City-based airmen were part of anti-terror operations

CHANDIGARH: The killing of two commandos from the IAF’s Garud special force, who were based in Chandigarh and were on attachment with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir for operational training and experience, has taken the lid of the involvement of the Air Force in anti-terrorist operations in the strife-torn state.

City-based airmen were part of anti-terror operations

Nilesh Kumar and Milind Kishor

editorial@tribune.com

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11

The killing of two commandos from the IAF’s Garud special force, who were based in Chandigarh and were on attachment with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir for operational training and experience, has taken the lid of the involvement of the Air Force in anti-terrorist operations in the strife-torn state.

Sergeant Milind Kishor (35) hailed from Nasik in Maharashtra and had spent 15 years in the Air Force, while 30-year-old Corporal Nilesh Kumar belonged to Bhawalpur in Bihar and had a service of 10 years, according to IAF officers. Besides his wive, Sergeant Milind is survived by two children, a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old boy, while Corporal Nilesh is survived by his wife and a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

They were part of an anti-terrorist operation being undertaken by the Army’s 13 Rashtriya Rifles and the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operations Group in Bandipora district.

They were posted at 12 Wing here for the past about two years and were part of the first batch of 30 Garud commandos sent on a six-month attachment with the Army to the Valley for what IAF officers term “live situational training.” The move to send IAF commandos on attachment for anti-terror experience is a fallout of the Pathankot airbase terror attack last year.

Their mortal remains were airlifted from Srinagar this evening and kept overnight at the mortuary in the Command Hospital, Chandimandir. These will be flown to their respective hometowns early tomorrow morning after being accorded full military honours at the Chandigarh Air Force Station. A large number of officers, airmen and well-wishers visited the bereaved families to offer condolences and support. The Chandigarh Air Force Station is responsible for logistic and administrative support to Garud personnel sent on attachment to Jammu and Kashmir as well their families living separately. 

This is the second known instance of the Garud force suffering fatalities in anti-terror operations. A Garud commando was among those killed in the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase last year. The Garud force was established in 2004 to provide the IAF with a specialised ground force for guarding high-value strategic assets and undertake special operations like airborne assault, special reconnaissance, combat search and rescue, anti-hijacking and hostage rescue. 

To be given military honours

The mortal remains of the two commandos were airlifted from Srinagar and kept overnight at the mortuary in the Command Hospital, Chandimandir. These will be flown to their respective hometowns after being accorded full military honours at the Chandigarh Air Force Station on Thursday.

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