Frontier Force Regiment


Frontier Force Regiment

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Frontier Force Regiment


caption= "Piffer" regimental badge and motto
dates= 1957 - present
country= Pakistan
allegiance=
branch= Army
type= Line Infantry
role=
size=52 battalions
command_structure=
garrison= Abbottabad
garrison_label= Depot
nickname= FF or Piffers
patron=
motto= (Urdu: لبیک ) ("Here I am")
colors= Red
colors_label= Facings Colour
march= A Hundred Pipers
mascot=
equipment=
equipment_label=
battles= Pak-Indo War 1965
Pak-Indo War 1971
Siachen Conflict
Battle of Mogadishu (1993)
Kargil War
anniversaries= Piffer Week
decorations=
battle_honours=
commander1=
commander1_label=
commander2=
commander2_label=
commander3=
commander3_label=
notable_commanders= General Musa Khan
General Wahid Kakar
identification_symbol=
identification_symbol_label=
identification_symbol_2=
identification_symbol_2_label=
identification_symbol_3=
identification_symbol_3_label=
identification_symbol_4=
identification_symbol_4_label=
aircraft_attack=
aircraft_bomber=
aircraft_electronic=
aircraft_fighter=
aircraft_interceptor=
aircraft_patrol=
aircraft_recon=
aircraft_trainer=
aircraft_transport=

The Frontier Force Regiment (popularly known as the "Piffers" or the "FF") is one of six Infantry regiments in the Pakistan Army. At present, the regiment consists of 52 battalions and has its regimental depot at Abbottabad. For that reason Abbottabad is also known as "Home of Piffers". [ [http://www.kathryncramer.com/kathryn_cramer/2005/10/google_earth_dy.html Kathryn Cramer: Google Earth Dynamic Overlay for Pakistan Now Available! (Plus "Home of the Piffers" and a Dragon Hunt) ] ] Currently the regiment includes both mechanised and motorised infantry battalions. Other than these there are also some Armoured and Artillery battalions which were raised from the strength of Frontier Force or one of its predecessor regiments.

History

It is also Pakistan's third oldest regiment after the Punjab and Baloch. The regiment’s history dates back to 1957, when it was raised through the amalgamation of three Pakistan Army regiments, all with their origins in two regiments which had been transferred to Pakistan from the British Indian Army at the time of the partition of India in 1947. These two regiments were the Frontier Force Regiment and the Frontier Force Rifles. The third component, the Pathan Regiment, had been raised after partition from elements of the former two. The merger took place when a major reorganisation of regiments was carried out in the Pakistan Army.cite web|url=http://orbat.com/site/history/open1/pakistan_ffr.html| title=Pakistan: The Frontier Force Regiment| work=Orbat.com website| publisher=Ravi Rikhye |last=Mahmud| first=Babar| year=2002]

The FF battalions took active part not only in battles on Pakistan's borders but also served extensively overseas, in Saudi Arabia, and as part of United Nations peacekeeping operations in Somalia. In Somalia, some of the Piffer battalions also participated in the world renowned operations of Battle of Mogadishu (1993). This battle history earned Piffers two Nishan-e-Haider, the highest gallantry award in Pakistan, and many other awards too.

The battalions are divided under independent formations and are commanded by their formation commander. The training and record keeping is done by the regimental depot, which is usually commanded by an officer of the rank Brigadier. The regiment's highest ranking officer is given the honorary title of "Colonel Commandant" and Colonel-in-Chief, if the highest ranking officer is the Chief of Army Staff.

Origins

The Frontier Force Regiment came into being in 1957 with the amalgamation of the Frontier Force Regiment, the Frontier Force Rifles and the Pathan Regiment, all of which had their origins in the British Indian Army. During the 1840s, after the first and second Anglo-Sikh Wars, Colonel Henry Lawrence, the agent and brother of the Governor-General of the Punjab frontier region (John Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence) raised the Corps of Guides and a number of infantry regiments by incorporating veterans from disbanded opposition forces. During the early 1850s some of Lawrence's Sikh regiments were designated the "Punjab Irregular Force", giving rise to the "Piffer" nickname which the Regiment carries to the present day, and through a series of reorganisations that culminated in 1922, these units would eventually become the 12th Frontier Force Regiment and 13th Frontier Force Rifles. The use of the pre-fixing regimental numbers was discontinued in 1945, the two regiments becoming the Frontier Force Regiment and the Frontier Force Rifles, and both regiments were transferred to Pakistan by the United Kingdom in 1947, on the granting of independence to British India. [cite book| url=http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/army/regiments/12ffreg.html| chapter=12th Frontier Force Regiment| title=Sons of John Company| last=Gaylor| first=John|publisher=Pakistan Military Consortium website]

The Pathan Regiment was raised after partition from the 4th battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment and the 4th and 15th battalions of the Frontier Force Rifles. Initially the regimental depot was at Dera Ismail Khan but it relocated to Kohat in 1949 and was later merged into the Frontier Force Regiment with its regimental depot at Abbottabad.cite web | url=http://orbat.com/site/history/historical/pakistan/pathan_regiment.html | title=The Pathan Regiment| work=Orbat.com website| publisher=Ravi Rikhye |last=Bajwa| first=Mandeep Singh| year=2002 Note that there is an error in this source. 4/12 was a Frontier Force Regiment battalion, not a Frontier Force Rifles btn.]

Fifteen of the modern Frontier Force Regiment's 52 battalions trace their origins back to British Indian Army units, as tabulated below.

Battle Honours

Piffers have won many honours for their gallantry deeds in each battle. They were also awarded foreign medals before the partition of Pakistan, including Victoria Cross. The Pakistani medals and honours bestowed upon Piffers are listed here:

Nishan-e-Haider Recipients

Nishan-e-Haider is the highest military award given posthumously for valour, in Pakistan. The recipients of Nishan-e-Haider from the Frontier Force Regiment are:

* Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed (4th FF)When the Indo-Pak War of 1971 broke out, Major Muhammad Akram was commanding a company of 4th FF battalion. His company was involved in the Battle of Hilli. On the opposite side India had an Infantry brigade with the support of a tank squadron which were making way for the 20th Mountain Division. Major Akram and his men fought for a whole fortnight against enemy who was superior both in number and fire power. Hilli was the only battle sector where the fight continued even after the Fall of Dhaka on December 16, 1971. Major Akram died in action while defending in an epic manner after defying surrender. For his sacrifice he was posthumously awarded Nishan-e-Haider.cite web| title=Nishan-E-Haider Series
url=http://www.pakpost.gov.pk/philately/stamps2001/nishan_e_haider.html| work=Pakistan Post Office website| accessdate=2008-02-10| year=2001
]

* Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed (6th FF)On December 3 1971, Major Shabbir Sharif who was commanding a company of 6th FF Regiment near Sulemanki headworks, was assigned the task of capturing the high ground overlooking the Gurmukh Khera and Beriwala villages in the Sulemanki sector. On the opposite side India had more than a company of the Assam Regiment which was supported by a squadron of tanks.Also among the hurdles were an enemy minefield and a defensive canal, convert|30|ft|m wide and convert|10|ft|m deep. Shabbir Sharif succeeded in capturing the area by early evening on December 3. In this fight 43 Indian soldiers were killed, 28 were taken prisoner and four tanks were destroyed.Shabbir Sharif repelled repeated counter attacks by the opposing forces for the next three days and nights and kept strategically better position, holding two Indian battalions at bay. On the night between December 5 and December 6, during one of the enemy attacks, Sharif hopped out of his trench, killed the enemy Company Commander of 4th Jat Regiment and recovered important documents from his possession. In another attack on the morning of December 6, Shabbir Sharif took over an anti tank gun from his gunner, and while engaging enemy tanks, he was killed in action by a direct hit from a tank. Major Shabbir Sharif already a recipient of Sitara-e-Jurat, was posthumously awarded Nishan-e-Haider for his sacrifice.

Hilal-e-Jurat Recipients

Hilal-e-Jurat is the second highest military award given for valor to Armed forces personnel of Pakistan. Piffers who received Hilal-e-Jurat are:
* Major General Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan
* General Musa Khan
* Major General Mian Hayaud Din

VC Recipients

The Victoria Cross is the highest battle order of Britain, awarded for valour. As the Frontier Force regiment still maintains the lineage of its predecessor regiments, so this award was received by following Piffers: [ [http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/ggpakist.htm Vc Burials Pakistan ] ]
* Lieutenant Hector Lachlan Stewart MacLean (Guides)
* Captain Godfrey Meynell (Guides)
* Captain Henry William Pitcher (1st Punjab Infantry (P.I.F))
* Havildar Ali Haidar (13th Frontier Force Rifles)
* Subadar Mir Dast (55th Coke's Rifles)
* Jemadar Prakash Singh (8th Frontier Force Regiment)

Motto and Colours

The motto of the regiment is Labaik, an Arabic word, which means "Here I Come". It is commonly used in an invocation to respond to Allah's call for pilgrimage during Hajj, the annual Muslims pilgrimage. [ [http://www.ezsoftech.com/hajj/hajj_article4.asp#L Hajj Glossary, Tawaf (Circumambulating Kaaba), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), Talbiyah (Labbaik), Muzdalifa, Arafah, Kaffara ] ] Before 1970, each Piffer unit had its own motto but on the whole regiment had no motto, so it was decided at the Piffer Conference in 1970 to adopt "Labaik" as regimental motto. The official meaning of this motto is

"—making all preparations required for going to battle, and putting ones heart and soul into the endeavour, aimed at achieving the assigned mission."

Piffers have the same Khaki uniform as in the other regiments of Pakistan Army, except their rank colour which is black with red background and a badge with "FF Regiment" written on it having the same colour combination, on the shoulder strap. Also the colour of beret of Piffers is of the regiment is camouflage with same changes as are in the Khaki uniform.

In Media

The character of Captain Gulsher Khan in the PTV drama seriel Alpha Bravo Charlie] is in the FF Regiment, specifically 9 FF.

Alliances

*GBR - The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders; 1st Bn [http://www.aboutscotland.co.uk/argylls/allied.html The Argylls, allied regiments, volunteers and the militia ] ]
*GBR - The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's Lancashire and Border); 1st Bn
*CAN - The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's); 1st Bn [ [http://www.scottishlineage.com/argylls/alliedregiments.htm Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders - Allied Regiments ] ]
*GBR - The Rifles; 2nd and 13th Bn [ [http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/history_traditions/alliances.htm Alliances and Affiliations ] ]
*GBR - The Royal Welsh; 3rd Bn
*GBR - The Royal Anglian Regiment; 5th Bn
*GBR - The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd, 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); 9th Bn [ [http://www.army.mod.uk/royalirish/rhq_r_irish/affiliations.htm Affiliations ] ]
*GBR - The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's Lancashire and Border); 15th Bn
*CAN - The King's Own Calgary Regiment; 15th Bn [http://www.army.mod.uk/korbr/history/regimental_family.htm The Regimental Family ] ]
*ITA - Alpine Brigade Julia; 15th Bn

ee also

* List of Regiments of the British Indian Army (1903)
* List of regiments of the British Indian Army (1922)

References

*cite book| first=Brigadier W.E.H.| last=Condon| title=The Frontier Force Regiment| location=Aldershot| publisher=Gale & Polden| year=1962
*cite book|first=Agha Masood | last=Akram| title=The Piffers|year=2002

Footnotes

Further reading

*
*
*
*

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/scn_pk/frontier_force_regiment.html The Frontier Force] , before the partition of India.
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/southasia/inf-pak/frontier.htm Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth: The Frontier Force Regiment]
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/southasia/inf/1922-12.htm Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth: 12th Frontier Force Regiment]
* [http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/army/regiments/12ffreg.html Pakistan Military Consortium: 12th Frontier Force Regiment]
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/southasia/inf/1922-13.htm Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth: 13th Frontier Force Rifles]
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/southasia/inf-pak/pathan.htm Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth: The Pathan Regiment]
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/southasia/inf/1903guid.htm Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth: Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (Frontier Force) (Lumsden's)]
* [http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/mar-2007/11/columns5.php President Musharraf praises FF]
* [http://www.pakpost.gov.pk/philately/stamps2001/nishan_e_haider.html Nishan-e-Haider Recipients of FF Regiment]


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