The Indian Air Force has completed a security audit of its almost 950 flying and non-flying bases in the aftermath of Pathankot terror attack and is likely to seek permission of the Defence Ministry to induct more Garud commandos.
Top sources in the Air Force said the audit, ordered after the attack on its air base in Pathankot earlier this month, has identified the chinks in the security and measures would be taken to plug them.
Asked if the Defence Security Corps, made up of retired soldiers, would be replaced with other security personnel, the sources said Garud commandos are already present at its facilities and, if needed, more will be added.
They made it clear the security of bases will continue to be handled by the DSC personnel and Garud commandos.
Sources said identification of loopholes in security has been completed and the next step will be to test them.
The Garud (Special Forces of the IAF) was formed in 2003 for providing specific in-house role capabilities to the IAF.
Garuds are specially trained to be a Quick Reaction Force at important IAF bases, protect IAF’s high-value assets, conduct search and rescue during peace and war, and undertake counter-terrorism tasks and special missions.
Garuds have been effectively deployed as part Indian peacekeeping missions in support of the UN and for evacuation of Indian nationals from war zones.
The Defence Ministry is in the process of setting up a committee to review security at all armed forces facilities in the country based on the “risk factor”, besides the audit undertaken by the individual services themselves.
“A specific team is being made. It will visit (the bases) and look into priorities like risk factor, sensitivity and assets. It will also talk to the local commanders,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on January 21.