India has initiated the process of setting up a tri-services Armed Forces Special Operations Division by appointing Maj. Gen. A.K. Dhingra as its first chief. Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta will head the new Defence Cyber Agency. It is expected that Air Vice-Marshal S.P. Dharkar will head the Defence Space Agency.Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD) will have about 3,000 commandos.

These will be derived from special forces of the Army, Marine Commandos (Marcos) of the Navy and Garuda commando force of the IAF. These special forces will be mostly used during war times to hit and cripple enemy’s key infrastructure and anti-terrorists operations. It will be a specialised force as it will draw from the expertise of all the three services — Army, Navy and Air Force. Continue reading


Within hours of his capture in the Pakistan Occupied territory, Wg. Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman was moved to Rawalpindi from Islamabad by the operatives of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from the custody of the Pakistan Army. He was kept in the interrogation cell for two days and was tortured by the ISI. “Wg Cdr Abhinanadan Varthaman was moved to Rawalpindi from Islamabad within four to five hours from the Pakistan Army mess in Islamabad. This was revealed by him during his debriefing,” said Ministry sources on condition of anonymity.

On February 26, Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman had chased Pakistan jets that had targeted Indian military installations. In the process, his jet was downed by the air defence guns of Pakistan and he was captured by the Pakistan Army Sources in the Ministry informed that the ISI tortured him physically and mentally during questioning. Continue reading


The Indian Forces have begun raising the Armed Forces Special Operations Division with the appointment of a Major General rank officer to oversee its formation.The government has approved the raising of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division comprising the Special Forces of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and will be headed by Major General AK Dhingra of the Special Forces Regiment.

“Initially, there will be about 3,000 special forces commandos from the Parachute Regiment of the Army, MARCOS of Navy and the Garud Commandos of the Air Force. It is said to be based in Agra as it already is the base of India’s only Parachute Brigade,” a senior army officer said.

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been planning to change the uniform of the Indian Army which will be customized keeping the different terrains and weather conditions in which the men are posted. Sources have confirmed to the Financial Express Online that “the material to be used for the uniform has not yet been decided as cotton material was difficult to maintain and was changed to Terrycot which due to extreme weather conditions is not comfortable for the soldier.”

Change of uniform patterns is superficial as it has been done several times in the past which only benefits the private suppliers, says a former army general. Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, By Lt Gen A B Shivane (retd), former Director General Mechanised Forces, said, “How you are seen in uniform is a matter of pride, but more important is the ethos of ensuring the dignity and respect of this uniform both within the service and by the government in power.” Continue reading


Ideally, an officer with Special Forces (SF) credentials needs to write this. However, having served alongside all three SF units of the Indian Army which existed in the late 80s, in Operation Pawan (Sri Lanka) and having handled some of their tasking and deployment at operational and tactical level at different stages of one’s career I do perceive myself reasonably qualified to write this public information piece.

One was fortunate to also have had some excellent Marine Commandos (Marcos) functioning with the army in Kashmir. The context here is the report that the government has decided to set up an Armed Forces Special Forces Division (AFSFD) under the Headquarters (HQ) Integrated Defence Staff (IDS). With public interest at a high pitch on issues related to the Armed Forces and numerous queries about the new organisation, it is only correct that information of an unclassified nature is placed factually in the public domain with a ‘need to know’ analysis of the initiative undertaken. Continue reading


A report has come out suggesting that addiction to smartphone game Player Unknown’s Battegrounds or PUBG is affecting our security forces too. Considering this, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been barred from playing the game. According to a News18 report, a senior CRPF officer posted in New Delhi said that the commanding officers were told to implement the ban since PUBG “addiction had affected jawans’ operational capabilities”.

The younger troopers reportedly have grown addicted to the game and as a result, have stopped interacting and socialising with fellow jawans. It additionally led to sleep deprivation since those addicted to the game would stay up longer to play the game; this, in turn, led to reduced physical activity. Continue reading


Three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants, including a top commander who masterminded the 2017 attack on a CRPF camp, a soldier and a civilian were killed in a gunfight on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said. “The slain militants have been identified as two locals, Naseer Pandit and Umar Mir and a Pakistani Khalid Bhai. Khalid was a top JeM commander and he had masterminded the 2017 attack on the CRPF camp in Lethpora in which five troopers were killed,” police sources said.

The civilian victim was identified as Rayees Ahmad Dar, son of the owner of a house where the militants were hiding. While Dar’s brother Muhammad Younis, sustained a gunshot injury. Continue reading


The United States has called for closer naval cooperation with not just India but also “like-minded democracies” like Japan and France as China “was not playing by the rules,” high-level government sources said. Admiral John Richardson, the US Chief of Naval Operations, in India recently, met top government officials, including the Indian naval chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba.

It is clear, senior government officials said that the US is also concerned about China changing the status quo in the Indo-Pacific. Both India and the United States want “free, open and inclusive” seas.     Continue reading


Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vigraha, a frontline offshore patrol vessel, sailed into history at the sunset on Wednesday. After 29 glorious years of service from 1990 to 2019, the ship was decommissioned at the coast guard jetty here.

ICGS Vigraha was the seventh offshore patrol vessel built by the Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai and it was commissioned on April 12, 1990. The ship was later based at Visakhapatnam and has been instrumental in protecting the east coast in general and Andhra Pradesh coast in particular since then. Continue reading


The CBI on Thursday withdrew from a Delhi court its application that had sought permission to further probe the politically sensitive Rs. 64-crore Bofors payoff case.The agency told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Navin Kumar Kashyap that it wants to withdraw the application filed on February 1, 2018. It had moved the trial court seeking permission for further probe in the matter saying it had come across fresh material and evidence.

The agency on Thursday submitted before the court that decision on further course of action would be taken by it and wanted to withdraw the application for now. Continue reading


The Congress may have questioned the Narendra Modi government on the Balakot airstrike after the Pulwama attack, but its Rajasthan government has decided to include information about it Class IX syllabus for students of social science. School textbooks which will be used by Class IX students from July when the new academic session begins will introduce the Balakot airtsrike and also discuss the courage and bravery shown by IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

As per the Times of India, the text regarding the airstrike does not have any headline but has been included in the chapter “Rashtriya suraksha evum shaurya parampara ( National security and tradition of valour) by the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education. The text details India’s air strikes on the camp of the terrorist group in Pakistan on February 26 after the February 14 Pulwama attack. Continue reading


The deadly Easter terror attack in Sri Lanka that claimed 253 lives has put Tamil-speaking Islamist groups on either side of the Palk Strait under the scanner. The National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) is one of the prime suspects that the Sri Lankan government banned in the immediate aftermath of the eight serial blasts, for which the Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility.

President Maithripala Sirisena used his emergency powers to ban the NTJ and another group known as the Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI). Security and counter terrorism experts in Sri Lanka believe the hitherto little-known NTJ to be an organisation that split from the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaath (SLTJ) in 2014. Continue reading


The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) has invited India to become an “Observer” with access to International Monitoring System data, so it can take an informed decision on ratifying a much-debated nuclear disarmament treaty.

The CTBT is a global treaty that aims to ban all nuclear explosions across the world. In 1996, it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and opened for signature. Between 1945 and 1996, over 2,000 nuclear tests were carried out all over the world. Ten nuclear tests have been conducted ever since the CTBT opened for signature in 1996. Although 184 countries have signed the treaty so far, it is yet to come into force because eight countries with nuclear capabilities – including India – are yet to sign and ratify it. Continue reading


Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to meet the Dalai Lama during a 2014 visit to India but a “cautious” Delhi did not allow it to happen, a new book has claimed. The 83-year-old Buddhist monk has made India his home since fleeing the Tibetan capital Lhasa in 1959 — and has been a thorn in Beijing’s side ever since.

“In 2014, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Modi, I requested a meeting with him,” author Sonia Singh quotes the Dalai Lama as saying.“President Xi Jinping agreed, but the Indian government was cautious about the meeting, so it didn’t happen,” according to excerpts from the book published Wednesday. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force’s favourite squadron patch maker is a 21-year-old Political Science graduate who has designed more than a hundred patches for the IAF, something he began when he was just eighteen. Saurav Chordia, who works as a graphics designer in New Delhi, has recently designed two patches commemorating the air battle that the IAF fought with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in February this year.

One of the patches, designed for the 51 Squadron of the IAF bears the label ‘Falcon Slayers’ and shows a MiG-21 Bison fighter in cross-hairs with Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 jet. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down a PAF F-16 before being hit over Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, was a part of this Squadron but has recently been transferred to another MiG 21-Bison Squadron in Rajasthan. Continue reading