The Special Frontier Force are a special forces unit of the Indian military. It has about 12,000 personnel, with virtually all the enlisted men being Tibetans, and the officer corps being partly Indian and partly Tibetan. The Commander is normally a serving Major-General of the Indian Army. It was originally formed by the CIA and India’s intelligence agencies for the sole purpose of sabotage and espionage beyond enemy lines.
The Special Frontier Force that was established in 1959 has since grown in proportion and range of deployment. It consists mainly of Tibetan exiles. It is another one of those unsung heroic units in the Indian army today. It is a force that is deployed for paratrooping operations and for mountain warfare. It is a tightly knit force and one that enjoys serving the country. Popularly called the “Vikas” forces by the conventional army, these brave soldiers are an asset to the might of the Indian army. These forces undergo paratrooper training and can be used for covert missions and operations. These brave men and women have shown their might in the Indo-Pak War and played key role in the liberation of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh and the Kargil War. Many of these brave Tibetans who laid lives for India were for the first time officially recognized by India by awarding in the same year, many medals of valor, on India’s Republic Day Celebration in New Delhi.
More recently, SFF is believed to have been involved in efficiently clearing the terrorist training bases of the Assamese militant organization Ulfa in operations conducted in the southern forests of Bhuta, with the permission of the government of Bhutan. However, the leader of Ulfa, Paresh Barua, continues to enjoy sanctuary in Bangladesh.