Squadron Leader Ajai Prakash Srivastava (17471-G) Flying (Pilot) has been the Cdr of an FAC Flt since 20 Apr 98. On 19 May 99 when the Unit was tasked to position four ac at Srinagar, in preparation for 'Op Safed Sagar', the responsibility of Det Cdr was entrusted to him.
The task of AB FAC for fighter strikes was assigned to the Unit to overcome the problem of pin pointing enemy target positions on ground. He worked out an innovative idea of lighting up the target with coloured smoke from Arty fire and also carrying an Air Op pilot on board to direct this fire over targets. Missions undertaken incorporating the above were found to be very successful. Sqn Ldr AP Srivastava himself undertook numerous AB FAC missions in Dras, Batalik, Mashkoh areas and was instrumental in guiding fighter strikes over Tololing and Tiger Hill in particular. These missions required extensive and thorough planning on his part in not only avoiding heavy enemy small arms and rocket fire but also staying for as little time as possible in enemy missile range. Along with this he also undertook the training of other pilots so as to enable them to undertake these missions independently in the Tactical Battle Area. He also undertook numerous sorties towards deployment of MOP on LoC. In these demanding circumstances he succeeded in keeping the morale of entire detachment at its peak and brought out the best in them.
For his high standards of professionalism, dedication to his work and exceptional courage in trying circumstances, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Ajai Prakash Srivastava.