Know Your Paramilitary | Part 3: National Security Guard


Zero error, this is the mission of nearly 7,000 commandos and officers of the National Security Guard (NSG). The NSG is one of the best trained and best equipped forces in the world, capable of dealing with any situation. The best and fittest jawans and officers chosen for the NSG undergo several rounds of training and tough tests. The National Security Guard is a deadly dual combination of jawans from the Central Armed Police Force and the Indian Army.

The NSG was conceptualized and created after studying and analyzing the British Army Special Forces (Special Air Service), the German Border Guard Group 9, Sayeret Matkal of Israel and the Delta Force of the United States. It was built to deal with any type of hostage scenario or terrorist attack.

NSG teams work on a core philosophy of fast, fast strikes and immediate withdrawal from the theater of action. The force is task-oriented and comprises two main elements in the form of the Special Action Group (SAG) comprising army personnel, and the Special Rangers Group (SRG), comprising personnel drawn from the armed forces. central armed police and state police forces.

The NSG also has a National Bomb Data Center which maintains a centralized database of reported bombing activity in India and abroad. The NBDC collects, collates, analyzes and evaluates all terrorist bombing activity and disseminates relevant information to relevant law enforcement agencies.

Only selected VVIPs are covered by NSG Black Cat commandos, including Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.


Right after India emerged from the shock of Operation Blue Star, the government decided to have a federal contingency force to deal with any type of terrorist attack and hostage taking. On May 16, 1984, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) approved the creation of a special peacekeeping force called the National Security Guard (NSG). On January 4, 1985, a committee headed by the cabinet secretary was formed to decide on the structure and other requirements of the force. The committee decided that for the time being, the total force size would not exceed 5,000, there would be no color service, and the NSG would be based entirely on Army and CAPF deputation. Finally, after the approval of the then President of India, the force was created on a delegation basis only.

Strength and structure

The force began with a total strength of 5,000 highly trained officers and jawans, and over the past four decades only another 2,000 have been added, as the motto of the force is to have the best.

The NSG is headed by an IPS officer at the rank of Director General who oversees four Inspectors General including an Indian Army General Ranking Officer who is IG (Operations). Other IGs direct training, supply and headquarters. In addition, a joint secretary-level official also works under the CEO who handles the financial work of the organization.

The NSG is divided into four groups – the Special Action Group, which deals with counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and consists of commandos and officers from the Indian Army and CAPFs. Then there is the Special Ranger Group, which is a counter-terrorism force and is used with the SAG. Two SRG teams are also responsible for ensuring the protection of VVIPs. In addition, there is the Special Composite Group, which is headed by an Indian Army officer who works as a group commander and heads regional centers located in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Gandhinagar. To support these groups, there is the Electronic Support Group, which provides technology and electronic support. The center also has a bomb data center, which collects information on bombs, IEDs, etc., and analyzes it to prepare reports to help other law enforcement agencies. law.

Stories of Valor

Just after the birth of the NSG, in 1986, it carried out its first major exercise, Operation Black Thunder. The operation was conducted in two parts in Amritsar to flush out the terrorists from the Golden Temple complex in 1986 and 1988. In both operations, the SAG and the SRG took part and completed the task. In Operation Black Thunder-I, a total of 122 suspects were apprehended, and its second part ensured the sanctity of Harmandir Sahib and Akal Takht. A total of 192 terrorists surrendered.

A year later, the NSG in 1989 conducted Operation Cloudburst in Tarn Taran, Punjab. The anti-terrorist operation took place in two phases spread over two months. A special action group, a special ranger group with a communication group, a support weapons squadron and a canine unit completed the task. A total of 29 officers, 73 deputy commanders and 509 commandos/rangers were sent to Punjab for the operations. The NSG suffered two fatal and nine non-fatal bullet/splinter wounds and eliminated 16 hardline terrorists.

In 1993, the NSG again operated in Punjab, this time in Amritsar. This counter-hijacking operation was carried out on April 24, 1993 by the Black Cats, when Indian Airlines Flight IC-427 was hijacked by a heavily armed Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist. The flight with 141 passengers and crew on board was to be flown to Lahore, Pakistan. In a thunderbolt of just two minutes, the 5-man SAG task force successfully carried out the staggering operation firing only two shots to neutralize the terrorist. All hostages were rescued unharmed.

In 2002, NSG commandos eliminated two terrorists who entered the Akshardham temple complex of the Swami Narayan Trust in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The terrorists killed 30 people and injured around 100 people. The operation was launched by the NSG on the night of September 24-25 to clear the complex of terrorists. Six officers, 23 junior officers and 72 commandos participated. Personnel completed the operation in nine hours and eliminated the two terrorists.

One of the NSG’s most famous exercises was Operation Black Tornado in 2008, during the 26/11 attacks, when Mumbai was the target of a series of coordinated explosions and shootings by terrorists. The National Security Guard’s elite counter-terrorism task force has been mobilized to end the national crisis. The operation speaks volumes about the dedication to duty, exemplary professionalism, raw courage and bravery of the commandos who rescued 610 Indian nationals and 110 foreign nationals, and eliminated eight hard-line terrorists in a grueling operation that lasted nearly 60 hours. NSG commandos and officers who died for the nation were also awarded the Ashok Chakra (posthumous), in addition to other bravery medals.

Another major NSG exercise was conducted in Pathankot, named Operation Dhangu Suraksha. A group of highly trained and armed terrorists dressed in army fatigues attacked the air force station, Pathankot. The SAG with IG (Ops), NSG, reached the spot. After taking the site update, the team was split into three. After a few hours, a search and destroy method was used. Finally, an operation was concluded with the confirmation of the neutralization of the last remaining terrorists and after clearing the area, the base was handed over to the commander of the air force.

Apart from these operations, the NSG was involved in the security coverage of the CWG New Delhi 2010 and during the 2011 Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan at Mohali. It was the first time teams from three hubs were called up.


The National Security Guard has a budget of Rs 1,293 crore for the financial year 2022-23. The budget has steadily increased over the past few years, taking into account the needs of the elite force.


The NSG commandos have to go through one of the toughest training processes. In fact, officers who served in the NSG say that out of 100, only 15-20 jawans manage to clear all sessions. In 14 months of training, each commando must go through rigorous physical training divided into various elements. The commandos after passing the initial basic training move on to advanced training, which lasts nine months. The training makes a commando an expert in counter-terrorism, domestic intervention, underwater operation, etc.

Once the commando has gone through all the levels, it allows them to participate in another exercise with training with highly qualified global forces. Weapons handling is also an important part of training, as the force has some of the best and newest weapons. The training also includes unarmed combat, intelligence gathering, bomb disposal skills, shooting skills, etc. Another important aspect of NSG training is night operations. The commando has to perform the command successfully in a limited time in a dark room.

NSG 2.0 and beyond

The NSG is keen to purchase the latest anti-drone technology and will prepare its commandos to deal with technological attacks. The force in the next 10 years will have more centers in different parts of the country and increase its strength. The NSG is also trying to transform into a technically advanced force with more technically educated troops who can handle the latest equipment. Additionally, the force is attempting to upgrade its counter-IED capabilities to include chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives.

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