Sunday, November 15, 2009

Retired Pakistani commandos were trained by US contractor



Amid a controversy surrounding activities of US contractors like Xe and DynCorp, ranging from training an anti-terror force at the Sihala Police College to raising their own private security force for protecting American diplomats and citizens, some former SSG commandos have come up with interesting stories.

The commandos who had retired from the army’s elite Special Services Group (SSG) were recruited by the Inter-Risk company -- at present under investigation -- to be trained by its US contractor for a force to protect American assets in Pakistan.

They were promised a salary of Rs17,000 during training and Rs40,200 on passing out. The commandos, all retired non-commissioned officers, were hired through advertisements and by word of mouth for a sophisticated rapid action team.

“But our objectives were not made clear to us. We were prepared, tested, and made ready for the ‘unexpected’,” said a former commando.

After going through physical tests of a one-mile jog and negotiating obstacles, they were called three days later and taken to Rawat in vans from a house in sector F-6/1.

“The 40-bed air-conditioned Rawat compound was like a jail. Even if we had to buy cigarettes, we were prohibited from leaving the premises fortified by barbed wire and covered by CCTV cameras,” the ex-commando said.

However, he conceded that the men liked the fine buffet of four or five good dishes served during the period of training.

There were 40 trainees, all former SSG men, in the session that he attended.The men would fall in at 8am and exercise till 4pm, sometimes even longer, -- firing weapons they had not held before, shooting foreign-made 9mm Berettas after jumping out of moving vehicles and learning escape driving tactics as realistically as they could and putting to test skills acquired over years in the SSG.

“Much of the training was geared towards increasing our confidence levels, using sophisticated weapons to enhance our effectiveness while engaging an ‘enemy’, providing protection and countering terrorists,” he said.

“During 15 years in the SSG, I had never used a weapon with trigger-installed safety catch. Several men could not get the hang of it and were rejected,” said the nearly six-foot tall retired soldier, adding that he had learnt techniques he had not known while serving in the army.
According to him, ammunition was stored in a room adjacent to the kitchen.

Having been trained by five American instructors, the ex-commando said he had reasons to believe that serving Pakistan military doctors conducted their polygraph tests and made psychological assessments. “We can tell when we run into our own kind,” the ex-soldier said.

They developed a superior combat mindset and learning calculated moves -- how it was easier to draw a weapon holstered on the right rather than going for one slinging on the left that wasted a few seconds.

The men were also taught survival skills -- navigation, reading compasses and using global positioning systems (GPS) with accuracy, using maps of Swat, Peshawar and Afghanistan.
“In the last week of the month-long strenuous physical and mental exercises, Jimmy, our head instructor, showed us films about how the Americans were ambushed by guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan and combat glimpses captured in Swat,” said another former SSG commando.

Those who passed out and agreed to stay on were sent to Peshawar and organised into groups of eight.

Each team was armed with rocket launchers, AK-47 with 120 rounds, 50 rounds of 9mm pistols, two grenades, packed explosives and meals.

However, the move by some of the former SSG men to quit remains as much shrouded in mystery as was their decision to join the company.

The former soldiers were made to believe that they were being prepared to fight the war on terror through tough, realistic and relevant training. The training pushed the retired commandos to their limit and beyond, while maintaining high standards -- familiarising them with a new system of combat effectiveness and understanding the importance of being proficient to accomplish collective tasks and missions.

However, the mystery about their objectives gradually started to unfold. “That was when it was realised that their mission was more than just providing protection to Americans heading out into the tribal areas from Peshawar against increasingly violent elements.

“Some of us were getting convinced that the mission may include fighting on the front, if need be,” said a former commando.

4 comments:

The are CIA, RAW and Mossad men have taken over the SSG.

ISI has been sold over to the westerners also. Gen Kayani is a traitor too.

Key word is "Retired Pakistani commandos "

Hey what is your source of this article?

http://www.aaj.tv/news/National/153385_detail.html

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