IAF officers pay homage to martyred commandos

IAF officers pay homage to martyred commandos

IAF officers pay homage to martyred commandos

Defence spokesman said that Army today paid befitting tributes to two of its Indian Air Force comrades who attained martyrdom during Counter Terrorist operations in Bandipora on 11 Oct 2017.

At the Pathankot airbase in Punjab, Corporal Gursewak Singh became the first Garud to fall to terrorist bullets.

The Garuds were formed in 2003 towards providing specific in-house role capabilities to the Air Force. Six heavily armed terrorists from Pakistan attacked the Air Force station on the early hours of January 02, 2016 and seven security personnel lost their lives in the ensuing operation.

Two Garud squads, each consisting of one officer and 13 other ranks, have been deployed in Kashmir.

The two squads now operating with the Army in Kashmir are the first lot of Garuds undergoing this on-the-job training. One of the teams, which is with 13 Rashtriya Rifles battalion at Hajjin, was involved in Wednesday's operation. They came in August and this is the first batch. The report also faulted the Garud commandos for their failure in handling the situation, and said they were ill-prepared for the task.

Official sources said the training of the elite Garud personnel with the Army was part of a range of measures the Indian Air Force (IAF) had initiated to bolster security at all its installations after the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base past year. They are specially trained to be a quick reaction force at important IAF bases and protect its high-value assets.

As a result, the government decided that Garuds would be deployed in counter-insurgency operations with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir to gain operational experience.

At present, the force has 1,000 Garuds and the IAF is now raising more squads with focus on anti-terror operations.