French military conferred medals on Pakistan Army Aviation pilots


PARIS: The French military on Wednesday conferred medals on the Pakistan Army Aviation pilots who rescued a French mountaineer from the Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth highest peak, in a daring late-night rescue mission in 2018.

Rear Admiral Didier Malterre, commander of French Joint force in the Indian Ocean, conferred the France National Defence Bronze Medal to the brave pilots at a special awards ceremony held at the Army Museum, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said.

The ceremony, which was part of the platinum jubilee reunion of 1st PMA Long Course held in Rawalpindi, was attended by Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, senior military officers and officers from Pakistan Army Aviation.

In January 2018, French mountaineer Elisabeth Revol was rescued from the Nanga Parbat, known as the ‘killer mountain’, in extreme weather.

According to the ISPR, Army Aviation pilots had rescued her on the request of the French Embassy. Her Polish climbing partner Tomasz Mackiewicz was, however, not as lucky as the rescuers, who included volunteers from a Polish expedition, had to call off the search due to harsh weather conditions with the temperature at 60 degrees below freezing point. Both climbers had gone missing at an altitude of 7,200 metres under the top dome of the mountain while trying to conquer the 8,126-metre-tall Nanga Parbat.

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