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MARCOS Secretive Military of Indian Navy

imgae source:Quora
MARCOS, previously named as Marine Commando Force (MCF), is the special forces unit of the Indian Navy. created for conducting special operations such as Amphibious warfareClose Quarter Combat Counter-terrorismDirect actionSpecial reconnaissanceUnconventional warfareHostage rescuePersonnel recoveryCombat search and rescueAsymmetric warfareForeign internal defenceCounterproliferationAmphibious reconnaissance including Hydrographic reconnaissance. The MCF is specially organised, trained and equipped for the conduct of special operations in a maritime environment.

MARCOS is short for Marine Commandos. The force has gradually acquired experience and a reputation for professionalism over the three decades it has been in existence. The MARCOS are capable of undertaking operations in all types of terrain, but are specialised in maritime operations in Jammu and Kashmir through the Jhelum River and Wular Lake, a 65 square kilometre freshwater lake


To qualify as a MARCOS you need to qualify their Training process and to enter into the training process you need to enter the Indian Navy. So all aspirants planning to become MARCOS are required to become naval soldiers first, and then they will get a chance to get golden chance to join the elite force, MARCOS. 
Talking about recruitment of MARCOS, all commandos are male and being a naval fragment all its personal. The selection is done at the early age of soldiers, i.e. in the 20s of fresh soldiers to maintain the strength and josh in the force. Well, as per the criteria, the aspirants get a chance to get inducted in the Indian navy through NDA, CDSE, SSC etc. and also through direct recruitment for lower posts. The required basic physical strength is high and so is the training process. So, aspirants to get into this organisation, you need to first become a part of the Indian navy. The training is a continuous process. American and British special forces assisted in the initial training, which now consists of a two-year course for new recruits. 

The training regimen includes: airborne operations, combat diving courses, counter-terrorism, anti-hijacking, anti-piracy operations, direct action, infiltration and exfiltration tactics, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare training etc..

Also read: Some Mindblowing Facts About Indian Army


As far as training is concerned; it takes 2-3 years to train a MARCOS commando. The majority of training of MARCOS takes place over INS Abhimanyu. The training actually takes place at various agencies of Indian navy and the Indian army. They also get training with army’s paramilitary force at Indian special force training school.
Any Indian Navy personnel who wants to join this outfit must first undergo a three-day long, physical fitness test and aptitude test. Within this process, 80% of the application are screened out. Further screening process is known as 'hell's week'. This is actually a five-week-long process which involves high degree of physical exercises and sleep deprivation. It is only after this process that actual training begins
The total duration of training of MARCOS is between two and half to three years.
The basic training lasts six months. The first two months is the weeding out phase. The first phase of which lasts one month, in which they undergo many rigorous physical tests of which only 50% pass. Then for the next nine months, they are taught how to use different types of weapons, conduct special warfare techniques and how to gather intelligence from the enemy.
The cadets start with basic diving and commando tactics and skills. Those that go on are trained in every aspect of modern warfare and in every situation. This includes firing while lying down, standing, running full-sprint, even backwards and looking into a mirror – with a reaction time of 0.27 seconds. This is followed by a year of training of specialised skills. They are trained in various types of close combat including Krav Maga.
MARCOS Training
image source:Tumblr
Different forms of warfare training is imparted through field operations in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist operations within the country and are trained to operate in any kind of environment like beaches, deep sea, on the surface of the ocean, in jungles, ravines and for situations like hostage rescue, urban combat and piracy. A notably rigorous training program is the "death crawl" – an 800-metre struggle through thigh-high mud, loaded with 25 kg of gear and after a 2.5 km obstacle course that most soldiers would fail. After that, when the trainee is exhausted and sleep-deprived, he has to undergo the final test – shooting a target 25 metres away, with a partner standing next to it.
The MARCOS are trained in every kind of weapon and instruments, from knives and crossbows to sniper rifleshandgunsassault riflessubmachine guns and bare hands. Being divers, they can reach hostile shores swimming underwater.
The further training includes:

  • Open and closed circuit diving
  • Basic commando skills including advanced weapon skills, demolitions, endurance training and martial arts
  • Para training
  • Intelligence training
  • Operation of submersible craft
  • Offshore operations
  • Anti-terrorism operations
  • Operations from submarines
  • Skydiving
  • Various special skills such as language training, insertion methods,explosive ordinance disposal techniques,etc.
They are also trained to parachute into open water with full combat load. In 2013, the MARCOS have introduced a larger duck-drop system which will be fitted on IIyushin II-76 aircraft. Each system (two boats) can accommodate 32 commandos, their weapons and fuel for the boats. Duck-drop system that marcos operate in the past is smaller in size which is fitted on An-32 aircraft. This force-multiplier was developed by the Agra-based Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment. Once para-dropped from the aircraft, it allows for the commandos to assemble inflatable motorised boats within ten minutes, and quickly reach ships in distress. On reaching the target, they can dismantle the boats and travel underwater to mount a surprise attack. Such rescue missions can be mounted by the commandos deployed within an hour unlike in the past, when commandos took up to 48 hours to reach the targets as it involved travelling on-board ships and then being deployed on motorised boats.
The Marcos are also preparing for urban warfare and have begun practicing on 3D virtual models of offshore installations to ensure a swift response during a terrorist attack. The marine commandos are undergoing regular training sessions in this computer-generated programme to be well-prepared for a strike similar to the 26/11 attack. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has provided a virtual model of its facility in Krishna-Godavari basin in the east, for the marine commandos at INS Kalinga, the training base for Marcos in Visakhapatnam.
MARCOS training in Sea
image source:indiandefencereview
The Indian Navy initiated the process of procuring five midget submarines for Marine Commandos (MARCOS). These vessels would have the capacity of carrying four to six personnel on board. The submarines would have a diving depth of around 400 meters, and will strengthen the MARCOS ability to carry out special underwater operations in high seas. The midgets will have the capability of carrying out both manned and unmanned operations and will be equipped with a number of weapons including torpedoes. In 2009, the navy initiated the process of procuring these vessels and issued a Request for Proposal to Indian shipyards including Hindustan Shipyards Limited, ABG and Pipavav shipyards. Due to their faster speed and smaller size, midgets are able to escape the enemy Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR) probes making them useful in carrying out covert operations,and help troops to penetrate into hostile territory without getting noticed by enemies. In 2013 other noteworthy development, Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyards Ltd won the contract for building four 500-tonne mini-submarines, which were designed back in the previous decade by Larsen & Toubro. The mini-submarines, to be delivered in the latter half of this decade, will be used exclusively by the Indian Navy’s MARCOS. The combat management systems have been designed and built by TATA Power SED, while Riva Calzoni will be supplying the periscopes and other masts that will host a SATCOM communications systems and LPI navigation radar. The sonar suite is likely to be supplied by ATLAS Elektronik.
The average MARCOS training drop-out rate is more than 90%. The force has its own training facility, first as an adjunct of the operational company at INS Abhimanyu, in Bombay,
Later as the Naval Special Warfare Tactical Training Centre. For combat diving training, the commandos are sent to the Naval Diving School, Kochi. There are plans to move the Naval Special Warfare Tactical Training Centre to the erstwhile Naval Academy facility in Goa where it will be set up with focus on jungle warfare as well as counter insurgency operations. The new facility will be modelled on the lines of CIJWS of the Indian Army in Mizoram.
Equipments and weapons:
1.Browning Hi-Power 9mm Semi-automatic pistol
2.Glock 17 9mm Semi-automatic pistol
3.SIG P226 9mm Semi-automatic pistol
4.1A SMG 9mm Sub-machine gun
MARCOS Equipments
image source:Youtube
5.Uzi 9mm Sub-machine gun

6. MP5 9mm Sub-machine gun
7.AKM Assault rifle and it's variants
8.AK-103 Assault Rifle
9.AKS-74U Compact assault rifle
10.INSAS 5.56 mm NATO Assault Rifle
11.Colt M16A2 5.56mm NATO Assault rifle
12.Colt M4A1 5.56 mm NATO Carbine
13.TAR-21 Tavor 5.56 mm NATO Assault rifle
14.1A SLR 7.62mm NATO Battle Rifle
15.APS Underwater assault rifle

16.Dragunov SVD Semi-automatic sniper            rifle
17.Heckler & Koch MSG90 Semi-automatic sniper rifle
18.OSV-96 Anti-material rifle
19.Cross Bow With Cyanide Tipped Arrow
20.IMI Negev Light machine gun (list is not complete).
source: Google

  • HAL Dhruv utility helicopter
  • 6 Westland WS-61 Sea King transport helicopter
  • Chetak helicopters
  • Cosmos CE-2F X100 two-man submarines
  • All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
  • Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle
 The core tasking of MARCOS include:-
  • Conduct clandestine attack against enemy ships,offshore installations and other vital assets behind enemy lines.
  • To support amphibious operations including pre-assault ops.
  • To conduct unconventional warfare.
  • Conduct of surveillance and recce missions in support of military operations.
  • Conduct of clandestine diving operations.
  • To conduct hostage rescue operations in the maritime environment.
  • Combating terrorism in a maritime environment

Known operations :
MARCOS during 26/11 Mumbai attacks
image source:Jobsfundaz
  • Operation Cactus,
  • Operation Leech,
  • Operation Pawan,
  • Kargil War,
  • Operation Black Tornado,
  • Operation Cyclone,
  • Counter-terrorist operation in Kashmir.
  • 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack

Here are some facts that will make you fear the MARCOS:

1. The Marine Commandos are trained for operations on air, land and sea. Their prefix ‘Marine’ is just a formality as they are from the Navy. Yes, they are all-in-one commandos specialising from para jumping to sea diving.

2. Training of MARCOS is harder than Para Commandos or any other Special Forces. This is well-proven by the fact that a MARCOS cadet went to the US Navy SEALS training and topped the course which has an attrition rate of 90% !
The men who are selected to be MARCOS are amongst the fittest officers and sailors of the Indian Navy.

3. They are selected when they are young, in the early 20s and have to go through a very stringent selection process and training. The training is a continuous process.
They train along with the Special Forces officers of the Indian Army like the Para Commandos at the Commando Training School, in various other agencies and within the Navy.

4. All MARCOS are hence qualified for a HAHO (High Altitude High Opening)/HALO      (High Altitude Low Opening) jump.

5. They are skilled combat divers and parachutists. Most of the training deals with counter-terrorist operations, also with anti-hijacking/piracy operations

6. A 20-km run marks the beginning of everyday in a MARCO training. The next day is a 20-kilometer night treks with 60-kilo load. The routine follows on alternate days.
There are no simulators or dummy cartridges in the training of MARCOS. The training is conducted with live ammunition and guns are always loaded. It leaves no chance of a friendly-fire!

7. There are weekly 120-km walks with 60-kg backpacks.
During the "hell’s week"  there is continuous PHYSICAL training of over 20 hours per day with less than 4 hours to sleep! They are even made to run through thick mud of thigh levels with a 25-kg load. This is then followed by a 2.5-km gruelling obstacle course. 

8.Finally, after all the physical and mental drainage, they are supposed to shoot a target from 25 meters away with live ammo, but wait for it – there’s you co-cadet standing right beside it! That marks the end of hell’s week.

Training is then followed over a two-year course for the selected candidates. It is said that by the end of training only 10 to 25 per cent of the soldiers make the mark.
      MARCOS are known to be very secretive, not revealing their actual identity as specialised, elite soldiers.

      So here goes the article credits: SSBcrack and Quora

      This post first appeared on Common People's, please read the originial post: here

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      MARCOS Secretive Military of Indian Navy


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