IAF commandos killed in Hajin shootout were undergoing ‘Live Situation Training’ with Army

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Srinagar

The two Garud commandos of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who died in a shootout at Hajin in Bandipora district in northern part of Kashmir on Wednesday were part of a group that was undergoing “Live Situation Training” with the Army.

Reports quoting sources said, following the attack at Pathankot Air Force Station in January 2016, the IAF decided to upgrade the training of its Garud commandos to be able to effectively tackle a threat and improve their security posture. As part of that plan, two squads of Garud commandos — of one officer and 13 air warriors each — were earmarked for on-the-job training with the Army.

The six-month training for these two squads started in August, which included two-weeks of pre-induction training at Corps Battle School, Indian Express reported.

The two squads were then attached with the Rashtriya Rifles in northern Kashmir. One of the teams, which is with 13 Rashtriya Rifles battalion at Hajin, was involved in Wednesday’s operation.

The two squads currently operating with the Army in Kashmir are the first lot of Garuds undergoing this on-the-job training. 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 Garud force was established in September 2004 on the model of Israeli air force Special Forces Unit 5101 or Shaldag.

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