Operation Safed Sagar Current Affairs - 2019

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20 Years of Kargil War: IAF Commemorates at Gwalior Air Base

The Indian Air Force (IAF) commemorated 20 years of Kargil War (held between May-July 1999) by turning Gwalior air base virtually into a ‘war theatre’ with a dramatic reenactment of some milestones of 1999 operation such as Tiger Hill Attack.

Key Highlights

Chief Guest: for event was Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

Symbolic Recreation of Tiger Hill Attack: IAF planned several activities at Gwalior air base to commemorate 20 years of Kargil war and symbolic recreation of Tiger Hill attack was one of them. For recreating Tiger Hill attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) Drass-Kargil area, IAF used Mirage 2000 aircraft and explosives were blown up on a Model Hill to recreate crucial events of kargil war.

Other Aircrafts on static display at the base were- 5 Mirage 2000, 2 MiG 21s and 1 Sukoi 30 MKI.

Mirage-2000 aircraft played a crucial role in battles fought during 1999 war and also hit enemy targets bunkered in at Tiger Hill. One of the Mirage 2000s also showcased Spice bomb carrier, the bomb was used in Balakot airstrike in 2019 February.

Other Scheduled Events: To mark the 20th anniversary of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’, a number of celebratory events has been planned by Indian army in Delhi and Dras in J&K for next month. The anniversary celebrations for 2019 be conducted on a nationwide platform from 25-27 July.

About Kargil War

It was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, which ended with decisive Indian victory. It took place between May-July 1999 in Kargil district (of Kashmir) and elsewhere along Line of Control (LOC).

Cause: of war was infiltration by Pakistani soldiers into positions on Indian side of LOC who disguised as Kashmiri militants.

In India, war is also referred as Operation Vijay, the name of Indian operation to clear Kargil sector. During Kargil war, IAF had conducted Operation Safed Sagar as a part of Operation Vijay of the Indian Army.

IAF pay homage to Kargil War Martyrs during Operation Safed Sagar

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) B.S. Dhanoa visits Air Force Station in Bhisiana and Sarsawa to pay homage to the air warriors who made supreme sacrifice during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil.

Key Highlights

  • Background: On 28 May 1999 the Indian Air Force lost a Mi-17 helicopter after successfully attacking the enemy in Drass sector (J&K). On this day 1999 Squadron Leader Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja who was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron laid down his life along with Squadron Leader R Pundhir, Flight Lieutenant S Muhilan, Sergeant R K Sahu and Sergeant PVNR Prasad who also died in action in that Mi-17 helicopter during the Kargil conflict.
  • About: The Chief of the Air staff (CAS) B. S. Dhanoa paid tribute to Late Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes who lost their life 20 years back during the Kargil war.
  • CAS B.S. Dhanoa flew the ‘missing man’ formation flypast in a Mig-21 aircraft. He was accompanied by Air Marshal R Nambiar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command in the ‘missing man’ flypast organised at Air Force Station in Bhisiana in Bhatinda to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil, J&K.
  • On 28 May the CAS visited Air Force Station Sarsawa and fly in a Mi-17 V5 ‘Missing Man’ formation flypast to commemorate the Kargil martyrs.

About The ‘Missing Man’ formation

  • It is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is basically an Arrow Formation, with a gap between two aircraft in a way that the formation depicts the Missing Man.

About Operation Safed Sagar (or “Operation White Sea”)

  • It was the code name assigned to Indian Air Force’s (IAF) role in acting jointly with Ground troops of Indian Army during the Kargil war in 1999.
  • It was aimed at flushing out Regular and Irregular troops of Pakistani Army from vacated Indian Positions in Kargil sector along Line of Control (LOC).
  • Since 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, it was the first large scale use of Airpower in Jammu and Kashmir region.