Special camouflage clothing for anti-naxal operations



New Delhi/Raipur: The CRPF-- in the thick of action in naxal hotbeds -- has ordered "fast procurement" of 300 'Ghillie suits' worn by troops during ambushes in jungles which are devoid of foliage.

With the summers setting in, the trees have started shedding leaves, rendering the jungles partially nude in certain operational areas where CRPF commandos and troops of special security units are active.

According to sources, faced with an immediate need to arm the troops with proper camouflage, the field commands have asked the para-military headquarters to procure the suits on a priority basis.

A ghillie suit is a camouflage clothing designed to resemble heavy foliage. It is traditionally a net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of cloth or twine made to look like leaves and twigs, and augmented with scraps of foliage from the area also.

The Counter-Insurgency units of the Army and special forces of the para-military forces essentially use these suits during surprise attacks on the enemy. Sharp shooters wear ghillie suits to gel with the surroundings and conceal themselves from enemies or targets. The suit is also helpful when the troops have to lay siege and position themselves at vantage points for long durations.

The procurement of the suits would be fast and the first bids have been invited by the first week of April, the sources said.

According to the standard requirement, "the physical construction of the ghillie's outer layers must look as natural as possible. The ghillie suit should make the resulting three-dimensional form blend as undetectable as possible into its immediate surroundings, whether that happens to be near ground characteristics or vegetation or both.

The ghillie suit should be designed to be cool and comfortable, with a light but solid enough foundation to discourage insect penetration yet allow for air circulation, the tender requirement, the tender said.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has contributed almost 58,000 personnel for the massive anti-naxal offensive currently underway in various states of the country.

PTI