15th Battalion – The Frontier Force Regiment (15 FF)

In May, 1962, the battalion moved from Peshawar to Quetta and converted from support battalion to reconnaissance and support battalion, training and evolving a doctrine of reconnaissance and support later published in the form of a pamphlet for the Army. In July, 1965 the `Fighting Fifteen’ returned to Quetta after winning laurels in the Rann of Kutch operations (attack on Biarbet and point 84) recognized by the award of three gallantry awards, i.e. one Sitara-e-Jurat, one Imtiazi Sanad, and one C-in-C’s Commendation Card for gallantry.

On August 30th, 1965 it was ordered to move to and concentrate in Kharian area as the advance elements of 8 Division. By September 1st the battalion, less C Company (Major Saeed Ullah Khan) which had been under command of 11 Division since June 1965, concentrated at Kharian. On September 3rd it was given the mission by H.Q., 8 Division of moving to the Dewa-Chamb area and clearing enemy pockets in a follow and support role and protecting 7 Division’s axis of advance. On September 5th, after the capture of Jaurian, the battalion was placed under command of 7 Division in preparation for resuming the attack.

After the enemy attack on Lahore on September 6th, the battalion was ordered by G.H.Q. to move to Lahore sector, under command of 10 Division. After an all-night move without lights the battalion concentrated in the Mahmud Buti Bund area of Lahore sector by 0600 hours on September 7th.

It was immediately given the mission of taking part in the striking force operations of 22 Brigade along with elements of 23 Cavalry and succeeded in clearing the enemy from the far bank of the B.R.B. Canal up to Dograi, suffering its first casualties from enemy air attacks. Thereafter D and A Companies dug in, providing flank protection to 22 Brigade from the Syphon area of the river Ravi, to the area of milestone 13.5 on the Lahore-Wagah road. During this period B Company, under command of 6 Brigade (7 Division was operating ahead of Jaurian, and C Company under command of 11 Division) was operating in Bedian sector, repelling enemy attacks on the division’s left flank. Battalion headquarters was located in the Lahore area.

As the enemy pressure built up against 11 Division in the Khem Karan area, the battalion was ordered by General Headquarters to move under the command of 11 Division, and reinforce positions in that area. B Company moved from Jaurian, joined the battalion and reinforced the division positions in the area of Mastgarh and Shejra salient, while C Company held the divisional flank at Bedian. A and D Companies held and reinforced 10 Division’s forward defended localities at Bhasin and Dograi across the B.R.B. Canal.

At cease fire on September 23rd, D Company was holding the only salient across the B.R.B. Canal in the Bhasin area on 10 Division’s front, C Company our salient on the left flank of 11 Division in the Bedian area, and B Company our salient in Indian territory in the Khem Karan area. A Company, on regrouping after enemy action in the Dograi area across the canal, was reinforcing Batapur, and thereafter moved to the divisional left flank in the Mahmud Buti Bund area.

‘Fighting fifteen’ had the unique distinction of serving under four divisions, i.e. 7, 8, 10 and 11, one after another during September, 1965, being rushed to reinforce and support one sector after another from Jaurian, to Lahore, to Khem Karan and Hussainiwala, and the Sutlej river line, as enemy pressures built up. The unit suffered nineteen killed and 48. including two officers, wounded and received six gallantry awards including three Tamgha-e-Jurats. In May, 1966, on disengagement and withdrawal of forces the battalion concentrated in Lahore under command of 11 Division until September, 1971. when it moved to East Pakistan.

The following officers were serving with the battalion during the 1966 War:;

Lieutenant-Colonel Noor Ahmad Husain
Major Dildar Rana
Major Ghulam Hussain
Major A. Shakur Jan. S j.
Major Saecdullah Khan
Major Amir Nawaz Khan
Captain Z.A. Qureshi
Captain Abdul Hameed
Captain Salahuddin
Lieutenant Salim Ullah
Lieutenant Igbal Din
Lieutenant N.D. Shah
Lieutenant N.J. Bangash
Lieutenant Nisar Akbar Khan
Lieutenant Mohammad Ashraf
2/Lieutenant Mohammad Saeed
Subedar Major Karam Hussain