‘NSG deployed to provide counter-drone protection to Srinagar, Jammu IAF bases’

File photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: SATHYAMOORTHY M

The National Security Guard (NSG), the counterterrorism commando force,has been deployed at the Indian Air Force (IAF) stations in Srinagar and Jammu to provide anti-drone security cover to these vital installations, M.A. Ganapathy, the force’s Director-General, said on Saturday.

The first-ever drone attack took place on June 27 at the IAF station in Jammu, where two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which came from across the border, dropped bombs, injuring two airmen and damaging a portion of a building. The two IAF facilities in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are located close to the Pakistan border and are categorised as “sensitive” installations.

The NSG chief said the federal counterterrorist and counter-hijack commando force was enhancing its “counterterrorism profile” and preparing itself to meet emerging security challenges. The Director-General was speaking at the 37th Raising Day celebrations of the force, also known as the “black cats”, at its garrison here in Manesar.

He said the forces’ bomb disposal teams had neutralised improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and tiffin bombs, including those that were brought by drones from Pakistan and dropped in Indian territory.

Mr. Ganapathy said the NSG “had been deployed” at the Srinagar and Jammu IAF stations to provide security cover to the facilities keeping in mind drone attacks and added that this system was working “successfully”.

A senior officer added that this deployment “would continue till a full-fledged and independent counter-drone system was deployed at these two bases”.

The NSG had an array of anti-drone equipment, radars, jammers and drone killer guns that essentially work for perimeter security, the officer said. A “technical surveillance” team from the NSG was sent to the Jammu IAF base soon after the drone attack and the force had deployed its equipment there, he said.

‘New challenge’

Talking to mediapersons, Mr. Ganapathy said drone warfare was a “new challenge” and all the security forces needed to upgrade their capabilities and technology against such attacks.

“Drones are an easy way to create mischief, to drop bombs and payload like weapons and ammunition,” he said. All the security forces needed to upgrade themselves vis-a-vis counter-drone technology, the Director-General added.

Asked why the force was not involved in counterterrorist operations carried out in the Valley, Mr. Ganapathy said the NSG had expertise in house intervention, hostage rescue and counter-hijack tasks, and the force would respond as and when they were requisitioned.

Officiating as the chief guest of the event, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai lauded the commando force for its operations and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had brought an “independent security policy” for the country. The Minister said security threats were continuously evolving, including the threat of “lone wolf” attacks and aerial strikes.

The NSG was raised as a federal counterterrorist force in 1984 to undertake surgical commando operations to neutralise terrorist and hijack threats. It also provides armed security cover to at least 13 high-risk VIPs at present.

The NSG has five hubs in the country, apart from its main garrison here. A team of commandos was stationed in each of them 24x7 to respond to any threat or situation within a 30 minute mobilisation time frame.

The five NSG hubs or bases are located in Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. They were created post the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 6:06:51 AM |

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