Squadron Leader Chandra Kant Dhawan has been serving as a Flight Commander of a heavy transport Squadron. This is his second tenure in the unit. Ever since 1963 he has been undertaking various difficult missions in the Ladakh Sector and has flown 3220 hours out of which 1680 hours were on operational sorties. Squadron Leader Dhawan was previously a fighter pilot. In that capacity he was selected to undergo conversion on Hunter aircraft in the UK, when these aircraft were introduced into service with the IAF. He soon became fully operational on that aircraft. Shortly thereafter, he contacted a rare disease which affected the retina of his eyes. He was taken off flying duties and utilised on various ground assignments. His disease was cured and owing to his persistent efforts he was allowed to return to flying duties, but only on transport aircraft. He qualified as a Captain on Dakota aircraft, but such was the quality of his performance that he was amongst the first few pilots to be selected for training on AN-12 heavy transport aircraft, when these were acquired for the Air Force. He was the only pilot of the rank of Flying Officer to qualify as a day/night captain on this aircraft. At a time when the squadron was in need of more trained crews, he rose to the occasion and successfully completed their operational training within a short period.
During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, he worked round the clock, controlling and coordinating the flying activities of the aircraft of his unit which had been dispersed to many bases around the country. He was also responsible for the training of his crews in new tactics, which went a long way to achieve the role of his unit. In addition, he participated in the Battalion group para drop in Bangladesh.
Throughout, Squadron Leader Chandra Kant Dhawan has displayed exemplary zeal, professional skill and devotion to duty.