Hajin encounter: Elite IAF Garud commandoes suffered blow in their first operation

IAF Garud commando martyrs Milind Kishore & Nilesh Kumar being paid last tributes in Srinagar

IAF Garud commando martyrs Milind Kishore & Nilesh Kumar being paid last tributes in Srinagar

In a solemn ceremony held on Thursday at 12-Wing Air Force station, Chandigarh, homage was paid to the two Air Force commandos who were martyred in an encounter in Bandipora district of Kashmir on Wednesday. This will be followed by the next batch of Garuds who will have a two-week overlap in the operational area with the current lot early next year. The first incident took place when terrorists attacked Pathankot airbase in January 2016 in which one Garud died.

The two squads now operating with the Army in Kashmir are the first lot of Garuds undergoing this on-the-job training.

According to sources, following the terror attack at Pathankot Air Force Station in January 2016, the IAF made a decision to upgrade the training of its Garud commandos to be able to effectively tackle a jihadi terrorist threat and improve their security posture. They had undergone a four week pre-induction training before being deployed for Counter Insurgency operations with 13 Rashtriya Rifles.

Sources privy to the development claim that the report also faulted Garud Commandoes for their failure in handling the situation and said that they were ill prepared for the task.

The IAF said two terrorists, firing indiscriminately, ran towards the position of the Garud commandos, who challenged them and killed the two terrorists.

At present, the force has 1,000 Garuds and the IAF is now raising more squads with focus on anti-terror operations. In view of it, Government decided that Garuds would be deployed in counter-insurgency operations with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir to gain operational experience. Moreover, the IAF is implementing a Rs 8,000 crore plan to shore up the security of almost 54 airbases all over the country post Pathankot attack.

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