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IAF chief leads ‘missing man’ formation for Kargil martyrs

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, May 28: Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Monday flew the 'missing man' formation in a MiG-21 aircraft to pay tributes to Squadran Leader Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes of the Kargil war.

He was accompanied by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command Air Marshal R Nambiar in the flypast organised at Air Force Station in Bhisiana here.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa

The 'missing man' formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is an arrow formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the missing man, the IAF said in a statement.

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The Chief of the Air staff, led a four aircraft, MiG-21 'missing man' formation flypast to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during 'Operation Safed Sagar' at Kargil, an IAF spokesperson said.

Later, in a sombre ceremony, he laid a wreath at the War Memorial to honour the IAF men who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja had laid down his life during the Kargil conflict.

He was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron and was awarded the Vir Chakra posthumously for his valour during the conflict which took place 20 years ago.

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On the occasion Alka Ahuja, widow of Ajay Ahuja, also paid tributes to the late IAF officer.

On May 28, the air chief will visit Air Force Station in Sarsawa, Uttar Pradesh and fly in a Mi-17 V5 'missing man' formation to commemorate the Kargil martyrs.

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