New Delhi: Weeks after the India-China stand-off began in Ladakh last year, soldiers on the two sides faced off in the Galwan Valley as a disengagement attempt was derailed by the refusal of the Chinese to keep up their end of the deal. Twenty Indian soldiers, including Commanding Officer Col. B. Santosh Babu, were killed in action.
This was the first time since 1975 that Indian soldiers had died in a clash on the India-China border, and the episode marked a shift in the nature of the stand-off. That is when the Indian Air Force (IAF), which has a considerable advantage along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), was brought in for active combat deployment in the area.
In the weeks before, the IAF had been helping deploy Army personnel and…