Wing Commander Balakrishnan Balachandran (18561) F (P) was commissioned on 06 Dec 86 in the Flying branch of the Indian Air Force. In 19 years of distinguished service, he has held several important appointments which include Flight Commander fighter Squadron, Chief Operations Officer (COO) AF Stn Suratgarh and Commanding Officer (CO) fighter Squadron. A Staff College Graduate, Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, he is a highly experienced fighter pilot with more than 3000 hours of accident/incident free flying which includes 1100 hours of instructional experience. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force, in 2001.
As CO of a Fighter Squadron the officer ensured high quality not only in the conduct of MiG Operational Flying Training (MOFT) in the Squadron, but also in Annual Squadron Training flying, averaging 215 hours of flying per month. During the visit by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in February 2005, apart from displaying exceptional performance in the mission led by him, the Squadron was assessed 'Average Plus' overall. The Commanding Officer single handedly progressed all the staff pilots of the Squadron in night strike syllabus which is nearing completion. He has also improved the Squadron Instrument Rating status of all eight eligible staff pilots. He ensured timely completion of MOFT of 170, 171, 172 and 173 Pilots Courses.
The officer has built an effective team with all the Squadron personnel, and with his personal involvement, maintained a high morale and motivation amongst them. He has also vastly improved the ambience of his unit's surroundings and the quality of working conditions.
For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Balakrishnan Balachandran.