Pune: India’s first tri-service ‘Special Operations Divison’ is on the verge of being fully raised, as it has concluded its first major exercise in Gujarat. The Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD) can act as ‘crack team’ to carry out missions within the country and in the enemy territory too.
The week-long exercise in Gujarat saw personnel from special forces of the Army (Para Commandos), Navy (MARCOS) and Air Force (Garud) testing their skills. The newly-raised AFSOD is led by Maj Gen Ashok Dhingra, who was appointed in May this year.
“The newly-raised tri-service forces will be force multipliers in all future conflicts including peacetime threats include Cyber Agency and Space Agency. All of the three agencies have been raised after getting go-ahead from Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. The man responsible for the raising of these three agencies, Lt Gen PJS Pannu of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), will be hanging his boots this month after a long and eventful military career,” said an official from the security establishment.
The official further informed that the division is expected to be fully operational by November/December 2019. The AFSOD, with about 4,000 personnel and all the necessary transport aircraft and equipment, will serve as the main organisation responsible for carrying out special operations within and outside India. They are expected to carry out missions such as targeting high-value installations and degrading the war-fighting capabilities of hostile nations. The rationale behind the creation of this division is to pool the special abilities of each of the special forces units of the Armed Forces and enable them to operate together.