Not just commandos, every Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel deployed at the Delhi airport is being trained to become a sharpshooter. Learning from terror attacks across the world, the force has begun a special training programme to refine their shooting skills with the focus, “one shot one head”, a senior officer supervising the exercise said.
Since January 1, about 4,466 CISF personnel, including 906 from special wings such as the quick reaction team and the anti-terror squad, have undergone training.
The officer said these commandos are practising to counter every possible challenging situation that may arise while protecting the airport.
The special skills include ‘snap shooting’, which is shooting selected targets in a fixed time; ‘deliberate firing’, in which the target needs to be neutralised with a single shot; ‘rapid-burst firing’, required in a close-range armed combat in cramped places at airports; and countering enemy fire by moving in groups.
“Our focus is ‘one bullet one head’. We want to refine the shooting skills of our men up to such a level that during emergency, they can knock down enemies in one shot. During the terrorist attack at the Brussels international airport in March 2016, a suicide bomber had triggered a bomb because he could not be killed in one shot. Since passengers are allowed till the security hold area without any frisking at the Delhi airport, the possibility of a person entering the terminal with prohibited items cannot be ruled out.
Another officer said the men are undergoing target practice for different situations. “In case a terrorist holds a hostage as a shield, our men will be able to shoot him straight in the head. In case a terrorist is lying on the ground with a hostage, our personnel shall be able to shoot him in his face. We are training them to shoot far-off targets straight in their vital organs such as heart, head or face,” he said.
These men are also being trained to fire during close quarter battles and cause maximum damage to enemies in packed areas such as near boarding gates or in frisking areas.
Another officer, who is involved in the project, said they are using 5.56 Insas rifles, MP5 guns, Glock pistols and AK 47 assault rifles. Assistant Inspector General of the CISF, Hemendra Singh, confirmed the development. He said the training is being conducted in a containerised tubular firing range installed at the Indira Gandhi International airport.