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Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia

Service No 6497 Branch F(P)
Date of Birth: 05 Oct 1942
Date Commissioned 26 May 1962 Course 81 Course
Service End Retired on 31 Oct 2002
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Wg Cdr : 01 May 1980Gp Capt : 30 Nov 1984Air Cmde : 01 Feb 1989Acting AVM : 21 Mar 1994
AVM : 21 Mar 1994Air Marshal : 01 Feb 1996C-in-C : 22 Dec 1997
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Notes: 1) Ranks shown are substantive ranks at retirement. 2)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 3)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

DatesRankUnitLocationAppointmentPhoto
05 Jan 1981 - 01 May 1983Wg CdrNo.220 SquadronJodhpur Commanding Officer
25 Mar 1988 - 31 Aug 1988Air Cmde8 WingAdampur Air Officer Commanding
05 Mar 1990 - 01 Jan 1991Air Cmde1 WingSrinagar Air Officer Commanding
- 31 May 1994AVMCoSCDelhi DDG (DPS)
01 Jun 1994 - 01 Jun 1996AVMAir Head QuartersDelhi Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Operations
01 Feb 1996 - 31 May 1996Air MshlAir Head QuartersDelhi Inspector General (Flight Inspection & Safety)
01 Jul 1996 - 21 Dec 1997Air MshlWestern Air CommandDelhi Senior Air Staff Officer
22 Dec 1997 - 31 Oct 1999Air MshlCentral Air CommandAllahabad Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
01 Nov 1999 - 31 Jul 2001Air MshlSouth Western Air CommandGandhinagar Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
01 Aug 2001 - 28 Apr 2002Air MshlWestern Air CommandDelhi Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
29 Apr 2002 - 31 Oct 2002Air MshlAir Head QuartersDelhi Inspector General (Flight Inspection & Safety)
 
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Awards and Decorations


Number of Awards: 4
    
Vir Chakra
Flt LtVinod Kumar Bhatia6497 GD(P)Award Date 08 Sep 1965Announced 01 Jan 1966
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan, Flight Lieutenant Vinod Kumar Bhatia was serving in an Operational Squadron in the Lahore Sector. He flew 18 operational sorties in that Sector. On 8th September, 1965, Flight Lieutenant Bhatia flew as No. 2 in a formation of four Mystere aircraft on a ground attack strike mission. In the face of very heavy and concentrated enemy fire, Flight Lieutenant Bhatia, totally unmindful of the danger, to which he was exposed, pressed home repeated attacks on the enemy tanks and gun positions and destroyed two tanks.

The courage and determination displayed by Flight Lieutenant Vinod Kumar Bhatia were in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Unit : 8 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India , 12th February 1966 - No.15 - Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966
Bar to Vir Chakra
Sqn LdrVinod Kumar Bhatia6497 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1972
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December 1971, Squadron Leader Vinod Kumar Bhatia was a flight commander of a Fighter Bomber Squadron. He flew a large number of missions deep inside enemy territory and brought back useful information. He also led three deep-penetration counter air strikes against enemy airfields, which were heavily defended by Anti Aircraft Guns. On his subsequent missions, notwithstanding heavy ground fire and patrolling by enemy aircraft, he pressed home his attacks. He was responsible for the destruction of three enemy aircraft and numerous other military installations on the ground. He also carried out interdiction missions disrupting enemy lines of communication. In addition, he provided close air support to our ground forces.

Throughout the operations, Squadron Leader Vinod Kumar Bhatia displayed gallantry, determination and professional skill of a high order.

Unit : 32 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India , 17th June 1972 - No.76 - Pres/72 dated 1st June 1972
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air CmdeVinod Kumar Bhatia6497 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1992Announced 26 Jan 1992
Details :

Air Commodore Vinod Kumar Bhatia has been Air Officer Commanding of one of the Air Force Wings since the 5th March, 1990. Since the officer assumed command of the station, the internal security situation in J&K has been precarious and a cause for grave national concern. Consequently, the station has been functioning constantly under threat of subversion to the extent of direct attack by the numerous militant cadres operating in the State of J&K. Under the circumstances, security of personnel, equipment and other assets of the station has been vitally important. Air Cmde Bhatia husbanded all his resources, established a close liaison with civil and military authorities in the State and succeeded in creating a secure environment for conduct of air operations from his base. Often internal/external compulsions have necessitated air bases under HQ WAC, to maintain a very high state of operational alert. Srinagar, being one of the forward most bases, has to be specially vigilant. Air Cmde Bhatia has kept his base at peak operational preparedness to meet any contingency.

The Air Officer has also provided inspired leadership to the flying and other units based at his wing. Due to geographical location, the fighter squadron at Srinagar cannot utilise the air to ground range facilities as frequently as most fighter squadrons of WAC. Despite this handicap, No. 51 Sqn, located at his base succeeded in winning 'Inter­Squadron Weapons Meet' for 1990­91.

Due to extremely trying circumstances of virtual isolation from the civil amenities of Srinagar, personnel of the base have had to undergo considerable amount of hardship. Despite the difficulties, Air Cmde Bhatia has organised the Wing's administrative resources skillfully to provide all possible amenities to the personnel. The high morale of the station is a testimony to the officer's concern for the welfare of all personnel placed under him.

Air Commodore Vinod Kumar Bhatia VrC* has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19920126
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air MarshalVinod Kumar Bhatia6497 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1998Announced 26 Jan 1998
Details :

Air Marshal VK Bhatia was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 26th May, 1962. During his long and distinguished career he has held a number of important command and staff appointments which include command of a fighter squadron, two sensitive and operational flying stations, Air-1 of an operational command, Deputy Director General in the Defence Planning Staff, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) at the Air HQ and Inspector General (Inspection & Safety),

An outstanding fighter pilot of repute, he participated in the Indo-Pak ware of 1965 and 1971. In both the wars, he flew a large numbers of missions deep inside the enemy territory, with good results. For his gallant conduct, he was awarded the Vir Chakra in 1965 and Bar to Vir Chakra in 1971 operations.

A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK, the Air officer held several staff appointments with distinction. As the Air-1 of Eastern Air Command, he brought his varied experience to bear on the conduct of a large number of command level exercises successfully. As Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station SRINAGAR from 19901991 (a period of peak militancy in J&K), he provided inspired leadership and matching resources to ensure peak operational preparedness of his station and high morale of personnel placed under him. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1992.

As Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) at Air HQ, Air Officer displayed remarkable clarity of thought and reasoning in modifying the philosophy of air warfare, He brought about a number of innovative improvements which significantly enhanced the lAF's operational potential.

As Senior Air Staff Officer at Western Air Command, the Air Officer's contribution include achieving laid down targets of air drops in forward areas as well as enhancing the operational preparedness of the front line fighter squadrons in the command. He activated Tilpat Range after a long gap and led the fly-past on 08 Oct 96, thus leading by example.

Air Marshal VK Bhatia AVSM, VrC & Bar has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19980126