Ghaziabad: There has been a major shift in Government’s way of handling terrorist attacks, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said in his message on 87th Anniversary of Indian Air Force (IAF) Day that was celebrated at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad today, showcasing the country’s air-borne valour.
“The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the Government’s way of handling terrorist attacks,” he said.
Army chief General Bipin Rawat and IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria were present on the occasion.
A highlight of the event was Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down Pakistan’s F-16 jet during a dog fight on February 27 earlier this year, flying MiG-21 Bison aircraft above the Air Force Day Parade.
Three Mirage 2000 aircraft and two Su-30MKI fighter aircraft also flew in ‘Avenger formation’. The fighter planes were flown by pilots who took part in Balakot airstrikes in Pakistan.
Earlier, the chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial to mark the occasion.