INDIAN NAVY MARCOS MEET US NAVY SEALS: GOA HOSTS THE 8TH JOINT SPECIAL FORCES EXERCISE
Marine Commandos from the Indian Navy and Navy Seals from the United States conducted special marine operations during the 8th Joint Special Forces exercise in Goa from October 23rd to November 10th, 2023. The drill was beneficial in increasing the degree of cooperation between the two Naval Special Forces.
This is not the first time that the two special forces are known to have practised together. In December of 2022, Goa played host to the seventh iteration of drill Sangam, a naval special forces drill conducted jointly by the Indian Navy MARCOS and the United States Navy SEALs. Exercise Sangam is an important military and political endeavour between the two countries that has been going on since 1994, when it was first carried out. The Indian Navy MARCOs from the INS Abhimanyu and SEAL Team Five from San Diego shared their thoughts and experiences on a variety of topics about maritime special operations.
The exercise lasted for a total of three weeks. During that time, the personnel practised and improved their abilities in various evolutions, such as maritime interdiction operations, direct action missions, combat free-fall jumps, special heliborne operations, and more.
While drill Malabar includes a joint drill involving US SEALs, MARCOs, and other participating nations’ Naval Special Forces, the Sangam series is solely between US and Indian Special Forces.
The training of the two special forces was also mentioned in relation to the 2018 RIMPAC Exercises. Comprising SOF from the Republic of Korea Navy Special Warfare Flotilla (ROK SEALs), Philippine Navy Special Operations Group (NAVSOG), Indonesian Navy Special Forces (KOPASKA), Indian Navy Marine Commando forces (MARCOS), Peruvian Naval Special Forces (FOE), and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Special Boarding Unit, partner nation forces participated in the drills.
A portion of the MARCOS training is known to be based on the training of Navy SEALs, and the British SAS contributed to developing the MARCOS training curriculum.