Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal, the first woman defence officer to be awarded the Yudh Seva Medal expressed delight over her achievement and said that Indian Air Force (IAF) is a technology sensitive organisation and does not discriminate on gender basis. Agrawal, who guided IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during February 27 dogfight, has been awarded Yudh Sewa Medal which is given to recognise distinguished service of a high order during war, conflict or hostilities.
"It was moment was a pride for me. I was an honour (to receive the medal). I owe it to the IAF for making me capable to perform my duties the way I did. I wish (to tell) my brother and sister that this (IAF service) is not a gender-specific. IAF is technology sensitive and technology does not know about gender. It only knows about skill," she told ANI here. The officer participated in Balakot airstrikes on February 26 and the dogfight which ensued between Indian and Pakistani air forces the next day.
Recounting the chain of events of the two operations, she said: "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 also said that Pakistani aircraft had entered the Indian skies with an intention to inflict harm as against the neighboring country's claims that the action was to show its capability and will to respond.
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