NEW DELHI: The elite Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD) of the Indian military has started wargaming specialized scenarios with an aim to develop drills and operating procedures so that the special forces of each service can operate jointly.
A senior government official said, “Integration exercises of the commandos are going on to develop common operational procedures.” Keeping the sensitivity and significance of the special forces it will take some time to reach the specialised level, he added.
It was in May 2019 that the government approved the raising of the AFSOD comprising the Special Forces of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and Major General AK Dhingra of the Special Forces Regiment was posted as its first head.
As reported by The New Indian Express, “Initially, there will be about 3,000 special forces commandos from the Parachute Regiment of the Army, MARCOS of the Navy and the Garud Commandos of the Air Force. It is said to be based in Agra as it already is the base of India’s only Parachute Brigade."
The sources added initial exercises of the commandos having strength of about 150-200 had begun in September 2019. But it was only to bring together the three forces, trained under a different regime and ethos, to test their drills and capabilities and to identify the future direction of training and amalgamation to function as a seamless offensive formation.
The job of these commandos will be to swiftly destroy high value targets, both within and outside the country, with precision and secrecy.
Another source added, “There are various commonalities but the difference exists because of the specialised task and requirements of each service thus it will take some time before they get integrated.”
The initial proposal was of raising a strategic level formation with the Special Forces Command to be headed by a Lt General. As of now the Division is under the control of the Integrated Defence Staff headed by the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
Although the Naresh Chandra Task Force in 2012 had recommended the creation of a cyber-command, an aerospace command and Special Operations Command it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had announced its formation in 2018.