06 Oct 2019
Abhinandan's 51 Squadron to get citation for downing Pakistan's F-16
The unit will be duly awarded for thwarting Pakistan's attempt to breach Indian airspace in February when tensions between both South Asian neighbors reached new heights.
Commanding Officer Group Captain Satish Pawar will receive the award on October 8.
From Pulwama to Balakot, a lot happened in February
A day after airstrikes, Pakistani jets tried entering Indian airspace but their attempts were thwarted by Abhinandan's squadron.
Squadron which completed Balakot operation will also be awarded
Apart from Squadron 51, Squadron 9, whose pilots flew the French-origin Mirage 2000 jets, to demolish Jaish's camp will also be awarded. The discreet operation, which proved IAF's mettle to the world, was code-named "Operation Bandar".
In fact, Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal's 601 Signal will also be honored, on Air Force Day, for its attempts in preventing the attack by Pakistan, reports said.
On I-Day, Abhinandan was given Vir Chakra
To recall, Abhinandan has already been awarded for the utmost bravery which he displayed in February.
He was conferred with the third-highest wartime gallantry award, Vir Chakra, on 73rd Independence Day.
After his release from Pakistan, he went through the standard protocol of de-briefing etc.
He re-started flying in August after the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bengaluru, declared him fit to take the skies.
Interestingly, Abhinandan flew with former IAF Chief
The star pilots flew in the two-seated trainer version of MiG-21 type 69 fighter aircraft. While Dhanoa sat in the front, his junior took the rear seat. They took off from the Pathankot airbase.
Interestingly, Dhanoa had also flown with Abhinandan's father earlier.
Dhanoa also revealed what he had in common with Abhinandan
"We have got things in common - both of us ejected. Second, we both fought Pakistan. I fought during the Kargil war (he commanded IAF's 17 Squadron) and Abhinandan after the Balakot airstrike," Dhanoa said.
- Abhinandan Varthaman
- Air Force Day 2019
- Balakot Airstrike
- BS Dhanoa
- Indian Air Force Day
- Indian Army
- Minty Agarwal
- Pulwama Attack
- Rks Bhadauria
- , Squadron 9
- 's 601 Signal
- Aerospace Medicine
- Air Force
- Air Force Day
- Commanding Officer Group Captain Satish Pawar
- French-origin Mirage 2000
- IAF Chief BS Dhanoa
- Independence Day
- Indian Air Force
- Institute of Aerospace Medicine
- Operation Bandar
- Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria
- Satish Pawar
- South Asian
- Squadron 51
- Squadron 9
- Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal
- Vir Chakra
- Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman