Operation Neptune Spear and nicknamed ‘Geronimo’ — the precision strike by US Special Forces that nailed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan — could soon find its way into classrooms of India’s elite strike forces such as the Black Cats of the National Security Guard.
“It is a fit case-study of a near-perfect military surgical strike and scores very high on the parameters of technical expertise, human resources and intelligence skills,” said an NSG official.
“Starting with discussions and presentations, it will be taken up to simulation levels, its execution will be dissected and studied threadbare to train and sharpen our skills. Jawans will be taught a different module than the one for officers.”
Big-ticket strikes have for long been discussed and dissected in strategy classrooms by commandos across the world. “This one is certainly bound to be one of them,” he added.
“Brilliantly conceived, intelligently planned, skillfully and methodically executed, this operation will be taught to Indian special forces for years to come,” said Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (retd). Kanwal heads the Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies.
“Many such operations, including the Entebbe raid by Israel, (see box) are taught, studied and analysed in Army Special Forces Units and at the Army Special Forces Training School,” said Lt Gen PC Katoch (retd), an expert on special operations who has led numerous operations, from the northeast to Lanka.
Another impressive aspect of the operation is the extent of human intelligence. “Such an operation can’t be launched without human intelligence (HUMINT) on ground. That is why US took almost one year after the first leads came in.”
THE BEST June 1976.
Israeli commandos burst into Uganda’s Entebbe airport to rescue hostages of a Air France flight from Israel to Paris. Hostages were evacuated in just 7 minutes. All that remained were bodies of the Palestinian hijackers and wreckages of 11 Ugandan MiGs.
A DISASTER April 1980.
US’ Op. Eagle Claw to rescue 52 US hostages from Iran. The mission was abandoned almost as it began, after 4 of the 8 choppers were lost due to wrong navigation, crashes and malfunctioning.