Balakot Airstrike anniversary: Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh (RKS) Bhadauria landed after flying MiG-21 of 51 Squadron Commanding Officer Group Captain Nazeer with two each Mirage-2000 and Sukhoi-30MKI at Srinagar airbase on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Balakot airstrikes.
The airstrike had come in response to the deadliest Pulwama attack by Pakistan. 40 CRPF jawans were martyred after a car fitted with an Improvised explosive device (IED) rammed into the convoy. The airstrikes were the first since the India-Pakistan war of 1971. The Indian Air Force conducted a Balakot airstrike in the early hours of February 26 when Indian warplanes destroyed several terror launchpads.
After landing in Srinagar, RKS Bhadauria said that “The message was clear that it will no longer be a status quo, if there will be an attack from across the border there will be a response and it will be a robust response.” Talking about Rafale, Bhadauria said, “Rafale was a total game-changer. When we will use it along with the other aircraft we have in our inventory then we would be a different air force.”
Meanwhile, he said that “51 Squadron and Abhinandan demonstrated the spirit of the Air Force. They had no hesitation in engaging vastly superior aircraft in terms of technology and weapons, they did the right thing. Air Force is proud of them.”
Meanwhile, Chinar Corps Commander, Lt General KJS Dhillon on Wednesday stated that “The overall security situation in the valley is very good, most of the terrorist leaders have been targeted and eliminated. Today there is hardly any leadership of terrorists that is able to operate in the valley.”
“As there were peace and normalcy in the valley, Pakistan was trying to disrupt it and trying to infiltrate more terrorists into the Indian territory. To support this infiltration, Pakistan Army was doing ceasefire violations on LoC,” he added.