Monday, November 22, 2010

Bangladesh Military Overview

Bangladesh Army - Overview
The Bangladesh Army is the largest of the tri-services that is composed of the Army, Navy and Air Force. It numbers 200,000 personnel including 50,000 reservists.
The primary mission of the Bangladesh Army is the classic one of defending the nation's territorial integrity against external attack. During wartime, the Bangladesh Army (and its sister services) are responsible for mobilizing the nation's resources by assuming direct control over paramilitary and police forces, civilian transportation, and defense industries.
In addition to its primary mission the Bangladesh Army is also constitutionally obligated to assist the civilian government during times of crisis. This role is commonly referred to as “aid to civilian administration”.

Bangladesh Air Force - Overview
The Bangladesh Air Force consists of 22,000 personnel. It performs a wide range of duties at home and abroad. Its primary missions have been defined as follows:
• To defend Bangladesh's airspace and the Bangladesh military forces’ area of operations.
• To achieve limited air superiority above the area of combat and to participate in the ground war.
• To attack strategic targets in enemy territory.
• To participate in combat in the naval theatre.
• To carry out air transport operations.
• Providing air intelligence as part of the general intelligence picture.
• To perform air search-and-rescue missions.
• To assist civil aviation authorities in command, control and services (as required).

Bangladesh Navy - Overview
The Bangladesh Navy was established in April 7, 1972 to maintain sovereignty over the nation's territorial waters, to safeguard Bangladesh's economic interest and exercise maritime control within the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, and to protect Bangladeshi shipping lines and it's merchant fleet.
At present the Navy is composed of 24,000 personnel and a mix of both aged and modern warships of primarily Chinese, British, South Korean and American origin.
The personnel and warships are stationed in various naval bases around the country, with the largest base located in Chittagong where the Bangladesh Naval Academy is also situated at, while other major facilities are at Kaptai, Khulna, and Mongla. The Naval Headquarter is in the capital, Dhaka.
The Bangladesh Navy is undergoing a process of modernization and transformation from a 'green water' navy to a dedicated 'blue water' ocean going naval force with plans to introduce a number of modern submarines, additional guided missile frigates, maritime patrol aircraft, guided missile corvettes, offshore patrol vessels, littoral patrol crafts, EW systems and anti-submarine helicopters.
The primary mission of the Bangladesh Navy are to:
• Safeguard/defend the territorial waters of Bangladesh.
• Keep the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOC) open during a war.
• Keep the sea ports of Bangladesh open for shipping during a war.
• Protection of the Bangladesh fishing fleet.
• Coast guard duties.
• Patrolling in riverine waters of Bangladesh.
• Search and Rescue at sea.
• Cyclone warning for Naval Ships and craft.
• Protection of Bangladesh merchant ships in the high seas.
• Assist the civil administration in maintaining internal security and peace, whenever called for such duties.
• Assist the civil administration in the event of natural calamities like flood, cyclone, tidal waves, earthquake etc whenever called for such duties.
• Naval Control of Shipping (Internal and External, Inland or Foreign) Organization.
• Oceanographic survey.
• Any other task for which the government may deem it necessary to deploy the Navy.


BNS Bongo Bondhu
Bangladesh Rifles - Overview
The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is the largest and oldest border security force of the country. Its history dates back to the Colonial period where it was known as the Ramgarh Local Battalion in 1795.
Its mission is to protect, defend and safeguard the border of Bangladesh and prevent smuggling in addition to assisting the civilian and military authorities as per the direction of the government.
The BDR is headed by a Director General of the rank of Major General, normally deputed from the Bangladesh Army. Its manpower strength is 67,000 and is organized by a central headquarter, sectors, battalions and border outposts. Its forces are mainly stationed along the border areas of Bangladesh. In addition to being equipped with light infantry weapons and land-based logistical support it also operates helicopters and patrol vessels for transportation and patrolling purposes.


Dhaka Metropolitan Police SWAT - Overview
DMP (Dhaka Metropolitan Police) SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) is an elite tactical unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. They operated under the Detective Branch of DMP.

Numbering only 44 personnel currently the elite unit will eventually grow to battalion strength in the near future. Though they operate under the DMP they can be called to perform their duties in any part of Bangladesh.

They are considered to be the most highly trained and best equipped SWAT/counter-terrorism unit in the South Asian region according to their American trainers.

The force is based in the Detective Branch Headquarters located in Minto Road, Dhaka.


Hostage rescue.
Crime suppression.
Perimeter security against snipers for visiting dignitaries.
Providing superior assault firepower in certain situations, e.g. barricaded suspects.
Rescuing officers and citizens captured or endangered by gunfire.
Countering terrorist operations in Bangladeshi cities.
Resolve high-risk situations with a minimum loss of life, injury or property damage.
Resolve situations involving barricaded subjects, (specifically covered by a Hostage Barricade Team).
Stabilise situations involving high-risk suicidal subjects.
Provide assistance on drug raids, arrest warrant and search warrant service.
Provide additional security at special events.
Stabilising dangerous situations dealing with violent criminals (such as serial killers or gangs).


Basic training for the DMP SWAT personnel is conducted locally in Dhaka and Tangail. SWAT members are sent to the North Carolina based Blackwater Training Academy, United States for six weeks advanced training after completion of the basic local training. US agencies such as the FBI, US Police and US Army provide training locally also.

In addition DMP SWAT has trained with a South Korean counter-terrorist unit too.


The DMP SWAT is equipped with the latest weapons including Precision Arms Sniper Rifle (.308 cal), M4 Carbines, MP5 submachine guns, Remington 870 shotguns, Glock 17 pistols and other typical weapons associated with Western SWAT teams.


Usually SWAT members are transported by soft skin Toyota Hilux utility vehicles. Command vehicles and APCs are also used during operations. There are plans to procure Humvees as well.


Police helicopters provide air transportation for SWAT for operations and aerial insertions via rappelling or fast-roping.


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