Indian military launches new elite commando division to boost India’s strike capabilities: Special operations expert Maj. Gen. Dhingra appointed first commander

New Delhi: Indian military is going through a transition phase with a strong aggressive posture since the Modi government took office. The armed forces have adopted an active tit for tat policy with full backing of the Central government which have resulted in never before attempted military operations during peace time.

With rising complex security threats to the country, Indian military have launched a new separate elite commando division, Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD), to face the enemy in clandestine operations.

AFSOD will be the first choice of the government for undertaking any major counter-terrorism operations both within and outside the country.

What makes AFSOD special is that it will comprise of commandoes from all the three services – Army, Navy, and Air Force. It has been set up by the government to undertake joint operations by three services and will have elements from the Army’s Parachute Regiments SF, Marine Commandoes (MARCOS) of the Navy and the Garud Commandoes of the Air Force.

The government has selected Major General A. K. Dhingra to head the AFSOD. The Major General is a veteran of many special operations and have been in real combat in Sri Lanka as part of Indian Peacekeeping Force.

The new division will work under the tri-services Integrated Defence Staff and will get its headquarters as per ongoing discussions in the Defence Ministry  at either Agra or Bangalore.

An official said that the recruitment to the tri-service special operations division is underway and soon it will have a substantial number.

A report quoting a source said, “To begin with, it will have 150-200 personnel but the numbers will be gradually increased and the plan is to have a 2000 strong commando tri-service division. The numbers from the Army will be more than the other two services.”

With strong political support the Indian military is witnessing huge turnover and modernization. The Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and the Chiefs of all three services had rolled out a plan to set up three agencies  for Space, Cyber, and Special Operations warfare.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the final go ahead at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in Jodhpur last year to set up the three agencies.


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