Group Captain S Mani, VSM was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 22 Dec 73. An experienced Qualified Flying Instructor, he has over 3600 hours of accident free flying. He was awarded VSM in Jan 1993 and was appointed Commanding Officer of a MiG 21 Squadron in Sep 94.
He led his team from up front and motivated the Squadron personnel to excel in their duties. He personally led the Squadron in a Fire Power Demonstration at Pokhran, a 6 Aircraft Fly Past for President's Standard Presentation at Jodhpur and all the exercises and numerous detachments to other stations. Inspite of extreme climatic conditions at Uttarlai and the Squadron Maintenance Flight being located at Jodhpur, he not only sustained the tempo of fighter flying training but also enhanced it. The Squadron flew over 6000 sorties amounting to 3750 hours during his tenure, which was far higher than ever flown before. Eight pilots were declared fully operational and many others were trained for both day and night flying so as to enhance the operational status of the Squadron. The Unit was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and assessed as high average. Considering that the Squadron had to operate from different bases these achievements are noteworthy.
Gp Capt S Mani showed unique determination, steadfastness, physical and mental endurance and flew over 400 hours while in command of the Sqn.
For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Shankar Mani.