New Delhi, May 16: Victory in wars is achieved by blood, guts and a lot of sacrifice. Armies and their individual fighting units like to mark these hard won achievements to remember them and inspire future generations of soldiers.
Ever since the crushing victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war, the Indian Air Force (IAF) did not get too many instances to showcase their fighting skills.
The airstrike on a terrorist training training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan, following the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent air skirmish with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) gave the IAF one such rare opportunity.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a Pakistani F-16 with his antiquated MiG-21 Bison to thwart a PAF attempt to bomb Indian military positions in Jammu and Kashmir, and his squadron wants to mark this occassion with new patches on their uniform.
The new patches have the legends ‘Falcon Slayers’ and ‘AMRAAM Dodgers’ embossed on them to celebrate Abhinandan's feat of shooting down the F-16. The AIM-120C advanced medium-range air-to-air missile or AMRAAM is a variety of missile used by F-16 aircraft.
The shoulder and chest patches or badges, which are worn on the flying overalls by pilots, are yet to be approved by the IAF top brass.
The patch being used by the No. 51 Squadron shows a MiG-21 in the foreground, with an F-16 in the cross-hairs in the background.
The Sukhoi-30MKI squadron, which back up their Mig-21 counterparts also has the sobriquet ‘AMRAAM Dodgers’ in its new patches.
Photo: Google Image