Squadron Leader Prashant Kumar Bundela (21540) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the fighter stream on 14 Dec 91 and is posted to a Fighter Squadron in the Western Sector. He has acquitted himself exceptionally during his service, achieving a high level of professional competence. On 10 Aug 99, Sqn Ldr Bundela was the leader of a two aircraft MiG-21 Bis live AD alert mission. After several hours of resolute alert state, at 1100 hrs Sqn Ldr Bundela's mission was scrambled by the radar unit to intercept an unidentified track approaching the international border, North-West of Naliya. After scrambling expeditiously, Sqn Ldr Bundela took his formation to meet the threat and made visual contact with the unidentified aircraft which had crossed the border into Indian airspace and correctly identified the aircraft as a Pakistan Navy Atlantique Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Squadron Leader Bundela asked his Wingman to identify the intruder and judged that intruder was engaged in a hostile Reconnaissance/Elint/Probe Mission. Squadron Leader Bundela first tried to instruct the intruder through visual signals to land at the designated Indian Air Base. However, instead of following these instructions, the intruder turned menacingly towards Sqn Ldr Bundela. On establishing the intruder's hostile intentions Sqn Ldr Bundela, keeping his composure under enemy threat, fired an Air to Air Missile at the intruder. The intruder was brought down by the single missile finding its mark. The threat to our air space and hostile action of the enemy was thus neutralized.
Squadron Leader Bundela's gallantry ensured the inviolability and sanctity of Indian Air Space against hostile action by enemy aircraft.
For this conspicuous act of gallantry in the face of the enemy and for displaying professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Prashant Kumar Bundela.