Tangail and Meghna formations: How Republic Day parade will honour the 1971 war

The upcoming Republic Day parade will commemorate some glorious moments, including the Meghna operation and Tangail airdrop of the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. The historic events will be paid homage to through a flying formation by the Indian Air Force during the military flypast at the Republic Day celebration

FP Staff January 18, 2022 13:59:09 IST
Tangail and Meghna formations: How Republic Day parade will honour the 1971 war

Representative image. PTI

The upcoming Republic Day parade will commemorate some glorious moments including the Meghna operation and Tangail airdrop during the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. The historic events will be paid homage to through a flying formation by the Indian Air Force during the military flypast at the Republic Day celebration.

As per a report by PTI, in what will be the "largest and grandest display" as many as 75 different IAF aircraft, Army and Navy will take part in the Republic Day flypast.

The different flying formations will include Rafales, Sukhoi-30s, Jaguars, C-130J special operations aircrafts, Mi-35 gunships, MiG-29K maritime fighters and P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft.

Why the special display for 1971 war at the Republic Day parade

In December 2021, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated ‘Swarnim Vijay Parv’ to commemorate the valour and professionalism of the Armed Forces in the India-Pakistan war of 1971, that resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh.

The event, ‘Swarnim Vijay Parv’, marked the culmination of year-long celebrations of 50 years of India's victory in the war.

The special flypast formation can be seen as an homage to the fallen heroes of the Armed Forces in the 1971 war and honour the victory that liberated Bangladesh.

The flying formation will commemorate two of the most decisive operations of the 1971 war, Tangail Drop and Meghna Operation.

“The flypast will include Tangail formation which will have one Dakota and two Dornier flying in Vic formation. This is tribute to the Tangail airdrop operations of the 1971 War. There will also be Meghna formation of 1 Chinook and four Mi-17s,” IAF PRO Wing Commander Indranil Nandi said at a press briefing on Monday.

What is Tangail Drop and Meghna Operation

The Tangail airdrop was the biggest airborne operation by Indian paratroopers against the Pakistan army.

On 11 December 1971, the 2nd Battalion (Special Operations) of the Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment aimed to capture Poongli Bridge on the Jamuna River which would cut off the Pakistani 93rd Brigade that was retreating from Mymensingh in the north to defend Dhaka. Around 750 para commandos of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment were involved in the successful mission.

Meghna Operation, or Meghna Heli Bridge, Operation Cactus-Lilly was a critical aerial operation of the Indian Air Force during the 1971 war.

On 9 December 1971, the Indian Air Force airlifted the IV Corps of the Indian Army and Bangladeshi Mukti Bahini fighters from Brahmanbaria to Raipura over the Meghna river, bypassing the destroyed Meghna bridge and Pakistani forces.

The operation, which had utilised Mi-4 helicopters, will be commemorated by a CH-47F Chinook helicopter and four Mi-171V choppers on 26 January..

With inputs from agencies

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