The Marine Commando Force (MCF) is a special forces unit, that was created by the Indian Navy in 1987. For many years, the Indian Navy wanted to establish an elite force for special maritime operations. Prior to this, Navy divers trained in explosive ordnance disposal and Army units were often assigned for maritime exercises.

In 1983, the 340th Army Independent Brigade, which had a force of three infantry battalions at Trivandrum, was raised as a special maritime unit. They were assault operations in which both airborne and maritime forces participated. Since then, the Indian Navy has conducted various exercises as a show of force, notably in 1984 in the Andaman Islands and in 1986 off Goa.



Pictured is an operator armed with an MP-5, grenades and crossbow. The crossbow was used for sentry elimination and silent killing with cyanide tipped arrows and has been replaced by less cumbersome silenced pistols. Note the trademark beard - the Indian Navy is the only branch of the military that permits beards for non-Sikh members.