Garud is an Elite and the youngest Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force which was formed in September 2004. The unit derives its name from , a divine bird-like creature in Hindu mythology.
Garud Commandos are trained in a way that they can handle any immediate arid situation without a prior notice. Whether it is war times or disaster scenario, armed forces are always there to tackle the situation and bring it back to the normal. Indian Army, Air Force and Navy, all of them have Special Forces to handle unexpected situation in the country. Indian Navy has got and Indian Air Force has
The IAF’s Garud commando units consist of around 1,000 men who specialize in protecting vital assets of the air force such as fighter bases, aircraft and ammunition holding areas. The force is pursuing plans to expand the size of its commando wing. The IAF plans to induct at least 10 more units of Garud commandos with 70-80 men each to secure its bases.
. The mandated tasks of the Garuds include direct action, special reconnaissance, rescuing downed pilots in hostile territory, establishing airbases in hostile territory and providing air-traffic control to these airbases.
• The tasks they perform also includes counter-terrorism, airborne assault, anti-hijacking, hostage rescue and assist civilian relief operations during calamities.
RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING :
Unlike its counterparts in the Army and Navy, candidates for Garud Commandos are not selected from volunteers of other branches. Recruitment to the Garuds is done directly through airmen selection centres via advertisements.
• Candidates found eligible for the force is put through a process of rigorous physical training. Candidates have only one chance to become a Garud trainee. Once a recruit completes training and meets required standards, he is absorbed into the Commando force and is retained in this stream throughout his career.
Wherever he is posted in the IAF, he will be part of a Garud Unit.
• The Garuds are trained at different training centers throughout the Probation period , which include
•Parachute Training SchoolAgra
• Garud Regimental Training School Hindon , Ghaziabaad
They undergo 72 weeks training period which is the longest in the Indian Armed Forces .
Very little is known about Garud Commando operations and assignments. Garuds have been deployed to Congo as a part of the UN peacekeeping contingent. They also operate alongside PARA special forces in Jammu & Kahsmir to gain operational exposure
Garud Commandos were tasked to provide security at the Yelahanka AFS during Aero India in 2011,2012 and 2013 .
They were also engaged in an encounter with terrorists in Pathankot 2016 , during which Commando Gursewak Singh died in action.
• They have undertaken operations against armed militants from groups such as Lashkar e Taiba . These operations have included tasks such as direct encounters and gatherings
One such operations was Operation Rakh Hajin .