3rd Para-Commando Battalion
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3rd Para-Commando Battalion

ParaCommando Brigade (Bangladesh Army)
Active2016 - present
CountryBangladesh
AllegianceBangladesh
TypeSpecial Operations Force
RoleSpecial Operations
Size2 Battalions
Part ofBangladesh Army
Garrison/HQSylhet Cantonment
Nickname(s)The Cheetahs
Motto(s)Do or Die
ColorsMaroon
EquipmentKRISS Vector gen-II ,Colt M4A1, Type 56, Type 81, Dragunov SVD, Accuracy International Arctic Warfare, M1911, MP5 A3
Engagements
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier General Moin U Mahmood Choudhowry,PSC[2]

The Para-Commando Brigade is an independent special operations brigade of the Bangladesh Army. The brigade was officially formed on 4 September 2016 on adhoc basis consisting two para-commando battalions.[3]

History

Crack Platoon

Crack Platoon was a specialized commando unit of Muktibahini during the liberation war of Bangladesh. The legendary commando officer Major A.T.M Haider (a former SSG commando in Pakistan Army) formed this unit under the command of sector no-2. Sector commander Khaled Mosarrof personally took care of this unit. In June 1971, commander Khaled made a plan to send commandos in Dhaka city. Because a delegation came from World Bank to visit the East-Pakistan(Now Bangladesh). For that,The Pakistan government was trying to show them, everything was normal in Dhaka. But The Commander of sector-2, Khaled Mosarrof was trying to show the whole world that nothing was normal in Dhaka. For that, he along with Commando Major Haider made a plan to launch a commando assault in Dhaka City. They decided to send the specialized platoon-"Y"(which was renamed as Crack-Platoon) in Dhaka City. The Commandos successfully launched some operations in Dhaka city and showed the whole world that nothing was normal there.[4]

Operations of Crack Platoon [5]

1. Operation Hotel Intercontinental[6]

2. Operation Five power stations

3. Operation Farmgate

4. Operation Dhanmondi

5. Operation Green road

Special Warfare Wing

In 1976, special warfare wing was established at Chittagong Cantonment.Later,it was shifted to the Sylhet cantonment.From then this wing started working under the Bangladesh Army School of Infantry and Tactics(SI&T). This was the first step towards the formation of a special force in Independent Bangladesh. In 1980, the army commando course and the counter-insurgency course was started in special warfare wing. In the same year, the special warfare wing was expanded to special warfare school.The Army Airborne School was established in 1988 at Sylhet Cantonment under Special Warfare Wing.In 1988, the first para training course was started at the special warfare school.

1st Para-Commando Battalion

On 30 June 1992, the 1st Para-Commando Battalion started its journey at Jalalabad cantonment of Sylhet. The flag of the battalion was raised in May 1993. On 1 June 2015, 1st Para-Commando Battalion came out as a full-fledged regiment. After the formation of ad-hoc para-Commando Brigade on 4 September 2016, they started working under the command of the Brigade.

The battalion was awarded the national standard on 2 November 2017 as a recognition of their outstanding works.[7]

Formation

Para-commando brigade was formed to cope with the security threats of a new era. With the increase of unconventional security threats from state and non-state actors, expansion of the special operations force was unavoidable. To meet these needs, para-commando brigade was raised on ad hoc basis on 4 September 2016. the brigade includes the former 1st Para-Commando Battalion and newly formed 2nd Commando Battalion, and 3rd Commando Battalion. The formation is yet to get its full strength.

Structure

Under this brigade's command, there are two Para-Commando battalions. They are:

Operations

United Nations peacekeeping

BD Army Para-Commando troops patrolling at a UN mission

Bangladesh is participating in different UN peacekeeping missions since 1988. Currently, Bangladesh is one of the largest contributors of the UN peacekeeping operations. Army, Navy, Air Force and Police members from Bangladesh are the participants of peacekeeping missions. Since 2010, Bangladesh is also sending its special forces members to the UNPKOs. And, army para-commandos are the most among all special forces members of Bangladesh who are being sent to the peacekeeping operations. They are deployed both with regular infantry soldiers and independently.

Dhaka Holey Artisan Bakery Hostage Crisis

On 1 July 2016, five assailants stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery with crude bombs, machetes, ak 22 rifle and pistols, in Dhaka's affluent neighbourhood, Gulshan 2, which is extremely popular among expatriates and foreigners, at roughly 9:20 pm, taking hostage of the locals and foreigners inside.[9] Not realising the gravity of the situation, the initial assault to secure the premises, commenced by Dhaka Metropolitan Police, resulted in the casualties of two police officers in exchanging gunfire with the assailants.

[10] However, Police and the Rapid Action Battalion acted with celerity in setting up a perimeter around the Bakery to block escape of any assailant.[11] After fruitless hours of seeking to bring a peaceful solution to the problem, when the perpetrators refused to communicate with authorities, the realisation set that alternative measures were required.[11]

At an early morning meeting on Saturday (2 July), the highest level of Government decided to engage the 1st Commando Battalion. They were flown in from Sylhet to carry out a counterassault and free the hostages.[11][12] After gathering intelligence from RAB and the Police forces present on the ground, Commandos initiated their raid (codenamed "Operation Thunderbolt"), which began at 7:40 am and concluded at 8:30 am.[9][12] They were successfully able to free 13 hostages and kill the assailants.[12]

During the attack, 9 Italians, 7 Japanese, 2 Bangladeshis, 1 Indian, and 1 American were killed by the perpetrators.[9][11]

Operation Twilight in Sylhet

On Thursday, 23 March 2017, the Bangladesh Police surrounded a suspected militant hideout in Dakshin Surma Upazila, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Later, a SWAT team joined the police unit from Dhaka.[13] The housing complex has two apartment buildings. The Police unit was reinforced with personal from Rapid Action Battalion on Friday.[14] On Saturday, the 1st Para Commando Battalion took charge of operations and named it Operation Twilight.[14]

Operation Twilight was launched by the 1st Para-Commando Battalion of the adhoc para-commando brigade of the Bangladesh Army under the command of GOC of 17th Infantry Division in Jalalabad Cantonment Major General Anwarul Momen.[15] The main gate of the building was blocked by the militants with a refrigerator with an IED attached to it.[16] The building had 30 apartments and 150 rooms, the militants were constantly changing their location.[17] The operation was launched on Saturday morning around 8am. The Commando unit was being assisted by SWAT and Bangladesh Police.[18] Security forces established a three kilometre perimeter around the militant hideout. The commandos rescued 78 civilians trapped in the building from Thursday.[19] Two militants were killed in the initial attack, one of who detonated a suicide vest. The militants had planted IEDs all over the building which slowed down the military operation.[20] Army spokesman, Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan, reported that the operation would take more time because of the presence of IEDs in "strategic points" in the building. The Bangladesh Army used RPGs and shells to drive the militants out without much success.[21] The commandos also used Armoured Personnel Carriers in the operation.[22] Finally four militants were found dead at the hideout.[23][24]

Equipment

Members of the paracommando Brigade are trained to operate a vast array of firearms including different types of assault rifles, pistols and sub-machine guns. The unit has variety of weapons in their inventory such as-

Duties

Para-Commandos in a joint Special Forces exercise with American Special Forces (Rangers)

Commandos are trained to operate in any kind of missions at home and abroad. Their missions include (but are not limited to):

Rewards/Padaks/Medals

The following are the various gallantry, service and war medals of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.[25][26][27][28][29]

Decorations in the order of precedence:

Wartime gallantry awards

Peacetime gallantry awards

[30]

  • Bir Sorbottam-(Bengali: ; literally, "The Foremost Braves"), the highest gallantry award
  • Bir Mrittunjoee- (Bengali: ; literally, "The Immortal Braves"), the second highest gallantry award
  • Bir Chiranjib- (Bengali: ; literally, " The Incorruptible Braves"), the third highest gallantry award
  • Bir Durjoy- (Bengali: ?; literally, "The Indomitable Braves"), the fourth highest

Distinguished Service medals

Bangladesh Order of Military Merit ribbon.jpg Order of Military Merit
Extraordiary Service Medal.png Extraordiary Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal new.png Distinguished Service Medal

Army service Medals

Army Medal Bar.png Army Medal
Army Medal of Glory.gif Army Medal of Glory
Army Medal of Excellence Bar.png Army Medal of Excellence
Army Efficiency Medal Bar.png Army Efficiency Medal

Service and campaign medal

Liberation War medals

War Medal.JPG Samor Padak (War Medal)
Victory Medal.JPG Joy Padak (Victory Medal)
Rono Taroka.JPG Rono Taroka (Campaign Star)
Campaign Star.JPG Mukti Taroka (Liberation Star)
Songbidhan Padak(Constitution Medal).JPG Sanghbidhan Padak (Constitution Medal)

Hill Tracts Campaign medals

Dabanal Padak.JPG Dabanal Padak (Operation Dabanal Medal)
Uttoron Padak Medal BAR.png Uttoron Padak (Operation Uttoron Medal)
Nirapotta Padak.JPG Nirapattya Padak (Internal Security medal)

Service medals

Plaban 1998 Padak.JPG Plaban 1988 Padak (Flood Relief of 1988)
Gurnijar 1991 Padak.JPG Ghurnijhar 1991 Padak (Cyclone Relief of 1991)
Mahaplaban 1998 Padak.JPG Mahaplaban 1998 Medal (Great Flood Relief of 1998)
Sangsadia Nirbachan 1991.png Sangsadiyo Nirbachon 1991 (1991 National Elections Medal)
Bangladesh Sangsadia Nirbachan 1996.png Sangsadiyo Nirbachon 1996 (1996 National Elections Medal)
Bangladesh Sangsadia Nirbachan 2001.png Sangsadiyo Nirbachon 2001 (2001 National Elections Medal)
Silver Jubilee.gif Silver Jubilee Medal (25 years of liberation)
Golden Jubilee.JPG Golden Jubilee Medal (50th anniversary of East Bengal Regiment)
BDR Padak.JPG BDR 200 Years Padak (200th anniversary of Bangladesh Rifles)

Long service awards

Jestha Padak I.JPG Jestha Padak I (10 years service)
Jestha Padak 002.gif Jestha Padak II (20 years service)
Jestha Padak III.JPG Jestha Padak III (30 years service)

References

  1. ^ http://www.thedailystar.net/country/operation-twilight-sylhet-militant-den-ends-1382671
  2. ^ http://www.ispr.gov.bd/-?--2/
  3. ^ "Recounting 'Operation Thunderbolt'". The Daily Star. 2017-07-03. Retrieved .
  4. ^ http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/chronicles/brave-hearts-73724
  5. ^ http://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/they-gave-their-today-our-tomorrow-1455394
  6. ^ http://www.thedailystar.net/operation-hotel-intercontinental-hit-run-53723
  7. ^ " ? ". Dailybdnews.com. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Brig Gen Zahur given Responsibility of CEO (Current Charge), DSE" (PDF). Dhaka Stock Exchange. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "Bangladesh siege: Twenty killed at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016.
  10. ^ The Associated Press (2 July 2016). "Commandos storm Dhaka restaurant, several hostages rescued". CTV News.
  11. ^ a b c d Manik, Julfikar Ali; Anand, Geeta; Barry, Ellen (2 July 2016). "Bangladesh Attack Is New Evidence That ISIS Has Shifted Its Focus Beyond the Mideast". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b c Marszal, Andrew; Graham, Chris (2 July 2016). "20 hostages killed in 'Isil' attack on Dhaka restaurant popular with foreigners". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016.
  13. ^ Manik, Julfikar Ali; Anand, Geeta (2017-03-26). "Bangladeshi Assault Kills 2 Militants but Fails to End Standoff". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved .
  14. ^ a b "It seems the army has settled for a long haul in Sylhet to neutralise the militants". bdnews24.com. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Blasts during Sylhet hideout operation kill 6". Prothom Alo. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "3 killed, 31 hurt in blasts outside Sylhet 'militant den'". The Daily Star. 2017-03-25. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Blasts kill 5 amid raid". The Daily Star. 2017-03-26. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Jt forces' anti-militant 'operation' launched". Prothom Alo. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Gunfire, blasts heard as Sylhet militant hideout siege enters third day". bdnews24.com. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Two killed, more 'well-trained' militants inside, says army in Sylhet". bdnews24.com. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "2 militants killed, Sylhet raid to linger: Army". The Daily Star. 2017-03-26. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Bangladesh commandos storm militants hideout in Sylhet, rescue 78 civilians". hindustantimes.com/. 2017-03-25. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "4 militants dead at Sylhet den: Army". The Daily Star. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Live: Four militants killed as Sylhet raid nears end". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved .
  25. ^ Bangladesh Ribbon Chart
  26. ^ http://www.medals.org.uk/bangladesh/bangladesh-text.htm Text List of Ribbons
  27. ^ http://www.jeanpaulleblanc.com/Bangladesh.htm Orders, Decorations and Medals of Bangladesh
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 2014. Army Medal Lists: Official
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 2015. Asian Medals: Bangladesh
  30. ^ https://www.army.mil.bd/Medal_Gallery

External links


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