The SFF is a paramilitary special force of India created on 14 November 1962. Its main goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian War. The force was established under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister, the unit under the operational command of IB and later R&AW, was designated the Special Frontier Force, and was primarily used for conducting clandestine intelligence gathering and commando operations along the Line of Actual Control with China.
SFF was raised with covert operations in mind, mainly along the Indo-China border, however SFF has been fielded by R&AW and the Indian government in various covert and overt operation theatres.
The SFF is also known as 'Establishment 22' or just '22' due to its first Inspector General, Major General Sujan Singh Uban (Retd.) of Indian Army, who used to be commander of 22 Mountain Regiment during World War II, a Military Cross holder and a legendary figure in the British India Army. Singh commanded the 22nd Mountain Role of the Forces Regiment during World War II in Europe and a Long Range Desert Group Squadron (LRDS) in North Africa.
Based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand, the force was put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau, and later, the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency.