At 9 am on Tuesday, the first batch of 216 Force One commandos — the state’s specialised counter-terrorism unit — will be inducted at SRPF’s training grounds at Goregaon.
Conceptualised after the 26/11 terrorist attacks on the city, Force One has reportedly been trained on the lines of the country’s elite counter-terror force, the National Security Guard (NSG). Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandan confirmed: “The elite force will be operational from tomorrow.”
This deployment will come a month behind its original schedule. For now, Force One will be based at Kalina, before being moved to its new headquarters at a 93-acre plot at Goregaon, which is expected to be completed in a year.
Force One has been designed as a self-sufficient unit, with its own transport, including ambulances. Its commandos are equipped with weapons of varying calibre, including assault rifles, communication sets, sniper rifles, night vision devices and protective gear.
“The men chosen for this specialised unit were filtered out of 1,500 police personnel who volunteered, whittled down after passing through a tough range of criteria,” Additional Deputy Inspector General of Police, and Force One chief S Jaganathan, told HT.
The ones who made it were put through two weeks of rigorous physical training, followed by two months of various kinds of firing practice. Among the training modules they were put through at Pune, was a four-day course at the Centre of Military Engineering, to learn to make and diffuse Improvised Explosive Devices, and a four-day course at the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, on how to handle smaller explosives needed for room-intervention.
Force One commandos have also been trained in Krav Maga, an Israeli unarmed combat technique. “The force has been divided into three batches, and one batch will be on standby for eight hours. After the eight-hour period, a new batch will take over,” Jaganathan said.