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Air Force Day 2019: IAF Chief Honours Wing Commander Abhinandan

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 08, Oct 2019, 22:41 pm IST | UPDATED: 09, Oct 2019, 20:26 pm IST

Air Force Day 2019: IAF Chief Honours Wing Commander Abhinandan Delhi: Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria who debuted at the IAF parade at Hindon Air base as its chief, today decorated two squadrons which played a role in the Balakot air strike in February. The squadron of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, and Mirage 2000 squadron were felicitated by Bhadauria.

IAF chief Bhadauria will present citations to both squadrons on the occasion of Air Force Day.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and fighter pilots, who were a part of the Balakot operation, participated in the flypast.

The 51 Squadron, to which Wing Commander Abhinandan belongs, also known as 'Sword Arms' or 'Falcon Slayers', is based at the Srinagar Air Force Station and comprises MiG 21 Bison fighter aircrafts.

Abhinandan,  had shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet that had intruded into the Indian borders on February 27.

During the dogfight, Abhinandan's MiG 21 Bison had also been shot. He had been captured by the Pakistani forces only to be released a day later.

On Independence Day this year, Abhinandan was awarded with the gallantry medal Vir Chakra.

The five pilots who flew the Mirage 2000 over Balakot to carry out the aerial attack had been conferred the Vayu Sena medals.

Every year, the Air Force Day is celebrated at Hindon base in presence of the IAF chief and senior officials of the three armed forces.

The IAF was founded on October 8, 1932, and the force has participated in several crucial wars and landmark missions.