IAF Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal, has been recognised for her valiant service during wartime, and has been awarded the Yudh Seva Medal, an honour that a service personnel receives in recognition of their contribution during war, conflict or hostilities. The honour was awarded to Agarwal as she guided IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during the February 27 aerial combat between India and Pakistan and for playing an instrumental role in guiding others as well.

Key Takeaways:

  • IAF Squadron leader Minty Agarwal awarded Yudh Seva Medal
  • Agarwal guided IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during the February 27 fight
  • Agarwal is a fighter controller, was part of a team of seven fighter controllers on duty that morning

Agarwal and the other 131 awardees were bestowed with the gallantry awards to Armed Forces and members of paramilitary forces as approved by President Ram Nath Kovind, ANI reported.

“I participated in both the missions on February 26 as well as on February 27. Wing Commander Abhinandan was in a two way communication with me when he was on air,” Minty Agarwal said.

Posted on this highly critical job, this woman fighter controller was part of a team of seven fighter controllers on duty on February 27.

READ: Wing Commander Abhinandan’s Mother, Dr Shobha, Is A True Soldier

Reportedly, Agarwal controlled the Indian Air Force’s interception package launched to stop Pakistan’s fighter jets. If reports are to be believed, it was Agarwal who told Wing Commander Abinandan Varthaman to turn back on the day since the communication system was jammed by the Pakistan Air force but he could not hear her instruction.

Minty Agarwal said, “From the time Wing Commander Abhinandan was airborne, I was the one who was providing him the air situation picture. The situation awareness was passed by me to him about the posture of enemy aircraft.”

READ: Five headlines that tell us women achieve every single day

So what exactly happened that day?

When five of India’s IAF Mirage-2000 aircrafts bombed a JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot on February 26, Agarwal’s quick reflexes and clear decision-making during the time of emergency conflict became troublesome for the Pakistan Air Force attack as she controlled the interception package launched to stop Pakistan’s fighter jets. She successfully prevented an Indian Air Force loss. She told reporters that that she witnessed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft during a fight on February 27, a day after the Balakot airstrike.

In an interview with the news agency ANI, Minty said, “On 26th February, we successfully carried out the Balakot mission over non-military camps. We were expecting retaliation, therefore we were extra ready. They retaliated within just 24 hours.”

“We carried out the strike over non-military camps (in Balakot) very successfully. We were expecting retaliation from the enemy. All of us were extra ready. They retaliated within 24 hours. Initially, there were only a few (Pakistani) aircraft but slowly the density of aircraft increased,” she recollected.

Talking further about Pakistani aircraft she said, “They had come with an intention to carry out any operation but due to the competency of our pilots, controllers and our team, their whole mission was thwarted.”

Feature Image Credit: ANI

We salute you, Squadron leader Minty Agarwal!

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