27th February Operation Swift Retort Memorial at PAF Base Sargodha. Soon after staging the Pulwama attack on 14th February 2019, India accused Pakistan of alleged involvement in the incident. Deceived by the its flawed perception of being the regional might, the IAF vowed to execute punitive strikes at a time and place of its own choosing.
India exhibited its hegemonic and atrocious mind set on 25 February 2019 when a flight of Mirage-2000, loaded with GPS-guided air-to-ground weapons, in strike role and SU-30 MKI loaded with air-to-air weapons, in escort role trespassed on Pakistani airspace. Little did they know that PAF’s Fighting Falcon and Thunders were keeping guard in the skies against any misadventures by the enemy. Upon realizing PAF’s presence, IAF fighters dispensed their air-to-ground loads in haste and took to their heels. Luckily, they were spared to live for another occasion but few of them had to meet their end the very next day.
On 27 February 2019, as promised to the nation, PAF decided to give its desired and well-calibrated response. The package was launched in broad daylight, F-16s with JF-17s in air-to-air role with Thunders and Mirages in strike role, all under support of DA-20 and Saab-2000 AEW&C, With pinpoint precision, PAF struck the Indian Army Garrisons in response to IAF’s abortive strike. In the ensuing air battle, PAF’s gallants also shot down IAF’s SU-30 MKI and Mig-21 Bison aircraft. In the action, Wg. Cdr. Abhinandan Varthaman, flying the ill-fated Mig-21 Bison, was taken as POW. The overwhelming qualitative application of Air Power by PAF left the Indians in total disarray. Surrounded by a dense fog of confusion, IAF shot down one of its own MI-171 Helicopter mistaking it for a PAF UAV and killed all six IAF personnel on board, making it a classic case of fratricide by a confused and panicked Air Force.
This encounter once again established PAF’s air supremacy in the region, an edge PAF has gained through qualitative training, careful planning and flawless execution. This mission sufficiently demonstrated PAF’s will and capability, together with its readiness at all times to maintain peace with honour.