|Wg Cdr||Sudhir Kumar Sharma 17717 F(P)||Unit : No.111 Helicopter Unit||Award Date 11 May 04||Announced 26 Jan 05|
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Wing Commander Sudhir Kumar Sharma, Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Helicopter Unit since 05 August 2002.
On 11 May 2004, Wing Commander Sharma was directed to urgently evacuate three members of a mountaineering expedition to Mt Kamet, who were critically injured due to inclement weather. These casualties were at an altitude of 23,260 ft, which is beyond the ceiling of 23,000 ft of Chetak helicopter. Due to their serious injuries, it was impossible to bring them down. Wing Commander Sharma flew in his Cheetah helicopter to the site and on locating the survivors realized that the only option was to land on an unprepared small tabletop sloping area located on an exposed snow covered ledge. Such landing demanded extraordinary courage and exceptional flying skills. Even a slight mishandling of helicopter controls could lead to a catastrophic accident endangering the life of the pilot.
No one in the world had ever attempted landing a helicopter at such a high altitude let alone evacuate casualties from an unprepared, snow bound and sloping piece of ground. Despite the deterring and trying conditions, deteriorating weather, severe turbulence, gusty jet stream exceeding 120 kmph and low margin of power available, Wing Commander Sharma, displaying resolute determination, utmost courage and an utter disregard for his personal safety, landed at the site not once but three times to evacuate the causalities. His courageous act under these near impossible conditions was instrumental in saving the lives of three mountaineers from certain death. The rescue from an altitude of 23,260 feet is the highest ever landing and casualty evacuation by any helicopter and in the process set a world record which has been recognized by Limca Book of World records.
Wing Commander Sudhir Kumar Sharma displayed conspicuous bravery in face of impossible odds, exceptional courage and rescued the mountaineers.
|Reference:||Notification No. 125 -Pres/2005 dated 15th August, 2005 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 15th August, 2005.|
|Wg Cdr||Balakrishana Pillai Sreebhavan Krishna Kumar 17870 F(P)||Unit : No.122 Helicopter Flight||Award Date 26 Dec 04||Announced 15 Aug 05|
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Wing Commander Balakrishna Pillai Sreebhavan Krishan Kumar is posted as the Commanding Officer of a Mi-8 Flight at Air Force Station, Car Nicobar since 08 November 2004. On 26 December 2004, Air Force Station Car Nicobar was devastated by a severe earthquake, which was followed by a Tsunami. Wing Commander Krishna Kumarâ€™s house was one of the first to be engulfed and destroyed by the tidal waves. After having faced a near death situation and surviving the same, Wing Commander Krishna Kumar lost no time in getting airborne, to take stock of the situation and to carry out search and rescue operations.
On getting airborne, Wing Commander Krishna Kumar saw the havoc being wrecked by 30 feet high tidal waves and realized that time was at premium. He immediately commenced rescuing families and personnel stranded on balconies, rooftops and high ground before the tsunamis could demolish or engulf the structures. Rescue operations by winching up and evacuation by landing was getting dangerous by the minutes and as the water was consuming everything in sight. In spite of his own traumatic escape from near death situation, Wing Commander Krishna Kumar kept the composure and displayed extreme courage and professionalism by continuing to manouevre the helicopter under marginal safety conditions, thereby saving approximately 400 lives. In subsequent days, despite losing all his belongings in the Tsunami, Wing Commander Krishna flew numerous sorties to provide relief and succour to thousands affected not only in Car Nicobar but also in the rest of the Nicobar group of islands.
Wing Commander Balakrishna Pillai Sreebhavan Krishan Kumar displayed extraordinary courage, conspicuous gallantry and compassion to fellow beings in the face of heavy odds in a natural disaster.
|Reference:||Notification No. 34-Pres/2005 dated 26th January, 2005 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 9th April, 2005.|