Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What about the Special Frontier Forces?

The Special Frontier Forces were raised in November 1962, soon after the Chinese attacked India in NEFA and Ladakh.
According to Bharat Rakshak website: "The Special Frontier Force (SFF) was created on 14 November 1962, near the end of the Indo-China War. The Cabinet Secretariat had ordered the raising of an elite guerrilla force composed mainly of Tibetan refugees. It's main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Indo-China war. The first Inspector General of the SFF was a retired Indian Army Major General who was known for his unconventional thinking. Soon the SFF came to be known as 'Establishment 22' due to its first Inspector General, who used to be commander of 22 Mountain Regiment during World War II."
Is the raising of Arunachal and Sikkim Scouts a sign that the Government attached less importance to "Establishment 22" who fought so valiantly during the 1971 Operations and the Kargil conflict? 
It is not easy to answer this question? 

Army plans to raise Arunachal and Sikkim Scouts for China border
TNN, May 18, 2010, 01.56am IST
NEW DELHI: Already in the process of raising two new mountain infantry divisions for Arunachal Pradesh, the Army is now also moving ahead with its long-standing plan to raise "home and hearth'' battalions for the unresolved border with China.
The Army commanders' conference, chaired by General V K Singh, on Monday discussed raising of battalions of "Arunachal and Sikkim Scouts'' on the lines of the Ladakh Scouts, which played a stellar role in dislodging Pakistani intruders during the 1999 Kargil conflict.
The proposal for the new Arunachal and Sikkim Scouts' battalions, which could have 5,000 soldiers each, will soon be sent for final approval to the government. "Like the experience with the Ladakh Scouts has shown, people hailing from high-altitude areas are better adapted for being deployed at such heights,'' said a senior officer.
"They are hardy, know the terrain and acclimatise better. Moreover, they can help other Army units in understanding the local language, culture and area better,'' he added.
This comes even as the two new infantry mountain divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in June 2009, are expected to be fully operational by 2012.
The two divisions form part of the several measures being taken, like the basing of Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets in the North-East as well as upgrading of airfields and helipads, to counter the massive build-up of military infrastructure by China all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control.
Incidentally, the Ladakh Scouts were raised in June 1963, after the debacle in the 1962 war with China, with just eight companies. It gained the status of a full-fledged infantry regiment after it became one of the first units to take part in the Kargil conflict with Pakistan.

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