Difference Between NSG & Para SF – Explained

We all know that National Security Guards (NSG) and Para SF are special operation forces. Whenever we see commandos of these two forces, we often fantasise yourself in that combat uniform. Movies like URI – The Surgical Strike and The Attacks of 26/11 had shown how these two forces played their role in their respective operations.

But have you wondered that why in certain operations only NSG is deployed and in other operations only Para SF is on the lead? In this article, we will study the differences between National Security Guards (NSG) and Para SF

So let's start

Para SF directly comes under Indian Army and hence Ministry of Defence while NSG comes under Ministry of home affairs. National Security Guards was raised in 1984 following the Operation Blue Star for combating terrorism and internal disturbances. On the other hand Para, SF was raised in 1966 and is the special operation unit of the Indian Army.

Both the forces are frontline forces of Indian Armed Brigade which are evolved in a long time and with a lot of experience. But as far as their role is concerned, they are different from each other depending on the scenarios.

So now Let's have a look at their basic differences

Composition

Para SF is the special force under the Parachute regiment of Indian Army operating under the Ministry of Defence. In this elite unit, there are only a hand-picked number of commandos which are built by the volunteers of armed forces personnel. They go through guerilla training with a teration ratio of 75% and are considered as one of the best special forces in the world. There are currently 9 units in the Para SF:

  • 1 Para SF
  • 2 Para SF
  • 3 Para SF
  • 4 Para SF
  • 9 Para SF
  • 10 Para SF
  • 11 Para SF
  • 12 Para SF
  • 21 Para SF

National Security Guards (NSG) is the special operation force under the Home Ministry. It is a blend of volunteers of Indian Armed Forces and Central Reserved Forces. Their role is diversified from anti-terror to protection of VVIPs. NSG has 3 combat groups under them which are classified as per their role

  • Special Action Group (SAG)
  • Special Ranger Group (SRG)
  • Special Composite Group (SCG)

Operations

Primary Functions of Para SF are as follows :

  • Covert and Overt special Operations
  • Destruction of enemy infrastructure and communication through surgical strikes and deep penetrations behind the enemy lines.
  • Intelligence Collection
  • Special Reconnaissance

Primary Functions of NSG are as follows:

Its combat operations are operated by 3 groups

  • Special Action Group (SAG) – The SAG is the main offensive or the strike wing of the NSG. There are two SAGs – 51 and 52 Special Action Group. The two SAGs (51 and 52) are tasked for counter-terror and counter-hijack operations respectively. The smallest operation subunit of the SAG is called "hit", usually commanded by an NCO. A "hit" has five members – two pairs, or buddies, and a technical support member. Four hits make a team. A team is commanded by a Captain. In hostage rescue operations, depending on the situation, team size may vary between 50 and 90 NSG personnel. Each SAG is headed by an officer of Rank colonel of Indian Army on deputation as Group Commander.
  • Special Ranger Group (SRG) – NSG has three SRGs, each with a strength of battalion, approximately total 900 all ranks. They are drawn from the Central Armed Forces, There are three SRGs – 11, 12 and 13. Initially, SRG's mandate was to render logistical support to the SAGs during operations and are deployed for guarding high-risk VIPs/VVIPs. Each SRG is headed by an officer of Rank Commandant as Group Commander under deputation from CAPFs.
  • Special Composite Group (SCG) – NSG has set five regional hubs under regional deployment. SCG consists of personnel both from Army and CAPFs for counter-terror operations within their area of responsibility. Each SCG is headed by an officer of Rank colonel of Indian Army on deputation as Group Commander.

Para SFalong with Navy's Marcos and IAF garud commandos from the main special forces group. All 3 are trained to carry out ops domestically and internationally.NSG are only trained for rescue ops, hostage crisis etc that happen only within India. So in event of terrorist attacks in India like 26/11, the NSG will get a call and not para sf.

So this was it

Stay tuned for more

Jai Hind

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