An alert and calm woman fighter controller of the Indian Air Force (IAF) played a key role in thwarting the major Pakistan air attack on the Nowshera sector in Jammu and Kashmir on 27 February. The officer is likely to be recommended for “distinguished service medal“ by IAF.
The woman squadron leader, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity, displayed the exceptional presence of mind and composure under pressure when two dozen Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets attempted to intrude into Indian airspace and target military installations, including an Indian Army brigade, headquarter.
The Indian fighter controller woman officer was aware of the danger, quickly alerted four fighters—two Su-30s and two Mirage-2000s—deployed on combat air patrol (CAP) in the area south of Pir Panjal and simultaneously ordered two MiG-21 Bison, based in Srinagar to scramble.
One of the MiGs was piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The IAF controller sitting in a secure control room shouted repeatedly to come back but Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman could not hear anything inside his MiG-21 Bison.
In this ensuing dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan shot down an F-16 with an R-73 missile by chasing it across the LoC, before he himself was downed.