Group Captain A Saikia was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 22 Dec 73. He has held the appointments of ADC to the President of India and Staff Officer to the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern and South Western Air Commands. He was selected to undergo Systems and Safety Management Course in USA. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and has been an instructor at Flying Instructors' School. He has 3200 hrs of incident/accident free flying to his credit.
He was appointed Commanding Officer of a MiG-23 BN Sqn in Jul 93. Under his command, the Squadron has carried out record number of hours of accident/incident free flying. Inspite of non-availability of critical spares, good serviceability was maintained. During this period the Sqn was tasked to participate in various Fire Power Demonstrations and trials at Pokhran and Ahmednagar Ranges. These were carried out with surgical precision and were well appreciated by all. During the Command Armament Meet 94 the Sqn was adjudged overall runners up. During Directorate of Air Staff Inspection he was graded exceptional in three missions and Above the Average in the fourth one. Owing to his initiative, the Sqn carried out six innovations/modifications at the unit level with local resources utilising crashed aircraft equipment resulting in the reduction of man-hour requirement.
For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Atul Saikia.