IAF conducts major readiness exercise in Jammu, Amritsar

Fighter jets in full state of alertness

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 15: The Indian Air Force carried out a major readiness exercise last night over Jammu and Amritsar in which a large number of fighter aircrafts participated. The exercise was aimed at assessing preparedness and reaction time of the IAF to counter any kind of eventuality from Pakistan side especially in the wake of Tuesday night’s action by two Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets, about 10 kilometers from the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) after Poonch sector.
During the exercise, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets, including frontline aircrafts, flew at supersonic speeds in the border districts including Amritsar in Punjab and Jammu, official sources told the Excelsior saying the IAF wants to be always in the state of readiness and preparedness as to meet with any kind of threat from Pakistan in the wake of dogfight between IAF and PAF jets on February 27 on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district in which the IAF had shot down F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan and lost a MiG-21 bison.
“The reason for carrying out the combat drill was to be prepared for thwarting any misadventure by the PAF to intrude into the Indian air space, sources said, adding that the IAF has been on a high alert ever since it carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakote town of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province on February 26, killing large number of Jaish terrorists as a revenge of Pulwama terror attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were martyred.
A couple of days ago, two PAF fighter jets flew at supersonic speeds over Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir around 10 kilometers from the Line of Control opposite Poonch sector. After the PAF started flying its planes close to Indian borders and were detected and monitored closely by the air defence network, the Indian fighter plane fleet was also ready to respond to them.
The IAF had an edge over the adversary in the aerial combat as its vintage MiG-21 fighter flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a modern F-16D fighter plane of the PAF in a beyond visual-range fight.
The IAF also managed to thwart the PAF attack on Indian Army positions on February 27 after India targeted non-military positions a day earlier.
During the February 26 air strikes also, the PAF F-16s had to return gauging the enormity of the IAF attack with 12 Mirages.
Not only the PAF, according to sources, the Indian Army was also in the state of preparedness on the LoC with Army chief holding two reviews of security situation on the western borders during past 10 days. Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has also been regularly visiting LoC and hinterland to assess the situation and keep army in the state of readiness to meet with any kind of situation.
There has been no let up on the LoC tension with Pakistan army in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch where the enemy troops were regularly indulging in shelling and firing targeting forward posts and civilian areas in which four civilians have so far been killed in Poonch district while over a dozen others were injured.
In retaliatory firing by the Indian side, Pakistani troops have suffered heavy losses.