A National Security Guard (NSG) dog named Rocket, which burnt his paws while searching for militants during the Pathankot airbase attack, was also honoured on the eve of Independence Day.
He was awarded the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) commendation for courage and obedience to command.
The two-and-a-half-year-old, specially trained Belgian Malinois is a soldier of the elite commando forces’ K9 (canine) unit.
On January 1, the NSG commandos were flown in from the Palam military airbase to flush out terrorists from the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
Rocket, who is on deputation to the country’s federal counter-terror force from the Indian Army, was also deployed along with the commandos. On directions of his handler, the canine entered the burning airmen billet and brought back a pouch that indicated the presence of militants inside. Despite burning his paws, he kept following the directions of the handler.
The NSG headquarters had recommended an award for the dog for his display of “raw courage and dedication to duty” in the face of extreme threat and danger.
According to the government, the NSG commandos and other forces managed to kill six terrorists who had entered the airbase on intervening night of December 31 and January 1.