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10 Para (Special Forces)

The Commandoes of 10 Para (Special Forces) are second to none in the world. The battalion was raised on June 1, 1967 under Lt Col NS Utthaya. This elite unit of our Army has not only excelled during war but also during peace-time. During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the unit, then designated as '10 Para Commando', carried out a daring 80 km-deep raid inside Pakistan's territory on the Indus Rangers HQ at Chachro (Sind). The battalion carried out many other vehicle-borne raids during the 1971 war. These raids could only be compared with the raids by the famed British 'SAS' in the deserts of North Africa during World War II.

The destruction caused by these raids paved the way for Indian forces to deepen their operations inside enemy territory, leading to the capture of large chunks of enemy territory. For this unparalleled gallantry, the unit was awarded Battle Honour Chachro and Theatre Honour Sind. For his courageous leadership, military acumen and foresightedness, the CO of this daredevil unit was awarded Maha Vir Chakra. In adition, the unit also earned two Vir Chakra, three Sena Medals and one Mention-in Despatches. The tally so far includes one Maha Vir Chakra, two Kirti Chakra, eight Vir Chakra, three Shaurya Chakra, two Vishisht Seva Medals, 42 Sena Medals five Mentions-in-Despatches.

The unit earned laurels for the country and covered itself with glory in the professional competitions in the international arena, as well. In the Exercise Airborne Africa, an international competition for Special Forces, was held in Botswana in 2002 wherein 28 teams including troops from USA, Britain, France, South Africa, Malaysia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Senegal etc took part. The 10 Para (Special Forces) was declared Overall Winners and it also annexed second position. The commendable performance of the teams of 10 Para was lauded by the Special Forces fraternity the world over.

Since 1971, the unit has participated in all the military operations undertaken by the Indian Army including operations Pawan in Sri Lanka, Rakshak in J&K, Meghdoot in Siachen and Orchid in North East. The unit earned Theatre Honour Kargil for the gallantry displayed during the recent operation Vijay in Kargil. The battalion added another feather to its cap by earning the Chief of the Army Staff Unit Citation on Army Day last year for their performance in counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2006 'Chachro Day' celebrations were very special as Brig Sawai Bhawani Singh (Retd) himself was present on the occasion. He earned the gonly Mahavir Chakra for the unit during 1971 war. A large number of ex-service of the unit and their families joined the celebrations. A thrilling sky diving and parachute jump display in selected 'dropping zone', a wreath-laying at the unit war memorial, a special sainik sammelan and a barakhana were the highlights of the 34th Chachro Day celebrations.



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