Elite units of Army, Air Force and Navy to form Special Operations Division
16 May 2019
Special units of the three services - Garud commando of the Indian Air Force, paratroopers of the Indian Army and Marcos of the Indian Navy - will combine forces under a Special Operations Division to tackle possible threats and carry out sensitive missions.
The Special Operations Division brings a battalion each from the Indian Army's Para Special Forces, Navy's Marcos (Marine Commandos) and Air Force's Garud Commandos under the common umbrella and there would be 3,000 personnel in all.
The headquarters of the Special Operations Division could be in Agra and Major General AK Dhingra has been named as the first General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Special Operations Division.
This is the first time in India's history that a Special Operations Division has been created which will see chosen personnel from all three armed forces as its members.
The need for closer cooperation between the three forces has been recognised as the next step in meeting with security challenges facing India and a proposal for setting up a common division that brings together the Army, Air Force and Navy was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Combined Commanders' Conference in Jodhpur in September of last year.
Established in 1966, Army's Para Special Forces is one of the most elite units and has nine battalions under it, while the Navy Marcos, founded in 1987, are specially trained to deal with hostilities at sea or under water and the Air Force’s Garud Commando Force, formed in 2004, are responsible for guarding key installations.
Personnel in all the three elite units have to undergo gruelling training and are equipped with modern and cutting-edge equipment.