Twenty years after Pakistan had downed an Indian Air Force plane and later killed Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa on Monday flew the ‘missing man’ formation near Punjab’s Bathinda town a tribute to the fallen Kargil heroes.
The ‘missing man’ flypast is an aerial salute to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms.
#OpsSafedSagar #RememberingKargil :
The CAS ACM BS Dhanoa, led a MiG-21 04 aircraft ‘Missing Man’ formation flypast today at AF Station Bhisiana to honour the valour & supreme sacrifice of Air-Warriors killed in action in the Kargil war. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/7k0E2h5IWW
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 27, 2019
Mig-29 on Combat Air Patrol provided Air Defence cover to strike aircraft. Post strike, Canberra carried out recce to assess the damage inflicted on the enemy. pic.twitter.com/fAfL2G6aOM
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 26, 2019
Indian Air Force also shared images of MiG fighter jets remembering the first day of air attack on Pakistani posts and supply lines during the Kargil War 20 years ago. The images shared on Twitter show a MiG-23 ready with ammunition, a MiG-27 getting ready for the flight and a MiG-29 giving cover to the strike aircrafts. Apart from the mentioned jets, there was also the trusted MiG-21 Bison fighter jet, the same plane piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan to destroy the Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 Falcon.
The Indian Air Force chief was then commanding the Golden Arrows Squadron based in Srinagar and Squadron Leader Ahuja was the Flight Commander.
Ahuja was awarded the Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallantry during the Kargil conflict.
The formation flying was carried out at the Bhisiana air base on the outskirts of Bathinda in which Air Marshal R. Nambiar also took part.
On May 27, 1999, Squadron Leader Ahuja, who parachuted on ground, was tortured to death by Pakistani troops.