INS Abhimanyu (name symbolising the elite fighter of the epic Mahabharta) was set up in 1974 as the premiere Chariot base. The unit grew in stature and was commissioned on 01 May 1980. With greater emphasis on low intensity conflict and unconventional warfare, the emphasis gradually shifted on special operations. The Indian Marine Special Force (IMSF) was raised in 1987 and co located with INS Abhimanyu. The acronym was changed to Marine Commandos Force (MCF) to give an element of individuality. The name MARCOS is struck thereafter.
Functions / Role
The exclusivity of the unit lies in its competence to operate in all three mediums namely Sea, Air and Land. The MCF is specially organised, trained and equipped for the conduct of special operations in a maritime environment. Personnel from unit are deployed round the clock from Kashmir for CI/CT ops to GoA, Somalia for anti-piracy operations. The unit has always been at forefront in providing diving / civil assistance during times of natural disaster. The core tasking of MARCOS include:-
- To conduct clandestine attack against enemy ships, offshore installations and other vital assets behind enemy lines.
- To support amphibious operations including pre-assault ops.
- Conduct of surveillance and recce missions in support of naval operations.
- Conduct of clandestine diving operations.
- Combating terrorism in a maritime environment.
Immediately after donning its colours, the MARCOS were baptized in combat in Sri Lanka during ‘Op Pawan’. The journey that started from Sri Lanka has continued unabated, in some form or other and the force has participated in all the major operations conducted by IN. The unit has proved its mettle during these operations and is the recipient of highest number of gallantry awards to date in the Navy.