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Pakistan's Special Operations Forces: SSG | SSGN | SSW | SOW | SOG

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A.Rahman

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Overview

In 1953-54 the Pakistan Army raised an elite commando formation with US Army assistance. To disguise its true mission the new unit was simply designated 10 Bn. of The Baluch Regiment The battalion was posted to a new headquarters at Cherat near Attock City. In march 1964 a Mobile Training Team from the US Army Special Forces Group (Airborne) went to Pakistan to set up a new airborne school at Peshawar for 19 Baluch. The school included basic and jumpmaster courses. All members of 19 Baluch were airborne-qualified. The training team also included four riggers, who helped train Pakistani counterparts.

By this time 19 Baluch was already considered the SSG (Special Services Group) which was divided into 24 companies. 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.

In 1970 an anti-terrorist role was added. This mission was given to the Musa Company, an independent formation within SSG. The name was given after the name of Prophet Musa (Moses). The company was originally formed in 1970 as a combat diver unit. In 1980 however each company was given a diver unit. After the Musa company was converted to an anti-terrorist unit, it received training by British SAS advisors in Cherat during mid-1981.

In 1986 SSG began a large-scale basic training program for Sri Lankan Paramilitary militia forces. Commando and airborne training was given to members of the Sri Lankan Commando Regiment.

SSG units have also been seconded in covert operations in Afghanistan during the Afghan war, as air marshals on passenger airlines and as VIP security. At present, the SSG maintains its headquarters at Cherat and runs the Airborne School at Peshawar. Two SSG battalions are normally rotated through Cherat with a third battalion divided between the border and other strategic locations such as the Terbella Dam and nuclear research facilities. Each SSG battalion numbers 700 men in four companies. Each company is split into platoons and further sub-divided into 10 men teams. Battalions are commanded by Lieutenant Colonels, the group is currently run by a Colonel

Training

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SSG officers must have at least two years of prior military experience and volunteer from other formations for three-year assignments with the SSG; NCO and enlisted men volunteer from other formations to serve permanently in the SSG. All trainees must participate in an eight-month SSG course at Cherta. The SSG course course emphasizes tough physical conditioning. Included is a 36-mile march in 12 hours, a grueling 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. none SSG airborne students only have to complete a the five day jump.

Many in the SSG school are selected for additional specialist training. A HALO course is given at Peshawar with a 'skydiver' tab awarded after 5 freefall jumps. A "Mountain Warfare" qualification badge is given after completing a course at the Mountain Warfare School in Abbotsbsd; and a "Combat Diver" badge is awarded awarded for the course held by the Naval Special Services Group SSGN at Karachi. three classes of combat swimmers were 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 Weapons and Uniforms

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While they were designated 19 Baluch, the Pakistani special forces were distinguished by a green beret with the Baluch Regt. beret insignia on a maroon flash. A 'Baluch' tab, black with a maroon background, went on left shoulder. Combat uniforms were Khaki. The SSG dropped the green beret in favor of a maroon beret. A silver metal SSG beret is worn in a light blue felt square. A bullion SSG para wing with a black cloth background is worn on the left chest. A red cloth version is worn by master parachutist who has at least 50 jumps. SSG "Riggers" wear a wing with the English word 'Rigger' stitched across the wing. A distinctive SSG badge featuring a dagger framed by lightening bolts, used since 1964 by members of 19 Baluch goes on the left shoulder; qualification tabs and badges such as Skydiver, SCUBA, or Mountain Warfare go on the right shoulder. A silver metal SSG insignia is occasionally worn on shoulder straps.
 

Sid

SENIOR MEMBER
Feb 21, 2006
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They look rough and tough; but their performance has not been that outstanding as you would expect from an 'Elite' unit.

Ofcourse they've had successes (they are expected to carry out the more dangerous missions which is why they are 'elite') but it is the failures that troubles me.

During previous wars with India, quite a few missions failed and I just hope they've learned from their mistakes.

Cheers.
 

tahirkhely

FULL MEMBER
Apr 25, 2006
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Sid said:
They look rough and tough; but their performance has not been that outstanding as you would expect from an 'Elite' unit.

Ofcourse they've had successes (they are expected to carry out the more dangerous missions which is why they are 'elite') but it is the failures that troubles me.

During previous wars with India, quite a few missions failed and I just hope they've learned from their mistakes.

Cheers.
Ask this from Russian Spetnaz commandoes what a pakistani commando is like.:angel:


 

MOO

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Apr 12, 2006
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Does anyone know of any chance of the SSG operating U.S. M4 Carbines? If so, post some pics of them.
 

TexasJohn

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MOO said:
Does anyone know of any chance of the SSG operating U.S. M4 Carbines? If so, post some pics of them.
I don't think you want them using M4s. According to some of friends coming back from Iraq, those things jam with the slightest bit of grit in them. Now you have to break it down, clean it, etc. Most inconvenient in a firefight. Most of them try and get a backup AK-47 as soon as they get there.

Same with my AR-15 vs my SKS ( Norinco). I can abuse my SKS, I have to keep my AR very, very clean! The AR-15 (clean) is very accurate though. Just don't go deer hunting with it. You will destroy the meat!

Maybe an Israeli Tavor or the Chinese copy?
 

tahirkhely

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Apr 25, 2006
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tahirkhely said:
Ask this from Russian Spetnaz commandoes what a pakistani commando is like.:angel:

[Mod Edit: Please quote a line about what Russian Spetnaz' think about SSG as your current post does not add anything to the discussion]
Actually i am referring to Afghan War. Where Russian commandoes came across Yaldrim battalion. There are some eyewitnesses of that conflict still alive and willing to give their account. Certainly they dont have a website so that i can refer you too. They are Sepoys and Subedars. But certainly they have something which will not be digested by you easily.
During my National Cadet Corps training, I heard a lot of incidences of pitched battles against Russian Airborne insertions for hammer and anvil sort of operations. I can give you each and every accounts detail but with a precondition that you digest it.
it will add a lot to this forum as well.:D1
 

Sid

SENIOR MEMBER
Feb 21, 2006
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You're obligated to provide such information when you make haughty claims. To 'digest' it or not; is a matter of free will on the part of those who read that information as well as depending on the credibility of the source.
 

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