Photos: The making of Indian Army’s elite paratroopers

A behind the scenes look at the training of the Indian Army's Parachute Regiment at the Parachute Regiment Training Center in Bengaluru, home to the commandos of the elite Para Special Forces.

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST 8 Photos
1 / 8
The Parachute Regiment is the Indian Army’s airborne infantry division. Recognised by the red beret and their insignia of the parachute, wings and an upward dagger the paratroopers are a specialised force capable of rapid aerial deployment and fast response action in hostile territories. Instrumental in various operations over the course of India’s military history -their most recent the 2016 surgical strikes- the regiment trains recruits at the Parachute Regiment Training Center in Bengaluru. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

The Parachute Regiment is the Indian Army’s airborne infantry division. Recognised by the red beret and their insignia of the parachute, wings and an upward dagger the paratroopers are a specialised force capable of rapid aerial deployment and fast response action in hostile territories. Instrumental in various operations over the course of India’s military history -their most recent the 2016 surgical strikes- the regiment trains recruits at the Parachute Regiment Training Center in Bengaluru. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
2 / 8
The first Indian airborne regiment, the 50th Parachute Brigade was established in 1945 and saw action during World War II in Burma as part of Operation Dracula. Post war demobilisation saw the troops disbanded and returned to their parent regiments. Independent India raised its own airborne division in 1952 from amongst these para designated forces, starting with 3 battalions. This number has now swelled to 16 battalions of which 8 are the Para Commandos, now called the Special Forces. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

The first Indian airborne regiment, the 50th Parachute Brigade was established in 1945 and saw action during World War II in Burma as part of Operation Dracula. Post war demobilisation saw the troops disbanded and returned to their parent regiments. Independent India raised its own airborne division in 1952 from amongst these para designated forces, starting with 3 battalions. This number has now swelled to 16 battalions of which 8 are the Para Commandos, now called the Special Forces. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
3 / 8
Recruits climb vertical ropes during a training session at the Parachute Regiment Training Centre in Bengaluru, India. The regiment saw first war action in 1971 with their deployment in Tangail, greatly speeding up the liberation of Bangladesh. Among the first Indian troops to enter Dhaka, commandos of the parachute regiment also played roles in Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir during the ‘71 war. They were also involved in the recapture of Mushkoh and Batalik sectors in the Kargil war. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

Recruits climb vertical ropes during a training session at the Parachute Regiment Training Centre in Bengaluru, India. The regiment saw first war action in 1971 with their deployment in Tangail, greatly speeding up the liberation of Bangladesh. Among the first Indian troops to enter Dhaka, commandos of the parachute regiment also played roles in Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir during the ‘71 war. They were also involved in the recapture of Mushkoh and Batalik sectors in the Kargil war. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
4 / 8
Recruits walk high altitude beams during a manoeuvre called the confidence walk. The parachute regiment had earlier played peacekeeping and medical roles during the Koran War, providing assistance to UN and Republic of Korea’s troops along with humanitarian assistance. The regiment earned the title of the ‘Maroon Angels’ for their endeavours. Over the years active engagements have also taken them to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Africa. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

Recruits walk high altitude beams during a manoeuvre called the confidence walk. The parachute regiment had earlier played peacekeeping and medical roles during the Koran War, providing assistance to UN and Republic of Korea’s troops along with humanitarian assistance. The regiment earned the title of the ‘Maroon Angels’ for their endeavours. Over the years active engagements have also taken them to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Africa. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
5 / 8
Parachute regiment recruits perform a crocodile walk during a training session. Members of the regiment are selected on the basis of performance efficiency, physical and mental agility as well as preference towards youth. Only those among the armed forces with less than five years of service, ‘Shape-I’ medical fitness and ‘Excellent’ Battle Physical Efficiency Tests results are considered eligible to volunteer for the regiment. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

Parachute regiment recruits perform a crocodile walk during a training session. Members of the regiment are selected on the basis of performance efficiency, physical and mental agility as well as preference towards youth. Only those among the armed forces with less than five years of service, ‘Shape-I’ medical fitness and ‘Excellent’ Battle Physical Efficiency Tests results are considered eligible to volunteer for the regiment. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
6 / 8
The rigorous training of these soldiers who live by the regimental motto of ‘Shatrujit’ or conqueror involves extensive short range warfare involving shooting, grenade handling and sniper training. Hand to hand combat, martial arts, infiltration practices and the eponymous parachute descent also go in to the making of an Indian paratrooper --a period that lasts 3.5 years for the special forces operators. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

The rigorous training of these soldiers who live by the regimental motto of ‘Shatrujit’ or conqueror involves extensive short range warfare involving shooting, grenade handling and sniper training. Hand to hand combat, martial arts, infiltration practices and the eponymous parachute descent also go in to the making of an Indian paratrooper --a period that lasts 3.5 years for the special forces operators. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
7 / 8
Members of the parachute regiment also hold the distinction of conducting India’s first overseas military intervention under ‘Operation Cactus’ during the 1988 Maldives coup d’état which was foiled by the engagement of the parachute regiment and their thwarting of the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam. The effort strengthened India’s ties with the island nation. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

Members of the parachute regiment also hold the distinction of conducting India’s first overseas military intervention under ‘Operation Cactus’ during the 1988 Maldives coup d’état which was foiled by the engagement of the parachute regiment and their thwarting of the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam. The effort strengthened India’s ties with the island nation. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
8 / 8
The training for the special forces battalions of the parachute regiment, while continual is also among the longest anywhere. Once deemed airborne, a paratrooper has the option of moving towards specialised operations with training testing human extremes both physically and mentally. One is only deemed fully incorporated into the regiment having completed an year operating in hostile territories leading. The Special Forces are distinguished by their ‘balidaan’ badge. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

The training for the special forces battalions of the parachute regiment, while continual is also among the longest anywhere. Once deemed airborne, a paratrooper has the option of moving towards specialised operations with training testing human extremes both physically and mentally. One is only deemed fully incorporated into the regiment having completed an year operating in hostile territories leading. The Special Forces are distinguished by their ‘balidaan’ badge. (Arijit Sen / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 05:48 PM IST
SHARE
Story Saved