IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman participated in the Air Force Day parade at the Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad on October 8.
The air warrior, Abhinandan led the flypast in a MiG 21 Bison Aircraft, 3 Mirage 2000 aircraft & 2 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft were also flown in 'Avenger formation' by pilots who took part in Balakot airstrike on terror camps in Pakistan.
#BREAKING on #AirForceDay | Wing Commander Abhinandan flies MiG-21 Bison as the IAF showcases its prowess at the Hindon Air Base. Tune in to watch here - https://t.co/RZHKU3fdmK pic.twitter.com/2ErTxNntYm— Republic (@republic) October 8, 2019
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s 51 Squadron was awarded unit citation by IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria for thwarting Pakistani aerial attack and shooting down a Pakistani F-16 on Feb 27, ANI said.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who downed the Pakistani F-16, could not hear radio messages during the aerial combat on February 27 as the communication was jammed by Pakistan. Minutes later his MiG 21 Bison was hit and he was held captive in Pakistan for three days. "They will not be able to hear and jam our communication network," said the Air Chief. "
Two squadrons of the Indian Air Force, which played a role in the Balakot airstrike, were decorated with citations at the Hindon base on the 87th IAF Day. IAF chief RKS Bhadauria decorated the 51 Squadron and the 9 Squadron for their role in the airstrike on terrorist camps in Pakistan's Balakot in February.
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hailed the role of the Indian Air Force in protecting the country during conflicts and helping people during natural calamities. On the 87th Air Force Day, the prime minister posted a short video on his Twitter handle to highlight the contributions of "air warriors". "Today, on Air Force Day, a proud nation expresses gratitude to our air warriors and their families. The Indian Air Force continues to serve India with utmost dedication and excellence," he said.
(With ANI inputs)