Air Commodore Pankaj Mehrotra (13316) AE (M) was commissioned on 01 Jan 73 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. During 33 years of distinguished service, he has held several key assignments, including Senior Technical Officer of three Fighter/Bomber Squadrons, Chief of Aircraft at Base Repair Depot (BRD), Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of an AF Station, Command Engineering Officer Headquarters South Western Air Command (HQ SWAC) IAF, Director Engg D (T) at Air HQ, Chief Training Officer at AF Station, Jalahalli and Command Engineering Officer HQ SAC. Presently, he is posted as Command Engineering Officer at HQ SWAC, IAF. Trained abroad on Mirage 2000 aircraft (ac), he commanded Technical Type Conversion Unit (Mirage 2000), which was raised by him in Oct 88. As Chief of Aircraft at one of the prestigious BRD, from Aug 95 to Dec 96, the officer successfully planned and executed the task of indigenous overhaul of the first AN-32 ac in IAF and also formulated life extension checks for AN-32 ac. He brought in significant improvement in maintenance standards at the BRD by providing distinctive thrust on selfreliance and effective management. As CEO of an important AF Station during Dec 96-Oct 98, he was instrumental in optimizing the serviceability of transport ac fleets consistently at highest levels. During May 01- Jun 04, as Director Engg D (T) at Air HQ, the Air Officer seamlessly accomplished the task of managing the complete Russian Transport ac fleet of IL-76, AN-32 and the newly acquired Air-toAir Refueller IL-78 ac with professional ability and acumen while negotiating contracts with foreign vendors. During this period, IL-76 and IL-78 ac took part in foreign expeditions in Alaska, enhancing the country's image abroad and contributing towards operational efficiency. During Jun 04 - Dec 04, as Chief of Training at training institute, he was instrumental in successful implementation of JITT (Just In Time Training) concept at airmen training institutes at Bangalore.
As Command Engineering Officer at HQ SWAC, he exhibited creativity and ingenuity of extremely high order in sustaining the serviceability and mission availability of all types of state of art fighter ac and UAVs as well as transport ac/helicopters/micro lights operated by units under SWAC. His personal involvement coupled with his vast exposure has immensely assisted SWAC operational units in enhancing maintenance discipline. His experience has facilitated in timely setting up of Second Line Servicing facilities for Su-30 MKI, MiG-27 (UPG) and MiG-21 (BISON) ac in SWAC.
For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Commodore Pankaj Mehrotra.