IAF pilots who carried out Balakot air strikes awarded
New Delhi, Aug 14: The IAF received a total of 13 awards including five Yudh Seva Medals and seven Vayu Sena Medal. At least five IAF pilots who were part of the mission to strike a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp inside Pakistan, and Minty Agarwal, a lady officer who played a key role as flight controller during the Pakistani retaliation, were also among the military awardees.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday approved 132 awards to Armed Forces Personnel and members of the Paramilitary Forces.
The Vayu Sena medal award winners are Group Captain Saumitra Tamaskar, Wing Commander Pranav Raj, Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Sq Ldr Rahul Basoya, Sq Ldr Pankaj Arvind Bhujade , Sq Ldr B Karthik Narayan Reddy, Sq Ldr Shashank Singh. Besides Agarwal, the Yudh Sena medal winners are Air Commodore Sunil Kashinath Vidhate, Group Captain Yeshpal Singh Negi, Goup Captain Hemant Kumar, Group Captain Hansel Joseph Seqeira.
IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot on February 26, nearly two weeks after the Pulwama terror attack. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.
The Army got eight Shaurya Chakra awards and 98 Sena medals. The Navy got one Shaurya Chakra awards.
From the Army, Sapper Prakash Jadhav of the Rashtriya Rifles will be posthumously awarded Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award. Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal, who played a key role as flight controller during the aerial combat between India and Pakistan on February 27, has been awarded Yudh Seva medal. The IAF received a total of 13 awards including five Yudh Seva Medals and seven Vayu Sena Medal.