Wing Commander Abhinandan, Pilots Who Carried Out Balakot Airstrike Fly Fighter Jets During IAF Day EventIndian Air Forcepersonnel march past a C-17 Globemaster during the Air Force Day parade on theoutskirts of New Delhi (MONEY SHARMA/AFP/GettyImages)

The celebration of the completion of 87 years since the foundation of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday (8 October) witnessed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman flying his Mig-21 Bison aircraft along with the pilots who carried out the airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot, reports Asian News International (ANI).

Abhinandan's aircraft was joined by three MIrage-2000 and two Sukhoi 30MKI fighter jets who together formed the 'Avenger' formation, decorating the skies above Ghaziabad's Hindon Air Base of the IAF.

At the IAF Day event, Abhiandan's squadron number 51, along with the 9 squadron, were honoured with unit citations for having successfully thwarted attempts of Pakistani jets on 27 February to attack Indian military installations, and also for having shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet.

The IAF personnel who were part of the Balakot air strike and the air engagement a day after in February were earlier awarded gallantry medals on the eve of Independence Day.

The Air Force Day celebration was attended by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and IAF's Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

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