CISF trains its men in precision firing to secure airports
Counter-terror commando teams of the CISF deployed at airports are being trained in special combat skills with a stress on precision firing to quickly pin down terrorists in case of an attack.
The force has introduced some new training capsules for its Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) that are deployed at 59 civil airports, including in Mumbai and Delhi, to sharpen reflexes of the men and women who are the first responders in case of a terror attack.
"We have decided to professionalise our Quick Reaction Teams by giving more emphasis on their firing skill and tactical drills that will sharpen their reflexes. The idea is to make these special teams more capable to respond to any threat that emerges at airports," CISF Director General O P Singh told PTI.
The force has created a special school for this purpose, called the Special Tactics and Training Wing (STTW), at its training academy in Hyderabad.
Th DG said the first teams to get training at the STTW will be those from the airport QRTs. They will be followed by the special squads deployed to secure the Delhi Metro and other critical infrastructures.
A senior trainer at the STTW said the commandos will now be trained in 'free flow' and 'rolling assault' techniques that enable a small armed team to take on multiple opponents in a large area like an airport terminal.
This means, the trainer said, that a compact commando team can effectively hold the fort and eliminate the threat by using accurate firing skills.
At sensitive facilities like airports, every bullet counts and every bullet fired should find its target, he said.
The DG said authorisations have also been issued recently to enhance the duration of firing practice of QRT commandos so that they remain confident and agile on the trigger and with their every move.
The aim, the training officer said, is to prepare the teams up to a level that in case of a terrorist attack or hostage-like situation at airports, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) teams present on the ground are able to neutralise the enemy even before special forces like the NSG arrive.
The officer said the age-old technique of taking aim with one eye closed have been replaced with the one in which the commandos are being trained to shoot keeping both their eyes open so that their field of view is panoramic and they can assess a trouble situation in a better fashion.
These are some of the new combat and counter-terror techniques that special commando forces are undertaking world over. The CISF has adopted these new skills, the officer said.
The force has also decided to keep the age-profile of the commando teams young and will provide them with a new design of dungarees which can hold more weapons and tools required by a commando to undertake intervention and rescue tasks.
Singh, who will inaugurate the STTW in Hyderabad tomorrow, has sanctioned twice a month firing practice for these personnel deployed at the hyper-sensitive airports like that in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad from critical aerospace and nuclear installations under its security umbrella.
Having good physical fitness will be a target that commandos will have to ensure each and every time. They are already being trained in unarmed combat skills, martial arts and 'Parkour', a military obstacle training course done with bare hands, the officer said.
While the CISF QRT commando teams use the AK series of assault rifles and Glock pistols for firing, they will be provided with modern smoke grenades and similar ammunition that wreaks less damage to the surroundings and neutralises the target with minimum collateral damage at places like airports.
The about 1.47-lakh personnel strong force is observing 2017 as the year of training as it had got over 20,000 fresh recruits in its rank this year and has decided to give a special impetus to training of its QRT teams that secure vital locations.