National Security Guard
National Security Guard seal
National Security Guard seal
NSG Sahas Ki Vijay badge
NSG Sahas Ki Vijay badge
Flag of National Security Guard
Flag of National Security Guard
AbbreviationNSG
Mottoसर्वत्र सर्वोत्तम सुरक्षा (Sanskrit)
Omnipresent omnipotent security
Agency overview
Formed16 October 1984; 37 years ago (1984-10-16)[1]
Employees10,000 active personnel
Annual budget1,293 crore (US$161.9 million) (2022–23)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionIN
Legal jurisdiction Republic of India
Governing bodyMinistry of Home Affairs
Constituting instrument
Operational structure
HeadquartersNew Delhi
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyMinistry of Home Affairs
Facilities
Regional Hubs
Notables
Significant Operations
Website
nsg.gov.in Edit this at Wikidata

The National Security Guard (NSG), commonly known as Black Cats, is an elite counter-terrorism unit of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs.[3][4][5] It was founded on 16 October 1984 under the National Security Guard Act, 1986, following Operation Blue Star, the Golden Temple attack and the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, "for combating terrorist activities and protect states against internal disturbances."[1][6][7][8] It is one of the seven Central Armed police forces of India.

Mission

The National Security Guard states its mission as:

"Train, equip and keep in readiness a special force capable of swiftly and effectively combating terrorism to live up to its motto Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha"[9]

The NSG is a 'Federal Contingency Deployment Force' to tackle all facets of terrorism in the country.[10] As a specialised counter-terrorism force, it is intended to be used "only in exceptional situations" and is not meant to take over the "functions of the State Police Forces or other Para Military Forces".[10] Yet, over the years its role has been expanded to provide personal security to influential politicians regardless of the real threat that they face.

However, in January 2020, the NSG was withdrawn from this task of VIP security to ensure its focus on its original roles as an elite counter-terrorism and anti-hijacking force.[11]

The NSG is trained to conduct counter-terrorist tasks, including countering hijackings on the land, sea, and air; bomb disposal (search, detection, and neutralisation of IEDs); PBI (Post Blast Investigation) and Hostage Rescue missions.

Directors General

M A Ganapathy (DOB: 01-03-1964) is an Indian Police Service officer of the 1986 batch of Uttarakhand cadre,[12] now serving as the Director General, National Security Guard[13] w.e.f. 18-03-2021. He has previously served as Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security[14] and Director General of Police, Uttarakhand.[15]

Organisation

According to the NSG website, it is modelled on the British Special Air Service as well as Germany's GSG 9 (Grenzschutzgruppe 9 or "Border Guard Group 9").[16][17][18]

NSG marching at Republic Day Parade, 2017.
NSG marching at Republic Day Parade, 2017.

Headquarters

At Mehram Nagar, Palam
Administration The Director-General is assisted by four Indian Police Service officers for administrative matters of whom two are Inspectors General each for Administration and Headquarters (HQ) who in turn are assisted by Deputy Inspectors General.[19] The Financial Advisor of the NSG has been an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary from Central Accounts Services and is assisted by Dy Financial Advisors.

At Manesar
Operation and training: A Major General of the Indian Army, on deputation, designated as Inspector General (operations), is responsible for the planning and conduct of operations. Training is under another Inspector General (Training), located in Manesar, Gurgaon. They are further assisted by two DIGs – DIG (Operations) and DIG (Training).[20] The strength of the NSG is estimated to be about 7000+ personnel.[21] Air transport to support NSG is located at Indira Gandhi Airport.

Special Action Group (SAG)

There are 2 Special Action Groups – 51 and 52 SAGs. Both, along with 11 SRG, constitute the counter terrorist force (CTF) which is the counter-terrorist arm of NSG. 51 SAG along with 11 SRG are tasked for counter-terrorist and counter insurgency operations while 52 SAG deal with anti-hijacking operations. While SAG members are drawn from the Indian Army, SRG members are largely drawn from CAPFs.

Special Ranger Group (SRG)

There are 3 Special Ranger Groups (SRG) – 11,12 and 13. 11 SRG is under counter terrorist force (CTF) and is used purely for counter terrorist operations along with 51 SAG. SRG members are drawn both from the border guarding forces like BSF, ITBP and SSB and Internal Security Forces such as CRPF, CISF and Assam Rifles. In recent times GoI has decided to remove SRGs from protection duties and re-orient them exclusively for the mandate of NSG like SAG and 11 SRG.

Special Composite Group (SCG)

NSG has set five regional hubs under regional deployment. SCG consists of personnel both from Army and CAPFs for counter-terror operations within their area of responsibility. Each SCG is headed by an officer of rank colonel from the Indian Army on deputation as Group Commander. The five regional hubs are

Electronic Support Group (ESG)

The electronic support group stationed at Manesar, provides communication and technological support. The group is headed by a Group Commander level officer on deputation.

National Bomb Data Centre

An NSG bomb disposal squad member during a training mission
An NSG bomb disposal squad member during a training mission

The National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) was established in the year 1988 and redefined its role in the year 2000. NBDC was assigned the role of monitoring, recording and analyzing all bombing incidents in the country. It also records and analyses various bombing incidents across the world to gain expertise knowledge in bombing and related incidents to effectively counter such situations and shares information with relevant security agencies. NBDC also performs research and development in the field of explosives engineering.[22] At present NBDC act as a nodal agency for all bombing related facets in the country. It is headed by a Group Commander who can be either from the Army or para military force. The current Group Commander is a Commandant rank officer from CRPF.

Regional deployment

In response to the criticism, due to the time taken by NSG units to arrive in November 2008 Mumbai attacks, from its base in Manesar, Haryana, the MHA decided to deploy NSG contingents in major regions across India.[23][24]

Hyderabad

NSG hub is the regional hub of the National Security Guard and it's commando training is located near Hyderabad, Telangana, India.[25] With the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) giving its nod and sanctioning 534 crore (equivalent to 636 crore or US$80 million in 2020) in 2017, the National Security Guard (NSG) officials geared up to establish the Southern Regional Center (SRC) at Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad for training commandos. It will be home to 300 black cat commandoes and is tasked with tackling any terror threat in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.[26][27] The hub land area is 81 hectares (200 acres) and constructed at a cost of 157 crore (US$20 million).

The Hyderabad hub of 28 Special Composite Group (SCG) of the NSG is among the four regional hubs in the country.[28] By 2018, 300 commandos were stationed at the NSG hub at Trimulgherry.

The state has two trained anti-terror striking forces. Besides the NSG, the Telangana Police's counter-terrorist group, OCTOPUS, also has a training facility in the same neighbourhood at Ibrahimpatnam, that has a strength of over 250 personnel.[29]

NSG and OCTOPUS personnel undergo a gruelling training, including handling sophisticated weapons, after which commandos are sent back to their parent department when they reach the age of 35, ensuring that the force remains young and fighting fit.[29]

Planning in Hyderabad

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As of 2013, the proposal to set up a state-of-the-art NSG training centre at Ibrahimpatnam on the lines of NSG Manesar training centre had been pending for over three years. But the MHA officials, in their annual report released recently, announced the release of funds for developing infrastructure. "Post the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike, four regional hubs of NSG were operationalised in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata to reduce reaction time. A regional centre at Hyderabad is also being raised, for which 240 hectares (600 acres) of land has been acquired. MHA has conveyed sanction of 534 crore (US$67 million) towards the construction of this Southern Regional Centre, NSG at Ibrahimpatnam," the MHA report said.[30]

Trimulgherry

Hyderabad would have an NSG hub at Trimulgherry as well as the SRC for training 'Black Cats'. As of now, nearly 300 commandos, ready for anti-terror operations round-the-clock, are stationed at the NSG hub at Trimulgherry.[31]

Kolkata

On 1 March 2020, the 29 Special Composite Group complex was inaugurated by the Home Minister Amit Shah at New Town, West Bengal.[32][33]

Gandhinagar

In July 2018, NSG operationalized its fifth regional hub at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Around 100 people will be based for counter-terror and counter-hijack operation.[34]

Amritsar

NSG proposed Amritsar as a regional hub to improve its counter action capability in Northern India.[35]

Rank structure and designation

Officers
Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
National Security Guard[36]
NSG OF-8.svg
NSG OF-7.svg
NSG OF-6.svg
NSG OF-5.svg
NSG OF-4.svg
NSG OF-3.svg
NSG OF-2.svg
Director General
-
Inspector General
-
Deputy Inspector General
-
Group Commander
-
Second In Command
-
Squadron Commander
-
Team Commander
-
Enlisted ranks
Rank group Junior commissioned officers Non commissioned officer Enlisted
National Security Guard[36]
NSG OR-9.svg
NSG OR-8b.svg
NSG OR-8a.svg
NSG OR-7.svg
NSG OR-6.svg
NSG OR-4.svg
No insignia
Subedar Major Assistant Commander-1 Assistant Commander-2 Assistant Commander-3 Ranger Grade I Ranger Grade II Combatised tradesmen
- - - - - - -

History

The NSG was established in the wake of 1984 Operation Blue Star, and the high collateral damage to Golden Temple, and civilian and military collateral casualties. Since its founding the NSG has been used in the Punjab in 1986, and Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the NSG's known operations include:

Selection and training

NSG Sniper with a Barrett Model 98B during Republic Day parade in 2021
NSG Sniper with a Barrett Model 98B during Republic Day parade in 2021

Selection is demanding and has a drop out rate of about 70–80 per cent.[21] Three of their 14 months of training in Manesar, Haryana, are devoted to the basics. Physical fitness training has 26 elements, ranging from a cross-country obstacle course to jumping from heights and across divides and scaling different kinds of terrain. One endurance test involves martial arts, target shooting at the end of an obstacle-ridden cross-country run. This is meant to gauge the candidate's performance under conditions of stress and exhaustion. Those who successfully complete the tests are sent for nine months of advanced training.

Before being inducted into the NSG, aspirants also have to undergo a rigorous psychological test.[43]

The training includes learning to conduct urban counter-terrorism, underwater operations, house intervention, counter-UAV and anti-drone operations, bomb detection and disposal skills, apart from various other specialisations.[44][45]

Exercise between NSG and United States Army Special Forces, code named Balanced Iroquois, started on 18 October 2015. This three-week long exercise was preceded by a joint airborne-jump at Aero India 2015.[46]

In February 2018, Green Berets from the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) conducted a joint training exercise with the NSG in Kolkata. The Green Berets learnt some urban warfare strategies from the NSG while the NSG learnt about some advanced equipment of the US soldiers. The drill included intervention techniques, training in the Kolkata Metro system and a drill at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.[47]

In March 2019, the NSG and US special forces from the 1st Special Forces Group carried joint exercises in Hyderabad.[48][49]

Germany

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the NSG decided to have a joint exercise with the German GSG 9. In November 2009, a team from NSG visited the GSG 9 headquarters.[50] Joint training exercises between GSG 9 and NSG were subsequently conducted in Manesar.[51]

Equipment

The National Security Guard utilizes the following equipment:

NSG operator with SIG MPX, M249 SAW and MP5 during Republic Day parade in 2021
NSG operator with SIG MPX, M249 SAW and MP5 during Republic Day parade in 2021

Small Arms

Drones

Vehicles and transport

In popular culture

See also

References

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  4. ^ Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs (18 March 2011). "Office Memorandum" (PDF). mha.gov.in. Director (Personnel), MHA. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
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