Sainik School Bijapur student among pilots who brought Rafale home

Wing Commander Arun Kumar Special Arrangement  

Four of the five pilots who flew the Rafale fighter planes from France to India are former students of Sainik Schools. One of them, Wing Commander Arun Kumar, is from Sainik School Bijapur.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command Air Marshal B. Suresh welcomed the first five IAF Rafales at the Air Force Station Ambala on Wednesday. There were seven pilots on the tarmac. Five of them had piloted the fighter jets over 7,000 kilometres from France. The other two steered the Sukhoi Su-30MKIs that escorted them.

Among the five Rafale pilots was Wing Commander Arun Kumar, who hails from Bihar, but studied in Vijayapura, then known as Bijapur. He had joined the National Defence Academy after passing out of the defence grooming school in Vijayapura in 2001.

Images of the pilots were shared widely on the social media. Messages such as Sainik School brings the Golden Arrows home were shared on groups of Ajits, as the Sainik School alumni are called.

“All of us Ajits are very proud today,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kalaburagi, Gangadhar Mathpati, who is a former student of the Sainik School Bijapur.

“The motto of Sainik Schools is Ajit hi Abheet hai (Ajits are fearless). Our old students have demonstrated that today,” Mr. Mathpati said.

P.S. Ramamurthy, who is still teaching at the school, recalled that Arun Kumar was a “silent student with consistently high grades”.

“His father was a junior warrant officer in the military. Arun Kumar used to tell us that he wanted to attain a position in the defence forces that was higher than his father’s,” Mr. Ramamurthy said.

“His name figures on the list of students who have joined the NDA after passing out from here,” said principal of Sainik School Bijapur Captain Vinay Tewari.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 4:00:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sainik-school-bijapur-student-amongpilots-who-brought-rafale-home/article32224028.ece

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