Home News Reports 5 IAF pilots who carried out Balakot airstrikes awarded with 'Vayu Sena Medal'

5 IAF pilots who carried out Balakot airstrikes awarded with ‘Vayu Sena Medal’

Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman, who became the face of the entire India-Pakistan confrontation following the Balakot airstrike, may be decorated with Vir Chakra on the Independence Day

The Indian Air Force pilots who bombed and destroyed the Balakot terror training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad in Pakistan have been conferred with Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry). All 5 Indian Air Force officers are Mirage-2000 pilots.

The five Indian Air Force pilots, Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Squadron Leaders Ldrs Rahul Bosya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy and Shashank Singh were awarded Vayu Sena Medal for blowing the JeM terror camp situated in Balakot into smithereens.

In a dastardly attack by a Jaish-e-Muhammad trained terrorist, around 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives when the attacker rammed a car laden with explosives in the CRPF convoy in Kashmir on February 14, 2019. In response to the attack, the Indian Air Force carried out an attack on the JeM terror camp situated in Balakot district of Pakistan on February 26. The IAF planes crossed the Line-of-Control, going deep inside Pakistan and destroyed the terror camp with precision-guided missiles. Around 160-300 terrorists are believed to have been killed in the retaliation.

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The daring audacity by the Indian Air Force stoked tensions along the border and brought the two fraught neighbours almost on a brink of war after Pakistan scrambled fighter jets in an attempt to target Indian Army installations in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack was foiled successfully but one of the Indian MiG 21 fighter jet was shot down by Pakistan and its pilot was caught by Pakistan. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was later released by Pakistan. Varthaman also downed a Pakistani F-16 in the dogfight soon after Pakistani jets were found approaching the border.

According to the sources, Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman, who became the face of the entire India-Pakistan confrontation following the Balakot airstrike, may be decorated with Vir Chakra on the Independence Day.

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