New-age commandos with high-end weapons for NSG

The force, known as the `black cats`, will churn out close to 2,000 commandos by 2015-16. They will be independent to operate in a hostile situation.

Gurgaon: The country`s elite NSG has embarked
on an ambitious project to prepare new-age commandos equipped
with high-end weapons to undertake specialised counter-
terrorism and counter-hijack operations through land, air and

The force, known as the `black cats`, will churn out close
to 2,000 commandos by 2015-16. They will be completely
independent to operate in a hostile environment with the help
of artificial intelligence gadgets being developed for them
indigenously by DRDO and other premier organisations.

"The National Security Guard is now on the verge of a
quantum jump. We have set our plans to prepare a modern
commando. A five-year plan has been activated. It primarily
concentrates on the commando...a commando who will be
independent to operate," NSG DG R K Medhekar said.

He was talking to reporters on the occasion of NSG`s
Raising Day at Manesar garrison here.

The plan has been made keeping in mind that a commando
should be independent when he operates...his weapon, his body
armour, communication devices, body wearable computer. Water
and food should be with him on his body. Some elements in this
regard are already under trial and we hope to get the first
batch of such new age commandos by 2015-16, Medhekar said.

The NSG chief said two battalions (2000 commandos) will
emerge out once the trials and tests are complete and they
will be able to operate from air, water and land.

Medhekar said the modern commando will be on par with the
men of other elite special forces of the world as "terrorists
and their designs are advancing with time."

"This (developing of modern commando) requires a lot of
work and developing of data...we are doing it in collaboration
with DRDO and artificial intelligence institutes. We have to
depend on indigenous methods for this as no one shares their
expertise in this field," Medhekar said.

The NSG DG said the new age commando would be able to
transmit real-time images of a crucial operation like the one
that killed global terrorist Osama bin Laden in Pakistan`s
Abbottabad early this year.

Medhekar said the government has approved a host of
sophisticated weapons and other logistical requirements which
include corner-shot weapons and advanced sniper guns.

"Some of the finest equipment for bomb disposal teams and
digital communication has been procured," he said.

"Our sanction for manpower has been approved keeping in
mind our expansion because of four new hubs and two regional
centres that were announced in the aftermath of the 2008
Mumbai terror attacks. The permanent structure facilities will
soon be inaugurated in all the hubs," he said.

The NSG has created the hubs in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai
and Hyderabad including a regional centre each in Hyderabad
and Kolkata after 26/11 terror strikes.

The West Bengal government recently approved a 35-acre
land in Rajarhat area of Kolkata for the regional centre of
the force. However, this is much less land than what NSG was
looking for in the eastern metropolis as compared to the
600-acres land for a similar centre which has been handed over
by the state government in Hyderabad to the NSG.

The NSG chief also said his commandos will have fresh
training exchanges with other special forces of the world
including with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Los
Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the US department of

Earlier, Union Minister of State for Home M Ramachandran,
who was the chief guest, said "responsibilities of the NSG
have increased manifold" in the current security scenario and
the force should be prepared to meet these expectations.


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