Awards for the year 1997


A total of 66 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Shaurya Chakra : 3 | Vayu Sena Medal : 17 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 |
Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Gajinder Pal Singh Dua 13306 AE(L)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Group Captain GPS Dua was commissioned on 01 Jan 73 in the Engineering Branch. He has held important appointments of Squadron Engineering Officer of a Fighter bomber squadron, Commanding Officer of a field training unit, Directing staff at Air Force Technical College and Senior Engineer (Aircraft and Electronics) at an Air Force Station. During this last tenure he was responsible for many innovations beyond the purview of second line servicing which resulted in a large saving of precious foreign exchange. Gp Capt Dua was appointed Deputy Director (Maintenance) at the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, Air Headquarters in Aug 94. With meticulous approach, he identified weak areas in maintenance procedures and offered practical solutions which helped to enhance operational preparedness of operational units. Many a perpetual fault on aircraft communications, electronics, avionics and weapon delivery systems were successfully tackled because of his broad based professional knowledge, competence, perseverance and frequent interactions with the operating Directorates.

Gp Capt Dua carried out a detailed study on the utilisation and operation of Mission Simulators and offered practical and useful suggestions. Based on the CAS directive, a presentation was given in the Air Force Commander's Conference in Sep 95 and all his suggestions were accepted for implementation.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Gp Capt GPS Dua.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ram Rattan Bhardwaj 13337 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Group Caption RR Bhardwaj was commissioned on 01 Jan 73 in the Engineering Branch. After a three year tenure as Senior Engineer (Aircraft) at Air Force Station, Adampur, the officer was posted to Air Headquarters in Feb 93 and is presently working as Joint Director Engineering in MiG-29 aircraft weapon cell. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College the officer was directly associated with the induction of MiG-29 aircraft.

Indigenous facility for overhaul of MiG29 was required to be established on a very high priority. He studied the Detailed Project Report, analysed the problems and initiated time bound corrective measures. As a result, a large quantity of equipment to be imported was substituted with indigenous manufacture or fabrication and the delivery schedule of remaining equipment and technical publication was reduced from three years to two years. Due to his dedicated efforts, the aircraft overhaul has already commenced.

The Officer was also instrumental in initiating the indigenous development of Calendar based TBO (Time Between Overhaul) extension technology which has been successfully developed. This resulted in saving of large sum in FE. The MiG-29 weapon cell at Air Hq effectively caters for both first and second line maintenance requirements of operating units and meets the stringent requirements of the time bound overhaul project, now moving as per the schedule.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Gp Capt RR Bhardwaj.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Pramod Vasant Athawale 13472 AE(L)Unit : Software Development Institute  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander PV Athawale was commissioned as an Engineer on 02 Jul 73. He is Flight Signaller and has served at Western Air Command Computer Centre.

The officer creditably discharged the responsibility as the first Commanding Officer of the Software Development Institute (SDI) since its Phase 1 inception in Jan 92. He undertook the initial setting up of the Institute, including professional direction in the acquisition of assets for software development, training of officers and airmen and successfully accomplishing Air HQ tasks for software development and upgrade with a handful of personnel. The significant achievements of the nascent Institute are chiefly due to the single minded dedication, long hours of work and professional leadership of the officer. The gains accrued by way of savings in cost and operational capability, from these achievements, are of significant measure and importance to Air Force.

The Officer was also the architect in planning the growth of the Institute from Phase 1 to the present Phase 2 in Nov 95, in order to meet the enhanced challenges in the field of software engineering being undertaken by SDI. Presently Wg Cdr Athawale as the Chief Software Engineer, is directing and guiding many on-line projects tasked by the Air HQ.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr PV Athawale.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Naresh Chandra Sharma 13586 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander NC Sharma was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 09 Feb. 74. The officer has held the appointments of Divisional Officer in National Defence Academy and Flight Commander of an Ajeet Squadron and the Target Towing Flight. He is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

Wg Cdr NC Sharma was appointed Commanding Officer of a Guided Weapons squadron on 07 Jan 92. Using his ingenuity and with dynamic leadership he first built up his unit into a homogenous combat unit and brought up the operational efficiency to a high level. That his efforts were realised was confirmed when Directorate of Air Staff Inspection inspected the unit in Feb 94. The overall squadron performance was highly satisfactory.

Additionally he motivated his maintenance crew to such high level that they carried out fourth line fault rectification at base. This reduced the expenditure and the down time of the equipment.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr NC Sharma.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ajay Kumar Chowdhary 13657 ADMUnit : 5 Forward Base Support Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander AK Chowdhary was commissioned in the Administrative Branch on 13 Jul 74. He has held the appointments of Senior Air Traffic Control Officer, Chief Administrative Officer (C Adm O) of a forward base in the East and Staff Officer Provost at HQ Central Air Command. He was appointed C Adm O of Air Force Station Uttarlai (Barmer) in Feb 95.

Wg Cdr Chowdhary immediately undertook completion of many pending tasks and he quickly appreciated the quantum and nature of works requiring immediate attention. He also undertook many new schemes to improve the various station infrastructures with extreme economy and exceptional speed. Under his supervision and able guidance, fire hazards and bird menace reduced drastically, thereby improving flying and security environment of the station. He also systematically improved airfield environm ent and in time availability of the airfield for flying during all seasons. Wg Cdr Chowdhary managed to accomplish these difficult tasks using existing resources and without any additional expenditure. He gave a new impetus to the various Non Public Funds of the station and achieved a record growth. He also ensured that welfare projects were never short of funds. He provided full administrative support to numerous detach ments of fighter and helicopter units and worked long hours to ensure their comfort.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr AK Chowdhary.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Satish Sharma 13835 AE(M)Unit : AFS Bakshi Ka Talab  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Satish Sharma was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 2nd June, 1968. He has been Commanding Officer of a Tactical Radar Unit and has held the appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer of a Tactical Air Center. A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, he was appointed Commanding Officer of an airbase in CAC, IAF.

On assuming command Wg Cdr Sharma found the airfield unsuitable for fighter operations. He initiated immediate measures to strengthen base infrastructure and restore the station to operational status. The airfield environment together with Navigation aids and safety services were brought on line within six months and the station declared fit as a diversionary airfield for fighter aircraft.

In Jan 96, it was decided to activate the base for full fighter operations for an Air Force Exercise. Fighter operations were to be conducted after a lapse of nearly three years. The navigational aids, arrester barrier, Air Traffic Control, technical and other support services had to be upgraded. Wg Cdr Sharma carried out a quick appreciation of the extensive nature of works which had to be executed within a strict time frame. He marshalled the limited resources of the small station and with total dedication and concerted efforts of all personnel under his direct supervision, the required infrastructure was fully upgraded for fighter operation within the stipulated time frame. Wg Cdr Sharma utilised his superior leadership qualities and organising abilities to ensure smooth induction of Fighter Detachments and their safe operations from his Base. His tireless efforts culminated in accident/incident free opera tions by fighters and all tasks were undertaken and completed successfully.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr S Sharma.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Devinder Singh 14284 F(P)Unit : No.220 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wg Cdr D Singh was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 13 Dec 75. He has 4100 hours of flying experience to his credit and is A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor. The Officer has completed two tenures as a Flying Instructor at Flying Instructor's School and is an Instrument Rating Examiner on Kiran and fighter aircraft. A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, he was appointed Commanding Officer of a fighter Squadron in May 95.

Immediately after taking over the command, Wg Cdr D Singh organised all available resources to ensure that his squadron became an efficient combat squadron capable of inflicting serious damage to enemy war capability. Despite the constraint of task of flying within shortest possible time. Under his exceptionally high degree of leadership, the squadron achieved repeated laurels in all spheres.

During the Colour/Standard Presentation ceremony held at the Air Force Station Jodhpur in Oct 95, Wg Cdr D Singh was entrusted with organising the functions for the President. With his meticulous planning and high devotion to duty, the Officer organised these prestigious events in a manner that earned praise and adulation from all participants. Wg Cdr D Singh is an example which is worthy of emulation by his subordinates.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr Devinder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Srivastava 14698 ADMUnit : Tactics and Combat Development Establishment  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander AK Srivastava was commissioned in the Administrative Branch on 29 Dec 76. He qualified as a Fighter Controller in 1977 and is a category 'A' controller. He was adjudged the Best Fighter Controller in 1987 and passed the Master Fighter Controller Course with directing staff grading. He was posted to Tactics & Air Combat Development Establishment in May 95.

During 'Operation Brass Tacks' he set up a Radar unit in only three days with 16 untrained personnel. At another Air Defence Unit, he maintained and operated proto-type Automatic Data Handling System to peak efficiency without any outside help or formal training on the system. During Mar 95 Wg Cdr Srivastava was tasked to form a Control and Reporting Centre for an exercise. He made excellent use of PCs to overcome limitations of manual system of telling and plotting which normally lead to delayed reactions. The work was appreciated at the highest level in Command and the officer was tasked to develop and demonstrate a functional PC aided CRC within a month. Wg Cdr Srivastava completed the task within the time frame by developing and modifying the available software and hardware. The CRC was manned by only eight personnel as against twenty required for manual system. The same low cost, maintenance free system was used in an Air Force Exercise providing a user friendly environment, thus enhancing operational capability of the IAF.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr AK Srivastava.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Bhaskaran Nair Unnikrishnan 15004 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wg Cdr BN Unnikrishnan was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 10 Jun 77. He has held appointment of Flight Commander of a MiG-29 Squadron. He is a Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat leader and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He has more than 2500 hours of flying to his credit.

The officer was appointed as Deputy Director Air Defence at Air HQ, in May 1993. He was the moving force behind a comprehensive long range Air Defence Perspective Plan drawn up by the Directorate. He also resolved the problem of training of MiG-29 pilots without compromising the very stringent restriction of laid down policy. His proposal for converting life expired missiles into training missiles reduced the requirement of imports leading to large savings in foreign exchange.

Computer Programmes created by him in his own time beyond the normal duty hours, for ground training and calculation of Over Target Requirement of force have filled a void that existed in this area for long. He has also authored two well researched service papers on Training and Manning.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr BN Unnikrishnan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Kolar Visweshwara Venkatesh Iyer 15068 AE(M)Unit : 5 Type Training Conversion Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander KVV Iyer was commissioned on 25 Jul 1977 in the Engineering Branch. A dynamic officer he brought laurels to Air Force as a member of Seventh Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in 1987. He has also excelled in the field of sports by representing IAF in the Inter Services Cricket Championships for five years. He was appointed Commanding Officer of No. 5 Type Training Conversion Unit in May 92.

Wg Cdr KVV Iyer assumed the command of No 5 TTCU when it was in its nascent stage. This training institute did not have any training aids and was confined only to classroom lectures and training notes. He recognised the necessity for much needed training aids and set about designing and fabricating various mockup displays of Hydr aulic, Fuel, Pneumatic and Air-conditioning systems of Mi-26 helicopter from obsolete AN-12 spares and local resources thus effecting savings of enormous amounts of foreign exchange. The operational requirement of aerial dropping by Mi-26 was not possible till 1995 due to technical problems.

Wg Cdr Iyer, with his innovative mind and vast experience on helicopters, was successful in designing and executing the much needed modification without compromising flight safety.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr KVV lyer.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Kuldeep Malik 15181 F(P)Unit : SKAT  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Kuldeep Malik was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 28 Dec 77. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor holding an A-2 instructional category and a Fighter Combat Leader. As a young officer, he was a member of the Thunderbolts, the IAF's Formation Aerobatic Team. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College, Bracknell, UK and has served on the Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1992.

In Jun 96, a decision was taken to revive the IAF's formation aerobatic team to mark the Golden Jubilee of India's Independence. Wg Cdr Malik was specially selected to form and lead the aerobatic team with Six Kiran MK II aircraft. The new aerobatic team, known as Surya-Kiran, was scheduled to make its public debut on 08 Oct 96. This left approximately three months in which to train and achieve the required high standard before the Air Force Day parade. Under the able leadership of Wg Cdr Malik, the aerobatic team began from scratch and eventually produced a magnificent display in front of highly appreciative audience. The credit for moulding his members from a mere cohesive formation into a scintillating six aircraft team was deservedly Wg Cdr Malik's.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr Kuldeep Malik.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Atul Kumar Singh 17041 ADMUnit : 304 Transportable Radar Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader AK Singh was commissioned on 29 Dec 82 in the Administrative Branch as a Fighter Controller. He achieved the highest level of professional competence, category 'A', within a short duration. He is also a qualified Master Fighter Controller and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He was appointed Commanding Officer of a Tactical Radar Unit on 30 Apr 95. As a Commanding Officer, Sqn Ldr AK Singh applied himself with great dedication towards attaining operational efficiency of the highest order. During the last one year of his Command, the Unit undertook six mobilities most successfully. Under his Command the unit was tasked to carry out several trials and all of them were successfully carried out on schedule. As a professional fighter controller he also undertook the task of conducting the training of fighter controllers from other units.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is please to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Sqn Ldr A K Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Som Deo 17434 AE(L)Unit : No.28 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader Somdeo was commissioned in the Engineering Branch on 18 Feb 83. He is a M Tech in Aircraft Structures from IIT Kanpur. He was posted to a MiG-29 squadron in Mar 95 and is the Senior Technical Officer.

As the STO, Sqn Ldr Somdeo led his team of 4 officers and approximately 300 men worked for very long hours, frequently on holidays also. He was able to significantly improve the aircraft serviceability state which is commendable because of scarcity of spares.

During Oct-Nov 95, the squadron was on a detachment for operational commitments. The squadron flew 243 sorties in a very short period with limited number of aircraft available. This was possible only due to the tireless dedication of Sqn Ldr Somdeo and his team who ensured that the down-time of aircraft was always minimum, unservicea bilities notwithstanding. He gave proof of his professional competence and dedicated hard work when the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection assessed the squadron as highly satisfactory in Maintenance.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Sqn Ldr Somdeo.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Flt Lt Mukhtiar Singh Sran 18968 AE(L)Unit : Hunter Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant MS Sran was commissioned in the Engineering Branch, after 25 years of service as an airman, on 18 Jul 87. Since then he has been responsible for the maintenance of the Hunter, an aircraft that has completed almost four decades of operations. With rapidly dwindling overhaul facilities and almost no product support this aged fleet was besieged with serious and chronic ailments. At the same time, this oldest aircraft in the Air Force inventory was being flown by the youngest and the most inexperienced newly commissioned pilots. It is with this background that Flt Lt Sran has been discharging his responsibility in various capacities for the last nine years.

An officer with a true service-before-self attitude and a great motivator of men, he infused into them a high degree of inspiration and sense of commitment that led to vast improvement in the Mean Time Between Failure enabling the unit in achieving monthly flying tasks amounting at times up to 600 sorties per month and a quantum improvement in the quality of production in the CR&SS ensuring high inflight reliability. With a 'never say die' attitude, the officer produced 100% serviceability at the dying stage of the fleet for six days in Mar 96. The sum total of the officer's professionalism, sincerity and dedication enabled the fleet to produce an impressive flying record. All this was achieved without any maintenance lapse. Truly, he has been the man behind the 'Hunter' for nearly a decade.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Flt Lt MS Sran.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Vishwajit Madhukar Akre 19041 AE(L)Unit : 737 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader VM Akre was commissioned as an Electronics Engineer on 05 Sep 88. He was appointed Commanding Officer of a Signal Unit (SU) in Nov 93. The SU is an isolated lodger unit situated at a distance of about 5 Kms in a civil area. The officer chose to live in the unit area so as to be available at very short notice in case of any emergency. He was responsible for enhancing the security of the unit and security consciousness amongst the unit personnel. On 14 Aug 94, at about 2130 hours, the unit came under heavy fire from the militants. In the ensuing battle which lasted for about 40 minutes, the officer rallied and led his personnel from the front and successfully repulsed the attack. There was no casualty or any significant damage to the unit assets. On various other occasions, the officer has shown his presence of mind in adapting to the situation and exercising restraint, which is of utmost importance.

The officer ensured availability of the tropo link at all times realising fully that the communications are virtually the lifeline for the AF Stations in the Valley. The officer strived hard to keep the link available at all times, the availability being 100% for the past twelve months.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Sqn Ldr VM Akre.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
JWO Sripati Debnath 233273 ORUnit : 2 Tamil Nadu Air Sqn NCC  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Junior Warrant Officer Debnath is on the posted strength of 2(TN) Air Squadron NCC, since 18 May 92, as Chief Technical Officer of the unit.

During his tenure, the unit exceeded 4000 Launches of gliding per year for two years in a row. He was instrumental in maintaining the high state of serviceability resulting in all Gliders flying on the same day. His excellent supervision ensured 100% safe flying. With excellent time management and deft handling of varied schedules of gliding, he completed the task for each day.

His own professional competence has been par Excellence. Be it snag rectification or servicing of gliding equipment, JWO Debnath could always be the man to rely upon. With careful management of his subordinates, he ensured timely and successful completion of all jobs. Due to his selfless devotion to service, JWO Debnath has been the key person responsible for the laurels achieved by the unit.

For distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to JWO S Debnath.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1997 Number: 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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