Group Captain Gedela Raveendranath (16985) F (P) was commissioned in 1AF as a fighter pilot in Dec 82. He is a qualified flying instructor, an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and Naval Higher Command Course. During 23 years of service, he has flown over 3800 hrs on various fighter and trainer ac. He was awarded commendation by Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command for devotion to duty and exemplary service in the years 2001 and 1999 respectively. He commanded a MiG-23 Squadron and has been serving as the Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Station Jodhpur since 06 Sep 04.
Jodhpur is one of the busiest airfields of the Indian Air Force with five flying and three Ground Based Air Defence units permanently based and one to two additional units on detachment. The average flying undertaken in a year by units from the airfield is in excess of 6500 hrs and the air traffic support services remain operational for 18 hours a day to cater to military and civil flights. The officer, owing to his inspiring leadership and keen foresight, was able to ensure safe and smooth conduct of all flying related activities during this period. He was also the Chief co-coordinator for a series of Command and sector level exercises including Army-AF cooperation exercises. He meticulously planned and coordinated these exercises which demanded long working hours and intense work load during the conduct. All detachments at base and flying activity by the units based at Air Force Station Jodhpur were accorded similar professional involvement to ensure that all objectives were achieved. His contribution to the cause of flight safety was immense in ensuring practically nil environment and support related incidents and accidents during his period.
Being the largest Air Force Station of the IAF with a large number of lodger units, foresight and vision were essential in the planning of various work services for modernisation and upgradation of operational assets. The officer efficiently tackled the mammoth task of identifying the key areas and ensuring successful completion of the upgrade. Through his experience, knowledge, leadership and hard work, he provided a very motivating, inter-disciplinary influence on operational, maintenance and administrative environment of the Station and was instrumental in the station winning the best in Operations in South Western Air Command in the year 2004.
For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Gedela Raveendranath.