Wing Commander Rajesh Kumar (16770) F (P) is the Commanding Officer on a Mirage-2000 Sqn since 26 Mar 2001. he was commissioned on 04 Jun 1982 and has over 3500 hrs of accident free flying including 1000 hrs on the Mirage2000. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor who has been on staff of Flying Instructors School as well as Aircrew Examining Board.
During 'Ops Parakaram' on 02 Aug 2002, the Sqn under Wg Cdr Rajesh Kumar was tasked with destroying enemy position on the Line of Control. Intelligence had reported infiltration of enemy troops across the LOC taking up positions overlooking own ground forces. There was very limited time available for planning and real time intelligence was lacking. The target was located at high altitude very close to our own troops and was defended by enemy Surface to Air Missiles. A very precise attack was needed to prevent fratricide. When the mission was flown the target area was partially obscured due to clouds and smoke from enemy fire.
Despite the constraints of time, intelligence, difficult terrain and target being partially obscured Wg Cdr Rajesh Kumar successfully led and executed the attack on the LOC. He acquired the target and effectively carried out a LGB attack, while under enemy fire, destroying the enemy bunkers on the LOC. Accurate weapon delivery by him also greatly assisted the other members in formation to acquire the target. Success of the mission facilitated recapture of territory by own ground forces without any friendly casualties. His attack also demonstrated to the enemy the capability of the IAF and will act as a deterrent against any such intrusion in the future.
For exceptional courage under fire and leadership shown, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Rajesh Kumar.