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Aero India 2023

NSG commandos, IAF 'Garudas' conduct joint exercise

The joint exercise 'Black Eagle' between the NSG 'black cats' and IAF ‘Garuda’ was conducted with the help of MI-17 helicopters.

MANESAR, GURGAON (PTI): Commandos of the elite NSG and the Air Force conducted a joint exercise to hone their skills for airborne insertion of troops into areas under siege by terrorists like the one encountered at Nariman House during the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

The seven-day joint exercise termed 'Black Eagle' -- between the Special Forces (GARUDA) of the IAF and the NSG 'black cats' was conducted with the help of MI-17 helicopters, sophisticated weaponry and unique heliborne devices used by commando forces at the NSG garrison here.

The commandos practised various kinds of shooting skills and techniques to enable precision surgical strikes against terrorists, hostile elements and rescue missions. The emphasis was on swift deployment for which the teams used helicopters, a statement on the completion of the exercise Thursday, said.

The National Security Guard (NSG) commandos also devised new techniques for various anti-terrorist operations especially with the help of the Air Force in urban areas like the one in Mumbai.

A small squad of NSG commandos was flown in on an MI-17 helicopter from INS Shikra naval base during the 26/11 Mumbai attack which dropped troops atop Nariman house, which housed the Jewish institution.

This was the first airborne anti-terror operation which the NSG conducted in a densely populated and urban area.

Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were killed in the operation here while NSG commando Havildar Gajender Singh was also martyred.

The recent exercise was also held keeping in mind the air insertion of commandos during the upcoming Commonwealth Games, an NSG officer said.

The NSG has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IAF for use of its aircraft for commando deployment and similar operations.

The first such joint exercise between the forces was held in 2008.

"The joint exercise of the IAF and the NSG is a thrust in our preparedness and ability to combat terrorism or undertake a rescue mission in any form anywhere in the country," the statement said.

The exercise will also enhance the level of cooperation and understanding between the two forces, the officer said.

The exercise was witnessed by NSG Director General N P S Aulakh and Air Marshal J N Burma.

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