ACM B.S. Dhanoa led a MiG-21 ’Missing Man’ formation flypast at AFS Bhisiana to pay homage to IAF’s Kargil martyrs.
Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff, led a four aircraft, MiG-21 ‘Missing Man’ formation flypast at Air Force Station Bhisiana on May 27, to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil.
Air Marshal R Nambiar PVSM AVSM VM & Bar ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command a Kargil veteran, was also a part of the formation. The ‘Missing Man’ formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour fallen comrades-in-arms.
This is an Arrow Formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the – Missing Man. Later, in a sombre ceremony, the CAS laid a wreath at the War Memorial to honour the IAF men who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.
It was on this day in 1999 that, Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja (Vir Chakra) (Posthumous) laid down his life during the Kargil conflict. He was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron (Golden Arrows).
On 28 May the CAS is scheduled to visit Air Force Station Sarsawa and fly in a Mi-17 V5 Missing Man formation to commemorate the Kargil martyrs. It was on 28 May 1999 that IAF lost an Mi-17 helicopter after successfully attacking the enemy in Drass sector. Squadron Leader R Pundhir, Flight Lieutenant S Muhilan, Sergeant R K Sahu and Sergeant PVNR Prasad died in action in that Mi-17 helicopter.