The IAF on Thursday said it will deploy its commando units to defend its helicopters and men on board in Naxal-infested areas, but made it clear that they would not carry out any "rambo-style" operation against the Maoists.
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told reporters here that the Garud special forces would be present in the helicopters flying in Maoist-hit areas for rescue operations and would defend their personnel and equipment by warding-off attacks by Naxals on them.
"It is not a free for all like 'rambo' that we will go and fire in the countryside. The helicopters operating for casualty evacuation will be mounted with guns and the Garud force will man them," Naik said on the sidelines of the 77th Air Force Day parade here.
Asked about the IAF request to the government to allow opening of fire in self-defence, he said the Cabinet Committee on Security will decide the matter.
"I want to reiterate that I am totally against armed forces -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- being used in internal situations. We are meant to defend threats from across the border," he said.
Naik, however, said, "If the states requires any help we are always there to give it in terms of casualty evacuation and insertion (of security forces)."