In order to promote gender equality within its ranks, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy have permitted women officers to join their special forces units, the Garud commando force and MARCOS, as long as they meet the requirements for selection, officials familiar with the development said on Monday, asking to remain anonymous.
According to one of the executives mentioned above, the decision to let women into the elite wings was made last year, even if the development has just come to light.“Women in the navy can now become marine commandos (Marcos) if they choose to and meet the criteria. It’s truly a watershed in India’s military history. But no one is directly assigned to special forces units. People have to volunteer for it,” an unnamed senior naval official was reported saying by Hindustan Times.
A second authority confirmed that female officers and sailors who enlist as Agniveers the following year will have the option of volunteering to become Marcos. The Marcos can travel by land, sea, and air and have been trained for a range of jobs.
These commandos are capable of performing specialised diving operations, observation and reconnaissance missions to support naval operations, clandestine strikes on enemy vessels, offshore sites, and other important assets.
The Garud commando force was subsequently expanded by the IAF in 2004. The action was taken three years after four terrorists tried to enter the IAF’s Awantipora fighter camp in Srinagar in broad daylight while equipped with Kalashnikovs and grenades. All of them were killed. In the past, it was frequently argued that physiological, psychological, and cultural reasons prevented more women from serving in the military. One pivotal moment, though, occurred in 2015 when the IAF chose to include them in the fighter stream. Additionally, the navy is expanding their opportunity to work alongside men aboard warships. They are able to pilot helicopters thanks to the army.
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