Awards for the year 2002


A total of 74 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 11 | Shaurya Chakra : 2 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 23 | Vishist Seva Medal : 32 |
Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Abhay Gupta 13241 F(P)Unit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Abhay Gupta (13241) F (P) was commissioned in the flying branch of the IAF on 22 Dec 72. During his thirty years of distinguished service, he has held several key command and staff appointments and has excelled himself as a professional. He has over 3,600 hrs of accident-free fighter flying to his credit. He is a graduate of College of Air Warfare, a Fighter Combat Leader and a Qualified Flying Instructor. He was one of the founder members of the premier Formation Aerobatics Team of the IAF, the Thunderbolts. He also has the unique distinction of having commanded two fighter squadrons. The Jaguar Squadron he commanded did exceedingly well in all aspects of operations, maintenance and administration and was awarded the Presidents' Colours.

Gp Capt Gupta possesses exceptional managerial skills, sagacity and zest - qualities that he applied to his work as Chief Operations Officer (COO) of a major fighter base. He was instrumental in the activation of the long disused airfield at Dharbanga, where fighter operations were conducted for the first time ever. During his tenure as COO, Eastern UP region witnessed unprecedented and devastating floods. Gp Capt Gupta set up a very efficient Flood Control Cell and coordinated the two month long relief operations, which brought timely succour and relief to lakhs of hapless and marooned people. This humanitarian effort brought laurels and appreciation to the Air Force from one and all, including the Prime Minister of India himself.

Gp Capt Gupta has been posted to Air HQ as Joint Director Personnel Planning (JDPP) since Jul 2000. As JDPP, once again Gp Capt Gupta has shown a high degree of commitment, and has brought out a substantial improvement in the work culture and output of Directorate. He took initiative to restructure the Directorate so as to achieve optimum manning level. As a result the Directorate was able to shed 10% of its manpower, including officers and other ranks. With his initiative, all the induction plans have been revised, manpower rationalisation cases have been updated and pursued vigorously with MoD for approval. Gp Capt Gupta has demonstrated exceptional skills in staff work, and has made a major contribution towards finalising the recommendations of the Task Force on Manpower Management.

Throughout his career, Gp Capt Gupta has shown a very high level of commitment, zeal and professionalism. For a distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Abhay Gupta.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Bidanda Chengapa Nanjappa 13246 F(P)Unit : Training Command  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Air Commodore Bidanda Chengapa Nanjapa (13246) F (P) is on the posted strength of HQ Training Command (TC) Air Force from 07 May 99, as Senior Flying Training Officer -II (SFTO II) in the Flying Training Section. From 03 Jan 2001 to 09 Mar 2001 he functioned as the Chief Flying Training Officer (CFTO). Air Cmde Nanjapa has been a Directing Staff in Tactics and Combat Development Establishment, Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Bis Squadron, and the Chief Operations Officer at Air Force Station, Pathankot. He is an M.Sc. and M.Phil. in Defence Studies, besides being a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and the College of Combat.

In his capacity as SFTO-II, has initiated and directed the revision of flying training syllabi and the change of training schedule at Flying Instructors School, the revision of flying and ground training syllabus of all Flying Training Establishments (FTE) under TC. He was instrumental in making the case for Stage-III training and the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) to be placed under HQ TC, and in working out the manner in which, training would be re-organised in TC during phased induction of the AJT.

He was involved in planning and finalising the increased display schedules and work-up of the Suryakiran team into a nine aircraft team with synchronous pair manoeuvres. During the final run-up to Aero India 2001, as officiating CFTO Air Cmde Nanjapa was involved in planning and overseeing the Static and flying display and Flight Safety of all aircraft taking part, planning and monitoring the movement of all participating aircraft, planning and orchestrating all VVP/VIP moves and supervising the large movement of visiting aircraft. The impeccable conduct of the show with complete safety testifies to the efficient supervision by Air Cmde Nanjapa. As Officiating CFTO, he has initiated measures to ensure that there is no compromise in quality from the FTEs. He has motivated the key supervisors in the FTEs to implement the values enshrined in the directions of the Chief of Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-inChief, in improving the quality of flying training, and is constantly suggesting ways and means of improving flying and ground training as well as the working of HQ TC. He has been able to motivate all officers and staff in the Flying training section towards a higher quality of work, turnout and dedication by using a judicious mix of reward and example. His influence towards ensuring higher efficiency extends beyond the flying training section to other allied and support sections.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Bidanda Chengapa Nanjapa.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Rajneesh Khanna 13296 AE(L)Unit : 15 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Rajneesh Khanna (13296) AE (L) was commissioned on 01 Jan 73 in the Engineering branch of the IAF. Since commissioning he has worked on MiG-21 aircraft, SAM III missiles and Electronic Warfare Systems. As guidance Officer in SAM III missiles he performed creditably in maintaining the weapon system and was commended for his operational prowess. He has over 1900 hours of flying experience as an Electronic Systems Operator in the only Airborne Electronic Intelligence unit of the IAF.

He was appointed Chief Engineering Officer of Air Force Station Bareilly on 10 May 99 and was responsible for planning and executing the recovery of four prolonged unserviceable MiG-21 aircraft within a short period. Consequently an average serviceability of over 80 percent for the fleet was achieved during Kargil Operations.

Despite shortage of critical spares of MiG25 aircraft, his efforts towards indigenisation of some important components and meticulous planning has ensured a high aircraft availability of 72 percent in the past one year, which bears testimony to his involvement and management skills. Similarly, the Chetak/ Cheetah fleet also achieved a record 81 percent serviceability during the same period.

His proactive approach, commitment and effective leadership has brought about a qualitative improvement in the work ethos of the maintenance organisation. Under his guidance, the station Mechanical Transport section took up major engine overhauls of a number of common user and specialist vehicles thus enhancing the confidence and skill levels of the technicians.

His technical acumen and professional skills ensured flawless performance of all technical equipment of the station during the President's Standard/Colour presentation Ceremony held at Air Force Station Bareilly in October 2000. He was responsible for excellent set up of the parade ground and seating arrangements and also ensured that all aircraft and armament stores for backdrop and display were prepared to the highest standards.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Anjan Kumar Gogoi 13382 F(P)Unit : AFS Suratgarh  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Anjan Kumar Gogoi (13382) F (P) was commissioned on 02 Jun 73 in the fighter stream of the IAF. With over 3000 hours of flying, he is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader. He has been the Commanding Officer of a MiG- 21 MF Squadron, Commanding Officer of 1 Air Combat Simulator unit, Chief Operations Officer at Air Force Station Tezpur and Command Air Defence Officer of a Eastern Air Command. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and has undergone the Senior Defence Management and Higher Command courses.

He took over command of Air Force Station Suratgarh on 21 Jun 99 during Operation Safed Sagar. With his professional acumen he took stock of the situation and quickly fine-tuned the station to full operational readiness. His dynamic leadership infused confidence and enthusiasm among all personnel to undertake any commitment. In Feb 2000 during the joint Army/Air Force exercise 'Vijay Chakra' he successfully executed every commitment with precision. Over 1200 Air Force and Army personnel inducted for the exercise from various units were provided every possible support in achieving their objectives. 350 sorties were successfully flown both by day and night by fighters, transport and helicopters from the base. Through the period of his tenure the two units of 35 Wing flew more than 10,000 sorties with an accident free record.

With his motivational skills he inspired the station personnel to achieve excellence. 2209 Squadron was adjudged the best Pechora Squadron of the IAF in 1999. 23 Squadron achieved 100% serviceability between 6-8 Jul 99 and 104(H) Squadron achieved 100% serviceability between 11 Feb and 22 Feb 2000. The serviceability and flying hours achieved by both the squadrons is one of the highest in Western Air Command. During the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection of Air Force Station Suratgarh, in Feb-Mar 2001 produced excellent results in all disciplines.

For his professional competence, exemplary leadership qualities and distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Anjan Kumar Gogoi.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Anil Kumar Khosla 13534 AE(L)Unit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Anil Kumar Khosla (13534) AE (L) was commissioned on 07 Jan 74 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. In 27 years of his distinguished service, he has held several important appointments that include Senior Engineer (Electronic) of a Fighter Base, Chief Technical Officer of Air Defence Radar, Command System Officer at Command HQ. He is a graduate of College of Defence Management and has obtained MMS (Defence Studies) degree in first class with distinction.

He is the pioneer of Mirage-2000 Laser Designation Pod (LDP) infrastructure, having set up state-of-the-art serving bays of LDP and other Electronic Warfare assets in an exemplary manner in the IAF. His engineering acumen has resulted in savings of 0.36 million French Francs during repair of LDP in India. As Chief Technical Officer of a Radar Unit, he had carried out a number of cost-effective innovations resulting in optimal performance of the ageing Air Defence Radar. A professionally sound officer, he has consistently displayed extraordinary zeal and technical potential for ensuring a high level of maintenance of all Electronics/Electrical based ground installation, by adopting inn ovative and cost saving methods.

As Command Systems Officers at HQ Central Air Command, he brought about a high state of serviceability of all Electronics/ Electrical bases ground installations, by devising a drill for meticulous checks of the power supply systems, earthing and RF plumbing of various installations during non-watch hours. By infusing concept of selfreliance and successfully adopting "Just in Time" (JIT) concept and almost real time monitoring of snags he brought about a low level of inventory build up of spares and high Mean Time Between Failures of Air Defence Radars.

In his present staff appointment as Officiating Director Training (Ground), the officer has shown his mettle for staff work too. He has focused thrust on the modernisation of the Training Institutes right from the beginning of his tenure. He has raised the level of personal liaison with the Ministry of Defence. Revision of the syllabi of technical and nontechnical trades within one year of his tenure in the Directorate of Training has been another singular achievement of the officer. He has successfully built up a supporting team of officers under him and raised the level of performance of his charge to a high level. He has also brought in transparency in the working of his team.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Simhakutty Varthaman 13606 F(P)Unit : 15 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Simhakutty Varthaman VM (13606) F (P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 09 Feb 1974. In 27 years of distinguished service the pilot has flown 26 years, and accumulated 3800 hours of flying on 30 different types of aircraft. A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, he is an experienced test pilot and a qualified flying instructor. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1993 for distinguished service as a Chief Test Pilot of a large Base Repair Depot. He has commanded a MiG 21 fighter squadron, and was the Chief Test Pilot of the IAF flighttesting centre at Aircraft and System Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bangalore. He is now the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Air Force Station Gwalior.

Whilst commanding a MiG-21 fighter squadron in the East his unit achieved the singular distinction of having flown 9500 sorties without a single accident, while ensuring a very high quality training of pilots. As Chief Test Pilot at ASTE he was instrumental in the conduct and execution of crucial aircraft and weapon trials being inducted into the IAF. As the COO, this highly motivated and dynamic officer, coordinated the entire magnitude of operations of Kargil at Gwalior, sustaining an efficient operational environment and high morale of the Mirage fleet to achieve this air victory. In a short span of four months he created the only successful multitarget and multi-directional day/night Airto-Ground Range at Singpur, which gives realistic operational scenario for all types of aircraft in the IAF, thereby enhancing the operational potential of the IAF.

The officer supervised three Air Force level exercises and 12 electronic warfare exercises during the last two years, without compromising flight safety. In recognition of these achievements the air base was awarded the "Best in Operations" of Central Air Command for both the years consecutively under his leadership. With a wide perspective and progressive vision he has co-ordinated the induction of the Tactics And Combat Development Establishment into Gwalior.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vijay Kumar Bali 13787 F(P)Unit : 507 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Vijay Kumar Bali (13787) F (P) was commissioned in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force on 01 Jun 71. A Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, he has 2727 hours of flying to his credit. His appointments include command of a fighter squadron, Chief Operations officer of a fighter base and a staff appointment in Air Headquarters. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1996.

Gp Capt Bali took over the command of Air Force Station Singarsi on 21 Aug 2000. Singarsi received an unprecedented 1091mm of rainfall from 17 Sep to 23 Sep 2000. Most of the roads were badly damaged by massive landslides and subsidence. The radar and the domestic area were cut off from the rest of the world for nearly twenty days. Gp Capt Bali with his dedicated team assured that the radar was not damaged and made it operational in record time on 23 Sep 2000. His close supervision, guidance and motivation ensured that all communications systems were restored and remained serviceable and available throughout the period of the rainstorm. Leading by personal example, he conducted station-wide shramdan in the rain, thus minimising the nature and extent of damage.

In the recent past, thanks mostly to his sustained efforts and close supervision, the Automatic Data Handling System Retro fitment was completed on 19 Jul 01, well before the PDC of 31 Jul 01. His personal monitoring has yielded a very high serviceability of the radar, its accessories and MT vehicles, inspite of the remote location of the stn and difficulties in procurement of spares.

Through his interactive style of management, Gp Capt Bali has successfully infused an uncommon sense of belonging and enthusiasm in this one of the most remotely located and difficult to access Stations in the IAF. By introducing thoughtful welfare measure, he has brought about a marked improvement in the quality of life. Singarsi is extremely prone to malaria. Due to Gp Capt Bali's persistent and concerted effort, there has been a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria in the Station. Medical and other help to the local tribals by his station drew a lot of praise for the services from all the associated civilian agencies.

For distinguished service of an exceptional order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Vijay Kumar Bali.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Satvir Singh Dhanda 13926 F(P)Unit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Satvir Singh Dhanda (13926) F (P) was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on 15 Feb 75. Since then, he has flown a variety of fighter aircraft, including the MiG-21M and the Mirage-2000. He is a Fighter Combat Leader (FCL), and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC). He has also undergone an Electronic Warfare Range course in France. He has held many important appointments, has commanded a Mirage 2000 squadron, and Air Force Station Bhuj. Presently, he is posted as the Member of the Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare in Directorate of Ops (Offensive) at Air HQ (VB).

Gp Capt Dhanda, as the Station Commander of Air Force Station Bhuj motivated his station personnel towards achieving an accident free environment by instituting a good work culture, a clean environment and a self-driven urge to work well. During the devastating earthquake that rocked the Gujarat and Kutch region on 26 January 2001. The Air Force Station itself was badly affected, with heavy loss to life and property. As the Station Commander, Gp Capt Dhanda took stock of the situation, conducting all rescue and relief operations. He relentlessly pursued all rescue and relief activities on a war footing, and ensured that the airbase was quickly made available and capable of receiving aircraft with relief supplies, and for sending out casualties to other bases. These activities were effectively coordinated with the civil agencies, and with the Army. This helped in synergising the relief and rescue operations, which drew praise from all quarters. Due to his untiring efforts, planning and positive attitude in the face of such a devastating natural calamity, the effects were made fairly manageable.

For a high degree of professionalism, positive attitude and distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Satvir Singh Dhanda.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Bar to Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema 14292 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema (14292) F (P) has been Base Commander of the forward most Air Base of the Air Force since Sep 99.

Gp Capt Cheema has been one of the pioneers of Mi-8/Mi-17 operations in "Op Meghdoot" Sector. He has the unique distinction of carrying out the first night landing at Thoise in order to evacuate casualties from Nubra Valley during 1984. He has wide experience in counter insurgency operations in Northeast, J&K, Light Intensity Conflict in Op Meghdoot and Op Pawan (Sri Lanka). He has been the author of Offensive Armament Action Utilising Mi-17s during Op Pawan.

On assuming the command of the this important base which is directly supporting Air Maintenance of the troops in Siachen Glacier, critically and systematically analysed the various aspects that needed enhanced performance. He led by example through exhibition of professional competence and flying Mi-17s, both by day and night, to improve the operational status of aircrew. Despite numerous constraints he ensured that night landing facilities for fixed wing aircraft of the category of IL-76 was provided at Thoise during moon phase. He worked with zeal and enthusiasm to ensure no stone is left unturned to provide requisite facilities for air operations.

Gp Capt Cheema not only has a distinction of having logged more than 500 hrs of accident free flying but also the distinction of providing a safe environment at the airfield. Living conditions provided under extreme weather conditions to the personnel of the Station is note-worthy. The morale of personnel remained very high during his tenure in this difficult Sector.

For professionalism, dedication and leadership qualities of the highest order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Bar to 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sibaram Mahapatra 14304 MEDUnit : 92 Base Hospital  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Mohit Kumar 14674 F(P)Unit : 27 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Mohit Kumar VM (14674) F (P) was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on 29 Dec 76. Since then, he has flown a variety of fighter aircraft, including the MiG-21 M and the Mirage- 2000. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Pilot Attack Instructor and a graduate of the Royal Air Force Staff College at Bracknel (UK). He has held many important appointments, has commanded a Mirage 2000 squadron, and is presently Station Commander of Air Force Station Bhuj. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for exemplary performance during his command of No 7 Sqn Air Force prior to operation Safed Sagar.

During the devastating earthquake that rocked Gujarat and Kutch region on 26 January 2001, Air Force Station itself was badly affected, with heavy loss to life and property. Taking over command barely one week after the earthquake, Gp Capt Mohit Kumar displayed immense courage, deter mination and initiative by spearheading the rehabilitation of Air Force Station Bhuj and surrounding areas of Kutch. As the Station Commander, Gp Capt Mohit Kumar relentlessly pursued all rescue and relief activities on a war footing, and ensured that the airbase was quickly made continuously available and capable of receiving aircraft with relief supplies, and for sending out casualties to other bases. These activities were effectively coordinated with the civil agencies, and with the Army. This helped in synergising the relief and rescue operations, which drew praise from all quarters and displayed a high degree of inter-service jointness. Due to his untiring efforts, planning and positive attitude in the face of such a devastating natural calamity, the effects were made fairly manageable. The attitude of service before self followed by Air Force Station Bhuj under these adverse circumstances was the result of his leadership and brought accolades to the Indian Air Force.

For a high degree of professionalism, positive attitude, empathy and distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Mohit Kumar VM.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Jitendra Singh 13667 ADMUnit : AFSEC  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Jitender Singh (13667) Adm was commissioned in the IAF 13 Jul 74. During the service career of almost 27 years, he has performed in an exemplary manner. He has held several key appointments such as Station Adjutant, Chief Administration Officer (C Adm 0) in the field and staff appointments at various HQs/Ministry of Defence.

While he was functioning as C Adm O, his station achieved the distinction of winning HQ Western Air Command's trophy in Best in administration for three consecutive years. This was a reflection on Wg Cdr Jitender Singh's administrative acumen and devotion to duty. Subsequently he was posted to Directorate of Personal Planning, Air HQ as DDPP-I, looking after all the Establishment cases of the Indian Air Force. The officer displayed an astute sense to grasp the intricate problems related to manpower. With his dogged perseverance, many of the Establishment cases were sorted out and settled. He was instrumental in obtaining Ministry of Defence approval for establishment cases of many important units.

As C Adm O of an Equipment Depot, he involved himself in all-important spheres of administration, including complex matters related to 800 civilian employees. With his firm and diplomatic approach, he managed to bring the Union activities under absolute control of the authorities. The officer also exhibited high quality of professionalism in handling the work services and maintenance of Depot infrastructure.

Wg Cdr Jitender Singh was attached to Air Force Standing Establishment Committee (AFSEC) Secretariat for formation of IAF Reserve Pool. The Officer, with his professional wisdom and persuasive interaction with MoD Officials/Army HQ, was successful in formation of IAF Reserve Pool in Nov 99. The Officer developed perfect co-ordination with MoD/Air HQ, and very systematically pursued the review of IAF Units, which had become stagnant. Due to his initiative and efforts, 125 IAF Units had been reviewed between Jan 2000 to Mar 2001. This was a landmark not only in terms of the number of Units reviewed, but also because several operational flying squadrons, were reviewed for the first time, something that had not been done for last four decades.

For his sustained hard work and distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Jitender Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Gopal Dass Sharma 14047 ADM/FCUnit : South Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Gopal Dass Sharma (14047) Adm/FC has nearly 25 years of commissioned service. During this period, he has worked on all types of air defence radars in a variety of units. As a young officer, he earned an 'AYE' category as a Fighter Controller and today he enjoys an enviable reputation as a professional amongst the pilot/controller community. Before assuming his present assignment as AD-I at HQ South Western Air Command (SWAC) IAF, he has been an inspector with the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at Air HQ for five years, and has also commanded a Signals Unit in the sensitive J&K sector.

Besides discharging day to day management responsibilities, his tasks have included planning and co-ordination of major exercises, reviewing of orders and instructions and formulating Standard Operating Procedures for smooth conduct of Air Defence operations. In acquitting himself of these responsibilities, he has been found to be very mature, knowledgeable and industrious. He has taken his responsibilities seriously and applied his vast experience well in management of forces in the field. Some noteworthy aspects of his outlook are that despite years of experience and considerable expertise in matters related to Air Defence, he is always receptive to new ideas. Related to this quality is also his habit of expressing his professional opinion forthrightly and unambiguously. Consequently, not only does the section enjoy the benefit of his sound professional advice but also new ideas can be generated.

During the past 18 months, SWAC has handled many operational tasks and conducted a number of exercises. Each of them has been handled most competently by Wg Cdr GD Sharma. This is also reflected in his day to day work.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Prabhat Kumar Sinha 14380 ADM/FCUnit : 47 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Prabhat Kumar Sinha (14380) Adm/FC was commissioned on 23 Jan 76 as an Admin Fighter Controller. He has held many important appointments such as, directing staff in the Air Defence College, commanding officer of an ST-68 Transportable Radar Unit and TRS 2215 Signal unit at Air Force Suratgarh, Chief Operations Officer at Air Force Station, Ayanagar and Air Force Station Vadsar. As directing staff at Air Defence College, he was awarded a commendation by Chief of Air Staff in Aug 87. As, commanding officer of the TRU he was instrumental in Controlling and Reporting Centre (CRC) development under HQ Western Air Command, and in designing the mobile twin cabin ops room for the CRC. He has topped in the 01 Master Fighter Controllers course, has completed Defence Services Staff Course with first class and his performance in chief administrative course was praiseworthy.

Since Wg Cdr Sinha's arrival, the ops section and unit has undergone a sea change in terms of operational regular liaison with Flying Squadrons. Unit has done 414 Practice Interceptions (PIs) in the year 2000 while in the years 97, 98 and 99 total PIs done were 25, 87 and 126 respectively. Wg Cdr Sinha has ensured that 47 SU, AF is brought in the list of Units from where fighter controllers have upgraded their category. Since 1997 no fighter controller had upgraded professional category at this unit. Wg Cdr Sinha's untiring effort and training, motivation of young fighter controllers has ensured that four fighter controllers of this unit have upgraded their professional category from 'Cee' to 'Bee' in the year 2000-01. He ensures that theoretical and practical training along with on the job training continues without any break. This in turn ensures a high operational preparedness.

During the earthquake in Gujarat, where Bhuj was badly affected, Wg Cdr Sinha as Officiating Commanding Officer of Air Force Station Vadsar, ensured that all possible help was rendered to the people affected by the natural calamity. He ensured that food and clothing items were made available to the needy in record time. He got all the men and ladies together in order to prepare food and donate clothes for victims, and sent it to Bhuj. Every day, 3000 to 4000 food packets were sent to Bhuj under his personal supervision from this station.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Narendra Kumar Kalra 14397 ADM/FCUnit : 33 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Narendra Kumar Kalra (14397) Adm/FC, commissioned in 1976 as an Administrative Officer in the IAF, has been a Fighter Controller ever since. He has held the appointments of Training Director, Chief Operations Officer, Commanding Officer and Deputy Director Air Defence. He achieved excellence during his field tenures and achieved Category 'AYE' in 1986. He graduated from Defence Services Staff College in 1992 and has achieved exceptional grading in Advance Intelligence and Chief Administ rative Officer courses. He, a thinking soldier, has completed MBA in First division recently. As Commanding Officer of a newly raised unit, he transformed it into the best Ground Control Intercept unit in SWAC and won the trophy twice during his tenure. As Deputy Director at Air HQ, he obtained government sanctions in record time to procure equipment for field units, for which Chief of Air Staff commended him in 1995.

Wg Cdr Kalra, with his excellent professional knowledge, high initiative and expertise, imparted quality training to the Ops crew of Rajasthan sector, resulting in its enhanced operational preparedness. He provided operational and administrative guidance to the newly formed Transportable Radar Units, equipped with first four IndraII radars of IAF and operationalised them in record time. The unit was assessed 'Average plus' by DASI and adjudged the best 'Air Defence Direction Centre' in SWAC for the last two consecutive years mainly due to his involvement, guidance and leadership.

Wg Cdr Kalra volunteered to beautify the station, and exhibited qualities of innovation, planning and execution in various fields. He led from the front in conducting regular shramdaans, tree plantation and fixing illuminated road signs etc, thus giving it an aesthetic look. He keeps the welfare of his subordinates and service interest - a paramount principle, which has earned him a distinct mark of respect from all quarters. His dedication, zeal and enthusiasm serve as a great motivational factor to others.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Shyamal Kumar Chakrabarty 15910 ADM/FCUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Shaymal Kumar Chakrabarty (15910) Adm/FC was commissioned in the Administrative branch of the 1AF on 15 Dec 79, and got inducted into the Air Defence stream as Fighter Controller. During his service, he has held various operational appointments, such as Chief Operations Officer of Air Defence Direction Centre (ADDC), Commanding Officer (CO) of Transportable Radar Unit (TRU), CO of Automated Control and Reporting Centre (CRC), including a tenure as Deputy Director in the CRC Development Group (CRCDG) at Ambala. Presently, he is posted as Joint Director, Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (Control & Reporting) at Air HQ. He, attained highest professional category 'AYE', and as an accomplished Fighter Controller, completed Joint Air Warfare Course with 'A' grading, Advanced Fighter Controllers course with Directing Staff (DS) grading, and qualified as a Master Fighter Controller (MFC) from Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), again with DS grading. In May 2000, he was actively involved in carrying out the trials of the Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS), and in Sep 2000, he represented IAF, to visit France under the Indo-French Co-operation programme.

As the CO of a TRU, he initiated a number of innovations. Notable amongst these were the replacement of the Russian Cooling radiator of ST-68 radar with a Shaktiman 3 Ton truck radiator to over come the problems of clogged radiator, for cooling of ST-68 radar equipment, and also the successful installation of Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Mk-X on ST-68 radar, which was subsequently incorporated in similar radar units of IAF. Under his leadership, the TRU was declared as the best radar unit, in South Western Air Command, IAF, twice in succession. While at CRCDG, he made significant contribution towards developing practical evaluation methods, which culminated in the formation of the first Automated CRC. As the first CO of this unique unit he not only operationalised the system, but also extended the air picture display and aircraft control capability to Air Defence Operations Room at HQ Western Air Command, IAF. This was made feasible by innovative use of a combination of the integral Satellite Communication (SATCOM) system of Automated CRC, the Air Defence Ground Environment System SATCOM network and Tropo communication systems of the IAF.

While remaining fully involved in such onerous task entrusted to him he did not lose sight of his responsibility of providing conducive work environment to his personnel, thereby binding them as a well-motivated and dedicated lot.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Shyamal Kumar Chakrabarty.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Devendra Singh Rawat 16242 F(P)Unit : 27 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Devendra Singh Rawat (16242) F (P) is on the posted strength of a Missile squadron from 27 Mar 2000 as the Commanding Officer.

On 26 Jan 2001 a devastating earthquake rocked the entire region of Kutch at 0846 hrs. Many houses and buildings collapsed at Air Force Station Bhuj, causing loss of life and property. Wg Cdr Rawat's house also suffered severe damage. Unmindful of his personal losses and welfare of his family, he immediately commenced action and worked restlessly for days and nights together.

He and his squadron teams took on the rescue operations for the first 48 hours. He was instrumental in organisation and management of the Admin Control Centre (ACC). Right from providing for the initial accommodation in the form of tents to the personnel, management and distribution of the relief material to the evacuation of causalities and families, he successfully led every body around him in the ACC. Being second in command, he shouldered all his responsibilities with a sense of devotion and selfless attitude. His experience and leadership motivated the entire team and he proved to be an inspiration to everyone around him. His vision, ability to plan in future, infectious positive attitude is praiseworthy.

For his exemplary service, selfless attitude and inspiring leadership, and distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Devendra Singh Rawat.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Gurpreet Singh Sandhu 16767 MEDUnit : MH Bhuj  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Venkat Ramana Mantha 17284 AE(M)Unit : Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Wing Commander Venkata Ramana Mantha (17284) AE (M) was commissioned on 01 Sep 83 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. He has served in three MiG-21 squadrons, twice as Senior Technical Officer. While serving at Air Force Station Bhuj, he was commended by AOC-in-C South Western Air Command (SWAC) for service of a high order. He is a Master of Technology in Material Science. He was trained as a Flight Test Engineer (FTE) at the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in 93-94 and has since been an FTE at ASTE. He has been involved in flight testing in an extremely wide range of aircraft and systems; he specialises in Electrooptics. He was responsible for flight-testing that resulted in the induction of laser-guided bombs (LGBs) and their air borne laser designation systems into the IAF. He was also responsible for integration of laser designator systems into the IAF. He was also responsible for the integration of laser designator and navigation pod on the Mirage 2000 and Jaguar aircraft.

During the Kargil conflict, a crisis loomed large due to the non-availability of suitable fuses for LGBs. Happening to be at the concerned base, Wg Cdr Mantha used his innovativeness to modify and adapt a fusing scheme to make the LGBs functional. The LGBs were used with telling effect on enemy bunkers. But for Wg Cdr Mantha's initiative, the LGBs could not have been used. At present, Wg Cdr Mantha is the principal FTE in a programme to integrate a sophisticated helmet mounted display and updating device with a state of the art air-to-air missile on the Mirage2000. The programme involves aerodynamics, structures, Electro-optics, avionics, ergonomics, fighter tactics and pilot safety. He has been coordinating this complex project in a highly professional manner.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Deepak Kumar Lahiry 18001 AE(M)Unit : 3 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Squadron Leader Dipak Kumar Lahiry (18001) AE (M) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 19 Aug 85. He has held many important assignments in the last 15 years. He has performed as the Senior Technical Officer of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron of Mi-8 helicopter flight, technical team leader for Mi-8 helicopters in the 11th Antarctica Expedition and technical officer-in-charge of Mi-8 helicopter operations in 'Op-Pawan'. Presently he is working as the Senior Production Engineer of TV-2 aeroengine overhaul line.

The officer's professionalism was translated into a record overhauling of 25 engines during 2000-2001 in the TV-2 line. He has the distinction of overhauling the first AG series engine and chrome build up on costly components. His dedicated efforts to identify the source of defect and eliminate the same have reduced premature withdrawal of TV-2 aeroengines due to static oil leak. His personal involvement in assembling the TV-2 aero-engines, where parts coated with indigenously developed VK-2 glue were used, has resulted in trouble free operation of the engine of the test bed till date.

Sqn Ldr Lahiry's initiative to design and develop a trolley to convey the main gearboxes of Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter in the horizontal position, facilitated its shipment by AN-32 aircraft instead of IL-76. Further fabrication of 269 special tools and testers for VR-14 gearbox has helped enhance the production. This was a cost of mere Rs. 1.09 crores compared to Rs. 7.40 crores of import. This has resulted in considerable savings on account of foreign exchange, while reduced IL-76 flying effort helped saving exchequer's money.

He is highly professional, creative and highly service oriented. He exudes zeal for innovation and modernisation. For his distinguished service of a high order, exceptional professional knowledge and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader Dipak Kumar Lahiry.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Devindra Kumar Sharma 18659 ACCTUnit : Central Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Squadron Leader Devinder Kumar Sharma (18659) Accts was commissioned as an Accounts Officer in the IAF on 06 Dec 1986. During his initial service as Accounts Officer at Air Force Station Chandigarh, and Senior Accounts Officer at Air Force Station, Leh, he displayed a unique penchant for planning and organising and was instrumental in clearing long outstanding Audit objections. His tireless efforts, systematic professional approach and quest for excellence enabled Air Force Station, Leh to tighten budgetary control and streamline procedures for planned expenditure.

In recognition of his outstanding abilities, he was appointed Staff Officer to Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers). He was later chosen to be Staff Officer to Air Officer-in-charge Personnel, Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command and finally Staff Officer to Air Officer Commanding-inChief, Central Air Command. All through, the officer has discharged his duties in the most outstanding manner using well-honed managerial skills to support the functions of the Secretariat.

The officer has displayed remarkable maturity in prioritisation of tasks as well as coordination among various agencies so as to achieve the desired results quickly. He has instilled a high degree of motivation in his subordinates to achieve results much beyond the accepted norms. Polite but yet firm in dealings, he has, with great sensitivity, conveyed the directions of Air Officer Commanding-inChief to all and ensured their appropriate follow up. He possesses a great deal of professional ability, self-discipline, and capacity to understand and analyse human relations, and deals appropriately and firmly with his superiors and subordinates alike.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader Devinder Kumar Sharma.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Davesh Singh 20255 AE(L)Unit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Squadron Leader Davesh Singh (20255) AE (L) was commissioned as an engineer in the AE (L) branch on 04 Sep 1988. He has served as Assistant Director (Maintenance) in Air HQ Computer Centre, where he was responsible for maintaining ICL-2958 Mainframe Computer System. He is presently posted to Air HQ (VB). His educational qualifications include M Tech in Computer Science.

The officer is a self-motivated officer whose contribution to the Information Technology (IT) and Information Warfare (IW) in IAF has been enormous. He has brought in a high standard of proficiency in every field of computers. He is the main brain behind the VCAS OpNet project. He has designed the complete network and has also led the OpNet team to develop customised application software for each directorate under Vice Chief of Air Staff. OpNet is the only fully functional operational network in IAF. The project was developed completely in-house and has resulted in saving of at least Rs 50 lakhs to the exchequer. He has single handedly developed an encryption software 'OpSecure', which is being used for encrypting the data for transfer between Command Headquarters and Air HQs over ICS channels. Usage of this software also permits keeping classified data on a computer in encrypted form. This project being developed in-house has resulted in saving of Rs 10 lakhs to the exchequer. In spite of the fact that he did not receive any formal training in IW, he was instrumental in setting up the IW cell at Air HQ. He was also instrumental in designing the IW syllabus and imparting IW training to various IAF personnel. Similar course imparted by any civilian agency would have cost more than Rs. 2 lakhs per course to the exchequer.

The officer is omnipresent and always ready to take on additional duties. In fact, his professional competence is of such a high order that the officer is consulted prior to any policy decision in the field of IT and IW for the IAF. The officer takes pains to train his subordinates and share his knowledge. His vast knowledge in the field of IT and IW is an example to follow.

For his distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader Davesh Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
MWO Satya Prakash Dwivedi 257365 ORUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

257365-B Master Warrant Officer (Honorary Flight Lieutenant) Satya Prakash Dwivedi, Radar Fitter was enrolled in the IAF on 17 Jun 63. After successful training, he was posted in various operational squadrons. He has undergone variety of service courses on different equipments and aircraft being used in the Indian Air Force including the Mirage2000 aircraft, for which he was sent abroad. For his exceptional devotion to duty, the AOC-in-C and the CAS commended the MWO in 1986 and 1998 respectively. He was selected to serve as the JCO ADC to the President of India for three years from Aug 96 to Sep 99 and was nominated to represent the Indian Air Force in the Asian Contingent for Royal Legend function held at London in 1999. In recognition of his professional ability and devotion to duty he has been granted honorary rank of Flying Officer on 15 Aug 01.

The MWO (Hony Flt Lt) has been working as Air Force Master Warrant Officer since Sep 99. The charter of duties of the AFMWO requires him to feel the pulse of airmen and NCs(E) with a view to gaining an insight into their problems, their hopes and aspirations. This involves close interaction with personnel at all levels; this requires tact and maturity of a high order. As an individual, the AFMWO is required to be a model for other airmen to follow.

MWO Dwivedi carried out his duties diligently. His reports after field visits were well researched, adequately reasoned out and recommendations made by him were implementable. His feedback to the CAS were thus meaningful and greatly helped in introduction of policies for the overall improvement in the administration, with a resultant improvement in morale of personnel. Of special mention was his feedback in the field of pay and pensionary benefits; he went out of his way by personally involving himself in getting long pending cases cleared and getting relief to pensioners.

MWO Dwivedi lived up to the expectations and trust reposed in him by the IAF. As the first AFMWO of the IAF, he worked hard to lay down a standard for others to follow. For his outstanding performance and unstinted dedication to duty, the Hon'ble President is

pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Master Warrant Officer (Honorary Flight Lieutenant) Satya Prakash Dwivedi.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
WO Kalathil Pushpakan 607784 ORUnit : 11 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

607784-K Warrant Officer Kalathil Pushpakan, Electrical Fitter, was enrolled in the Indian Air Force, in the year 1971 in Electrical Fitter Trade. In 30 years service he has worked in a number of fighter aircraft units at all levels of servicing both as a worker and a supervisor. He is a highly skilled and dedicated professional who has contributed to efficient running of all the units he was posted in. He was commended by the CAS in 1997 and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command in 1985. WO Pushpakan was posted to Base Repair Depot (BRD) engaged in overhaul of modern fighter aircraft, in June 1996. At that time overhaul line for a new fighter aircraft was being set up without the availability of Russian specialist. In spite a numerous difficulties like incomplete documentation, shortage of spares, delay in supply of equipment, he motivated and guided the team placed under him to achieve commendable results.

WO Pushpakan has also been instrumental in developing a number of modifications on the aircraft. The aircraft engine was de-rated for peacetime operation. Up-rating the engine power for operational role normally required two to three days. He introduced a modification, by incorporating a three-way switch, whereby the up rating could be carried out in a matter of few hours thus ensuring faster availability of aircraft for operational role.

WO Pushpakan was also instrumental in developing some other modifications like closing of air intake below certain speed to avoid foreign object damage and switching ON or OFF landing lights with landing gear extension. All the above modifications have resulted in a saving of approximately Rs 10 crores in foreign exchange.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Warrant Officer Kalathil Pushpakan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 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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