India's Newly-Built Special Operations Division Responding to Multiple Security Threats
(Source: China Military Online; issued May 28, 2019)
According to India’s Zee News report on May 15, Special Forces of the Indian three services are working together to organize a Special Operations Division to respond to potential threats and carry out sensitive missions.

The new division is expected to consist of 3000 personnel in all, with Major General AK Dhingra being the first General Officer Commanding (GOC), who is a Special Forces veteran from the elite 1 Para Special Forces Regiment, had done Special Operations courses in the United States and contributed greatly in the 1987 Sri Lanka War.

At present, the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Ministry of Home Affairs Forces all have had their own special forces, but their strength is dispersed and each fights separately. There are many deficiencies in tactical training and other aspect. They don’t have intelligence sharing mechanisms, which means they have poor access to information, and are unable to carry out joint special strike missions of strategic or tactical significances, nor to handle any emergencies.

In addition, due to the deep contradiction among various services, especially the chaos of special operations capabilities, the theatre integrated command system has not yet been set up, and there is no unified command structure, which has become a crux hampering the effective response to complex security situations and handling of emergencies.

Therefore, under the context of the rapid changes in modern warfare situation, it has become an imperative development trend for the Indian military to build a unit with the integration of the various services strength and the capability to carry out special strike missions.

The build-up of the new division is an effective measure taken to strengthen the joint operations forces of the Indian military, with the intention of integrating the special warfare resources of the Indian three services at the command level, setting up a unified command system to enhance the capability of performing strategic joint special operations missions. In terms of strength composition, its members will be selected from elites of the Army’s Parachute Regiments SF, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Navy and the Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force, which clearly highlights the importance India has attached to it.

Apart from special operations, India is pro-actively implementing coordination and “joint operations” in space and cyberspace in order to prepare for an effective construction of an “emerging trinity” joint operation system.

In October 2018, the India's Cabinet Committee on Security approved the establishment of three agencies, namely, the Defense Cyber Agency, the Defense Space Agency and the Special Operations Command, all of which will function under the command of the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff to deal with space, cyberspace and special operations and will enhance more synergies, resource saving and sharing. This move has been a significant step forward for India in meeting with new threats.

This time, apart from establishing the special operations division, the Indian military has also approved the establishment of a cyber defense agency commanded by a Rear Admiral, and a space warfare agency led by an Air Vice-Marshal, both of which are integral parts of the joint command of Indian three services under direct command of the Joint Defense Staff of India, presumably the “first move” for the Indian military to build the “emerging trinity” joint operational system.


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