Selection process of women officers for elite Garud special forces unit begins
"The selection process for the Garud commandos is very stringent. We are now into the selection process. Before becoming the commando, the selected women officers will have to undergo probation process," an official told Asianet News Network.
The Indian Air Force, which had invited applications from its women officers last year to join as Garud commandos, the elite Special Forces unit, has now advanced to the next level of the process -- selection.
"The selection process for the Garud commandos is very stringent. We are now in the selection process. Before becoming the commando, the selected women officers will have to undergo probation process," an official told Asianet News Network.
In a major development, the Indian Navy had recently decided to induct women into its elite special forces -- Marcos. It would be for the first time that the forces would have women in their Special Forces units.
Only the strongest soldiers get inducted into the special forces after going through a rigorous training process. To date, only males have been considered for the special forces.
The Garud Commando
This special forces unit of the IAF was raised in 2004. The decision to come up with the unit was taken three years after four terrorists, equipped with Kalashnikovs and grenades, attempted to force their way into the IAF's Awantipora fighter base near Srinagar in 2001.
However, the initial plan was conceptualized in October 2002, with 2000 commandos called 'Tiger Force'. Later, it was renamed as 'Garud Force'.
In September 2003, the government sanctioned a 1080-strong force to be trained like the Para commandos and the Marcos.
The first batch of Garuds was inducted on February 6, 2004, with 62 air commandos. At present, there are over 1500 airmen in the Garud Commando Force. The force has one Ashoka Chakra, four Shaurya Chakra, and Vayu Seva Medals. The recipient of Ashoka Chakra from the Garud Force was Corporal Jyoti Prakas.