Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the year 2001


A total of 28 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 28 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Motilal Nalluri 13911 F(P)Unit : Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Group Captain Motilal Nalluri (13911) Flying (Pilot) has been functioning as the Chief Test Pilot (CTP) of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Air Force since Jun 99. He earlier served in ASTE from Dec 85 to May 88, where he was actively involved in indigenous weapon integration trials on the MiG-21 and MiG-23 BN as also on AEW TOP aircraft for baseline flight and thrust derivatives.

As CTP he has supervised and monitored as many as 52 flight trials, of which 44 were completed in 1999. This was a quantum leap from 17-flight trials completed in the previous year. Most of these trials were of a very complex nature involving large-scale integration of state-of-the art equipment, systems and weapons on contemporary aircraft, in order to substantially enhance the strike and avionics capability of the IAF. He personally conducted a number of high-risk flight trials himself. In addition to the trials, the officer has been deeply involved with a number of ongoing projects to upgrade aircraft in service. He has also provided useful inputs for the LCA and ALH programmes.

The officer's contribution in enhancing the punch and reliability of aircraft and system in the IAF is noteworthy, as is his undivided dedication and devotion to duty.

For his devotion to duty and yeoman contribution to Flight Testing, the Hon'ble President, is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Motilal Nalluri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manmohan Sud 13945 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Group Captain Manmohan Sud (13945) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 15 Feb 75. He converted to transport aircraft in Sep 76. He is posted as Commanding Officer of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron since 01 Jan 1999.

Gp Capt Sud has flown over 7700 accident free hours in his career on nine different types of aircraft including Dakota, AN12, AN-32 and B-737 in various roles. This includes VVIP role, air logistics in northern and eastern sector and bombing role on AN12 aircraft. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with 1850 hours of instructional experience. He achieved exceptional category and instrument rating 'A/MG' in 1989 on AN-12 and has been a Type Examiner.

The professional skills of Gp Capt Sud are regularly put to test in the demanding environment of VVIP flights undertaken by the squadron. Personally he has flown 506 hours in the present tenure including 261 hours on VVIP/VIP commitment. The squadron has contributed to projecting the Indian Air Force as a professional and competent force amongst the service and civilian dignitaries. As Commanding Officer, Air Headquarter Communication Squadron, he has displayed leadership qualities in all operational and administrative spheres.

He had the computerisaton of the flying, admin and technical data of the Squadron completed. On the flying side he has ensured that available flying hours are optimally utilised to achieve the highest standards and turn over the aircrews as required by the service. In the technical sphere he has ensured monitoring of spares, technical manpower and training requirements of each trade on the three types of aircraft that the Squadron holds. He has also ensured computerisaton of the flying administration and technical data of the Squadron. He has also commanded the Air Force Day Parade 2000.

For his dedication to duty, professional competence of a high order and leadership qualities, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Manmohan Sud.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Inder Singh 14082 F(P)Unit : 18 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Group Captain Inder Singh (14082) Flying (Pilot) has been functioning as the Chief Operations Officer of an Air Force Base in the western sector since 12 Apr 99. Within a few weeks of taking over this appointment the Base was faced with a war like situation with Operation Safed Sagar. Apart from ensuring speedy launch of the local fighter squadrons to their Op locations he personally supervised the induction of over forty fighter aircraft of four different types. The Herculean task of loading and offloading men was handled under his supervision in an exemplary manner. With little regard to personal comfort he relentlessly ensured that the task on hand was completely expeditiously.

On taking over as Chief Ops Officer, Gp Capt Inder Singh voluntarily took up the task of office computerisation and automation on war footing. With his knowledge and experience he motivated and guided his subordinates to achieve a systemic IT network within 'operations' that included daily flying programme, weather forecasts, e-mail and web sites among others.

Both, on and off work, with his energetic attitude and management skills, Gp Capt Inder Singh has cohesively bonded officers of all branches working under him to achieve synergetic results.

For his devotion to duty, dedication to service and consistent results, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Inder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Raghvinder Nath Joshi 15432 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Raghvinder Nath Joshi (15432) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as Helicopter Pilot in the flying branch on 07 Jul 1978. He is an A-2 QFI and holds Cat A/Master Green rating on Mi-8, Mi-17, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. He was served in Aircrew Examination Board and Air HQ Communication Squadron and has commanded a Helicopter Unit.

Wg Cdr RN Joshi was posted to Helicopter Training School in Apr 98. In his initial appointment as Chief Group Instructor he restructured the training schedule, called for feed back from instructors and student officers, identified weak areas and continuously monitored progress. His deep and personal involvement resulted in the performance of trainee officers showing a continuous upward trend.

In his tenure as Chief Flying Instructor since Nov 98, he has utilised his vast experience in streamlining the flying procedures, standa rdising and computerising phase briefs and manoeuvre briefs. The good flight safety record and high standards achieved by the School, as brought out during inspections, have been largely due to the sustained work put in by him.

As the IInd I/C of the School, Wg Cdr RN Joshi has taken very active part in all activities of the school. His cheerful disposition, sincerity, devotion to duty and positive attitude has been a source of inspiration to the younger generation.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Raghvinder Nath Joshi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Paramjit Singh Mann 15570 F(P)Unit : Target Towing Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Paramjeet Singh Mann (15570) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned into the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 30 Dec 78. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 3200 hours of fighter flying. He was a member of the erstwhile formation aerobatics team, 'Thunderbolts', and has served three tenures as Flight Commander in different fighter squadrons. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College.

Wg Cdr Mann commanded a Hunter Unit for nearly three years. On assuming command, he was beset with two difficulties. The first was the maintenance problems of an aged Hunter fleet and the second was the logistics and administrative impediments due to a widely dispersed technical area. Encouraging in-house solutions and local adaptations, he achieved a high serviceability, touching 100% on a number of days. His leadership and personal involvement were manifest in the efficient accomplishment of tasks and the excellent Flight Safety record that was maintained during his tenure. By ergonomically re-organising his Flight and maintenance Complex, he improved the working environment, thus negating the inherent disadvantage of a widely dispersed technical area. Qualitative improvements in his Airmen's billets by way of provisioning cable TV, curtains and bed-side lamps and the creation of a Recreation room, effectively reinforced the 'one family' feeling among his Unit personnel.

Wg Cdr Mann was also very involved in the induction of the indigenous pilotless Target Aircraft-Lakshya. Even in the nascent stages of induction, he formulated preliminary operating procedures, training schedules and also suggested modifications to the system. As a result of his dedication, the entire spadework is already in place for the operational induction of the new equipment.For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Mann.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shirish Baban Deo 15681 F(P)Unit : No.51 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Shirish Baban Deo (15681) Flying (Pilot) took over the command of a frontline fighter squadron on 19 Jan 98. His squadron was the only squadron that carried out operational flying training and other operational commitments simultaneously. Wg Cdr Deo has led the squadron from the front through out his tenure and has flown more than 700 sorties during the period. Having served as DS at Flying Instructors School and Tactics and Combat Development Establishment, he has used his experience and expertise to improve the training standards of the squadron and ensured accident free flying without sacrificing the quality of training.

The squadron has also performed extremely well during all inspection visits. Wg Cdr Deo's professional attitude, exceptional standard in weapon delivery and air combat skills have motivated the squadron pilots to maximise their potential. He has been thoroughly involved in all maintenance-related activities and has ensured the cohesiveness so essential in a combat unit. The Squadron has initiated various welfare and educational assistance schemes for airman's children, which helped in sustaining high morale of Squadron personnel.

For his exceptional qualities of leadership, devotion to duty, dynamism, safety consciousness, dedicated efforts for betterment of service and ability to inculcate professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Shirish Baban Deo.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Umesh Shastri 15698 F(P)Unit : No.45 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Umesh Shastri (15698) Flying (Pilot) has been in command of a front line fighter squadron of the Air Force since 10 Mar 97 up to 31 April 2000. He is a highly experienced fighter pilot with over 3400 hours of accident free flying of which 2086 hours are on MiG-21 aircraft. He is a qualified flying Instructor holding A-2 category and is also a Fighter Combat Leader.

During his tenure as Commanding Officer he has always led the squadron from the front. He has ensured good planning and exemplary execution of all tasks assigned to the squadron. The squadron has always risen to every occasion and has acquitted itself with credit in all facets of activity. He has personally led the squadron's formation during the airpower demonstration at Pokharan, Vayushakti-98 as well as Vayushakti-99 and carried out attacks on the assigned targets with impeccable professionalism. During 'Op Safed Sagar' the squadron was the first in SWAC to achieve the feat of 100% serviceability, which speaks volume of his quality of leadership, planning and coordination. The squadron has also weathered through two cyclones, which hit the station in 1998 and in 1999. Through meticulous planning and execution he ensured the dispersion and securing all service equipment and other assets of the squadron, thus saving them from any damage. He ensured a high training status of aircrew and ground crew at all times. This manifest itself on 10 Aug 1999 when an intruding Pakistani Atlantique, a Naval surveillance aircraft was shot down by a section of two aircraft from his squadron.

For his excellent leadership of the squadron through all tasks assigned, for his capabilities and dedication to duty and for leading the squadron by personal example which is in the best tradition of the service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Umesh Shastri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rakesh Kumar Negi 15869 F(P)Unit : 2000 HC Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Rakesh Kumar Negi (15869) Flying (Pilot) is on deputation to United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) as Commanding Officer of No. 2000 (Helicopter) Squadron consisting of Mi-8 and Chetaks.

On 07 May 2000, Wg Cdr Negi, while flying over rebel held territory, monitored a distress call from another IAF Mi-8 stating that his aircraft has force landed and the rebels are approaching the aircraft from different directions. Realising the gravity of the situation Wg Cdr Negi, displaying exceptional courage and presence of mind, immediately proceeded to the force-landing site and successfully evacuated the 19 UN personnel and the crew before the rebels could capture them. The daring rescue mission received wide scale appreciation including from UN HQ, New York.

On 15 Jul 2000, Wg Cdr RK Negi led his squadron in a joint air-land operation 'Op Khukri' to extricate 222 beleaguered troops from the inhospitable terrain dominated by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels equipped with anti aircraft weaponry. Undaunted by the heavy odds, Wg Cdr Negi courageously led his squadron from the front and flew 40 missions under extremely challenging terrain, weather and battle conditions. All these missions involved troop induction and redeployment from extremely restricted areas in treacherous weather with cloud touching treetops and under continuous firing from rebels. Throughout the operation, he continued to inspire and motivate his crew by his personal example and was able to get the best of them. Wg Cdr RK Negi was instrumental in the swift success of "Op Khukri".

For these acts of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Rakesh Kumar Negi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anil Khosla 15871 F(P)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Anil Khosla (15871) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in 14 Dec 79 in the Flying Branch of the IAF and has been the Commanding Officer of a Jaguar squadron since 12 Apr 99.

A highly motivated, diligent and responsible officer, Wg Cdr Khosla has been able to motivate the Unit personnel to a very high level of performance. The Squadron, during his tenure, has risen from strength to strength, which has been possible as a result of his exceptional leadership qualities. The operational capability of the Squadron kept on improving under his command and all the tasks given to the Squadron were executed in a professional manner. The Unit under his guidance performed extremely well in every exercise that it took part in and also proved its mettle in the Command Gunnery Meet.

Leading by his personal example, Wg Cdr Khosla has been able to instill confidence, enthusiasm and sense of pride in his men, binding the unit into a strong and potent team of professionals. The Squadron being adjudged the best Fighter Squadron in SWAC and being nominated for best Fighter Squadron of IAF bears testimony to this fact. At the same time, he has always held the welfare of those below him high on priority by taking personal interest in the problems pertaining to the personnel and has been able to keep the morale of the personnel high.

For his professional capability and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Anil Khosla.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha 16053 F(P)Unit : No.52 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha (16053) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch on 15 Jun 80. He has 3600 hours of accident free flying to his credit. The officer has held the appointments of Flight commander of a MiG-21 squadron and Chief Flying Instructor at a Flying Training Establishment. He is a Cat-A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and an Air Force Examiner. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He has been commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Air Command and by the Chief of the Air Staff.

Wg Cdr Sinha has been posted as Commanding Officer of a MiG Operational Training Squadron since 07 Dec 98. Operational Conversion Training on fighter aircraft is an unenviable task, given the inexperience of ab-intio trainees. Early in his tenure, Wg Cdr Sinha assessed the demands of this exacting task. Through concerted efforts and effective leadership, Wg Cdr Sinha ensured prompt task completion, enabling MOFT courses to pass out on time. The exceptional flight safety record enjoyed by the squadron, inspite of the intense training environment, speaks volumes of the Commanding Officer's deep personal involvement. Staff Pilot training was also accelerated to ensure 100% operational and instructional clearance. All this was achieved by leading from the front through personal example. Despite the preoccupation of his appointment, the Commanding Officer has held the distinction of flying the maximum number of sorties in his squadron.

Driven by the singular aim of improving aircraft availability, he addressed the issue of a large number of AOGs. Through effective liaison with higher formation and HAL, he accelerated the clearance of his Squadron AOG demands. Effectively utilising his managerial skills and excellent interpersonal relations, he raised the productivity of his technical staff. The end result was a sustained high serviceability, occasionally touching 100%. His genuine concern for his men and his orientation towards morale, resulted in a large number of welfare measures in his Squadron. He has been an exemplary leader.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr S Harpal Singh 16071 F(P)Unit : No.47 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander S Harpal Singh (16071) Flying (Pilot) has been in command of a front line fighter squadron since 04 May 09.

During the last two years, the squadron, under the command of Wg Cdr Harpal Singh has done 3155 h of accident-free flying. For the past 12 months, the Squadron has had an incident-free record barring two cases of material failure and one of technical defect. DASI visited the Station on two occasions and on both occasions, the Unit performed creditably, getting an overall grading of Average Plus. The Squadron was entrusted with several professional tasks during his tenure such as the formulation of Communication Jamming operating procedures, certain new intercept procedures and air to ground attack procedures, which were carried out in a most professional manner. During 'Op Safed Sagar', the Squadron was tasked with an Air Defence missions in the valley and gave a good account of itself. Throughout the period of Kargil Ops, the Unit operated from two different locations, and met all assigned tasks despite the shortage of manpower and equipment.

The squadron has constantly maintained a high serviceability to aircraft and avionics and achieved 100% serviceability in Aug 99. The squadron has developed software for Flight Data Recorder analysis, which overcomes several shortcomings of the present system.

As a professional, Wg Cdr S Harpal Singh has a wide and varied experience. He has flown all the MiG aircraft on the inventory of the IAF except the MiG-25 and has a total of 2468 hrs of accident free flying. He has led his Unit from the front in all aspects, be it professional, social or on the sports field. The work environment of the Unit has undergone steady change for the better. Under his leadership, the Squadron operated as wellknit team and was adjudged the best fighter Squadron of WAC for the year 1998-99.

For displaying exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander S Harpal Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Balakrishnan Suresh 16206 F(P)Unit : No.2 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishnan Suresh (16206) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 13 Dec 80 in the flying branch of IAF. An accomplished professional, he has over 2200 hours of fighter flying to his credit. He is a Fighter Strike Leader (FSL) with the distinction of two instructional tenures at the Tactical and Air Combat Development Establishment.

Wg Cdr Suresh was appointed the Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron on 24 Aug 98. On taking over command, he faced the twin challenges of low aircraft availability and low operational status of pilots mainly in the op and strike roles. A thorough analysis of the situation revealed that while improvement of role-qualifications was an operational necessity, resources would be hard to come by. Through a concerted and well-focused training effort, he affected a quantum jump in the status of his squadron. The squadron armament results showed a noticeable improvement under his watchful guidance.

Enhanced operational readiness saw his squadron ready and willing to go whenever called upon. He responded promptly during the mobilisation for Op Safed Sagar and the build-up during the Sri Lankan contingency. His squadron accredited itself in exemplary fashion during the annual joint Navy Air exercise off the Eastern seaboard.

The Commanding Officer had to call upon the very best of his managerial skills in juggling scarce aircraft resources. Through close interaction with his maintenance staff, he ensured maximum support for his operations. Meaningful interaction with Wing and Command staff fetched real time solutions for his operational and maintenance problems. At the same time, his humane approach towards his men and their problems resulted in a large number of meaningful welfare measures being instituted for the overall improvement of his unit.For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Balakrishnan Suresh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Jasjit Singh Kler 16225 F(P)Unit : 127 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Jasjit Singh Kler (16225) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the flying branch on 13 Dec 80. A Qualified Flying Instructor, he has 6800 hours of flying to his credit including 700 hours towards Op Meghdoot. He was specially selected for an instructional tenure in Namibia in 1996. He has been twice awarded Commendations by the Chief of the Air Staff, the first in Jan 90 and the second in Jan 93. In recognition of his professional competence, the officer was selected to conduct the first ever type QFI course on helicopters in 1998.

Wg Cdr Kler commanded a Helicopter Unit for over two years. Shortly after assuming command, the officer was assigned the onerous responsibility of formulating an operating procedure for Air Sea Search and Rescue, a task he executed admirably. He later validated the procedures himself by undertaking twelve missions over the sea.

Wg Cdr Kler realised the enormity of his task towards bringing up the operational status of his Unit. Adverse weather, relative inexperience of his aircrew and seemingly insurmountable maintenance problems, all came in his way. He addressed each issue through a two-pronged strategy. First, he accelerated the categorisation and roleclearances of his aircrews, through a wellfocused training schedule. Through excellent liaison with the Wing and Command, he progressively streamlined his maintenance activities and built up and sustained his fleet of Mi-17s. The net result was a significant jump in the operational capability of his Unit. During his tenure, the Unit flew 4400 hours, airlifting over 5000 MT load, all the while maintaining an unblemished safety record.

Leading by example, Wg Cdr Kler completed his own area-familiarisation and operational role clearances in record time. Through his personal involvement, all operating procedures were reviewed to ensure a safe environment for his relatively young aircrew. The officer's capability was such that he was often called upon to undertake special missions by Command Headquarters.

For exceptional devotion to duty, exemplary leadership and conduct, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Jasjit Singh Kler.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Arun Tillu Samtani 17002 F(P)Unit : 2000 HC Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Arun Tillu Samtani (17002) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of the Mi-35 Squadron of the IAF Contingent Sierra Leone-2000 for the United Nations in Sierra Leone.

'Op Khukri', a joint Army Air Force Operation of the United Nations forces was executed to extricate 222 UN Peace Keepers held hostage for more than 75 days by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels at Kailahun in Eastern Sierra Leone. Mi­35 helicopters of the IAF contingent were tasked to provide fire support to own troops at all times from dawn to dusk during this operation.

On 16 July 2000, Wg Cdr AT Samtani was tasked to carry out strike on RUF reinforcements coming through Manowa Ferry to impede the advance of UN troops heading from Kailahun to Daru and suppress the RUF fire at UN ground forces road convoy. Undeterred by the enemy anti aircraft guns and heavy machine guns fire, Wg Cdr AT Samtani attacked enemy positions with rockets and front guns with pinpoint accuracy, inflicting heavy damage on rebel positions. Throughout the period of operation, Wg Cdr AT Samtani relentlessly carried out strikes at RUF positions with clinical accuracy at RUF strongholds of Kailahaun, Giehun, Pendembu and Kuiva that were located along the axis of advance of UN ground forces. Wg Cdr AT Samtani flew eight missions involving 14 hrs of flying in less than two days under extremely adverse weather and terrain conditions and under the threat of continuous firing by the rebels.

For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President of pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Arun Tillu Samtani.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Tejinder Singh Sareen 17138 F(P)Unit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Tejinder Singh Sareen (17138) F (P) was posted as the Flight Commander of an Attack Helicopter Squadron with effect from 03 May 1998. During his tenure as the Flight Commander this officer involved himself intensely in the operational well being of the Squadron. The Squadron has a peculiar chain of control with the Army, Western Air Command, AOC J&K and the local administration. The tasking, therefore, becomes multi point and places a great strain on the Unit. The Flight Commander, being the pivot, has to deftly manage the man and material resources to meet multi point demands. Wg Cdr TS Sareen managed this very well. With his knowledge of the aircraft he maintained a high serviceability.

During the Kargil war he led the Squadron Detachment in the Valley. For the last six months, the squadron has been manning a detachment of the same place and Wg Cdr TS Sareen has been leading the detachment most of the time. He has also been involved in the trials on the usage of the Attack Helicopter in the Valley with certain modifications. Whenever the Squadron got tasked for the anti-insurgency operations in the Valley, Wg Cdr TS Sareen was in the forefront, which is an ample display of his leadership qualities.

For devotion to duty and professionalism and for being an example to emulate, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Tejinder Singh Sareen.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr George Thomas 17722 F(P)Unit : 2000 HC Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Squadron Leader George Thomas (17722) Flying (Pilot) is posted to the Mi-8 flight of the IAF Contingent for the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone. He is the Flight Commander of the Flight.

Op Khukri, a joint Army Air Force UN operation, was conducted to extricate 22 UN peacekeepers, held hostage for more than 75 days by Revolutionary United Front rebels in Kailahun. The Mi-8 helicopters were tasked to carry out special heliborne operations in support of ground operations. These included insertion and extrication of troops into and from rebel stronghold. The helicopters were required to operate from unprepared sites and confined spaces under constant threat of enemy fire. Sqn Ldr George Thomas, a veteran helicopter pilot, was undeterred. Despite being fired upon on a number of occasions he led 24 missions into enemy territory, under extremely adverse weather conditions, over most inhospitable and thickly forested terrain. Throughout the conduct of this operation, the officer flew all the sorties assigned to him, with courage, enthusiasm and with utter disregard to personal safety.

On 08 Jun 2000, Sqn Ldr Thomas was tasked to escort a UN convoy from Hastings to Rogberi, which was captured by rebels. His task included providing fire cover to the ground column. It involved flying the helicopter at extremely low altitudes over treacherous and thickly forested terrain of Sierra Leone under constant threat of rebel fire. During this mission Sqn Ldr Thomas spotted an ambush the rebels had laid for the convoy. Realising the gravity of the situation, the pilot engaged the enemy while at the same time informing the advancing column of the impeding ambush. The rebels fired 03 rockets at the helicopter. With his exceptional flying skill, he successfully evaded these attacks. Undeterred, he held his position in the area and continued to guide the ground force. This timely action thus prevented the ground forces from suffering heavy causalities due to enemy ambush.

For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader George Thomas.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Dharmender Singh 18580 F(P)Unit : No.111 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Squadron Leader Dharmender Singh (18580) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 25 Jan 99 and is the Flight Commander of the Unit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Unit Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner with 4000 hrs of flying.

On 21 Jun 2000, a request for casualty evacuation was received from HQ CAC, 1AF. Erin Gushing, a lady member of a US expedition team was suffering from acute appendicitis and high attitude sickness, which had become life threatening. Sqn Ldr D Singh was designated as leader of a two helicopters formation for the evacuation, which was to be effected from close to Sundardunga glacier near the peaks of Nandakot (22510') and Baling (22651'). Unfortunately all attempts made by him to pick up the casualty at higher altitudes on that day were negated due to bad weather. On 22 Jun 2000, after two unsuccessful attempts, Sqn Ldr D Singh's relentless persistence to penetrate the weather was rewarded. Armed with years of hill flying experience, he navigated below clouds and close to the valley bottom to locate the casualty. As he located the site, the approaching weather and rain made the landing site visible only briefly. Using his skill, professional knowledge and maturity he took a calculated risk to make a swift landing to evacuate the casualty, minutes before weather engulfed the helipad with rain. The circumstances required the mission to be completed at all costs. Squadron Leader Singh courageously evacuated the casualty with his brave effort in the face of imminent danger and saved life of a foreign expedition member. His display of courage in adverse and trying circumstances was in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

For this act of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Dharmender Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Pranay Dixit 22726 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 06 Feb 99 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Pranay Dixit (22726) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 02 Feb 98.

On 06 Feb 99 an emergency SOS message was received by the Air Force. A team consisting of two French and five Belgian nationals were stranded near Padam area in the Zanskar Valley due to an unprecedented snow blizzard. Hypothermia, an acute respiratory trauma, critically affected several members of the team. The officer was on a detachment at Thoise and was entrusted upon with the casualty evacuation task. On receiving the task, he was airborne within a short time after modifying an aircraft for casually evacuation. The weather was deteriorating fast in the upper reaches of the Zanskar Valley. He flew through the treacherous and unforgiving confines of the narrow snow bound Zanskar Valley and located the site of the stranded trekkers.

Despite whiteout, poor visibility conditions and precarious obstructions, the officer landed at the snow-covered site. The timely rescue saved the perilled trekkers from a near certain calamitous fate. This laudable act of courage and valour was acknowledged by All India Radio, Television and local Newspapers. His display of exceptional courage in averse and trying circumstances was in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

For this act of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Pranay Dixit.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
JWO Valiya Veetil Rajeev 669018 ORUnit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

669018 Junior Warrant Officer Valiya Veetil Rajeev, Flt Engr is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 12 Jan 1998. He has been flying extensively in the highly demanding and hostile terrain of the Op Meghdoot and Op Rakshak sectors. He is an exemplary airman and a distinguished Flt Engr who has as astute knowledge of various helicopter systems and procedures.

Over a period of three years, JWO VV Rajeev has flown a total of 950 hrs of which 750 were flown in air maintenance sorties in the Siachen Glacier and Kargil sectors. During the month of Feb 2000, repeated enemy firing over Alpha and Jwala DZs in the Op Meghdoot sector brought the dropping missions to an abrupt halt. The forward posts of Indian Army were in dire need of ration and ammunition. JWO VV Rajeev, with his vast experience and excellent knowledge of the topography, volunteered for emergency drops over the DZs. Accurately monitoring engine and rotor parameters, he guided the crew of the helicopter towards the DZ by resorting to terrain masking. This provided reasonable cover and concealment to the helicopter right up to the DZ. The drop was successful and further missions could be carried out due to the confidence instilled by JWO VV Rajeev.

His sound knowledge on all matters pertaining to service flying makes him a very valuable and dependable worker. His thorough professionalism and sense of responsibility has been big motivating factor for his juniors and colleagues instilled by JWO VV Rajeev.

For his dedication to the service and devotion to duty of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Junior Warrant Officer VV Rajeev.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajesh Isser 16968 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Jun 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Wing Commander Rajesh Isser (16968) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a helicopter unit in the Eastern Sector since 17 May 1999. On II Jun 2000, East Siang district was inundated by flash floods causing wide spread devastation. Three helicopters were launched {or the rescue task and Wg Cdr Isser was to coordinate these ops at Passighat. Wg Cdr Isser personally flew numerous missions and was able to evacuate 46 people from rooftop, treetop, small eroding islands and a capsized boat by rope ladders and winching. This involved hovering over the swirling and ferocious Siang River in poor visibility conditions and heavy rain. A total of 76 people were rescued from the swirling water. Thereafter, he searched for a capsized ferry, which was finally located after an hour of search. The ferry and Its 98 occupants were stuck In the middle of the river, with some of the passengers stuck waist deep in quick sand. He was personally responsible for rescuing 58 people, while others were rescued by the second helicopter pooled in for the task. With his untiring efforts he also coordinated relief operations in East Siang, Yinkiong and Annini district. A total of 2800 marooned people on either side of the Siang were rehabilitated to their homes between 12 Jun 2000 and 26 Jun 2000. He personally flew more than 70 sorties to evacuate more than 1600 persons cut off from their homes entailing operations from riverbeds, hillside and unprepared areas. On 24 Jun 2000 some survivors were spotted from a helicopter on a cut off island. Wg Cdr Isser took off within minutes of the SOS call and winched up 47 people to safety from the swirling waters of the Deopani River. This involved flying in a narrow valley, inclement weather and poor light conditions in late evening. For displaying exemplary professionalism, zeal and courage beyond the normal call of duty, the Hon'ble President Is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wind Commander Raiesh Isser.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Gulbag Singh Padda 18303 F(P)Unit : No.112 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 24 Aug 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Squadron Leader Gulbag Singh Padda (18303) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 25 May 1998. He is a Fully Ops staff pilot of the unit. On 24 Aug 2000 the unit was tasked to launch two helicopters for flood relief in Hyderabad. Sqn Ldr Padda, along with his crew, got airborne from Yelahanka at 1300 hrs within an hours notice. Information was received that approximately 150 persons were stranded atop a building, which was mid stream in Musi river. The river was in full spate and had damaged the foundation, which could have led to collapse of the building. Lives of 150 persons were in danger if they were not evacuated before night fall. After reaching Hyderabad, Sqn Ldr Padda got airborne for the rescue mission nearing the sunset time. On reaching the spot he found that the building was surrounded by tall obstructions and winds were gusty. Considering the gravity of the situation he decided to winch up the people from the rooftop one by one. The helicopter was made to hover at 5-7 meters, the only reference being a small portion of parapet of the building roof. Sqn Ldr Padda winched up 127 adults and 15 infants In a little more than 1.45 hrs. The task was completed in eight shuttles without refueling. Sqn Ldr Padda displayed tenacity of purpose and professionalism under very demanding situation. For displaying a high degree of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Gulbag Singh Padda.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sanjeev Sharma 20489 F(P)Unit : No.127 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 23 Jun 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Squadron Leader Sanjeev Sharma (20489) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted Strength of a helicopter unit since 11 Oct 1999. On 23 Jun 2000, an emergency message was received from the Deputy Commissioner, Tezu District that the lives of more than 100 people were at stake as the Lohit river had risen to dangerous levels inundating large areas. Also, a bus carrying 42 passengers was stranded on a remote Island. Unless rescued immediately, all 42 people were likely to perish. The weather was marginal with Incessant drizzle, low clouds and poor visibility. Sqn Ldr Sharma immediately swung into action. Using his skill he negotiated adverse weather to reach the site. Displaying a keen sense of professionalism and skills he winched up five people who were perched on the roof of the bus. Thereafter, displaying his Indefatigable spirit, grit and determination, Sqn Ldr Sharma flew 12 sorties rescuing 141 people including six infants from various marooned villages. The rescue operation was so well planned and efficiently executed even in trying circumstances that the casualties were landed at Tezu Aircraft Landing Ground even before the District Administration could reach there. This daring operation enhanced the image of the IAF among the people of the region. For his act of daring rescue of flood ravaged people and displaying courage under trying circumstances, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Sanjeev Sharma.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Amitabh Sharma 21015 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Jun 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Squadron Leader Amitabh Sharma (21015) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 22 Sep 1997. On 11 Jun 2000, Siang District of Assam was hit by flash floods, submerging several villages. Sqn Ldr Sharma was detailed at short notice to carry out flood relief operations In the affected areas. On reaching the affected area he found helpless people clutching on to tree tops and jutting roofs amidst the raging Bramhaputra river. Even as incessant rain and dwindling light made the task of rescuing these hapless villagers increasingly difficult, Sqn Ldr Sharma courageously took up the task of winching these people to safety. The shifting debris of trees and houses, washed away by the ravaging flood waters, posed a grave threat to rescue operations. Displaying exceptional professionalism and commitment to duty, Sqn Ldr Sharma stuck on to the hazardous task. By the end of the day, till light conditions deteriorated making further operations Impossible, he succeeded In rescuing 31 lives. He continued with his mission the next day and flew to safety 40 persons stranded on a steamer stuck in the middle of the Brumhaputra river. Sqn Ldr Sharma handled an extremely hazardous and risk prone task in a professional and cool manner. In handling the task entrusted to him, Sqn Ldr Sharma displayed exceptional courage and devotion to duty, which was in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force. For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Amitabh Sharma.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Amit Singh Gaharwar 22982 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 03 Oct 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Flight Lieutenant Amit Singh Gaharwar (22982) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength o( a helicopter unit operating in Op Meghdoot area since 05 Apr 1999. He has flown a total of 620 hrs during this tenure. On 03 Oct 2000, Fit Lt Gaharwar was the leader of a formation airborne for air maintenance in Op Meghdoot area. After taking off from Kumar post, he noticed that the No.2 helicopter was not in visual contact. He promptly turned left and started looking for his No.2. He descended down and scanned the expected route till the last known position of No.2. Due to formidable and disguising terrain, he could not locate the crash site but he left no stone unturned in search for his No.2. Because of low fuel he was compelled to return to Base Camp. However, displaying commendable presence of mind, he activated Army Aviation helicopters at Base Camp by relaying a message through an airborne helicopter. Within 15 minutes, he again got airborne from Base Camp in search of his No.2, taking a medical officer and his kit along. On reaching the crash site located by the Army Aviation helicopter, who were hovering nearby, Fit Lt Gaharwar quickly assessed the situation and realised that time was running out. Not finding suitable place to land the helicopter nearby, he hovered at the crash site and dropped his co-pilot directly at the crash site. Hovering there in strong wind with rotor tips only a little distance away from menacing boulders, Fit Lt Gaharwar displayed professional skill of the highest order as well as profound concern for his buddy helicopter crew. Later on Fit Lt Gahaiwar landed near the crash site and walked over 100 m with Inc medical officer in an attempt to retrieve Fit Lt VK Murthy. It was an extremely difficult task to walk 100 m, unacclimatised, at an altitude of 15000' without oxygen. Fit Lt Gahaiwar not only reached the crash site, but also broke through the helicopter structure to pull out Fit Lt VK Murthy. This Herculean effort by Fit Lt Gaharwar at the altitude left him hypoxic, but still disregarding his own physical condition, he put Fit Lt Murthy in the Army Aviation helicopter. Fit Lt Gaharwar co-ordinated with various agencies and mounted a search and rescue operation involving four helicopters and ground search party at a short notice under extreme conditions of sub-zero temperatures and inhospitable terrain. For his display of keen sense of responsibility, professionalism, espirit de corps and the courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry} to Flight Lieutenant Amit Singh Gahaiwar.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ravi Chandrashekhar Pathak 23746 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 03 Oct 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Flying (Pilot) Flight Lieutenant Ravi C Pathak (23746) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit operating in Op Meghdoot area since 25 Oct 99. He has flown 290 hrs during his tenure in this unit. On 03 Oct 2000, Fit Lt Pathak was to fly as co-pilot in No. I aircraft of a formation for air maintenance sorty in Op Meghdoot area. Till Camp-111 post, the sortie was uneventful. After No. I took off from Kumar, he did not receive any RT call from No.2, which was contrary to the briefing. Realising something was amiss, No. I turned back to look for No.2. Fit Lt Pathak performed his duties as a co-pilot admirably and assisted his Captain In locating the position of No.2, which had unfortunately crashed. There was no safe landing space close to crash site. Realising the gravity of the situation, he quickly unstrapped and jumped out of hovering aircraft without giving second thought about the dangers involved. He jumped from 10 feet and walked to the crash site, which was full of boulders. It was an extremely difficult task to walk on that terrain, unacclimatised, at an altitude of 15000 ft, without any oxygen, in sub-zero conditions. He promptly analysed the situation and checked the condition of both the injured pilots. After finding no pulse in Fit Lt VK Murthy, he straightway gave attention to Fit Lt R Sharma and marshalled the army helicopter to a safe place for a low hover. He along with medical officer put Fit. Lt Sharma into the hovering helicopter. Thereafter he jumped into the hovering aircraft to get some help from the nearest post. After receiving the message that Fit Lt. VK Murthy still had some pulse he landed at a safe place near the crash site and dropped captain and medical officer and took off single pilot to Kumar post for help. He analysed the situation and the gravity of time limitation, which became handy in rescuing Fit Lt Murthy on time. For displaying a keen sense of responsibility, professionalism and courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Ravi C Pathak.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Kailash Chandra Das 641288 ORUnit : No.127 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 24 Aug 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : 641288 Warrant Officer Kailash Chandra Das Flight Gunner Is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 25 May 1998. He is a Flight Gunner insfauctor. On 24 Aug 2000 WO Das was detailed for flood relief operations in Hyderabad City. Approximately 150 people were stranded atop a submerged building. Flood waters had damaged the foundation of the building and it was likely to collapse. Immediate evacuation of the victims was necessary to save their lives. On reaching the spot at about 1645 hrs, WO Das prepared for winching operation. On instructions of the captain he guided the helicopter to manoeuvre at the required spot. Less than two hours were available to evacuate the marooned people before sunset. To save time during the rescue operation WO Das physically pulled in the rescued passengers from the cargo compartment door. His physical effort led to fatigue but due to his strong will he continued and winched up 127 adults and 15 children in about one hour and forty-five minutes. Warrant Officer Das displayed a high degree of professional competence, courage and strong will. His selfless action enabled 127 adults and 15 children to be saved. The Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Warrant Officer Kailash Chandra Das.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
JWO Sunil Kumar Singh 679540 ORUnit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 12 Jun 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : 679540 Junior Warrant Officer Sunil Kumar Singh, Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 30 Jun 1997. On II Jun 2000 he was detailed to fly as Fit Gunner for flood relief operations at Pasighat. During these operations, he winched 31 people up from rooftops and handled the situation In a calm and professional way. He expertly guided the pilot to hover the helicopter in between tall trees and other obstructions. While winching up people he kept working beyond the point of physical exhaustion. On one such occasion, he had to almost hang out of the aircraft to grab hold of an 11 year old unconscious girl who was slipping out of the man hoist while being winched up. On 12 Jun 2000 he was detailed to fly as Flight Gunner for a rescue mission involving 100 passengers marooned on a steamer in the middle of the Bramhaputra river. While the aircraft was hovering just above the ground he humped out into 2 feet quick sand disregarding personnel safety to help the people board the aircraft. 56 people were rescued in two sorties that day, During these rescue operations JWO Singh has displayed courage, exceptional devotion to duty in ensuring rescue of all people even at the cost of his personal safety. He has set a personal example worthy of emulation. For this act of exceptional courage and gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Junior Warrant Officer Sunil Kumar Singh.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Ashim Sarkar 709483 ORUnit : No.110 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 24 Aug 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : 709483 Corporal Ashim Sarkar Instrument Fitter 709483 Corporal Ashim Sarkar, Instrument Fitter is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 27 Mar 1997. He is a qualified Instrument Fitter. On 24 Aug 2000 Cpl Sarkar volunteered to proceed for flood relief operations in the city of Hyderabad. The operations involved winching people from top of a building, which is in the midst of flooded stream and in danger of collapsing. Cpl Sarkar, on being instructed by the Captain and briefed by the Flight Gunner, readily volunteered to undertake a task of saving the lives of marooned people, though it involved a risk to his own life. In the true tradition of a soldier, C-pl Sarkar, unmindful of his personal safety on being winched down on to the building firstly soothed the nerves of the distraught people and at the same time controlled the people by assuring- them of positive rescue if they followed his instructions. Inspite of not being trained for the task he maintained his composure and executed a task, which at the best of times requires absolute professional expertise and individual skill. Cpl Sarkar skillfully and efficiently carried out ground operations in the face of danger to his own life, thereby ensuring a large number of valuable lives being saved. For his exemplary courage and selfless devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Corporal Ashim Sarkar.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

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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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.