Mumbai, Kolkata and
Hyderabad.

The National Security Guard (NSG) headquarters here
had floated a tender inviting owners of civilian aircraft to
offer their planes for NSG personnel who "will utilise the
aircraft cabin for training purposes".

According to the requirements specified, the aircraft
has to be airborne for at least two hours (one side) and will
have to hold 170 NSG commandos and their equipment with a
total weight of about 20 tonnes. The exercises will be
undertaken early next year.

The NSG has revised and brought in fresh training
courses for its commandos in the new security scenario. After
the 26/11 attacks, the new hubs at Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata
and Chennai have been sanctioned with over 240 commandos at
each location and these drills are part of advance training
modules, sources said.

The hired aircrafts will also be used by the commandos
to carry out their drills while they remain parked at the
airport.

The NSG has also expressed the desire for pilots and
cabin crew for special drills and an essential requirement of
cabin loaders and others at all times during the exercises.

In the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, the
government had issued a gazette notification under the
provisions of the NSG Act and the Aircraft Act, empowering the
NSG chief or an officer of the rank of Inspector General
authorised by the chief, to requisite a civilian aircraft for
transporting commandos to any place of emergency involving
anti-terror operations.

Such power to the NSG Director General was only
available for anti-hijack duties till before the 2008 Mumbai
attacks.

PTI