Our Armed Force has never failed to make us proud through their valor and courage. Day in and day out they have protected our country and abided by their oath no matter what. These are the real heroes of our nation who would not hesitate for a second to sacrifice their lives for the land they lived on.
How can one forget India’s most fierce warriors belonging to Special Forces? These are popularly known as the National Security Guard Commandos (NSG) or Black Cat Commandos due to the black gear they don to fight every battle.
The National Security Guard or NSG was officially established in 1986 to fight off any terrorist activities that are happening within the boundaries of our nation. As mentioned earlier, the National Security Guard (NSG) is a part of the Indian Special Forces which had gradually emerged as a branch.
Let us understand what the National Security Guard (NSG) is.
What is the National Security Guard?
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The mission of the National Security Guard is to “Train, equip and keep in readiness a special force capable of swiftly and effectively combating terrorism to live up to its motto Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha.”
As mentioned earlier, it was officially established on September 22, 1986, after Operation Blue Star, The Golden Temple attack, and an attack on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In addition to this, the National Security Guard is an elite counter-terrorism unit that falls under the Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA).
The head of the National Security Guard, which is called by the name of Director General, is selected by the Home Minister of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The average tenure of a Director-General is one year.
How are commandos selected for the National Security Guard?
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The National Security Guard (NSG) has two branches of its own:
- The Special Action Group which consists of the members elected from the Army.
- The other branch is called theSpecial Rangers Group which consists of the members elected from the Central and State Police Forces.
Although this might seem easier to read, it is an extremely tough and difficult process with a lot of competition. Thousands of candidates fill the forms for passing as a Black Cat commando but only 0.3% out of them get selected.
This selection process, in a way, is required to be this aggressive and competitive because being a Black Cat commando asks you to bring a complete change and transformation in you, from being police personnel or soldier to a commando in an extremely ephemeral time. This process is mentally as well as physically challenging.
What are the roles played by National Security Black Cat Commandos?
- As mentioned earlier, NSG was mainly established to protect the country from any terrorist activities that are happening within the boundaries of our nation. Therefore, the main role of all the Black Cat commandos is room intervention and dealing with any sort of terrorist activities that are happening inside the country.
For instance, during the 26/11 Attacks, it was the Black Cat commandos who initiated the room intervention and it was in each hand to decide when to shoot and when to hold back because there could have been terrorists and innocent guests in the rooms too.
- Apart from fighting and dealing with the terrorist attacks, they are also included to be the security of VIPs. However, in January 2020, the National Security Guard withdrew its inclusion from the task of security to certain VIPS. This was initiated to focus more on their original roles such as elite counter-terrorism and anti-hijacking force.
- From the above-mentioned roles that the NSG executes, NSG Black Cat Commandos’ Training also trains them to deal with countering hijackings on the land, sea, and air, search and disposal of the bombs, Post Blast Investigation and Hostage Rescue Missions.
How are the Black Cats Commandoes trained?
Candidates applying to join the National Security Guard are primarily required to attain the ‘excellent’ fitness standards, considering the regular army standards. These fitness performances include being excellent in running, long-jump, chin-ups, push-ups, rope climbing, and sit-ups, which could be with and without combat gear.
In addition to achieving these excellent standards, the candidates are also expected to develop into independent leaders by working on their personality development and soft-skills.
Although seven to eight hours of sleep is essential for everybody, it is not required for a person training as a Black Cat commando. The trainees barely get a minimum of two to three hours of sleep. The time is used up by the commandos carrying heavy loads on their back and standing as many hours as they could.
This act of carrying a heavy load on your back and standing as many hours as you can muster requires unimaginable will power. Moreover, excelling in all the physical tests, maintaining concentration for target shooting, and doing martial arts, while being sleep deprived, is just another level of passion and dedication.
NSG Black Cat Commandos’ Training also involves Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Pekiti –Tirsia Kali, which is a Filipino Martial Arts focusing upon combating with the help of edged and impact weapons. PTK is considered to be one of the most lethal fighting methods for self-defense.
Apart from the two mentioned above, commandos are also supposed to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is a self-defense martial arts, which focuses on grappling your opponent and forcing him into submission. The skills required for this self-defense sport are to grapple your opponent, control him, gain a dominant position above him and force him into submission by locking his joints and choking him.
Besides these training skills, they are also required to get monthly or quarterly tested for keeping their skills up to the mark. This process begins especially after the end of their training period.
After passing through all this insurmountable training, all the NSG commandos hail, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and swear their lives for the protection of their mother, no matter what.