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Subject: India Special Forces - Hostage Rescue Question
Galrahn    3/10/2006 12:14:14 AM
From this link: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1646780,0008.htm Negotiations having failed so far, the Indian Navy is ready with a contingency plan to rescue the 21 Indian and 11 other sailors held hostage on a cargo ship by Somalian sea pirates since late last month. Only sketchy details are known about the February 26 hijack. The fate of the Indians is also unclear. It seems around 10 armed pirates forced their way on to the Bhaktisagar while it was passing Haradare, north-east of Mogadishu, the Somalian capital. After taking the sailors hostage, the pirates dropped anchor off the coast near Haradare. A $3,00,000 ransom demand has allegedly been made. The navy was informed about the incident earlier this week. "We've been told that negotiations are currently on among the ship's Dubai-based agent, the Indian High Commissioner in Kenya and the hijackers," said a naval officer. "If we're asked to act, we will." A navy ship will take two days to reach Haradare. "There is a laid down procedure to carry out such an operation," said the officer. "It's called VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure). We'll also need a green signal from Somalian authorities because it's not exactly a piracy on the high seas. The incident took place within the territorial waters of Somalia." Two ships can be dispatched and can be parked at a distance away from the hijacked ship. "That itself could soften the pirates," said the navy officer. "After that, it's a game of psychology." A small cargo ship, Bhaktisagar is registered in Porbandar, Gujarat. It was largely carrying rice and offloading its cargo at various ports in the Middle East. I have a question. What are the capabilities of India's Special Forces? Since piracy is becoming a larger problem, with the publicity of piracy lately military solutions could become the norm, not the exception. What are the preferred methods for Hostage rescue on ships at sea? Helicopter assault, VBSS, or are their other preferred methods? My questions don't apply only to India, although if anyone knows what the Indian capabilities are, I'd be curious. Also, in the US would this be a job for the Navy SEALS, Marine Corp, or is this one of the missions intended for the Marine Corp in SOCOM?
 
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GOP    RE:India Special Forces - Hostage Rescue Question   3/10/2006 9:37:03 AM
>>What are the preferred methods for Hostage rescue on ships at sea? Helicopter assault, VBSS, or are their other preferred methods? My questions don't apply only to India, although if anyone knows what the Indian capabilities are, I'd be curious.<< If it is underway, then helicopter assualt/VBSS is your best option. If it is sitting still int the water, then I'd get my SEALs as close as possible in my RHIB (Just in sight of the boat, but farther away than they could hear) and let them swim to the target and stealthily assualt it. ST6 would probably be tasked with the job
 
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olive greens    RE:India Special Forces - Hostage Rescue Question   3/10/2006 10:43:26 AM
>> What are the capabilities of India's Special Forces? << In interest of fairness, I would have to say ~ there are many units with Special Forces designation, thus its a big curve of abilities. Ignoring mission-specific units (i.e tasked for China or Pakistan only {usually refugees}), it would be Army's Para Regiment SF, Marine Command Force (MARCOS), Air Force SF (Garuds). Para Reg SF is the old Para Reg (Cdo.) battalions now tasked for all-environment operations (before one handled desert, another jungles, another mountains etc). About 5 battalions' worth (1,2,9,10 and 21). Air Force SF is relatively new (just 2 years old?), tasked for search and rescue of downed pilots and planes. I guess they caught the USAF bug and decded they needed something like your 160th SOAR. Navy's MARCOS is about an independent brigade's worth (3 batts). Originally it was supposed to be a SEAL or SBS clone, but Indian needs mutated it quite drastically. With regard to this kind of operation, take a look at Operation Cactus... November 1988, Operation Cactus: The IMSF took part in Operation Cactus in which Indian troops thwarted a coup attempt in the islands of Maldives. When the islands were liberated, a ship containing 46 mercenaries and 27 hostages (including the Maldivian Education Minister) escaped. The next day the ship was spotted by Indian maritime reconnaissance aircraft. IMSF operators fast-roped on the ship from helicopters and took control without any resistance. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NAVY/Marines.html
 
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TheBigBadWolf    RE:India Special Forces - Hostage Rescue Question   3/14/2006 5:17:12 PM
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"The navy was informed about the incident earlier this week. "We've been told that negotiations are currently on among the ship's Dubai-based agent, the Indian High Commissioner in Kenya and the hijackers," said a naval officer. "If we're asked to act, we will."

A navy ship will take two days to reach Haradare. "There is a laid down procedure to carry out such an operation," said the officer. "It's called VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure). We'll also need a green signal from Somalian authorities because it's not exactly a piracy on the high seas. The incident took place within the territorial waters of Somalia.""

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Not saying much are they?

 
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gf0012-aust    RE:India Special Forces - Hostage Rescue Question   4/13/2006 2:48:36 AM
" We'll also need a green signal from Somalian authorities " that will be a bit hard as there is no central government per se - the coastal areas are all managed by warlords - and multiple warlords. "because it's not exactly a piracy on the high seas. " I'd strongly disagree here - if any attack was made then its an act of piracy. an unlawful boarding is an act of piracy. as for the general question. ever since the Achille Lauro most major maritime states developed an airborne insertion capability - although this applies at specific speeds. Generally speaking, my daughter is doing ship board security for passenger ships - when they are doing transfer runs with no passengers they often have specforces snatch teams training for boarding at speed. in the examples where she's been on board, opposed boarding has been practiced by special police units as well as SASR. If the boarding is at the 20km limit then its generally police units, if its 20 km plus then its specwarries.
 
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