The PMF consists of several different components with a wide range of roles. Most of these forces, however, tend to share a broadly gendarmerie role and many (but not all) perform counter-insurgency or anti-terrorist missions. The Paramilitary forces are divided into two distinct areas of command:
The Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) work in close cooperation with the Indian Armed Forces (which includes the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force<!--INDIAN COAST GUARD IS A PARAMILITARY FORCE-->). During a war, the CPF would work directly under the control of the Armed Forces unlike the CPO. The Indian Coast Guard, a component of the CPF, is an agency of the Indian Defense Ministry and works in close coordination with the Indian Navy.