Special Frontier Forces- SFF- India

The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is a special force of India created on 14 November 1962. Its main goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian War.The SFF is also known as “Establishment 22”or just “22” due to its first Inspector General, Maj. Gen. Sujan Singh Uban .

Founded 14 November 1962
Country India
Type Special forces
Part of Research and Analysis Wing
Headquarters Chakrata, Uttarakhand, India
Nicknames(s) Establishment 22
Engagements Bangladesh Liberation War, Operation Blue Star, Operation Cactus, Operation Pawan, Kargil War, & Operation Rakshak 2020 China- India skirmishes.

Air crafts Used

Helicopter HAL Cheetah HAL Lancer
Cargo helicopter Mi-17V-5
Utility helicopter HAL Dhruv HAL Chetak
Reconnaissance IAI Searcher II IAI Heron DRDO Rustom
Transport Gulfstream III IAI Astra 1125

Battalions & Ethnic Composition

    The SFF has a total 8 Battalions called 1 Vikas, 2 Vikas, 3Vikas, 4Vikas (SG), 5 Vikas, 6 Vikas, 7 Vikas and 1archer A (CDO). Ethinically, the unit is a mixture of Tibetans and Gorkhas. The Tibetan troopers are recruited from the dwindling population of Tibetans in India. The flow of Tibetans joining SFF has slowed down due to the declining population of Tibetans.

    Tibetans are currently serving as soldiers non-commissioned officers. The 6 Battalions are commanded by colonel rank Indian Army Officers. At least 5 other Indian Army Officers are in a Battalion. At the helm of SFF is the Inspector General (SFF), a Major General rank officer. Females are also recruited for specialized operations as well as in signal and medical companies.


Cold War(China): On 16 October 1964, China tested a nuclear weapon in Xinjiang. The Chinese not only kept testing nuclear weapons regular intervals but also ballistic missiles.  Another mission was launched in 1967 to place a device on Nanda Kot. This mission was successful but a couple of years later another problem cropped up. M.S. Kohli and a SFF team were sent once again to bring it down, this time they retrieved it successfully.

In October 1967, the Chinese began testing an ICBM capable of reaching targets 6000 miles away. There was renewed urgency to find out more. So SFF mountaineers went off on one more mission in December 1969 to successfully place  gas powered device on an undisclosed mountain supposedly in Chinese controlled areas.

2020 Ladakh skirmishes: SFF in a join operation with the Indian Army captured Pangong Tso, in eastern Ladakh to establish Indian outposts that are few hundred of meters away from the Chinese outposts.

Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971:  SFF was extremely successful in major combat operations during Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.

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