Awards for the year 1999


A total of 174 Awards are listed.
Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal : 1 | Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Uttam Yudh Seva Medal : 3 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Vir Chakra : 2 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Yudh Seva Medal : 6 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 42 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 | Mention in Despatches : 73 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sanjay Bhatnagar 17363 F(P)Unit : No.9 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Sanjay Bhatnagar (17363) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron wef 03 May 98. As Senior Flight Commander of the Squadron, he has looked after the planning and execution of flying operations. He has successfully maintained a very high training status of all pilots of the Squadron. This was a vital factor that enabled the Squadron to take part in Kargil Operations at short notice and adapt quickly to the terrain and task in the sector of hostilities.

During the operations he was instrumental in analysing the targets, planning the types of attacks, briefing and motivating the pilots to undertake these missions. He led the juniors by example and from the front by undertaking the difficult missions. He flew a total of 15 missions causing extensive damage to the enemy. He struck an enemy camp during a night mission on 27 Jun 99 at 0230 h at Jubar. Extensive damage was reported by our ground forces and the camp was observed burning till next morning. He displayed extraordinary stamina to work for long hours and carried out his task at the cost of risks to his own life. His meticulous planning, supervision and personal courage ensured that all the missions were launched as per plan and were able to cause maximum attrition to the enemy.

For display of extraordinary courage in the face of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Sanjay Bhatnagar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rajiv Pundir* 17143 F(P)Unit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajiv Pundir (17143-R) Flying (Pilot) was on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Helicopter Unit since 12 May 98.

On 28 May 99, Sqn Ldr Pundir was tasked to fly a live strike against enemy positions at point 5140, located at an inhospitable altitude of 5.1 Kms. While undertaking the mission, Sqn Ldr Pundir was fully aware that the area was infested with missiles and that the only counter measure against the missile was not fitted on his helicopter. Realising the importance of the mission, Sqn Ldr Pundir boldly accepted the challenge and with total disregard to personal safety went ahead with the strike. Having successfully pressed home the attack, during the break away, Sqn Ldr Pundir's helicopter was hit by a Stinger missile. Despite his best efforts to assist control the damaged helicopter it crashed killing Sqn Ldr Pundir and all the crew members.

Displaying a very high level of professional competence and courage, Sqn Ldr Pundir had already undertaken two strike missions in the treacherous terrain of the Dras sub sector. These missions achieved astounding success and were the key to subsequent easy recapture by the ground forces. In his action, Sqn Ldr Pundir displayed exceptional courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For this act of exceptional courage the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr Rajiv Pundir, Posthumous.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Gurcharan Singh Bedi 17448 F(P)Unit : No.51 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Gurucharan Singh Bedi (17448-R) Flying (Pilot) is posted to a Fighter Squadron since 14 Dec 98.

He has since then been working as the senior Flight Commander. When the adopt Precautionary Measures was sounded for the 'Operation Safed Sagar', the Squadron had just returned from a prolonged detachment. The commitment of 'Operation Safed Sagar' required a very high degree of operational preparedness, which involved operations for base as well as Awantipur. By involving himself thoroughly with the maintenance staff, he ensured an extremely high serviceability of aircraft such that not even a single mission was declined for the want of an aircraft. In 'Operation Safed Sagar' he flew a total of 25 missions over the inhospitable terrain in the face of enemy. Never before had the Squadron undertaken a task of this magnitude over such a terrain and altitudes. He involved himself completely in bringing up the training status of the entire Squadron to meet the challenge and achieved it in the shortest possible time. Under his dynamic leadership, the Squadron performed extremely well in all the missions allotted. He contributed very effectively in all the discussions at various forums towards evolving operational tactics. His knowledge on that Fighter aircraft was a great help to the operational planners in the absence of any other operator at base.

For this exceptional act of gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Gurucharan Singh Bedi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Dilip Kumar Patnaik 17464 F(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Dilip Kumar Patnaik (17464) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron since Mar 98. He is a Fighter Combat Leader and Deputy Flight Commander of the Unit. Muntho Dhalo Attack: On 16 Jun 99 Sqn Ldr Patnaik undertook a live strike mission on the biggest enemy camp in Batalik Sector. After visually acquiring the target he had to plan an attack profile that would obviate violation of the LoC at the same time inflict maximum attrition on the intruders. He thereafter launched a successful attack on the Western side of the camp which led to the crumbling of the enemy ground activity. Sqn Ldr Patnaik carried out the attack on a confident and well protected enemy with complete dedication and devotion of the highest order.

Tiger Hill Attack by Night: On the night of 27-28 Jun 99 at 0230h, Sqn Ldr Patnaik carried out the first ever night Laser Guided Bomb strike on Tiger Hill. Destruction of the target entailed that his attack profile penetrate the launch envelope of shoulder fired missiles. He launched the live strike without regard to personal safety and scored a direct hit as reported by the Army, paving the way for ground forces to capture Tiger Hill.

During 'Op Rakshak' Sqn Ldr Patnaik flew 27 operational missions, which included 9 live bombing sorties in the Kargil sector. Sqn Ltd DK Patnaik displayed immense devotion, involvement and professionalism of the highest order during planning and execution of missions under hostile conditions. Awareness of missiles being launched in that area only motivated him further to decimate the enemy. He displayed conspicuous gallantry and valour in the face of the enemy.

For exceptional devotion to duty the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Dilip Kumar Patnaik.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ajai Prakash Srivastava 17471 F(P)Unit : No.132 FAC Flight  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Ajai Prakash Srivastava (17471-G) Flying (Pilot) has been the Cdr of an FAC Flt since 20 Apr 98. On 19 May 99 when the Unit was tasked to position four ac at Srinagar, in preparation for 'Op Safed Sagar', the responsibility of Det Cdr was entrusted to him.

The task of AB FAC for fighter strikes was assigned to the Unit to overcome the problem of pin pointing enemy target positions on ground. He worked out an innovative idea of lighting up the target with coloured smoke from Arty fire and also carrying an Air Op pilot on board to direct this fire over targets. Missions undertaken incorporating the above were found to be very successful. Sqn Ldr AP Srivastava himself undertook numerous AB FAC missions in Dras, Batalik, Mashkoh areas and was instrumental in guiding fighter strikes over Tololing and Tiger Hill in particular. These missions required extensive and thorough planning on his part in not only avoiding heavy enemy small arms and rocket fire but also staying for as little time as possible in enemy missile range. Along with this he also undertook the training of other pilots so as to enable them to undertake these missions independently in the Tactical Battle Area. He also undertook numerous sorties towards deployment of MOP on LoC. In these demanding circumstances he succeeded in keeping the morale of entire detachment at its peak and brought out the best in them.

For his high standards of professionalism, dedication to his work and exceptional courage in trying circumstances, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Ajai Prakash Srivastava.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Alok Choudhry 18271 F(P)Unit : No.17 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader A Choudhary (18271-A) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron. He took over as Flight Commander during Operation 'SAFED SAGAR' after Sqn Ldr A Ahuja was killed in action. Under his able guidance and supervision, the Squadron attained a high standard of professionalism and operational efficiency. His foresight and planning enabled the Squadron to operate at two bases. The air craft and airmen were staggered such that prolonged deployment at Op locations did not affect operational efficiency and the Squadron achieved 100% serviceability. Dur ing operations as the Squadron Pilot Attack Instructor, he was responsible for the calculation of level release parameters for bombs at various altitudes. His accuracy in doing the same and meticulous briefings resulted in the Squadron achieving a high proportion of direct hits on the various targets allotted. Leading from the front, he was actively involved in day as well as low altitude night bombing. He co­ordinated opera tional, administrative and technical aspects facilitating the Squadron to undertake the various roles it was tasked for.

For his hard work, inspirational leadership and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader A Choudhary.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Narender Singh Verma 18298 F(P)Unit : No.129 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Narender Singh Verma (18298-S) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit. On 28 May 99 Sqn Ldr NS Verma was detailed to fly as Captain of No 2 helicopter in a four helicopter formation on a live air to ground rocket firing mission.

The target Point 5140 was located on the Tololing ridge in Dras sub sector at 16,500 feet. Enemy positions to be attacked were entrenched in well-concealed bunkers thereby making target acquisition difficult. The target area was heavily defended as the enemy had deployed Stinger Missiles and 37 mm Anti Aircraft Guns in the sector. These weapons posed a grave threat to the slow moving helicopter which was as such operating at the extreme limits of its performance envelope. For the air strike to be effective the helicopter perforce had to fly close to the target whereby it came well within the effective range of the Stinger Missiles. During the attack Sqn Ldr NS Verma's aircraft was fired upon by missiles. Despite enemy fire Sqn Ldr Verma remained undeterred and in the best traditions of the IAF displayed exceptional courage by pressing on with the attack thereby successfully achieving his mission.

For this act of exceptional courage the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Narender Singh Verma.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Amanjeet Singh Heer 19521 F(P)Unit : No.108 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Amanjit Singh Heer (19521-F) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron since 08 Oct 96.

During the Kargil operations, his Squadron, flying MiG-21 aircraft, was tasked to locate and destroy enemy targets in the hostile glaciated mountainous terrain at an average height of 15000 feet. His innovation of filming the target area with his personal video camera, to detect and subsequently attack enemy targets has been highly successful. He filmed enemy targets after putting in attack regardless of the added danger to his own self. As a result of his ingenuity, courage and innovativeness, the strike Squadron's improved acquisition and accuracy. His films also helped the Indian Army plan their ground operations. This inspired the Air Force to extend his idea to obtain imagery by use of Laser Designator Pods. His courageous and innovative filming optimised air strikes in the operations. As a Strike pilot he flew 19 missions. He has performed the duties of a Flight Commander, Squadron Pilot Attack Instructor and all other tasks assigned to him with complete dedication. With his selfless devotion to duty and hard work, he has been a source of inspiration and motivation for others. He is an asset to the Air Force and a role model to his juniors.

For his professionalism, innovativeness, sincerity, exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Amanjit Singh Heer.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Nitish Kumar 19898 F(P)Unit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Nitish Kumar (19898-K) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 15 Dec 97.

During 'Op Safed Sagar', the helicopters were tasked for strike mission on enemy strongholds in Kargil & Dras sectors. Sqn Ldr Nitish Kumar was the Captain of our strike missions which targeted Tololing & Tiger Hill on 26, 27 and 28 May 99.

The attack was against heavy odds of terrain, altitude and hostile fire (including Stinger Missiles and small arms). Handling the aircraft close to the limits of its flight envelope called for not only superior flying skills but exceptional courage in view of the prevalent hostile environment. The attack was carried out fearlessly and with precision resulting in considerable damage to the intruders. The success of the attack is also attributed to the meticulous planning and preparation carried out prior to the mission. Non availability of ejection seat or force landing field implied that any hit on the heptr could be critical. Unflinching in the face of risk, he displayed immense courage and fighting spirit and undertook the task with professionalism. His enthusiasm and valour was a major contribution towards boosting the morale of the other crew in the team.

For this exceptional act of gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Nitish Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Harender Pal Singh 20477 F(P)Unit : No.224 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Harendra Pal Singh (20477-R) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron from 12 Dec 97. He has a total flying experience of 1060 hrs and is "Fully Operational" on MiG-23 BN aircraft with 750 h of flying experience on type. He is a highly disciplined and a professional flier. Sqn Ldr HP Singh moved to Air Force Station Srinagar on 18 May 99. He was available throughout the period of Operations "Safed Sagar" and took an active part in the operations. He flew 18 missions over the operational area. During these missions the pilots were under constant threat from enemy interceptors, surface to air missiles and anti aircraft guns. Sqn Ldr HP Singh displayed a very high sense of bravery in the face of enemy by flying all the missions successfully and delivering the bombs on the target with maximum accuracy. He remained enthusiastic and displayed high degree of gallantry while executing the given missions. As a senior pilot, he set an example of courage and dedication for the younger pilots in the Squadron.

For his exceptional courage and gallantry in the presence of the enemy while taking part in 'Op Safed Sagar', the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Harendra Pal Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Shreepad Tokekar 21815 F(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Shreepad Tokekar (21815-F) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron, since 26 Aug 96.

During 'Op Rakshak' on 15 Jun 99 he was responsible for picking up enemy camp at Muntho Dhalo and was part of the formation which carried out a successful strike on the target. On 24 Jun 99 he carried out a direct attack on enemy fortification at Tiger Hill with 6 x 250 Kg bombs. He was the only pilot to have carried out a direct attack on Tiger Hill. The attack was highly successful as reported by own ground forces. On 08 Jul 99 he led a two aircraft mission against enemy camp site located at point 4388 and again achieved a direct hit. Post sortie film analysis indicated that the target was totally destroyed. This attack broke the back bone of enemy logistics supply to Tiger Hill and Muskoh Valley and was largely responsible for the enemy to bid a hasty retreat in these sectors. During this strike Surface to Air Missiles were fired at the other member of the formation. This did not deter him from carrying out attacks with pinpoint accuracy on enemy targets. On subsequent days he followed up with repeat attacks on enemy camp sites located along the Valley with a high degree of accuracy.

Flight Lieutenant Tokekar flew a total of 24 missions in the Kargil sector of which eight were live bomb strikes. He displayed immense devotion to duty, involvement and professionalism of the highest order during planning and execution of missions despite encountering hostile response from the enemy.

For exceptional devotion to duty the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Shreepad Tokekar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Subramaniam Muhilan* 22739 F(P)Unit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Subramaniam Muhilan (22739-A) Flying (Pilot) was on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 15 Feb 98.

On 28 May 99, Flt Lt Muhilan was tasked to fly a live strike against enemy positions at point 5140, located at an inhospitable altitude of 5.1 Kms. While undertaking the mission, Flt Lt Muhilan was fully aware that the area was infested with missiles and that the only counter measure against the missile was not fitted on his helicopter. Realising the importance of the mission, Flt Lt Muhilan boldly accepted the challenge and with total disregard to personal safety went ahead with the strike. Having successfully pressed home the attack, during the break away, Flt Lt Muhilan's helicopter was hit by a Stinger Missile. Despite Flt Lt Muhilan's best effort to control the damaged helicopter, it crashed killing Flt Lt Muhilan and all his crew members.

Displaying a very high level of professional competence and courage, Flt Lt. Muhilan had already undertaken three strike missions in the treacherous terrain of the Dras sub sector. These missions achieved astounding success and were the key to subsequent easy recapture by the ground forces. In his action, Flt Lt Muhilan displayed exceptional courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For this act of exceptional gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Subramaniam Muhilan, Posthumous.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Gaurav Chibbar 22926 F(P)Unit : No.223 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Gaurav Chibber (22926-T) Flying (Pilot) was on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron, AF, since 01 June 98. Before coming to this Squadron, he was a Fully Ops Pilot on the Jaguar aircraft with numerous qualifications; like Photo recce and EW. His transformation from a Strike Pilot to an Air Defence Pilot, flying a Russian aircraft for the first time, in such a short duration, is truly praiseworthy.

Flight Lieutenant Chibber was the youngest MiG-29 Pilot taking part in the Kargil Operations. He performed admirably in carrying out 29 missions which included Area CAP, Tied Escorts and CRC missions by day and night. As a young leader he led many of these missions ensuring the strike aircraft achieved their objectives unhampered by enemy air opposition. Despite having only 100 hrs on type he made noteworthy contribution towards the success of operations in this sector. In one mission he handled the aircraft radar systems optimally to search and acquire two enemy F-16 aircraft, warding off a possible threat, enabling our strike force to destroy their designated target.

Flight Lieutenant G Chibber had a very good rapport with the airmen and his warm and friendly nature had kept the morale of the men high. In this high pressure situation he had been an asset to the Squadron, admirably performing his duties. He had shown great keenness and involvement in all activities.

For this dedication to duty, perservance and professionalism beyond the call of duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Gaurav Chibber, Posthumous.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Kambapatti Nachiketa 22930 F(P)Unit : No.9 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Kambampati Nachiketa (22930) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron of the Air Force since 13 Sept 97.

On 27 May 99, he was authorised to fly as a wingman in a two aircraft live rocket firing mission over enemy camp during Op "Safed Sagar". During the sortie, after successful attack, he noticed that aircraft engine had flamed out. His height above the hilly terrain was less and it warranted abandoning of aircraft by resorting to ejection. Instead, he controlled the aircraft promptly, jettisoned the external loads and carried out an auto relight of the engine. Now since the aircraft was losing height and Auto Relight was taking time, he ejected only as a last resort.

On ejecting, he found himself in enemy territory. On seeing enemy troops approaching him, he fired at them and in the mean time took all precautions to hide and destroy all the confidential information that he had with him.

Despite his valiant attempt to escape at high altitude without acclimatization he was overpowered by a large number of enemy personnel and taken prisoner. He resisted all attempts of harassment and torture both physical and mental and refused to divulge even a single piece of military information. Flight Lieutenant K Nachiketa did his very best to save a valuable aircraft while flying over enemy infested area and later when confronted with the enemy, acted with great courage and determination in keeping with the best traditions of the Air Force.

For these acts of exceptional courage in the presence of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Kambampati Nachiketa.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal 23535 F(P)Unit : No.17 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flying Officer Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal (23535-A) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron with effect from 13 May 96. He is a two aircraft leader with 756 hrs of total flying experience. He was actively involved in the operations conducted during Operation 'SAFED SAGAR' and performed flawlessly. His Squadron was tasked for the night strike role over target area from 27 Jul 99 onwards. The profile of these attacks was such that it required accurate and skilful flying in the valley by night at one km above terrain level. Enemy resistance in the form of anti aircraft artillery and low level quick reaction missiles was also present. With mere 46 hours of night flying, no prior exposure to night strikes and limited Valley flying experience, Flying Officer Dhaliwal flew a total of four successful missions in these demanding circumstances. In all of these missions, he accurately delivered his weapons and was also able to visually sight the impact points. Flying Officer RS Dhaliwal has just about four years of commissioned service that makes him one of the youngest pilots in the history of the Indian Air Force to have taken part in night strike operations.

For his exceptional courage, determination and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flying Officer Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Rajesh Walia 21858 Unit : No.224 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Rajesh Walia (21858-G) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron from 16 Aug 93. He has a total flying experience of 1018 h and holds a "Fully Ops" category on MiG-23 BN aircraft with 340 hours of flying experience on type. During Op "Safed Sagar", Flt Lt R Walia moved to Air Force Station Srinagar along with his Sqn. He was available throughout the period of Operations.

On commencement of the operations, engaging targets in the Kargil sector, using the conventional modes of attack may have resulted in more losses than the IAF suffered. In this demanding situation, Flt Lt R Walia, using his ingenuity came up with an innovative new method of attack. This mode of attack and release parameters proved highly successful and was extensively used by all the Squadrons involved in Op "Safed Sagar". Flt Lt R Walia's ingenuity was, therefore, a major contributor to the phenomenal success of the IAF in Op "Safed Sager". Besides this contribution, Flt Lt R Walia flew a total of 19 stories during the operations both by day as well as by night. He displayed thorough professionalism on ground and exceptional courage while executing his missions in the presence of enemy air and ground threat.

For his display of exceptional bravery, ingenuity and professionalism during Op 'Safed Sagar', the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Rajesh Walia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ashish Gupta 22121 Unit : No.14 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Ashish Gupta (22121-B) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron with effect from 31 Mar 97 and is presently working as a Squadron pilot.

Flight Lieutenant Ashish Gupta is fully operational on T-75 and Jaguar aircraft. He is a 4 aircraft Leader and Trainer Captain by day. He is rated as 'Green'.

During 'Op Vijay' Flt Lt Ashish Gupta flew a total of 16 photo reconnaissance missions. These sorties have been flown over the enemy held area in Kargil, Mushkoh and Batalik sectors at altitudes ranging from 1500' to 10,000' AGL. Mission planning and execution was done in an exemplary manner and he was able to get vital information of the enemy locations due to his professional approach, accurate flying and filming of the enemy targets. Based on these photographs the exact location of the enemy was revealed and these could therefore be attacked successfully through aerial bombardment and artillery fire. This resulted in reducing the number of causalities of our infantry while advancing to recapture these areas.

His thorough professionalism and flying ability coupled with dedicated planning and preparation resulted in a very high success rate for these missions, which, in turn helped our air and ground forces to achieve their objectives.

For his exemplary mission planning and execution of the requirement, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Ashish Gupta.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Pilla Venkata Narayana Ravi Prasad* 695490 ORUnit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

695490-A Sergeant Prasad Pilla Venkata Narayana Ravi (Flight Gunner) was on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 20 Jun 98.

On 28 May 99, Sgt Prasad was tasked to fly in a live strike against enemy positions at point 5140, located at an inhospitable altitude of 5.1 Kms. While undertaking the mission, Sgt Prasad was fully aware that the area was infested with missiles and that the only counter measure against the missile was not fitted on his helicopter. Realising the importance of the mission, Sgt Prasad boldly accepted the challenge and with total disregard to personal safety went ahead with the strike. Having successfully pressed home the attack, during the break away, Sgt Prasad's helicopter was hit by a Stinger Missile. In the ensuing crash Sgt Prasad was killed along with the other crew members.

Displaying a very high level of professional competence and courage, Sgt. Prasad had already undertaken three strike missions in the treacherous terrain of the Dras sub sector. These missions achieved astounding success and were the key to subsequent easy recapture by the ground forces. In his action, Sgt Prasad displayed exceptional courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For this act of exceptional courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sergeant Prasad Pilla Venkata Narayana Ravi Posthumous.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Taposh Ghosh 699103 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

699103 Sergeant Taposh Ghosh, (Flight Engineer) is on the posted Strength of a Helicopter Squadron. He is a U/T Ops Flight Engineer with limited flying experience. On 07 Sep 98 he was detailed to fly a General Handling sortie. Around 30 minutes into the sortie while the helicopter (Mi-25) was in a left turn, it suddenly went out of control and descended rapidly. The aircraft hit the ground in an uncontrolled state form a height of approximately 500m. During this time, Sgt Ghosh kept cool and monitored the flight parameters closely. After the aircraft impacted, the pilots, though conscious, were trapped inside their cockpits. At this stage, though bleeding profusely from his right forearm, Sgt Ghosh maintained his wits and realised that the engines were still running. He took prompt action and reached into the cockpit from behind the pilot's seat and switched off engines and other electrical switches. He noticed that both pilots were in a state of shock and were injured. He managed to pull them out of the cockpit to a safe distance.

In the above accident, Sgt Ghosh displayed professional competence of the highest order and remained calm and collected in a grave emergency. He not only averted a major fire by his timely action but also saved the lives of two pilots.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Raj Kishore Sahu* 729917 ORUnit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

729917-K Sergeant Sahu Raj Kishore (Flight Engineer) was on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 24 May 97.

On 28 May 99, Sgt Sahu was tasked to fly in a live strike against enemy positions at point 6140, located at inhospitable altitude of 5.1 Kms. While undertaking the mission, Sgt Sahu was fully aware that the area was infested with missiles and that the only counter measure attaints the missile was not fitted join his helicopter. Realising the importance of the mission, Sgt Sahu boldly accepted the challenge and with total disregard to personnel safety went ahead with the strike. Having successfully pressed home the attack, during the break away, Sgt Sahu's helicopter was hit by a Stinger Missile. In the ensuing crash Sgt Sahu was killed along with the other crew members.

Displaying a very high level of professional competence and courage, Sgt Sahu had already undertaken three strike missions in the treacherous terrain of the Dras sub sector. These missions achieved astounding success and were the key to subsequent easy recapture by the ground forces. In his action, Sgt Sahu displayed exceptional courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air force.For this act of exceptional courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sergeant Sahu Rajkishore, Posthumous.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ashminder Singh Bahal 16208 F(P)Unit : No.18 Squadron  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Wing Commander Ashminder Singh Bahal (16208-K) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Wing as Senior Flight Safety and Inspection Officer since 03 May 1998.

On 31 Aug 98, one fighter aircraft lost control during overshoot and crashed very close to the Control Tower. The aircraft collided with two other stationary aircraft parked on the dispersal and exploded. All the three aircraft were soon engulfed in fire, with flames rising to a height of 5 to 10 meters.

On receipt of the emergency call, Wg Cdr A S Bahal arrived at the scene of accident within a minute and assumed full charge of the crash fire fighting and rescue operations. Braving all odds and with total disregard to his own safety, he directed the fire fighting operations from very close proximity even as aircraft debris was being thrown around with minor explosions. The fire was brought under control within six to seven minutes at a time when the other two aircraft were spilling fuel. The fire and heat were so intense that even the shoes of the officer were charred.

His personal example motivated the crash crew and other airmen who were gathered around to carry out the fighting operations with gusto, despite danger to life. Wg Cdr Bahal motivated the men in fighting the fire keeping with the finest traditions of the Air Force.

For this act of exceptional gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Ashminder Singh Bahal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Krishan Singh Dhillon 668396 ORUnit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

668396L Warrant Officer Krishan Singh Dhillon Flight Engineer is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force since 01 Aug 97.

During Op 'Safed Sagar', the helicopters were tasked to undertake strike and Casevac missions on enemy strongholds in the treacherous terrain of Kargil and Dras. WO Dhillon took part in OP 'Safed Sagar' and flew 146 sorties from May till July 99 including missions on targets that were Tololing, Tiger Hill and Pt 5140.

The aircraft was exposed to a high degree of risk, not only due to enemy fire but also due to aircraft operating on the fringes of its flight envelope. This called for an alert monitoring of parameters and perfect crew co­ordination. WO Dhillon, a Cat 'A' Flight Engineer, displayed professionalism and remained composed in the face of heavy risk. His confidence and enthusiasm was infectious and was a morale boosting factor for the Flight Engineers of other aircraft in the team. His professional competence, initiative and zeal was a fine example for the junior Flight Engineers to emulate. He was aware that the missions were fraught with danger and that any hit on the heptr would not give him a chance of escape or force landing in that terrain. Yet his enthusiasm and fighting spirit did not diminish as he participated in repeated missions.

For his exceptional act of courage, in the face of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Warrant Officer Krishan Singh Dhillon.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Narain Chandra Ghosh 613179 ORUnit : Para Training School  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

613179 Warrant Officer Narain Chandra Ghosh GTI/PJI was enrolled as Ground Training Instructor on 08 Nov 72 in the Indian Air Force.

WO NC Ghosh has been on the posted strength of Paratroopers Training School, Air Force since 08 Feb 82 and has been performing duties of Parachute Jump and Free Fall Instructor. WO Ghosh is one of the pioneers who have earned the distinction of carrying out 1089 parachute jumps, without an incident or injury, which includes 879 Free Fall Jumps and 210 static line jumps. He has jumped from 13 different types of aircraft using 12 types of parachutes. He is also a qualified Combat Free Fall Instructor. Due to his immense experience and skill he has participated in Malaysian Armed Forces Open Parachuting Championship held in Malaysia in May 95.

WO Ghosh has jumped from the highest altitude that is 30,000 feet AGL. This is an Indian record. It should not be out of place to mention that jump from such a high altitude demands extreme physical fitness and very high professional standards. He is also the founder member of Indian Air Force Sky Diving Team 'Akashganga'. He has participated in innumerable demonstrations put by the team at various places to mark important national events.

He is an expert in discipline of canopy formations, which includes making the Tricolour Stack and landing them inside stadia and restricted drop zones.

He has been part of the pioneer team of three who for the first time in the history of Indian Parachuting carried out Relative Work and Canopy Relative Work formation during the Night Free Fall.For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Warrant Officer Narain Chandra Ghosh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Jagdarshan Singh Sandhu 10139 F(P)Unit : AFS New Delhi  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Air Cmde JS Sandhu (10139) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in March 1966. During his distinguished service career, he has excelled himself in helicopter operations, having logged 5880 hours of flying. Apart from being a Qualified Flying Instructor, he has been a Cat A helicopter pilot and an Air Force Examiner on Chetak/ Cheetah helicopter. He had commanded 142 SSS Flight and Mauritius Police Helicopter Unit. During his command of an FBSU located at high altitude, his unit was awarded the best FBSU trophy in 1994 - 95.

Air Cmde JS Sandhu took over as Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, New Delhi on 01 January 96. Entrusted with the onerous responsibility of providing admin services to Air Headquarters units, he has shouldered the task with high degree of professionalism and dedication. He was instrumental in bringing about radical changes in living conditions at Air Force Race Course Camp by speedy repairs of a large number of old and dilapidated buildings. Through rationalisation of office and living-in accommodation at Race course, additional billet accommodation was created for a large number of airmen coming on temporary duty to Delhi in connection with various functions like Republic Day and Independence Day Parades who were otherwise being provided with tented accommodation.

His foresight and meticulous planning saw the activation of Air Force Officers' Mess at Naraina on the demolition of Officers' Mess at Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg. An Officers' Mess Dett has also been established at Race Course Camp to provide mess facilities to large number of retired officers.

Due to his painstaking efforts, the welfare activities of the Station got a definite thrust. The shopping complex was renovated which has all the facilities under one roof and CSD complex was refurbished with a self service cou nter. The general administration of Air Force Station, New Delhi was given a total facelift.

In recognition of his professional excellence, devotion to duty and a distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Cmde JS Sandhu.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Surjit Krishan Sharma 10829 AE(L)Unit : ADGES Maintenance and Standards Establishment  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Air Cmde Surjit Krishan Sharma (10829) AE (L) is posted as Air Officer Commanding, AMSE since 09 December 96.

While controlling one of the most prestigious organisations of Air Force, he has always given priority to the operational requirements of Air Defence, Radar and Communication units so as to ensure maximum users satisfaction.

The Air Officer volunteered to increase the task assigned for production year 97-98 by 12% and finally achieved about 14% more than the revised tasks. In addition to accepting and executing many challenging tasks under his efficient leadership, the unit carried out many innovations/modifications like repair of Klystrons of tropo equipment, Sigma milking equipment, aircraft fuel impurity testers, turbo chargers, besides setting up testing facilities for compressors and alternators. To substitute many short supplied imported items, he produced them indigenously at much lower cost. These not only resulted in substantial revenue saving last year but also reduced down period of the vital air defence equipment.

The Air Officer introduced various welfare measures such as provisioning clinical test facilities and equipment for physiotherapy in Station Sick Quarters, traffic training park and computer education in Air Force School, modern facilities in messes, billets and recreational hall etc. which have improved working and social environment.

Highly experienced in computer field, the Air Officer has held many important assignments in past 15 years. With his untiring efforts, time-bound objective and aim of excellence and standardisation, AMSE has been awarded ISO-9002 in Feb 97.

For his leadership, professionalism, and distinguished service of an exceptional order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Cmde SK Sharma.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Parimal Banerjee 11159 AE(L)Unit : ITR  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Parimal Banerjee (11159) AE (L) has been posted to Interim Test Range, Chandipur since April 1987, when the test range was in the formative stage. At this stage, the range was essentially in need of an officer/scientist who could meticulously plan, organise, guide and lead the scientific personnel in establishing of required facilities and test procedures. The task was time bound and related with readiness of indigenously developed missiles for test and evaluation trials. Group Capt Banerjee met this requirement exceedingly well and was awarded Commendation by the Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri in July 1989 in recognition of his significant contribution.

In the year 1993 a challenge was posed to this test range to create and establish facilities for 'Bomb Drop Trial' of Air Force aircraft, for which the government was spending millions of rupees every year in foreign exchange. Group Capt Banerjee, with his initiative and ingenuity, established full fledged facilities at the test range in coordination with the IAF and scientists, thus saving the country an infructuous and recurring expenditure.

For a Missile Test Range carrying out flight trials, giving the valuable data on the behaviour of missiles is of vital importance. This requires meticulous range safety & flight safety planning. Gp Capt Banerjee developed the competence of Interim Test Range for simulation runs of flight trajectory by detailed and meticulous planning of ground safety checks and control. Due to Gp Capt Banerjee's in depth preflight analysis of flight vehicle, constant vigil and meticulous operation planning and range safety measures, this test range has achieved an unparalleled, enviable record of "Nil Accident" till date, though more than two hundred fifty test and evaluation missions of indigenously developed weapon system have been carried out from this range.

Gp Capt Banerjee's constant pursuit for excellence and his relentless efforts have not only been a constant motivating factor for the range scientists but has also earned the test range its coveted reputation.

For his selfless and significant contribution made towards the formation, development and upgradation of this Test Range capability, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Gp Capt P Banerjee.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Pulikkaparambil Kuruviall Kuruvilla 12269 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Pulikkaparambil Kuruvilla Kuruvilla (12269) AE (L) took over as the Chief Engineering Officer of a fighter base on 17 June 1998. At that time the average serviceability of the fighter Squadrons on the base was low. There were 15 aircraft on AOG, and only 18 aircraft were flying worthy. Group Captain Kuruvilla adopted innovative means and methods to improve the serviceability. In addition to restructuring the centralized AOG section, he enforced a strict control on cannibalisation and spare consumption. With his excellent rapport with HAL he obtained timely assistance, wherever required. All these efforts paid high dividends and there was a significant improvement in the serviceability of aircraft. Due to these efforts, 28 fighter aircraft were kept fly worthy and the operational squadrons achieved an all time high of 750 flying hours in the month of March 98.

In addition, Group Captain Kuruvilla has analyzed many operational and flight safety hazards thoroughly and offered practical solutions. Inadvertent release of the brake parachute in the aircraft fleet was posing serious safety hazards. The fault was pinpointed to a rigging problem at fourth line. This study helped IAF to take the requisite corrective action. He also introduced other innovations and modifications like manufacturing of aircraft washing rigs, tractor modification as jungle-jims, fuel dump collecting rigs and conversion of a helicopter to semi VIP standards.

Under Group Captain PK Kuruvilla's leadership the Maintenance Branch of the base has been reoriented towards better work culture.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain PK Kuruvilla.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Rajinder Kumar Mohan 12489 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Rajinder Kumar Mohan (12489) Lgs has been the Commanding Officer of an Equipment Depot since 11 March 1996.

The organisational set-up of the Depot was based on a manual and centralised pattern of provisioning. Storage and accounting could not cope with heavy commitments of the Base Repair Depots. It was a cause of concern since two projects for overhaul of a transport aircraft and aeroengines for a fighter aircraft were in progress. A third project for overhaul of aircraft support vehicles of Russian origin was also planned to be started from April 96.

Group Captain RK Mohan took command of the Depot at this critical juncture. He took no time in making a realistic and correct assessment of the situation and started the work to achieve the objective of timely completion of the projects, computerisation of the inventory and revision of the organisation as well as storage plan to make it more responsible to the needs of production staff at the Base Repair Depots. An exercise to create space in close proximity of the workshops was taken up. Approximately 15,000 types of spares/unservicable machinery were surveyed and disposed off after retrieval of all serviceable components, thus making 10,000 sq mtrs storage space, valued at approximately Rs 6 crores available for storage of current equipment. A new concept of Logistics Support Officer for each production line was introduced, which not only ensured total accountability for efficient support to the production line but also brought in tremendous involvement of Logistics personnel with the production, bridging the gap between production and Logistics Staff. Group Captain Mohan also accomplished computerisation of inventory and a net saving of approximately 30% amounting to Rs. 1 Crore, was achieved during the years 1996-97 and 1997-98, as compared to the previous year.

For an excellent sense of professionalism and management of both human and material resources, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain RK Mohan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Rakesh Yadav 12809 AE(M)Unit : 18 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Rakesh Yadav (12809) AE (M) has been posted as a Chief Engineering Officer of a major flying base since 30 October 1995.

Throughout his tenure the fighter serviceability has been maintained above the required figure, resulting in substantial increase in quantum of flying. During this period, the helicopter squadron was also reorganised with an efficient Tech Flight and the helicopter serviceability was sustained in the face of numerous constraints. Group Captain Yadav innovatively developed a Test Rig for cleaning and flow rate check of restrictors of aircraft main fuel pumps. His dedicated efforts resulted in significant impro vement in the quality of maintenance practices.

Group Captain R Yadav also improved serviceability and condition of refuellers, aircraft specialist vehicles, Safety vehicles and common user vehicles. His deep involvement led to improvisation of windshields of CFT and recovery of electro pneumatic valves locally. Additionally, a total saving of Rs 1.2 Lakhs was achieved by keeping all three crash fire tenders operationally fit.

For distinguished service of a high order and dedication to service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Rakesh Yadav.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Krishnamurthi Rajaram 12933 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain K Rajaram (12933) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of a frontline fighter base since 26 April 96. His tenure has been characterised by consistently high achievements of task, the highest standard of professionalism and by enduring high morale of personnel he commands.

During the Command's annual exercises his Station achieved every given task. In TRISHUL 97 his Base did the highest quantum of flying. All mobile units deployed and moved by night, achieving set time frames. Throughout he has strived to create an environment where there would be minimum barriers to operations, while maintaining the highest standard of flight safety. By painstaking attentiveness to detail he also ensured very high standards of serviceability of aircraft and equipment. The ATC radar set a record for serviceability in 96-97. Navigational aids, specialist vehicles and communications systems remained consistently operational and effective. In spite of the vintage and reduced numbers of aircraft, their availability was maintained by forward planning and follow up. Group Captain K Rajaram has continually strived for the most optimum combination of aesthetics and durability while raising infrastructure on his station. A long-term view has been the hallmark of his planning, no matter what the size of the project.

His style of leadership ensured that morale remained ever high and his men demonstrated abiding loyalty and self motivation. Group Captain Rajaram has always led by example, working extensive hours and demonstrating exacting standards of self-discipline, drive, enthusiasm and involvement in every activity on the station.

For his dynamic leadership, devotion to duty and distinguished service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Rajaram.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Thumpe Parampil Dominic Mathew 13039 AE(L)Unit : Training Command  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain D Mathew (13039) Aeronautics Engineering (Electronics) has been on the posted strength of HQ Training Command since 02 April 96. He has been in charge of the transport, helicopter and Iskra fleets.

Group Captain D Mathew is a dynamic professional and a methodical officer. His exceptional planning skills have contributed towards maximising aircraft availability at Flying Training Schools. He has always planned ahead and projected in time the requirement of the fleets to Air HQ and to his superiors in Command HQ to ensure provisioning of spares and to meet other repair/servicing requirements. He has also been interacting directly with the BRDS, repair agencies and other formations to monitor progress and ensure that technical requirements of each aircraft are attended to. He is quick in decision making and does not allow any time to be lost. This has resulted in achieving a very high average serviceability for a number of fleets. The average rectification/inspection percentages were brought down significantly by effective monitoring and proper staggering, despite acute problems of spares in most of the fleets.

Group Captain D Mathew believes in good human values and inter personal relations. He is courteous in dealing with his colleagues and subordinates and very respectful towards every one. His sincerity, devotion to duty and hard work is worthy of emulation. He is continuously working towards attainment of higher goals.

For his devotion to duty, sincerity towards service and hard work, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain D Mathew.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Jyoti Narayan Burma 13219 ADMUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Jyoti Narayan Burma (13219) Adm/ATC has been the Director Operations (Air Traffic Services) at Air Headquarters since 31 December 1996.

The Officer has represented the Air Force ably at national and international fora. He is an active member of the high level review group for implementation of Future Air Navigation System (FANS) and the CivilMilitary Integration Team which has laid down the basis for future integration of civilmilitary aviation activity. He has represented the Air Force at a large number of seminars/ symposia like the "Asian Airports Meet 1997", "Free Flight" and "General Aviation" where he has eloquently projected the special requirements of military aviation. He is a member of the "Pavement Evaluation Committee" for RW resurfacing, the Committee for projecting a comprehensive report on the proposed Civil Aviation Policy, Civil Aviation Infrastructure Policy and amendments to the Aircrafts Act 1937, all of which will have very far reaching consequences. In addition, the officer has successfully projected the case for replacement of Ground Control Approach (GCA) systems, the induction into service of the Automated Digital Display and Control System for ATS management, provision of FAX/STD for all ATCs specially joint-user airfields. He has also been responsible for the rationalisation and revision of IAP 3309, Manual of ATS Services, which was issued on 01 January 98. Thus, Group Captain Burma has been instrumental in rationalising and improving the management of ATS in the IAF and has been deeply involved in upgrading and modernisation of ATS services to keep up with the requirements of the 21st century.

For his devotion to duty, professional knowledge of a very high order and hard work well above and beyond the call of duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain Jyoti Narayan Burma.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Kumar 13225 ADMUnit : Central Airmen Selection Board  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Kumar is posted as President of Central Airman Selection Board since 01 July 97. With his single minded devotion he has improved and stream lined within a short period the procedure of conducting recruitment rallies in remote and inaccessible areas. This has ensured equitable geographical representation of prospective candidates in the Indian Air Force. A total of 25 such rallies were conducted during the year 1998, attracting a large number of candidates from remote areas. Group Captain Ashok Kumar has also been instrumental in reviewing the existing policies and Air Force Orders on airman selection procedure. He also ensured an optimum utilisation of available resources to generate a large question papers bank.

Group Captain Ashok Kumar is an excellent manager of human resources and inspires a sense of satisfaction and commitment amongst personnel to achieve set targets.

For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Ashok Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Madhusudhan Banerjee 13400 F(P)Unit : 62 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Madhusudan Banerjee (13400) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the fighter steam of flying branch of the Indian Air Force on 21 June 1973. During his long service he has excelled in many fields. He has flown over 3500 hrs of accident-free flying on eight types of fighters. He is a QFI and a FCL who had the distinction of being on staff at TACDE. Group Captain M Banerjee successfully commanded a fighter squadron and is an Electronic Warfare expert.

Group Captain M Banerjee has been the Station Commander of an Air Defence Direction Centre (ADDC) since 11 Nov 96. With his personal involvement and dynamic leadership Group Captain M Banerjee has ensured high degree of operational readiness and serviceability of all technical assets of the Station. His inquisitive intellect and perseverance unravelled an intricate incident which resulted in identifying individuals who attempted sabotage on an aircraft. He has also paid special attention to security of this important ADDC. Through efforts of Station personnel, he effected substantial saving in expenditure for works services. His concern for the welfare of subordinates has been evident by many improvements in the messes, billets, shopping complex and by construction of additional sports facilities. This aspect has been especially recognised by the DASI, who have assessed the unit as average plus in March 1998. Group Captain M Banerjee has consistently displayed exemplary zeal, leadership and vision.

For a distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain M Banerjee.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Chinnabhandar Narasingara Ranganath 13471 AE(L)Unit : Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain CN Ranganath (13471) AE (L) has, been on the posted strength of ASTE since July 1993. He has been functioning as Chief Research and Project Officer (CRPO) since November 1996. Group Captain CN Ranganath, by extensive liaison with a number of design agencies, evolved new and fool proof procedural and testing methods for expeditious clearance of trial mods.

During the year 1997, ASTE celebrated its Silver Jubilee. Throughout the year a large number of functions and events were organised. Group Captain Ranganath was the Chief Coordinator for all these functions/ events. Skillful interaction between various civil agencies and providing a disciplined leadership to different organising committee members enabled Group Captain Ranganath in successfully organizing diverse events. It was a feather in the cap of this establishment that such events were conducted with enthusiasm and finesse.

The most prestigious event of the Silver Jubilee celebration was the National Seminar on Flight Testing organised by ASTE. Flight Test experts from the USA, UK, Europe, Russia and Israel participated along with Research and Development Scientists. The Chief Guest was the CAS and the seminar was presided over by Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. To conduct a seminar of this scope, particularly in an Air Force establishment called for original, meticulous planning and dedicated hard work. The fact that it was an outstanding success, was a tribute to the organisational skills of Group Captain Ranganath. The seminar was immensely successful in projecting the high standard of professionalism of the IAF in general and ASTE in particular amongst the aviation fraternity from both India and abroad.

For his significant contribution in organising the seminar on Flight Testing and for continued distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain CN Ranganath.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Jagan Nath Rampal 13700 AE(L)Unit : Software Development Institute  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Jagan Nath Rampal (13700) AE (L), has been on the posted strength of Software Development Institute (SDI) since 24 March 1997. The Officer has had varied experience in communication and radar fields, aircrew duties as Flight Signaller and ELINT operator and in Electronic Warfare Planning. The officer has to his credit the preparation of the first CRC Communication network and technical analysis of the technologies to form the basis of communication network for CRC II.

Group Captain Rampal has also done significant work on software in the field of communication and EW. As Chief Software Engineer, the officer has exercised professional acumen and project management of exceptional order in supervising and steering all the projects at SDI. He has applied himself with utmost devotion in leading and directing the development activity for a number of major projects. In one of the EW projects, reverse engineering posed a challenge due to non availability of data from foreign vendors. This challenge was successfully met by Group Captain Rampal. Proven through user trials, this indigenisation is to effect enormous saving in foreign exchange by obviating the requirement of direct purchase from foreign vendors.

For his professional expertise, single minded devotion to duty and distinguished service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Jagan Nath Rampal.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Joseph Neri 13711 AE(L)Unit : 9 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Group Captain Joseph Neri (13711) AE (L) has been the Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of a premier fighter base since 30 June 97. In a short period of 10 months, the officer's dynamism and dedication to professional excellence has left an indelible mark on every field of maintenance at this Wing.

In terms of aircraft maintenance, he assumed charge as CEO under the most trying circumstances. He had to de-induct a fighter squadron, simultaneously inducting another squadron. He used his managerial and professional skills in motivating his maintenance team to carry out a record 13 engine changes in a short span of one month so that the Squadron could move on time to its new locations. Simultaneously he planned for smooth induction of the new fighter squadron. Throughout all this, he ensured that the serviceability of the other two fighter squadrons at base remained high. His involvement and dedication right from the start resulted in peaking of maintenance efficiency, as reflected by availability of 12 or more fighter aircraft with each Squadron for the entire duration of Ex-Trishul.

In recognition of his abilities, he was tasked by the AOC-in-C to set up a major Local Area Network encompassing all major sections and the squadrons. He ensured computer based functioning in a record time of 15 days and further consolidated the process by developing indigenous software for the management of flying and maintenance operations. Ceaselessly innovating, he motivated his maintenance team to produce an indigenously designed and fabricated Radio Remote Control for the Arrester Barrier and a Hydraulic Test Rig.

For his tireless devotion to duty and dedication to profession, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain J Neri.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Praveen Kumar Naithani 13876 ADMUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

A dedicated professional, Wing Commander PK Naithani has held ATC Category 'AYE' since November 86. His ability to appreciate the critical requirements of Air Traffic Services is of an exceptional order and is commendable. His vast experience and sound professional knowledge has considerably helped air traffic controllers in the field to improve their controlling standards and ability to identify and analyse critical air traffic situations. With his maturity and originality in thought process, the officer has significantly contributed to formulation, revision and updation of various SOPs and guidelines for the inspection of Air Traffic Services and conduct of cat boards for Controllers.

Displaying an all round involvement in operational activities of the Air Force, the officer has written service papers on issues related to ATC and other Op activities with an aim to improve the existing system. A paper on runway rehabilitation scheme would result in saving to the tune of a few crores. His qualities of positive attitude and devotion to duty have made him an asset to the Dte of Air Staff Inspection.

For his unflinching devotion to duty, dedication to service and professional competence, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander PK Naithani.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Vipin Kumar Gupta 13907 MEDUnit : CHAF  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

During his tenure at CH, Bangalore he brought up the Orthopaedic centre to a high standard with excellent surgical results. He started joint replacement surgeries for the first time in this hospital and brought in many other technological improvements.

As an outstanding sportsman he has represented IAF in football and Command level in squash. As officer-in-charge sports he developed many sports facilities for officers, men and their families. For disabled patients he took keen interest in modernising Hospital Physio Occupational Centre.

For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander VK Gupta.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ved Mitra Upadhyay 14055 LGSUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Ved Mitra Upadhyay (14055) Logistics has been on the posted strength of the Directorate of Maintenance Inspection since 09 September 1996 as one of the Deputy Directors.

Wing Commander VM Upadhyay has consistently shown a dynamic approach to inspection of all units especially, Equipment Depots, Air Store Parks, Air Force Liaison Establishments and Base Repair Depots. He has at once been incisive and proactive, bringing out important observations broken up into simple recommendations. His manner of conducting inspection and audit brings out a total commitment to work.

Wing Commander Upadhyay raised an important point on material management and spares provisioning during the quality audit of MIG-21 aircraft. During a presentation made in February 98 on the Quality Audit, the CAS appreciated the point and asked for follow up inspection and studies on several of the issues raised by him.

For his contribution towards improvement of technologistics activity in the IAF by innovated ideas and distinguished services of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander VM Upadhyay.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Tarun Bhattacharya 14356 AE(L)Unit : AFS Yelahanka  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Immediately on posting as CEO, Wing Commander Bhattacharyya faced three major challenges. Firstly, 12 transport aircraft were inducted into the Station for a specific requirement for the first time in the IAF. Secondly, the entire responsibility of maintenance of transport aircraft was taken over from M/S Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Both these tasks demanded methodical planning, and great degree of involvement. It also required continued hard work round the clock to train all newly inducted personnel, to streamline maintenance procedures and to meet the large flying task. In addition, as CEO, he was overall incharge of the entire technical management activities related to Aero-India '96 the first ever international air show organised by the Ministry of Defence, at this station. His meticulous planning professional excellence and organisational skill enabled this Station to meet all the challenges of the air show with great success.

Wing Commander T Bhattacharyya by his untiring efforts and total dedication has optimised all resources and succeeded in conducting all technical activities with limited number of subordinates. His total involvement has richly contributed in completing successive flying training courses without any accident or major incident. In addition, all the support services have been maintained in the finest possible state.

For having rendered distinguished service of a very high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander T. Bhattacharyya.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Partha Sarathi Roy 15097 AE(L)Unit : 799 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Partha Sarathi Roy (15097) Aeronautic Engineering (Electronics) was commissioned on 25 July 1977 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. Since then he has done several important assignments and has excelled in various aspects of his profession. He was commended by AOCin-C Maintenance Command for computerisation of inventory management and network of micro computers at an Equipment Depot.

Wing Commander Roy is a thorough professional who is an expert Electronic Warfare Operator. He has flown over 2300 operational hours in hazardous conditions, during ELINT exercise. He was also instrumental in successfully developing operational site for a ground based ELINT unit. For his hard work and professionalism he has also been commended twice by the Chief of Air Staff.

Wing Commander Roy successfully commanded a vital Air Defence Communication Centre from 05 March 1996 to 30 April 1998. With his dynamic leadership Wing Commander Roy brought about significant and quantifiable all round improvements in the functioning of the Unit. His innovative modifications of technical facilities not only resulted in improved operational efficiency, but also affected a saving of 25% of technical manpower. Optimal and disciplined usage of resources, public as well as non public funds, have resulted in an annual saving of Rs. 5 lacs. Wing Commander Roy, by his leadership style and personal example, was able to bring in achievement orientation amongst the personnel under his command.

For his sustained hard work, devotion to duty and distinguished service of a very high order, the president is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander PS Roy.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Arup Kumar Basu 15320 MEDUnit : AFS New Delhi  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Arup Kumar Basu (15320) Medical was commissioned on 18 March 1978 in the Medical Branch of the Indian Air Force. He is on the posted strength of Air Force Station New Delhi since 12 Feb 96 and has been performing the duties of Staff Surgeon.

After a short tenure as Squadron Medical Officer in a missile unit he was selected to undergo postgraduate training in MD (Medicine) at AFMC Pune, following which he held the prestigious post of Clinical Tutor at Command Hospital, Pune. Subsequently he has served with distinction as a Medical Specialist at various Air Force Hospitals. In 1990 the officer qualified to undergo the coveted super specialist training in Pulmonology at Pune University, where he topped the University to become the first Chest Physician in the IAF. Thereafter he was posted to Command Hospital Bangalore where he set up the Respiratory Medicine Centre. Wing Commander AK Basu excelled in all his assignments. He has received Commendation by CAS on two occasions, once in 1995 and again in 1997.

In his present capacity as Staff Surgeon, Wing Commander Basu has been highly meticulous in delivering health-care of the highest order. He has provided prompt and appropriate specialist as well as emergent medical care to a vast number of serving and retired Air Force personnel and their families. He has applied his organisational skill in successfully establishing specialist OPD services at NOIDA. Despite his heavy work schedule, the officer has utilised his superspecialty training to set up Respiratory Diseases OPD at Station Sick quarters at Air Force Station New Delhi and a Bronchoscopy Clinic at Super Specialty Veterans Hospital, Air Force. His excellent bedside manners, professional competence and helpful demeanour has been widely appreciated, bringing credit to the IAF Medical Services. Throughout, he has shown utmost dedication, skill and compassion beyond the call of normal duty.

For his distinguished service of exceptional order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Arup Kumar Basu.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Srikrishna 15427 F(P)Unit : No.2209 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Srikrishna (15427) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the fighter stream on 07 July 1978. He is fully operational on a fighter aircraft, a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College.

Wing Commander Srikrishna was appointed as the Commanding Officer of a missile squadron on 26 Jun 95. Immediately on assuming command, Wing Commander Srikrishna involved himself with improving the operational efficiency, and work culture in his Unit. Under his guidance, the performance of the Unit has been exemplary. The Unit performed well in the annual command exercise for the second year in succession by meeting the deployment time frames, main tained high serviceability of equipment and undertook all the operational tasks with distinction.

Due to consistent and good performance, Wing Commander Srikrishna's Unit was earmarked, tested and cleared by the Director of Air Staff Inspection as the Range Duty Squadron for Guided Weapon Firing Range 97-98. The entire Squadron along with equipment had to move by two military special trains, for a period of four months. Through meticulous planning and coordination Wing Commander Srikrishna ensured that the move was conducted with clock work precision without any difficulty. His unit also created an all time record by firing all 16 missiles successfully, an achievement which bears testimony to the excellent technical and operational culture of the squadron under Wing Commander Srikrishna's command.

As an operationally oriented officer, Wing Commander Srikrishna involved himself with the station flying activities at the base for training of his crew. He has also been a source of consistent support and motivation to his technical staff for maintaining a very high serviceability state of all equipment.

For distinguished service of a very high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Srikrishna.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ashwani Bhakoo 15689 F(P)Unit : Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

As a flying instructor Wing Commander Bhakoo was instrumental in carrying out trials for carriage of rocket pods and bomb racks on a trainer aircraft. As Station Flight Safety Officer, his personal attention to snag rectification and defect investigations ensured that the concept of safe flying was effectively implemented. His hard work, dedication and initiative were evident as his base became the first station to install anti bird measures like the Zon Gun, ahead of the 10 priority airfields.

The Officer is presently posted to a Command HQ. The officer played a pivotal role in setting up Local Area Network (LAN) and a Wide Area Network (WAN) in the Command HQ and its various stations using Tropo lines. He was personally involved in explaining the intricacies of the LAN & WAN to all the bases, convincing the non-believer into accepting computerisation. The proof was that the Command yearly exercise was run totally on the WAN and LANs with no use whatsoever of telephones between Command HQ and Stations. All air tasking orders, executive orders, reports, feed backs and returns were sent/received on this system. A very high degree of perseverance, hard work, ingenuity and dedication to duty was displayed by the officer in achieving a Computer Network System with near to nil resources.

The officer's experience in flying two types of fighter aircraft was called upon in the formulation of PART-III for the Command with emphasis on strike planning, tactical routing, formation of Tasking Orders, feedback reports and returns. The officer played a pivotal role in the installation of scanners at eight Air Force bases in the Command for the passage of information from the FR Sqns. This system proved to be most cost effective and efficient making the old Vicon system redundant.

In recognition of his hard work, dedication to duty, perseverance to achieve results and his contribution, to the Air Force, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Ashwani Bhakoo.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Sukhchain Singh 15808 AE(L)Unit : 17 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Sukhchain Singh (15808) Aeronautics Engineering (Electronics) has been posted at a major fighter base since 14 June 1996 as the Senior Engineer (Aircraft). During last nineteen years of his service he has had a rich experience of aircraft maintenance. He has been the STO of a fighter squadron.

He is a thorough professional and has in depth knowledge of all the aircraft systems and the associated support services. He has demonstrated exceptional ingenuity and initiative in the recovery of five fighter aircraft which were on AOG for more than two years. He also directed and motivated technicians to recover the long unserviceable testers and test benches. An aircraft simulator had been unserviceable for last two years. Though untrained and unfamiliar with the system, he motivated the repair team and recovered the Simulator in a record time of three months. This singular achievement has saved valuable foreign exchange and has made the Simulator available for operational training of the pilots.

Wing Commander Sukhchain Singh is also responsible for design and fabrication of an automatic voltage card for the Ground Power Unit of the aircraft. This hard to acquire component was locally manufactured and used to recover the unserviceable starting trolleys. Anti Collision Light of the aircraft were being despatched abroad for repair and were being, categorised non-repairable at the repair agency. He devised a completely new state of art electronic circuit to recover these assemblies. Ten such locally fabricated assemblies are flying on the aircraft. This has also saved valuable foreign exchange.

Wing Commander Sukhchain Singh is highly professional, deeply devoted to the cause of service and is an officer with a zeal to innovate. For his singular devotion to the service, exceptional professional knowledge and service of very high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Suckchain Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Manavendra Singh 16983 F(P)Unit : No.131 FAC Flight  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Manavendra Singh, Vir Chakra (16983) Flying (Pilot), has been on the posted strength of a helicopter unit as Flight Commander since 08 Apr 96. He is an accomplished pilot and a QFI with over 5300 hours of accident/incident free flying to his credit. He is fully operational in roles like Airborne Forward Air Controller, Anti Tank Guided Missile & holds the highest Category/ Instrument Ratings A/MG.

Squadron Leader Manavendra Singh has won international appreciation for the difficult evacuation of South Korean mountaineers from Gangotri glacier in September 95 and the rescue of an American mountaineer in October 96 from Nanda Devi Hills. In December 97 he was tasked to undertake casualty evacuation mission from high altitude helipad in snowy and adverse weather conditions. In spite of marginal weather he led a two aircraft mission and evacuated 17 ITBP personnel to a lower helipad. However, during this, the aircraft got caught in a severe snow storm and he spent the night at high altitude along with the casualties. Next day he evacuated all casualties to lower altitude. During the mission he displayed a very high degree of dedication and professionalism. The timely rescue not only saved many lives but also elevated the image of the Service.

In the absence of a regular CO he held the command of the unit from 05 August 1997 to 23 November 1997. During this period the unit flew the highest number of hours in a month. Unit also carried out three VIP and one four ac VVIP commitment for HM the King of Nepal with utmost safety and professionalism. With his personal interaction with technical staff, the unit maintained over 90% serviceability. His personal example and close supervision have ensured accident/ incident free record along with very high operational status for the unit.

For his exceptional flying skills, exemplary devotion to duty, professional excellence and dedication the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Sqn Leader Manavendra Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Manoj Kumar Dixit 17205 ADMUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

The Officer was commissioned on 28 May 83 in the Administrative Branch of the Indian Air force and has held field appointments such as Station Adjutant in a Signals Unit, Deputy C Adm O of a Wing and a Missile Unit and has had a varied and vast exposure in all facets of activities of an Air Force Station. In all his assignments, Squadron Leader Manoj Kumar Dixit has performed exceedingly well. From 1993 to 1995, the officer served with distinction as SO to AOsC-in-C, SWAC and WAC and the VCAS. He was commended by the CAS in 1995. Since January 1996 the officer has been functioning as the Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff. The officer's performance in undertaking the tasks assigned to him has been of a very high order. The heavy pressure of work and the rigid time frames to be met, did not deter the officer from completing the assigned tasks in a highly meticulous manner. His output of work has always been of the highest order and he has always kept service requirements above personal needs. Squadron Leader Dixit is primarily responsible for all follow up actions of the CAS decisions and directives, day to day functioning of the office and official engagements of the CAS. The officer has collated necessary inputs and coordinated the functioning of the office administration in an excellent manner. His background knowledge and professional competence relating to various issues is praiseworthy. He has displayed, zeal, professional competence and dedication to service which go far beyond the call of normal duty.

For his unstinted dedication and outstanding performance, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader Manoj Kumar Dixit.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Arvinder Singh Grover 17504 ADMUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Arvinder Singh Grover (17504) Administration was commissioned into the Administration Branch of the IAF on 08 June 1984. He has held different field level appointments involving administration and security at various Air Force formations and establishments and has also performed instructional duties at Administrative Training Institute. He was specifically selected to take up the challenging appointment as Security Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff, with effect from 21 June 1993, keeping in view his overall record of service and excellent merit in the Commando courses with the Army and NSG. Subsequently with effect from 01 January 1996, he took over additional responsibilities as Staff Officer to the CAS while continuing to look after all security matters.

Squadron Leader Arvinder Singh Grover has always applied himself diligently to the task assigned to him. He had successfully provided an exceptionally high level of security to the CAS and his family members. His meticulous attention to details has ensured that necessary arrangements and security of VVIPs/VIPs have always been of an exceptional order.

Squadron Leader Arvinder Singh Grover's leadership qualities have been of an exceptional order. The fact that men under his command have consistently performed in a highly praiseworthy manner, speaks of his capacity to achieve optimum results by motivating his subordinates through personal example and conduct. He has displayed zeal, professional competence and dedication to service which go far beyond the call of normal duty. A resultoriented officer, he had consistently shown grit and determination to meet the challenging goals of his mission. By virtue of his dedication to duty, he has been commended twice by the AosC-in-C and twice by the CAS.

In recognition of his outstanding performance, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Meal' to Squadron Leader Arvinder Singh Grover.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
WO Gaya Prasad 271994 ORUnit : 12 Forward Base Support Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

On 09 Jun 98, cyclone had hit the station with the wind speed exceeding 200 kms/h. Met forecast of a likely cyclone was received a day earlier and WO Gaya Prasad motivated

his team of airmen to take all precautions including shifting of stores to minimize the damage to stores.

On the day of the cyclone most of the covered plinths, Nissan huts and security wall on one side of bomb dump collapsed. Immediately on subsiding of the cyclone, at about 1300 hrs, WO Gaya Prasad took stock of the situation from the point of view of safety and security of missile explosives and ammunition. Since the demolition stores building was in the vicinity of collapsed boundary wall, WO Gaya Prasad, with his team of airmen shifted demolition stores to a safer place. The Nissan hut, where small arms and ammunition were stored had also collapsed. WO Gaya Prasad shifted all small ammunition weighing about 20 tonnes to Station Armoury within one day despite limited manpower.

Warrant Officer Gaya Prasad, with his experience and leadership retrieved the war stores and prevented further damage/ deterioration. He opened war stores, drained out the water and made them safe. Thus, with the help of a handful of airmen of the bomb dump, he saved explosive stores worth several hundred crores of rupees.

For his dedication, untiring enthusiasm, foresight, professional skill and total involvement, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to WO Gaya Prasad.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 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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