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Thursday , 20 June 2019
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Indian Air Force raising combat force to guard airbases


The Air Force is raising an army to cover all its bases. This is done in order to avoid any Pathankot-like attacks by Pakistani groups. Punjab’s Bathinda district is where the men and women will be trained to tackle the terror strikes. It is January last year that we saw four Pakistani terrorists had laid siege to the Pathankot air force station. Half a dozen security personnel were killed before the attackers were encOuntered by the NSG with the IAF’s Garud Commando Force. At that time there was only a little support from manpower at the base.

“We felt that there was a need to review our training for quick reaction situations as we needed to train men and women who can act as first line of defence against any such future attacks,” Group Captain S Pasricha, who heads the Bathinda airbase, told Mail Today.

Bathinda is home to the first security training school (STS) of the Air Force which would train 225 officers and warriors who would be imparted with Army-like training so that they are able to handle all kinds of modern weapons and easily counter a group of terrorists trying to attack airbases. It is to be noted here that The Number One STS, which was formed in August 2016, has so far trained close to 1,300 personnel including female officers who go back to their home bases after four weeks’ training and become part of the anti-terrorist quick reaction teams there.

“We had quick reaction teams earlier where 40-50 men once in six months would go for a course. But, now after Pathankot, our focus has totally changed. We now also have the second security school in Naliya, Gujarat for imparting QRT training to personnel who are swift and agile,” Pasricha said.

Old-timers in the service say this is the first time that the Air Force has been so highly focused about physical toughening of men and women. The female officers seems to be matching the performance of the men in this tough physical drills.

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