Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman led a 'MiG formation' and flew a MiG Bison Aircraft at Hindon Air Base on Air Force Day on Tuesday. The Indian Air Force officers, who participated in the Balakot airstrike, flew 3 Mirage 2000 aircraft and 2 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft in a unique 'Avenger formation'. On the occasion of 87th Indian Air Force Day, these two squadrons of the Indian Air Force were also decorated with citations. Every year, the Air Force Day is celebrated at the Hindon base. The IAF was founded on October 8, 1932, and the force has participated in several crucial wars and landmark missions.
Earlier the chiefs of three services, Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh paid tributes at National War Memorial. Talking about the Balakot strikes, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said: "Strategic relevance of this (Balakot airstrike) is the resolve of political leadership to punish perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in government's way of handling terrorist attacks. He added the present security environment in the neighbourhood (Pakistan) was a "serious cause of concern".
He also said that the Pulwama attack on CRPF jawans was a stark reminder of the persistent threat to India's defence installations. He said the Indian Air Force was grateful for the nation's trust. "On behalf of all air warriors, I assure the nation of our sacred resolve, defending the sovereignty of our skies & safeguarding our national interest at all cost," he added.
President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated IAF on the IAF Day and said they safeguard India's skies with "courage and commitment". Expressing gratitude to the IAF, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indian Air Force "continues to serve India with utmost dedication and excellence".
The heroes of the Balakot airstrikes have been included in the parade as a mark of tribute to the teams that carried out the strikes on February 26 and thwarted the Pakistani aerial attack on February 27.
10.36 AM: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman leads a 'MiG formation' and flies a MiG Bison Aircraft at Hindon Air Base on Air ForceDay today.
10.15 AM: Indian Air Force officers who participated in Balakot airstrike, fly 3 Mirage 2000 aircraft and 2 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft in 'Avenger formation' at Hindon Air Base. -- ANI
#WATCH Ghaziabad: Indian Air Force officers who participated in Balakot airstrike, fly 3 Mirage 2000 aircraft & 2 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft in ‘Avenger formation’, at Hindon Air Base during the event on #AirForceDay today. pic.twitter.com/qV417aLNjr— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 8, 2019
10.20 AM: Three Chinook transport helicopters fly in 'Chinook formation' at Hindon Air Base during the event on Air Force Day today. -- ANI