To augment the training infrastructure of the Indian Special forces (PARA SF) and combat free fallers, the Indian Army’s Special Forces Training School at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh, got the first Vertical Wind Tunnel. It was inaugurated by Army Chief Lt.General Manoj Pande on October 25, 2023. The state-of-the-art wind tunnel, a first of its kind, in the Indian Army offers a controlled environment to enable military trainees to enhance their skills by simulating real life free-fall conditions.
Significance of the Tunnel
Functioning as a Free-fall simulator, the VWT creates a column of air at special velocities orchestrating different CFF (Combat Free Fall) conditions. The system offers a controlled environment enabling trainees to enhance their skills by simulating different free fall conditions.
This project a first of its kind in the Indian Army will deliver simulated training on free-fall to the special forces. It is poised to greatly enhance operational effectiveness and readiness of the Indian Army, ensuring that special forces are fully prepared to tackle the challenges of current and future battle fields.
It reduces potential instability in the air and during parachute deployment, thereby assisting trainees to get use to free-fall conditions. It is not just beneficial to beginners, but an exceptional resource for delivering advanced training to seasoned free fallers and CFF instructors.
Advantages of VWI
The integration of the Vertical Wind Tunnel into the CFF training at the SFTS brings its own advantages. The system simulates a wide variety of free-fall scenarios, which are vital for assessing individual reactions in various situations within an airborne operating environment. By reducing potential instability during free-fall and parachute deployment trainees can acclimatize themselves to free-fall conditions more effectively.
Indian Army Special Forces
The Indian Army Special Forces commonly known as PARA SF is one of the most elite and formidable special operations unit innthe world. Renowned for their extraordinary skills, physical fitness and unwavering commitment, the Para SF is an integral part of India’s Special Forces community.
Becoming a PARA SF operator is an archaic regime that only a select few can undertake. The selection process is extremely rigorous with a high attrition rate. Prospective candidates including existing soldiers are expected to a battery of physical and mental tests, often carried out under pressure and extreme conditions.
It includes an endurance run, obstacle course, marksmanship, psychological assessments, and survival exercises. After selection, the candidates undergo the most grueling training regimes in the world. Their training primarily takes place at the Parachute Regiment Training Centre in Bengaluru and other specialized facilities.
The training includes Basic Paratrooper Course, Combat Diving Course, unarmed combat, lethal, high degree of martial arts, survival, and explosives training.