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Wednesday, November 22nd 2006, 4:52pm

Indian Naval Infantry

Re-posted from the encyclopedia article, as it doesn't show as a new item...

The Bharatiya Nau Sena employs three types of naval infantry units in different roles.

Naval Constables

Small groups of Naval Constables are stationed aboard most warships and auxiliaries, and in larger units ashore at depots and bases. These units are responsible for the security of the vessel or base, such as guarding the entry points and key installations or parts of a ship. They also have a policing role, ranging from ticketing improperly parked automobiles to crowd control. Typically, Naval Constables are equipped with pistols, batons, and short-swords; in war-time conditions, they may be issued rifles, carbines, and/or submachine guns.

There are several battalions and companies, plus numerous platoons and squads of naval constables, lumped into one of two regiments (Shipborne or Shorebound) for administrative purposes.

Naval Garrisons

Naval Garrison units are employed in the military defence of remote BNS naval bases. The size of the units will vary with the scale and importance of the base in question; the depot at Gan, for example, warrants a demi-battalion consisting of an infantry company, an artillery company, and a pioneer platoon. The base at Diego Garcia has a regiment, including a battalion each of infantry and artillery, a pioneer platoon, and a headquarters company.

Naval Commandos

The lack of a dedicated naval amphibious assault capability was observed but generally overlooked during Indian operations at Port Blair (1916) and As Salif (1920). Modest steps were taken following during Indian involvement in the so-called, "War on SALSA" in the mid-twenties as both the navy and the army attached observers to the Filipino marine units involved in landings and raids against rebel groups in the southern Philippines.

The army took more interest in following up from this experience, as the navy was very much fixated on its first capital ship construction program. The Second Battalion of the Imperial Commando Corps began training in landing and small boat operations. In 1929, the battalion was deployed to the Philippines to assist the government in suppressing the revolution there. The battalion undertook several raids - some successful, some not - in conjunction with smaller naval vessels.

The inability of India to participate in the first wave of the landings in western Luzon in 1929 finally tipped the scales in favor of developing a dedicated amphibious assault capability. The army and navy alike were embarrassed by the fact that, despite being the largest contributor of ground troops to the Western Luzon campaign, they had to rely on the much smaller Filipino and Japanese contingents to establish beachheads.

Post-revolution, it was decided that the 2nd Battalion would be transferred to BNS control as the nucleus of a regiment to be formed at the same time that the BNS procured its "Experimental Amphibious Squadron". The Naval Commando Regiment was established in February 1930, and currently consists of two Commando battalions, a training battalion, and headquarters elements. Plans to establish an amphibious armor battalion have not yet come to fruition.

A commando battalion's missions are limited in scope; they are to conduct coastal raids, or seize and hold beachheads, against urban or fortified locations. To this end, the commandos are equipped with a greater proportion of sub-machine guns and demolition equipment (satchel charges, Bangalore torpedoes) than the average army battalion. This has come at the expense of some heavy weapons capability, but is thought to be weighed out by the shorter ranges of expected combat and the likely presence of naval fire support.

A naval commando battalion consists of:

1 x HQ Company (command, signals, naval artillery observation, and liaison/"traffic direction" platoons)

4 x Assault Companies (3 platoons with rifles, SMGs, LMGs)

1 x Support Company (2 pioneer platoons with obstacle demolition equipment; 1 heavy weapons platoon with anti-tank rifles and light mortars)


Saturday, January 6th 2007, 2:30am

I'm surprised I haven't seen this before - this is really excelllent. The Naval Commandos remind of SNLF somewhat.

Do Naval Garrison troopers have to go through sea training?


Saturday, January 6th 2007, 4:08am

I wouldn't really think so. They're going to be operating on land, albeit small chunks of it. They'll be trained more like army guys, with more emphasis on defensive tactics and some anti-ship/anti-landing operation.

Administratively, it's easier to have one large naval garrison than smaller army and navy garrisons cohabitating.