Wing Commander Anil Tiwari (17160) F(P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 28 May 1983 and presently commanding a Helicopter Unit in operational area with effect from 01 Aug 2001.
On 20 Jun 2001 Wg Cdr Tiwari received an SOS message from the Divisional Commissioner that two trucks with ten civilians on board were marooned in middle of Tawi river due to flash floods. Incessant rains in the upper reaches had caused the water level in the river to rise suddenly and submerge half the trucks. The water level was rising continuously and no other surface means to rescue the marooned persons had been possible. The risk of the trucks getting washed away in swift current endangering the lives of the personnel was imminent.
In true traditions of the IAF, Wg Cdr Tiwari took the lead and took charge of the rescue operation. The rescue helicopter got airborne and promptly reached the spot to carry out aerial recce. Analyzing the gravity of the situation and seeing the men huddled over top of the truck, he decided to winch up the marooned. Taking care of the heavy down wash of the helicopter did not disturb the truck or the personnel huddled on top, the helicopter was brought to a high hover the truck cabin. Continuous light drizzle, overcast skies and non-availability of visual clues over the fast flowing river made steady hover a professional challenge. Displaying steady composure and high professional skill, Wg Cdr Tiwari maintained steady hover and lowered the Flight Gunner on to the truck cabin and with precision and composure, one by one, all the ten men were winched up. Finally the Flight Gunner was winched up to accomplish a rescue mission which required continuous winching for about an hour. This operation received wide publicity and kept the flag of the IAF flying high.
For this display of courage, perseverance and professional skill, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Anil Tiwari.