New Delhi…,,The Indian Air Force was pressed into service during mid May 1999 to facilitate recapture of own territory by Indian Army on the Indian side of Line of Control in Mushko Valley, Drass, Kaksar Batalik, and Turtok area. Western Air Command responded quickly and prompt air support was provided and numerous sorties were launched to airlift and reinforce position in the intruded area. Various aircraft such as MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27, Jaguar, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Canberra, AVRO and Mi-17 were utilized as a part of the ‘Operation Safed Sagar’ launched by the Indian Air Force in support of Operation Vijay launched by the Indian Army.
It was for the first time that the Indian Air Force was called upon to undertake live missions at such high altitudes. A bigger challenge was non violation of Line of Control. Mirage-2000 aircraft flew precision strike missions and dropped Lager Guided Bombs (LGBs) utilizing the Laser Designated Pods (LDPs). These missions turned the balance of power in favour of India. Offensive posturing by the Indian Air Force deterred the Pakistani Air Force from intervening in this area. Indian Air force displayed professionalism of very high order and by 12th July almost all posts were recaptured. Air power played a pivotal role in the overall victory and eviction of Pakistani intruders.
Ten years on the nation remembers the Kargil war heroes as the tenth anniversary of Op-Vijay is being celebrated at Drass on 25th and 26th July 2009. In spirit of true jointmanship, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force participating in Op Vijay Diwas celebrations. Flypast by MiG-21s and Mi-17s as well as slithering operations by Mi-17 and para drop of nine Para Jump Instructors, three each from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force will be on display as the nation salutes the spirit, courage of those brave men who participated in ‘Operation Vijay’ ready to surmount any challenges in the line of duty.