GARUD Commando is India’s special force unit in the Indian Air Force which was established on the 6th of February 2004. At current times, there is approximately 1100 personnel in the unit., the actual strength is not disclosed due to security reasons. The GARUD special force was named after the divine bird “GARUD”, which is an Eagle and is considered a legendary bird. The motto of the GARUD special force unit is ‘Defence by Offense’ which means protection against the attack.
The GARUD Commando Special Force was established with the intention of providing a versatile military capability according to its occupant. Currently, GARUD Commandos have been deployed to Congo for UN peace-keeping operations. The GARUD Commandos are the youngest special force unit.
Alike MARCOS Special Force and PARA Special Force, GARUD Special Force does not have any direct entry. If the candidate wishes to apply for the GARUD Commando post, the first step for them is to join the Indian Air Force, only then can the candidate apply for the selection of GARUD Commandos. The aspirant having any rank in the Air Force can apply, whether it is a commissioned or non-commissioned rank. If the candidate is applying through the non-commissioned rank, then they must have 10+2 cleared with a minimum of 50% aggregate. If they are applying through the commissioned rank, i.e, ground duty officer, then their minimum qualification that is 10+2 with Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry is compulsory to be eligible. GARUD Commandos basic selection is done through two processes and these processes are based on the commission of the candidate. The non-commissioned ranked candidate’s selection is done through notification or advertisement directly from the Airman Selection Centre and the selection of the candidates of the commissioned post is done through the Air Force Academy located in Dundigal. From the commissioned ranks, the ground duty cadets are only selected for GARUD Commandos. The candidates are exposed to rigorous physical training, which has 3 months of probationary training. In the initial training, the candidates face different hardships and then after that, they are selected for the next phase.
The attrition rate of the probationary period is so high that most of the cadets do not qualify. The Airborne phase training of the GARUD Commandos is done with the Indian Army’s PARATROOPERS at Parachute Training School (PTS) located at Agra. The diving training of the GARUD Commandos is done in the Indian Navy Diving School and they are also sent for the Counter-Interagency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) of the Indian Army for training. The final training of the GARUD Commando is conducted with the Indian Army’s special force unit so that they get the knowledge and experience of various special operations.