A joint exercise of various state and central police counter-terrorist forces is planned to be held next month by the federal contingency commando force NSG as part of a strategy to fine-tune the national crisis management plan and enhance jointness, official sources said on Friday.
The ninth edition of the exercise code-named “Agni Pariksha” is slated to be held between October 24 and November 4 at the garrison of the ‘black cats’ commandos force in Manesar (Gurugram).
The joint national level exercise aims to enhance the counter-terrorist expertise of the state police anti-terrorist squads and those from the central armed police forces (CAPFs) as they are the first responders in case of a terrorist attack, a senior Union home ministry official told PTI.
The aim of this exercise is to ensure minimum casualties and collateral damage during such operations and to achieve better results even as the NSG joins them in due course during a crisis that can occur in any form and in any part of the country, he said.
The exercise, like its earlier editions, will help all the forces understand their respective strengths, weaknesses and provide a platform to share best practices, a CAPF officer said.
The NSG, as the lead and the federal counter-terrorist and anti-hijack operations force, will also share the expertise it has developed to detect and defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs), threat from rogue drones and commando skills required for unarmed combat, during the event, the second officer said.
About 10-15 forces are expected to participate in the mega exercise that will include firing of live ammunition and display of various commando skills.
The NSG was raised as a federal counter-terrorist force in 1984 to undertake surgical commando operations to neutralise terrorist and hijack threats.
It has five hubs or bases across the country, apart from its main garrison in Manesar and a station near the Delhi international airport.
The hubs are located in Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai and a team of commandos is stationed in readiness 24×7 at each of these centres to respond to any threat situation within a 30-minute mobilisation time-frame.