Elite Indian commandos including the Para-SF, MARCOS and Indian Air Force’s Garud special forces are being deployed in Jammu and Kashmir under the newly-raised Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD) to carry out joint counter-terrorism operations in the Kashmir Valley.
Induction of the joint special forces of the three elite units has already begun as the Para-SF commandos have already been drafted into an area considered to be a traditional terror hotbed in Srinagar, an Army official told news agency ANI.
As per reports, the units of the MARCOS and the Garud commandos would soon be getting fully inducted into the anti-terrorist operations.
Earlier, small teams of Navy’s MARCOS and Indian Air Force’s Garud commandos used to operate in the Kashmir Valley, however, with this development, this will be the first time when the three services would be deployed concurrently in the volatile region.
While MARCOS commandos have been deployed in and around the Wular lake area, the Garud teams have been operating in the Lolab area and Hajin.
The Indian Air Force special forces operated successfully in the Kashmir Valley and eliminated six terrorists in a single operation named Operation Rakh Hajin for which its Corporal JP Nirala was awarded the Ashok Chakra posthumously.
The key logic behind the deployment of all the elite commandos in the Kashmir valley is to give them real-time exposure to operating collectively. The AFSPD has already carried out two exercises at different locations by practising assault on strategic enemy positions and taking back captured areas.
The first exercise of the AFSOD was in the Kutch region codenamed ‘Ex Smelling Field’ while the second was in Andaman and Nicobar Islands codenamed ‘DANX-2019’.
Major General Ashok Dhingra has been appointed as the first head of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD). Ever since its existence the division has performed well, however, it is facing issues involved in raising additional troops and lack of proper equipment.