Group Captain Richard John Duckworth (17136) F (P) was commissioned in as a Pilot in Flying Branch on 28 May 83. He is presently posted at AF Stn Jodhpur wef 03 Jul 06 as Chief Operations Officer (COO). He has been a Flt Cdr and CO of a Fighter Squadron, Station Flight Safety Officer of a major fighter air base and has held staff appointments as Joint Director and Director in Air HQ and Strategic Forces Command. The Officer has completed the 'All Purpose Flying Instructors' Course' in 1989 and is an alumnus of DSSC Wellington. He has over 3000 h of flying on various aircraft including MiG-21, MiG-29, Kiran and HPT-32.
Being the COO of the largest operational base in the country with five flying Sqns is a big responsibility and Gp Capt Duckworth has shouldered it with sincerity and dedication. Interspersed with flying are a plethora of commitments that include major exercises, trials, detachments and EW capsules. He has meticulously planned and ensured successful completion of all activities where in a large number of squadrons operated from base. His alertness to Flight Safety has ensured that this base has flown considerable amount of sorties of accident free flying with nil FOD and only one bird hit.
It is due to his involvement and sustained efforts that the Bison and MiG-27 Squadrons at base have increased their overall flying by over 20%. The increase in flying and improvement in Op environment has been a major factor that resulted in the station winning all three team event Gunnery trophies during the EX Eklavya 07. He tirelessly interacted with the AAI to complete extensive works on the manoeuvring areas to facilitate first time Airbus operations at Jodhpur. All this work was supervised and did not interfere at all with normal fighter operations. During the floods in Rajasthan and Gujarat in Aug-Sep 2006 large scale flood relief operations were well coordinated which saved life, money and won accolades from both Rajasthan and Gujarat Government. He also involved himself totally to ensure successful Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at Ahmedabad in Nov 06 as well as the successful completion of Surya Kiran, Akash Ganga, Sarang team and Big Boy Republic Day air shows in Jan 07. All these performances were well coordinated and won applause from the public greatly enhancing the image of the Air Force. For his distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Richard John Duckworth.