Amazing Facts You Should Know About The MARCOS

Hello Defence Lovers, 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 warfare, Close Quarter Combat Counter-terrorism, Direct action, Special reconnaissance, Unconventional warfare, Hostage rescue, Personnel recovery, Combat search and rescue, Asymmetric warfare, Foreign internal defence, Counter proliferation, Amphibious reconnaissance including Hydro graphic reconnaissance.You may have been in awe of the US Navy Seals, but we can tell you with pride that the guys at MARCOS are no less and probably ahead of them. In this article we have provided some amazing facts about the MARCOS special force which make them best in the world.

Also Read, How To Join The MARCOS Special Force
  • The MCF (Marine commando Force) 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.
  • Some MARCOS personnel are also attached with the Army special forces units conducting counter-terrorism operations in the area.
  • MARCOS were raised as the Indian Marine Special Forces (IMSF) in 1985. Two years later, they were renamed the Marine Commando Force (MCF).
  • Their motto is – The Few The Fearless.

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  • Becoming a MARCO or a Marine Commando is no cakewalk. Trainees have to undergo one of the world’s toughest courses that can last between two-and-a-half to three years, depending on the specialisation.
  • Getting selected to be trained as a MARCO itself is difficult. The pre-training procedure, which includes a three-day physical fitness and aptitude test, sees almost 80% applicants being screened out. And it gets worse.
  • A five-week-long ‘hell’s week’ follows this, which includes sleep deprivation and intense physical training. Those that make it through, or don’t quit on their own, actually proceed to the actual training.
  • Those that clear the selection then start undergoing the grilling course which includes basic training at INS Abhimanyu in Mumbai.
  • The trainees then train in para jumps at the Paratrooper Training School in Agra and a diving course at Navy’s Diving School in Kochi.
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  • After this basic training, they join – on probation – their respective groups for advance training. This includes training for counter insurgency, anti-hijacking, anti-piracy, clandestine operations, surveillance and reconnaissance, amphibious operations, unconventional warfare, and hostage rescue, among others.
  • The MARCOS are capable of jumping into water with the full combat load. If you think that’s an easy feat, imagine for a moment surging waters, spray of bullets and any such extreme situation.
  • Conducting special operations in all kinds of terrains and situations is their speciality. It’s not just the oceans they rule. Their parent department might be the Indian Navy, but these men are fully trained to be deployed in all kinds of warfare.
  • Not anybody can become a MARCOS soldier; it takes something special to be one. The selection criteria for becoming a part of MARCOS is extremely high. Even if you are lucky enough to be selected, you have to go through a rigorous training which lasts almost three years. Mostly, men in their twenties are chosen for this profile.
  • Only 20% candidates make through the HELL week.. The first phase of the training consists of a physical assessment which takes three days; there is an aptitude test too. Upon clearing this stage, candidates’ physical endurance, pain, tolerance to cold and mental toughness is tested. The actual training starts after the HELL week.

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  • The INS Abhimanyu is the home base of the MARCOS. Majority of the training takes place here. The other major centres for training are located in Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam, and Port Blair.
  • These men can give no excuse for failure when put to the job. MARCOS are trained for every possible warfare on this planet. Be it close-circuit diving, weapon skills, martial arts or para training, a MARCOS sailor knows it all.
  • Their adversaries have every reason to fear the MARCOS. After all, these men are trained for everything from anti-hijacking to anti-piracy operations. They can also handle all kinds of counter insurgency operations.
  • MARCOS are both HALO – High Altitude Low Opening and HAHO – High Altitude High Opening qualified. Basically you can drop these men from the sky into the sea or on the land and expect them to unleash hell upon the enemies.
  • The MARCOS are trained in mountain warfare, desert wars and guerilla warfare too. Rigorous training takes place in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram for such operations.
  • In a competition with the US Navy Seal, an Indian MARCOS commando came first. This only speaks of their caliber and extreme prowess in the matter of wars.
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  • Their training makes MARCOS tough nuts to crack. An Indian MARCO on an exchange program in the US topped the US Navy SEAL course with ease.
  • The MARCOS carry some of the finest weapons in the world. The Israeli TAR-21, one of the finest assault rifles in the world, is their favourite toy. Their combat uniform is at par with any other commando forces of the world.
  • The units are equipped with the Israeli Tavor TAR-21 assault rifle to which a 40 mm grenade launcher can be attached. The TAR-21 is weather sealed, So a MARCO can emerge out of the sea, weapon drawn and ready to shoot. A scary sight for the bad guys!
  • Other weapons include the Heckler & Koch MP5 sub machine gun for close quarter battles, the SIG Sauer P226 and Glock 17 pistols and the Druganov and Galil sniper rifles and OSV-96 semi-auto heavy caliber anti material rifle. Apart from the weapons, they also operate two man subs, the Italian CE2F/X100, for conducting covert underwater operations.
  • Operation Pawan, Operation Cactus are some of the famous successful international operations undertaken by the MARCOS. They had joined the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka for Operation Pawan, and helped in capturing the harbors of Jaffna and Trincomalee. During the Operation Cactus, they defended Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom from a coup.

  • The MARCOS operations are the stuff of legends. Op Pawan in Sri Lanka, an operation to blow up the Jaffna jetty, saw MARCOS swim 12 kms to their target with their combat load in tow.
  • They then slipped in without being detected and blew up the harbour with explosives. They were immediately fired upon by the LTTE. The commandos returned fire and managed to swim back to the ship without any casualties.
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  • There is a two-member MARCOS team guarding the Wular Lake in J&K round the year. Due to their vigil, the terrorists now need to travel 100 kms through the high mountains, if they wish to infiltrate (and get killed by other soldiers protecting the interior areas).
Jai Hind

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