Kochi: Kerala’s first India Reserve Battalion (IRB) commando wing, formed for combat operations, will be ready for action from September. The 18-month long training of the commandos will come to an end next month and they will be passing out from the Police Academy, Thrissur, by the end of August. The force will be assigned for the south, central and north zones of the police.
“The commando group will mainly conduct operations like hostage rescue, evacuation, explosive identification and disposal and ambush operations. They would be equipped with advanced weapons and communication system. At present, the plan is to station the first 160- member batch in three zones. But the decision would be taken once the training is completed,” said an IRB official.
The commando wing would be taking part in special tasks like anti-terrorism and insurgency operations. “The commando wing has been trained with the Army, Navy, Air Force and other central forces like the National Security Guard. They were given exposure to anti-insurgency operation with military and para military forces in the North Eastern states. The commando group also has been trained to handle advanced weapons and explosives. They had undergone special training in Krav Maga, the martial combat of Israeli army. They have also been trained in jungle warfare to dig out extremist elements in the forest and isolated areas,” said the official.
A nine-month training was conducted in the state and the remaining nine-month training will be held with other forces. During their training period, the commandos were trained to handle rifles like Kalashnikov, Insas, Tavor TAR-21, advanced machine guns and different kinds of advanced automatic pistols.
The second batch of the commando group has already arrived at the Police Academy and started training. “There are two wings of the IRB comprising commando wing and general wing. The latter will carry out peace keeping operations whereas the former will be engaged in combat operations. The IRB general wing has already passed out and has been deployed for election works in other states. The commandos were also deployed in the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border for peacekeeping during the Mullaperiayar issue,” sources said.