Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Garuds To Protect IAF Choppers In Anti-Naxal Operation

The Indian Air Force announced the deployment of Garud Special Forces commandos and four choppers for anti-Naval operations in the Maoist bastions in Chhattisgarh. However, they have withdrawn all of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which were operating there until now.

The Garud Commandos have been deployed in order to protect the choppers from eventual Maoists attacks and retaliate whenever there are hostile confrontations. IAF chief P V Naik stated that Four IAF choppers are operating in Raipur, Jagdalpur and Dantewada areas. He confirmed the use of UAVs in these areas in order to track Naxals, but said that all of them have been withdrawn.

He didn’t forget to mention the choppers deployed there, saying that each of them is carrying a Garud Special Force member who mans the gun which is an external part of the chopper. When Naik was asked about the reason of the UAV withdrawal, he said “due to the longtime use, the UAVs have lost the surprise element and they are not the best choice for our goals”.

The IAF chief discussed the Rules of Engagement (RoE) in the Naxal-affected areas, saying that special rules have been given to the IAF for retaliating when there choppers are under attack. The rules are followed in order to reduce to minimum collateral damage, so the only person who can determine the target is the captain of the chopper who must confirm the source of fire and order an offensive attack.

Another question which Naik received was the influence of China and Pakistan over India and if he considers those nations as a threat. The IAF Chief answered respectively, saying that China and Pakistan are not considers as a threat, but more as a challenge and they are currently no concern for him. Naik assured the attending people that the armed forces of India are not weaklings and are perfectly capable of facing any challenge to the country’s security.

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