Vir Chakra awardee Wing Commnader Abhinandan Varthaman on Monday flew a joint sortie with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in the trainer version of the MiG-21 Type 69 fighter aircraft from Pathankot airbase. The 26 Squadron is based at Pathankot Air Force Station. According to reports, it would be the last sortie of the IAF Chief in a combat aircraft. The sortie lasted for about half an hour. President Ram Nath Kovind Approves 132 Gallantry Award For Armed Forces Personnel and Members of Paramilitary Forces, Check Full List.
Glimpses of the CAS Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa’s last sortie in MiG-21 trainer aircraft. pic.twitter.com/mmE1Hhe3jj
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 2, 2019
Wing Commander Varthaman was awarded Vir Chakra last month for shooting down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet during aerial combat which took place on February 27 after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated the Indian airspace. In the aerial dogfight, Wg Cdr Varthaman’s Mig-21 Bison was also shot down. Though he ejected safely but his parachute drifted to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot was then captured by the Pakistani Army. He was later released on March 1. ‘R-73 Selected’, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Last Radio Message Before Ejecting Out of Mig-21 Bison.
IAF Chief With Wg Cdr Varthaman:
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2019
Apart from Wg Cdr Varthaman, Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal who intercepted PAF aircraft on February 27 was also conferred with Yudh Seva Medal. The five IAF pilots – Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Squadron Leaders Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy and Shashank Singh were awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) for carrying out airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge February 14 Pulwama attack.
(Picture Courtesy: Twitter)