Wing Commander Balakrishnan Suresh (16206) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 13 Dec 80 in the flying branch of IAF. An accomplished professional, he has over 2200 hours of fighter flying to his credit. He is a Fighter Strike Leader (FSL) with the distinction of two instructional tenures at the Tactical and Air Combat Development Establishment.
Wg Cdr Suresh was appointed the Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron on 24 Aug 98. On taking over command, he faced the twin challenges of low aircraft availability and low operational status of pilots mainly in the op and strike roles. A thorough analysis of the situation revealed that while improvement of role-qualifications was an operational necessity, resources would be hard to come by. Through a concerted and well-focused training effort, he affected a quantum jump in the status of his squadron. The squadron armament results showed a noticeable improvement under his watchful guidance.
Enhanced operational readiness saw his squadron ready and willing to go whenever called upon. He responded promptly during the mobilisation for Op Safed Sagar and the build-up during the Sri Lankan contingency. His squadron accredited itself in exemplary fashion during the annual joint Navy Air exercise off the Eastern seaboard.
The Commanding Officer had to call upon the very best of his managerial skills in juggling scarce aircraft resources. Through close interaction with his maintenance staff, he ensured maximum support for his operations. Meaningful interaction with Wing and Command staff fetched real time solutions for his operational and maintenance problems. At the same time, his humane approach towards his men and their problems resulted in a large number of meaningful welfare measures being instituted for the overall improvement of his unit.
For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Balakrishnan Suresh.