'Pakistan moved 75 per cent of air force to LoC after 26/11' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Pakistan moved 75 per cent of air force to LoC after 26/11'

"Pakistan had mobilised 75% of its air force against us after 26/11. Maybe because they were afraid of us," Western Air Command (WAC) chief Air Marshal PK Barbora said today. The outgoing commander of the WAC also said that after the Mumbai attacks, India also beefed up its operations in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

delhi Updated: May 31, 2009 12:38 IST

After the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, Pakistan moved 75 per cent of its air force to the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan, a top commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.

"Pakistan had mobilised 75 per cent of its air force against us after 26/11. Maybe because they were afraid of us," Western Air Command (WAC) chief Air Marshal PK Barbora told reporters at the WAC headquarters in New Delhi.

The outgoing commander of the WAC also said that after the Mumbai attacks, India also beefed up its operations in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

"As our response we had started night operations of transport aircraft from Udhampur (air base in Jammu and Kashmir) and the main thrust was on night operations," Barbora added.

Barbora on Sunday handed over charge as the chief of the Western Air Command, the largest operational command of the IAF. He will be taking over as IAF's vice chief on Monday.

"During my stint as the WAC commander we focused on improving the infrastructure in the command. We opened the DBO (Daulat Beg Oldie) air field and Fukche advance landing ground (in Jammu and Kashmir near the Indo-China border).

"Our friends may be scared due to our rising prowess... our growing power in the sector," he added.

During his tenure, the IAF for the first time operated its frontline combat jets Sukhoi Su-30MKI from Leh. The move was seen as IAF's strategy to counterbalance Chinese infrastructure advancement in the region.

In a bid to increase the synergy with the Indian Army, joint exercises with the army's north, western and south western command were also conducted, along with sustained efforts to provide air support to the army units in the Siachen Glacier region.

Another achievement during his tenure is the zero flying accident rate in the WAC for the year 2008-2009. The command contributes 35 per cent of the flying operations in the IAF.