Kerala military station pays homage to Kargil martyrs

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Thiruvananthapuram/Drass, July 26 (ANI): In a solemn ceremony today at the Pangode Military station, homage was paid to martyrs of the 1999 Kargil War.

A large number of soldiers from various units of the station gathered in colourful military ceremonial uniforms to salute the fallen martyrs.

Station Commander Brigadier Cherish Mathson and Lt Gen (Retired) S K Pillai were amongst those who placed wreathes at the Pangode War Memorial.

The ceremony was also attended by retired armed forces personnel. The function began with 'Salami Shastra' saluting the martyrs followed by 'Shoka Shastra' (salute with reverse arms). A two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect.

July 26, 1999 will go down in the annals of Indian history as a day when the determined Indian forces achieved a glorious victory over the Pakistani Army.

A few days back, the martyrdom of Captain Jerry Prem Raj, Vir Chakra (Posthumous), a brave officer from Thiruvananthapuram, was also recalled and celebrated. Raj died on the icy peaks in the Drass sector in the Kargil Operations.

eanwhile, in a separate though related development, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force will celebrate the tenth anniversary of their joint victory at Drass on Sunday and Monday.

The event will see a flypast by MiG-21s and Mi-17s as well as slithering operations by Mi-17 and para drop of nine Para Jump Instructors, three each from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, as the nation salutes the spirit, courage of those brave men who participated in 'Operation Vijay'.

Ten years ago, the Indian Air Force was pressed into service in mid-May 1999 to facilitate the recapture of Indian territory on the Indian side of Line of Control in Mushko Valley, Drass, Kaksar Batalik, and Turtok areas.

It was for the first time that the Indian Air Force was called upon to undertake live missions at such high altitudes.

A bigger challenge was non violation of Line of Control. Mirage-2000 aircraft flew precision strike missions and dropped Lager Guided Bombs (LGBs) utilizing the Laser Designated Pods (LDPs).

These missions turned the balance of power in favour of India.

Offensive posturing by the Indian Air Force deterred the Pakistani Air Force from intervening in this area.

The Indian Air force displayed professionalism of a very high order and by July 12, almost all posts were recaptured. Air power played a pivotal role in the overall victory and eviction of Pakistani intruders. (ANI)

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