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Garud: IAF's commando force takes off

February 06, 2004 03:09 IST

The Indian Air Force on Thursday unveiled its own commando force, raised to protect its vital installations and for counter terrorist operations.

Christened Garud, the first batch, comprising 62 air commandoes, passed out in the presence of senior IAF officials and the cadets' proud parents in Delhi.

These airmen would be posted at various Air Force Stations, which they will be responsible for securing against terrorist attacks. They would also be responsible for the security of vital IAF installations like radars and airfields in border areas.

The commandoes can be called upon to neutralise terrorist hideouts, combat search and rescue, paramilitary operations and other activities like helping in relief and rehabilitation during emergencies and natural calamities.

The force has been raised on the lines of the Special Forces commandoes of the Indian Army and MARCOS of the Indian Navy.

At the parade, the commandoes displayed skills in countering terrorists, climbing out of buildings and shooting at static and moving adversaries, which they had acquired in their six-month training period.

"The initial strength of the force would be approximately 1,080 men," said Air Marshall Narayan Menon, Air Officer in Charge (Personnel), who reviewed the parade.

After induction, these airmen will undergo advanced training, including anti-hijack and counter insurgency operations, jungle and snow survival techniques, specialised weapon handling and advanced driving skills, he added.

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