New Delhi, August 14: Bowing to their bravery, valour, and heroism for performing a daredevil act, giving justice to the sacrifices of their brothers, Indian Air Force Wing Commanders deserve all the respect and appreciation. Adding another medal of pride, five Indian Air Force pilots, who bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot on February 26 following the Pulwama terror attack, have been conferred the Vayu Sena Medal.
The five pilots are Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Sqn Ldrs Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy, Shashank Singh awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) for bombing Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot town. All officers are Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft pilots.
IAF Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal will be honoured with Yudh Seva Medal for her role as a fighter controller during the February 27 aerial conflict between India and Pakistan.
Retaliating strongly, the Indian Air Force in response to the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack conducted airstrike at the Balakot terror camp. Holding responsibility, the Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed that the Pulwama suicide bombing was conducted by them.
Not letting the sacrifices of our heroes go in vain, two weeks later, Indian Air Force's Mirage-2000 fighter jets took off from airbases in India before dawn on February 26. The IAF jets crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and targeted the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot with precision, guided missiles.
The Balakot airstrike capped days of rising tensions between India and Pakistan. The airstrike pushed Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of an armed conflict, with the Pakistan Air Force attempted retaliatory strikes a day after on February 27.