Air Force Day 2021: IAF to honour these units with Chief of Air Staff Unit citation
The 47 Squadron, 116 Helicopter Unit and 2255 Squadron will receive the prestigious citation, the IAF announced.
Three units of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive the prestigious Chief of Air Staff Unit citation on the 89th foundation day of the force, the IAF announced, as it geared up for the IAF Day celebrations, held annually on October 8. The citation will be for their participation in the air duel with Pakistan in February 2019 and operations in Ladakh in response to China's aggression in that sector, the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces said.
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The 47 Squadron will receive the citation for its participation in operations along the Pakistan border post February 26, 2019, the Balakot air strikes, and for those at high altitude in the Ladakh sector opposite China, since April-May last year, news agency ANI reported citing the IAF.
The 47 Squadron is housed at the Adampur Air Force Station in Jalandhar in Punjab.
“The 116 Helicopter Unit equipped with ALH Rudra-armed choppers has been awarded the citation for operations at the Pakistan border against slow-moving aircraft in the wake of Balakot, as well as for deployment at forward airbase along northern borders post the Galwan Valley clash,” the force further said, lauding the unit based at the Jodhpur Air Force Station in Rajasthan.
The Srinagar-based 2255 Squadron, meanwhile, will be awarded for air defence activation in Ladakh following the incident in Galwan, the IAF said. “This Kashmir-based unit, equipped with the surface-to-air OSA-AK-M missile system, looks after air defence in the Kashmir and Ladakh sectors,” it noted.
It is to be noted that the IAF conducted the Balakot air strikes inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019, in response to a suicide attack on troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulwama on the 14th of that month. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) responded on February 27, engaging in a duel with its Indian counterpart.
India and China, meanwhile, have been engaged in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May last year. The Galwan Valley clashes took place on June 15, resulting in casualties on both the sides.