Udayavni Special

India-China Faceoff: What is the Special Frontier Force (SSF)?

Team Udayavani, Sep 1, 2020, 2:28 PM IST

On Monday, Aug 1, the army said that it had ‘thwarted Chinese intentions to alter the ground situation’. There have been reports of  the involvement of the Special Frontier Force (SFF), in the operation south of Pangong Tso

The Special Frontier Force (SFF) referred to as Vikas Regiment operates under the Directorate General of Security (DGS), a wing of India’s external intelligence agency R&AW.

The SSF was set up in 1962 after the India-China border war. Its main goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Indo-China war.

The unit, also known as Establishment 22 is officered by the Indian army and recruits its personnel from among the Tibetan diaspora settled in India.

It was named as Establishment 22 because it was raised by Major General Sujan Singh Uban, an Artillery officer who had commanded 22 Mountain Regiment.

CIA and RAW helped in raising the force, SFF’s weapons were all provided by the US and consisted mainly of M-1, M-2, and M-3 machine guns.

The force was first put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau, and later, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW).

It now falls under the purview of the Cabinet Secretariat where it is headed by an Inspector General who is an Army officer of the rank of Major General.

The SFF units are not part of the Army but they function under operational control of the Army. Its personnel have participated in India’s various wars, from 1971 to the 1999 Kargil War


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