Major General AK Dhingra was on Wednesday appointed as the first commander of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD).

The tri-services formation will have special forces commandos drawn from Indian Army’s Para regiment, Navy’s MARCOS and Air Force’s Garud Commando Force.

All three special forces wings will be trained together in the Special Operations Division, which will help reduce costs connected to training, logistics and administration.

Special forces of all three wings normally function separately but the AFSOD will help bring the three under a common command and control structure. This is aimed at

Maj Gen Dhingra, himself a special forces operative, will hold the rank of General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division. His appointment marks the start of functioning of the division, the approval of which was given last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The division will work under the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), which is headed by a Lieutenant General rank officer.

In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Committee had recommended setting up of three commands — Special Operations, Cyber and Space.

The need for an AFSOD became more pressing after the 2016 surgical strikes carried out by Indian Army Para SF.

AFSOD will be tasked to deal with specific operations within and outside the country.