Operation Cactus in the Maldives
Amid the ongoing stand-off between India and China, the Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Indian Navy have been deployed in the Pangong lake area in eastern Ladakh. The Marine Commandos or MARCOS, called Marine Commando Force (MCF) belongs to the special forces team of the Indian Navy.
They have undertaken several covert operations over the years since the 80s with one of the famous being operation Cactus in 1988 when the elite Navy unit freed the Maldivies from a coup and helped to restore President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s regin in a valiant effort which has become part of India’s military history.
During the operation, not a single MARCOS commando was killed ensuring India’s predominance in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR).
MARCOS deployed in eastern Ladakh
The idea behind the deployment of the commands in eastern Ladakh where Indian Air Force’s Garud operatives and Indian Army’s Para Special Forces, which have been there since day one of the conflicts, is to enhance the integration of the three services and provide the naval commandos exposure to extreme cold weather conditions, government sources told ANI.
MARCOS have been deployed in the Pangong lake area where the Indian and Chinese forces have been engaged in a conflict situation since April-May timeframe this year,” the sources said. The Navy commandos are also soon going to get new boats for operations in the lake are along with the existing infrastructure for operations in the lake, they said.
Army’s Special Forces including the Para Special Forces and Cabinet Secretariat’s Special Frontier Force have been operating in eastern Ladakh for carrying out special operations for a long time.
Line of Actual Control
The Indian Air Force’s Garud Special Forces moved to hilltops on the strategic heights on the Line of Actual Control (LAC)along with their Igla shoulder-fired air defence systems in the early days of the conflict to take care of any fighter or other aircraft of the enemy which may have tried to violate Indian air space.
The special troops belonging to both the Army and Air Force have been there for more than six months now also, the Indian side had used the special forces to occupy strategic heights along the LAC to preempt the Chinese from doing so.
The Chinese have also maintained special troops on their side of the LAC. The Indian Navy has deployed teams of in the Wular lake area