Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Special Service Group (SSG)

Special Service Group (SSG):

is an independent commando division of the Pakistan Army. It is an elite special operations force similar to the United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and the British Army's SAS.
Official numbers are put at 2,100 men, in 3 Battalions; however the actual strength is classified.It is estimated to have been increased to 4 Battalions, with the eventual formation of 2 Brigades of Special Forces (6 Battalions). According to Indian analyst, Mandeep Singh Bajwa, the SSG "are formidable opponents and easily rank as one of the finest special forces in the world.
Soldiers of the SSG are commonly known as the Black Storks
Based out of Cherat and Attock, the SSG was created in 1956 with active support from U.S. Special Operations Forces. That year the 19th Battalion of the Baloch Regiment (19 Baloch) was selected for conversion to a Special Operation Force. As a result of this, the SSG has inherited many of the traditions and insignia of the Baloch regiment. Their first CO was Lt. Col. (later Maj. Gen.) Abu Bakr Osman Mitha who commanded it for six years till 1963. and the first Officer Commanding of its Alpha Company was Major Gaideen Khan Abdullai Mahsud (Later Lt Col). Their initial training and orientation as regards tactics was based on the US Special Forces pattern with whom they co-operated closely in the Cold War years. The SSG initially had 6 companies and each company had specialization units, specialized in desert, mountain, ranger, and underwater warfare. The desert companies participated in training exercises with US Army Special Forces Mobile Training Team in late 1964. The scuba company in Karachi was renowned for its tough physical training. Later on Chinese training, tactics, weapons, and equipment were also introduced.

Indo-Pak War of 1965
The SSG were initially deployed along the Afghan border to repel Afghan incursions into Pakistan but the first major deployment came during the war of 1965. Around 120 officers and men were dropped on the night of 6/7 September near the Indian airbases of Adampur, Pathankot and Halwara in an ill-conceived operation to destroy Indian combat aircraft and put the bases out of action. Badly planned, lacking any solid intelligence, and even more badly executed the operation ended in a disaster. However the SSG sources declare it as partially successful, according to them all aircraft from Pathankot airbase were evacuated and 2 Indian infantry brigades (I brigade by admission of Gen J.N. Chaudary, Indian Army Chief at that time in his autobiography) kept searching for these paratroopers. Only a handful made it back to Pakistan and no Indian planes were damaged or casualties inflicted on Indian troops. By 1971, the SSG had grown to 3 Battalions with 1 permanently stationed in East Pakistan (Bangladesh).

The SSG are trained and qualified to carry out missions in unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action by sabotage and offensive raiding in the medium and deep battlespace, Counter terrorism, counter-proliferation, VIP protection, and information and intelligence gathering operations in deep battlespace. Other duties include coalition warfare and support, combat search and rescue (CSAR), security assistance, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian de-mining, and counter-drug operations. The SSG have also served as Air Marshals for Pakistan International Airlines.
The SSG have a presence in a large number Arab/Muslim countries through its training/advisory teams in which basic training, setting up special forces programs, CI ops and VIP security is In 1986, the SSG began large-scale training of the Sri Lankan Commando Regiment to help them against the LTTE fighters. In 1994, the SSG trained the Special Services Regiment of the Malaysian Army in high-altitude warfare in preparations for their deployment and operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the United Nations peacekeepers. The operational doctrine of the SSG is a mixture of US, Chinese and British SAS tactics and philosophy with a great deal of experience from the Afghan War, Siachen, Kashmir and Kargil thrown in. The SSG showed their tough physical conditioning when they marched saluting dais in the double time; a very tiring procedure during the annual March 23 Pakistan day parade in Islamabad.


SSG officers must have at least two years of prior military experience and volunteer from other formations for three-year assignments with the SSG; non-commissioned officers and enlisted men volunteer from other formations to serve permanently in the SSG. All trainees must participate in an eight month SSG course at Cherat. The SSG course emphasizes tough physical conditioning. Included is a 50 mile march in 12 hours, a gruelling requirement that was first institutionalized by 19 Baluch. They are also required to run 5 miles in 40 minutes with full gear. Following the SSG course, trainees must volunteer for Airborne School. The course last four weeks, with wings awarded after seven (five day, two night) jumps.
Many in the SSG school are selected for additional specialist training. A HALO course is given at Peshawar with a "Skydiver" tab awarded after 25 freefall jumps. A "Mountain Warfare" qualification badge is given after completing a course at the Mountain Warfare School in Abbotabad; and a "Combat Diver" badge is awarded for the course held by the Naval Special Services Group SSGN at Karachi. Three classes of combat swimmers are recognized: 1st class to those completing an 18 mile swim, 2nd class to those finishing a 12 mile swim, and 3rd class for a 6 mile swim. SSG regularly sends students to the US for special warfare and airborne training. Later on due to Siachen crisis, a Snow and High Altitude Warfare School was also established.
SSG officers also have a unique record of crossing the Mangla lake at its widest when it was full in the month of August 1971 as part of their watermanship training, a distance of 6 miles in 2 hours and 35 mins. It was done by Capts Yasub Dogar, Capt later Commander SSG, Brig Akram, Capt Tolebaz and Capt Habib. This record is yet to be equalled.

DeploymentComponents of the battalions are constantly rotated between Cherat, Attock, and any other hot spots (such as Pakistan-India border or when Pakistani forces are deployed overseas as part of the UN peace keeping operations) in order to provide experience to the operators. The SSG are used to provide security to various vital points such as the strategic nuclear facilities in Pakistan. It is thought that a number of SSG operators are stationed in Saudi Arabia for the protection of the Saudi royal family. Many SSG Officers and other ranks are routinely seconded to the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for clandestine and reconnaissance missions

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pakistan Army SSG(commandos)

My blog is basically based upon SSG(Special Service Group) of Pakistan Army.
this blog includes videos, pictures, articles, news and much more about Pakistan Army.