Special Operations: A Little Goes A Long Way



June 24, 2011:  While most commando training usually takes years, India has found that much shorter courses have paid off for police fighting Maoist rebels in eastern India. It was two years ago that the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School was established by the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police.) The ITBP has long run special training schools for high-altitude rescue work and patrolling under particularly dangerous conditions (like in the Winter.) The ITBP contains a large number of experienced mountaineers. But the new school brought many of these traditional ITBP skills into play for a curriculum for police units fighting Maoist rebels. Started as something of an unofficial experiment, the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School proved to be a big success. Police usually take a one month course, and learn the basics of many patrolling and rough country movement that they can then improve while in action against the Maoists. The government has sent 70,000 paramilitary police, organized into battalions, against rural areas long dominated by Maoist rebels. Units that had the ITBP training consistently did better out in the bush.

The ITBP guards the 2,000 kilometers long border with Tibet. The ITBP has over 10,000 personnel, and many of them work along thinly populated, high altitude border areas. ITBP has battled Islamic terrorists in Kashmir, but along most of the border the big enemy is rugged terrain, high altitude and bad weather (particularly Winter cold and storms.)

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