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Aero India 2023

Two AOC-in-C take part in Mirage-2000 formation, Dhanoa calls it rare gesture

GWALIOR (PTI): In a rare gesture, two senior IAF officers of the rank of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Monday flew aircraft as part of a 'vic' formation of five Mirage-2000 at the air base here to commemorate 20 years of the Kargil War.

An impressive fly-past was organised at the Gwalior Air Force Station in which, besides Mirage-2000, MiG-21, Jaguar, and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) also were used.

"As an (IAF) chief, I am very, very proud of the fact that both of my AOC-in-Cs were flying in the formation today. I think I need to go back and check if it is the first time that six stars were part of the formation," Air Marshal B S Dhanoa said.

An AOC-in-C is a three-star officer by rank, a senior IAF official said.

Dhanoa was interacting with reporters at the air base, flanked by the two AOC-in-C -- Air Marshal R Nambiar AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command and Air Marshal R Kumar AOC-in-C, Central Air Command.

Dhanoa and the two AOC-in-Cs, all three are Kargil War veterans.

The IAF also tweeted about this rare occasion.

"#RememberingKargil: To commemorate #20YearsOfKargilWar, 5 aircraft Mirage-2000 formation was flown at AFS Gwalior. The Formation was led by Gp Capt H Kumar and & were part of the flypast," the IAF said.

The IAF chief earlier participated in a dramatic reenactment of the Tiger Hill attack and its recapture that was held at the air base to mark the 20th anniversary of the attack on the hill by the Indian armed forces.

He attended the commemorative event as the chief guest and wore an olive flying overall.

Dhanoa on May 27 had flown the 'missing man' formation in a MiG-21 aircraft to pay tribute to Squadran Leader Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes of the Kargil War.

He was accompanied by Air Marshal R Nambiar in the fly-past organised at the Air Force Station in Bhisiana.

The 'missing man' formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is an arrow formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the missing man.

The Chief of the Air staff, had led a four aircraft, MiG-21 'missing man' formation fly-past to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during 'Operation Safed Sagar' at Kargil, the operation undertaken by the IAF, as part of the 'Operation Vijay' of the Army.

Several gallantry award winners, both serving and retired, who participated in 'Operation Safed Sagar' also attended the event at the Gwalior Air Force Station.


IAF  Mirage-2000  Flying  

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