Things You Should Know About IAF’s Special Unit, The Garud Commando Force.


Indian Air Force’s elite, Garud Commando Force had its two Commandos martyred in an encounter with Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Bandipora district of Kashmir on Wednesday morning.

Sergeant K. Milind Kishor (33) was from Maharashtra and had joined the IAF in 2002. Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan (31), who joined the force in 2005, was from Bihar. The two commandos were training with the local Rashtriya Rifles unit and were killed in an encounter during a cordon-and-search operation in Bandipora’s Hajin village.

Paying homage to two IAF Garud Commandos at Air Force 12 Wing in Chandigarh who attained martyrdom in encounter with militants in Srinagar, October 12 2017.

Here are a few things to enlighten you about the IAF’S elite, the Garud Commando Force.

The Garud Commando Force is the Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force. Designed in September 2004, it has a current strength of approximately 1080 personnel.

“Garud” Special Force

2. The tasks of Garud involves the protection of critical Air Force bases, assets and installations; search and rescue during peace and hostilities and disaster management during calamities.

Garud Commando With Full Gear

3. It was formed after an incident in 2001; the force felt it was needed. Four militants armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades in broad daylight tried infiltrating IAF’S Awantipur fighter base near Srinagar in, and were killed.


4. The two commandos killed this week were part of a squad, tasked to counter-terrorism duties. The Squad was linked with the army since August 2017.

5. For the first time Garuds have lost their lives encountering militants in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2016, Corporal Gursewak Singh was the first Garud commando who lost his life fighting terrorists during Pathankot terror attack.

Special Force- “Garud”

6. The three armed forces have their own special force units. Garud is a special unit in the IAF. The army has its Para-special forces that have carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016.  And Navy’s toughest fighting men, Marcos or marine commandos have their team posted in Kashmir’s Wular Lake.

7. IAF is planning to expand its commando wings with the induction of at least 10 more units of Garud commandos, having 70-80 men each.

Garud Commando

8. The weapons used by the Garud Commandos include Glock pistols, Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles, Galil sniper rifles and Negev machine guns for their operations and rescue tasks.


9 . The basic training period to become a Garud commando is 72-week which is the longest among all the Indian Special Forces. Total duration for a trainee to qualify as a fully operational commando is 3 years.