Pathankot air base remained operational during attack: IAF
New Delhi: The Pathankot air base remained operational throughout the terror attack that started on Saturday morning, the Indian Air Force said on Wednesday.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening that gave sequential details of the events during the attack, the IAF said the station was put on high alert on receipt of intelligence inputs, and air warriors were issued arms and ammunition to protect vital assets.
The terrorists were first seen through a remotely piloted aircraft.
"Air Force Garud Special Forces were reinforced from other Air Force Stations and were deployed at strategic locations around the airfield. Aerial surveillance was mounted using night vision and thermal imaging devices on board Remotely Piloted Aircraft, C-130J Special Operations aircraft and helicopters," the statement said.
"First contact with the terrorists was made through a remotely piloted aircraft. On detection, the terrorists were immediately engaged by the Garuds."
"The air base remained operational throughout and flights operated to and from the airfield during the period of engagement with the terrorists," the IAF said.
The statement also said "swift response" by the the station resulted in "pinning down of the terrorists in a limited area, preventing their movement towards the sensitive technical zone where bulk petroleum and weapon storage areas were located and also where aircraft were parked".
"A well coordinated effort by all security agencies including the army, NSG, local police and IAF succeeded in neutralising the terrorists."
Giving out details on the loss of life, the statement said Corporal Gursewak Singh of Garud was killed in the initial engagement.
The terrorists then opened fire on unarmed Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel in the DSC Mess, where one DSC personnel grappled with a terrorist and shot him dead.
"However, the DSC jawan was killed by the other terrorists present there."
"IAF salutes the brave air warriors who fought the terrorists without fear of personal risk," it added.