Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the year 2012


A total of 17 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 17 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Nitin Welde   23193 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Nitin Welde (23193) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a FAC Fit since 09 Nov 10 as Flight Commander. On the evening of 07 Feb 11, a SOS call was received by Air II AOC J&K to launch a helicopter to rescue a stranded labourer of BRTF. The labourer was stranded on a Pier of a bridge which was under construction. On receipt of this information Wing Commander Welde took on the responsibility of executing the mission. Detailed & comprehensive flight planning was carried out as the site was close to Line of Control and exact coordinates were not known. On 08 Feb 11, the aircraft was prepared prior to sunrise and the crew took off 20 min before sunrise. By virtue of accurate navigation the aircraft approached general search area and thereafter located the survivor stranded on the bridge pier. The site was mired in obstructions, owing to HT cables, LT cables, and other temporary cables, all of which were likely to affect the rescue operations. Using his experience, Wg Cdr N Welde decided an approach direction and established hover. The strong and turbulent winds made hover difficult, however, Wg Cdr Welde in an exemplary display of flying skill maintained steady over the survivor. The pier itself had 15-20 feet vertical iron rods jutting out in a haphazard manner and entanglement of winch cable in these rods would have resulted in a major disaster to the helicopter. He displayed extraordinary coordination and flying skills in maintaining steady position till the survivor was on the rescue belt and was flown to a safe landing place. In spite of limited visual references, adverse weather and wind conditions, coupled with high obstructions, the whole operation was accomplished with precise accuracy. This rescue of a J&K civilian added to the IAF image of being ever ready to provide succour to the affected, with precision and professionalism. For this act of exceptional courage, unwavering devotion to duty and professional approach, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Nitin Welde.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Mannarath Shylu 24221 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Mannarath Shylu (24221) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Helicopter Squadron since 20 Sep 10. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Helicopter Combat Leader with 2750 hrs of accident! incident free flying. On 17 Jan 11, Wg Cdr Shylu was tasked to ferry a Mi-35 attack helicopter from Suratgarh to Hindan. The sortie was uneventful till Hindan, however while carrying out downwind vital actions, the starboard undercarriage malfunctioned and did not come down. Wg Cdr Shylu displayed exceptional professional skill and tenacity by carrying out an unprecedented landing of the helicopter on its belly in a controlled manner thus preventing the helicopter from a possible accident. While carrying out vital actions on downwind, Wg Cdr Shylu was vigilant and was prompt to notice that the starboard undercarriage indication had not come in the cockpit. He displayed extreme professionalism in crew resource management as well as co-ordination with the other aircrafts and the air traffic control for physical check of the undercarriage. Having made all possible attempts to lower the undercarriage as per the SOP,.Wg Cdr Shylu brought the helicopter to a low hover for the ground crew to physically force the under carriage down. His steady maneuvering ensured safety of the ground crew working under the helicopter. When all attempts of lowering the undercarriage failed, Wg Cdr Shylu landed the helicopter on its belly with such precision and control that the machine and its crew were recovered scratch less. For his exceptional skill in recovering the attack helicopter from a potentially catastrophic situation and his extremely high degree of professionalism and tenacity in the face of a critical emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Mannarath Shylu .
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Surendra Kumar Indoria 18296 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Surendar Kumar Indoria (18296) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in flying branch of IAF on 07 Jun 86. He is Qualified Flying Instructor and has been an avid aviator having an experience of approx 6000 hrs on various types of aircraft. He has undergone the prestigious Joint Staff & Command Course at Indonesia. conducted in Bhasha Indonesia, and achieved above Average grading, upholding the image of the Indian Air Force and the nation at large. He worked as Director Training at Air HQ and has been the Commanding Officer of an An-32 Squadron since 06 Jul 09. For exceptional performance and dedication to duty the officer was awarded Commendation by Chief of Air Staff, in 1996. As Commanding Officer of the An-32 Squadron. he has deeply involved himself in every single activity of the squadron and truly set an environment of professional excellence. It was due to his personal involvement and guidance that Bombing by An-32 touched new heights. It was in his command that the Squadron undertook a host of maiden bombing exercises and achieved exceptional results in all of them. In fact in Ex Eklavya he led from the front and won the Bombing Trophy. He put in his professional acumen in formulating SOPs on internal and external bombing, High Altitude Bombing at Toshe Maidan range, Demonstration drop 01 1Ox1000 Ibs Bomb Drop in single stick, among others. He has shown exceptional foresight and initiative in undertaking a study for alternate bombing stores for An-32, which would go long way in enhancing the op effectiveness of the ac. On 21 Nov 10, Gp Capt Indoria, undertook the First Ever Trial landing at the Advance Landing Ground (ALG) at Dharasu, in Uttarkashi hills (Elevation-2950Ieet). which had presented a challenge for years. The Advance Landing Ground is short airstrip ( Length-3400 feet), situated in a bowl with restricted approach due high hills on all sides. The terrain around does not even allow a straight approach to the runway, leaving the option for only a curved approach and demands very high levels of proficiency and control of aircraft. It speaks volumes about the character of the officer that he decided to take on this challenge, himself. He went about the mission in an exemplary planned and professional manner and thereafter, also submitted an SOP on the operations from the ALG, making it possible for other to follow suit with all variables catered for. This mission has provided an altogether a new horizon for the IAF in support of Indian Army deployed in the region. He also led from front by undertaking the First Ever PTT landing by An-32 at Bareilly. His contribution in conceptualising and formulating the out of area contingency plan as Type Force' Commander speaks volumes about his operational understanding and strategic appreciation. It was under his command that the squadron became the first ever transport squadron of the IAF to be affiliated to a combat unit of the Indian Army. The manner in which he has participated in and organised a host of activities to further this affiliation in its true sense has set new standards of jointmanship. He led the unit by example and always stood firmly committed towards the culture of professional integrity and operational mindedness in his working environment. On the maintenance front Sqn passed through a phase of low ac availability. In spite of constraints, the energetic officer drove his way through by keeping flight line serviceability over 90% by proactive planning and managing resources. During the DASI visit in Aug 2010, the squadron undertook all operational missions in the most professional manner and earned laurels for the same. The effect of his directive leadership and visionary approach was well proven when the squadron went on to earn the coveted Average Plus grading in all five aspects of the inspection. The continued excellence of the unit under his command took the squadron to a level where it was adjudged as the Best Transport/Helicopter Squadron of CAC for the year 2009-10. These achievements speak very high of the highest standards 01 morale and professional values in his unit, which are clear indication of the officers' effective leadership and optimum resource utilisation. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hcn'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty)' to Group Captain Surendar Kumar lndoria.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Balakrishnan Saju 18300 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Balakrishnan Saju (18300) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot into the fighter stream of Indian Air Force on 07 Jun 86. He is a Fighter Combat Leader with more than2800 hours of accident free flying on many variants of MiG 21 fighter aircraft (ac) and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has been the Commanding Officer (CO) of a Bison Sqn, a directing staff at College of Air Warfare and the first CO of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Sqn of IAF for last two years. He now stands posted as the Director Airborne Sensors and Networking at Air Headquarters. Gp Capt Saju was entrusted with the arduous task of raising one of the largest units and inducting the most complex equipment of IAF. Under his leadership, more than 70 officers and 450 air warriors from varying backgrounds amalgamated into a cohesive and operational unit, successfully inducting and operationalising the AWACS. He had the unique distinction of leading all the three acceptance teams for the AWACS and ensured compliance of all operational requirements of the contract by the vendor. Through proactive negotiations with the management, a large number of testers and spares over and above the contract were procured. Additionally, by methodical recording of all the defects, the warranty of the three AWACS has been extended for significant period, resulting in significant financial savings. The formulation of Standard Operating Procedures for different types of missions, planning and execution of more than twenty command level exercises in the area of all the operational commands of IAF, innumerable Signal Intelligence gathering missions, and drafting of Concept of Operations of this complex force multiplier have all been achieved during this period. As President of the Officers Institute, he was instrumental in upgrading the holiday home, modernizing the health club and sports facilities to befitting standards. The strong foundation laid by him, helped the Sqn undertake its multifaceted operational role efficiently, integrate into the Con ops of IAF and develop as a cohesive and professional unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Group Captain Saju Balakrishnan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Shekher Chauhan 18550 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Shekher Chauhan (18550) flying (Pilot)was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 06 Dec 86. He was awarded the Nawanagar Sword of Honour for his exceptional performance in flying training. He has held the appointments of an Instructor Class 'C' at National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune, Flight Commander of an An-32 Squadron (Sqn), Directing Staff at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, prior to assuming his current Command assignment. His outstanding performances as a Right Commander and as a Directing Staff have been commended by Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Integrated Staff Committee, HQ IDS respectively. As a Flight Commander, he was instrumental in accomplishing a ten ac, close formation by dark night, at low level, for a Bn Gp Drop during Ex-Sangh Shakti 2006. The unit accomplished incident free 5000 flying hours in the calendar year 2005. He led a ten aircraft formation comprising all unit aircraft, which demonstrated his leadership and professionalism. On assuming Command of the An-32 Sqn , he ensured significant up-gradation of the Sqn categorisation and air maintenance qualification states of his aircrew. The Sqn has, since, accomplished all tasks assigned to it, maintaining the highest professional standards. The unit's performance and op preparedness was appreciated during the CASI visit in Aug 2010. He was the Task Force Commander for An-32 ac missions during Ex-Pralay in Sep 2010. The planning and execution of all missions demonstrated highest professional standards. The first ever, dark night, Air Landed Mission, comprising two ac, was executed with flawless precision. His personal involvement is reflected in increased availability of ac for operations, low rectification percentage, commendable safety environment, high levels of professionalism, motivation, discipline and cohesion in the Unit. As a professional, he has a vast experience in air maintenance operations, both in the Northern and Eastern sectors. He is qualified for all roles of An-32 ac. The officer exploits his multidimensional service experience to accomplish all operational and administrative tasks to enviable standards. His exemplary zeal, professionalism, and leadership have been inspirational for all personnel of the Station. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble president is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Group Captain Shekher Chauhan .
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Calambur Krishna Kumar 18812 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Calambur Krishna Kumar (18812) Flying(Pilot)was commissioned as a transport Pilot in the IAF on 13 Jun 87. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor on Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), B737-200, An-32 and HPT-32 with more than 7000hrs. of flying which includes 1800 instructional hours. He holds' A/Master Green' on BBJ aircraft and is fully operational on all roles. He is Type Examiner on BBJ aircraft (ac). An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he took over Command of one of the most prestigious Transport Squadron (Sqn) on 22 Feb 10. As a Wing Commander, he has commanded a strategic Elint gathering flying Unit. With limited resources, he inspired his subordinates to deliver exceptional results. His contribution to safe conduct of operations as a Commanding Officer was exemplary. As the Commanding Officer of a Sqn equipped with three different types of ac and over 500 personnel, he has ensured that all tasks entrusted to the Unit are accomplished in a time bound and most professional manner. During this tenure, the unit achieved an enviable Cat/IR state with 80% aircrew holding a supervisory category who were cleared to operate independently as Captains on VIP / WIP commitments within and outside the country. The espirit-de- corps and cohesiveness within the unit personnel is seen in every activity be it on tarmac or on the social front. Under his command, the Sqn has set impeccable standards in achievements of tasks, be it communication duties or short notice launch of aircraft on Casualty Evacuation missions. During his tenure, the Sqn achieved very high levels of serviceability of all three types of ac. He has made visible improvement in the quality of life in the Sqn with operationalisation of modern Flight Complex, numerous Works services are under way towards induction of new helicopters and various welfare measures in place to ensure high morale. Through a responsive administration, he has ensured excellent working environment to bring out best in each unit air warrior. Gp Capt CK Kumar has always led by example in every sphere and has been a source of inspiration to his both colleagues and subordinates. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)" Group Captain Calambur Krishna Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Amit Vij 21211 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Amit Vij (21211) flying (Pilot)was commissioned in the flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 15 Jun 91. The Officer is a Pilot Attack Instructor, Qualified Flying Instructor, Command Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He is fully operational on MiG-23BN, MiG-27ML, SU-30K and SU-30MKI aircraft with over 3300 hours of flying experience. His meritorious service is marked by distinguished performance in all service assignments and courses. He stood first in the order of merit in the Flying Instructor's Course bagging all the trophies as also in Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner's Course. He is the holder of 'Thammaiya Medal' from Defence Services Staff College. The officer is Commanding Officer of a premier SU-30 MKI Squadron (Sqn) since 09 Nov 09. On assuming command, the officer led the Sqn in Dec 2009, for the longest operational fighter mission ever planned in the history of Indian Air Force where in four aircraft flew 09:55 hours each over a distance of 6500 kms. The first of its kind mission was a resounding success and remains unsurpassed till date in the history of Indian Air Force. The officer gave a sterling account of leadership and motivated his team to perform in an exemplary manner in an International Exercise GARUDA-IV at France. With assiduity and perseverance, he showcased the professionalism and prowess of Indian Air Force, thus bringing rich laurels to it in an international forum. His indomitable spirit, unflinching determination and grit have resulted in an outstanding performance by the Squadron in all endeavours. His keen sense of involvement and exceptional organising ability has resulted in creation of operational infrastructure thus immensely enhancing the capability of the Sqn. Displaying tenacity to overcome odds, his able leadership has resulted in a record number of aircrew achieving 'fully operational' status, with qualifications and upgradations in all the SU-30 MKI specialist operational roles, all in a span of 17 months. The Squadron performance was assessed as exceptional during the Aircrew Examination Board visit to the unit in November 2010. The Squadron has won the Individual Conventional Dive Attack Trophy of the Year 2009-10 and the Team Bombing Trophy of the Year 2010-11 in Exercise Eklavya in Central Air Command. His sustained efforts and foresight has resulted in the Sqn having the best aircraft serviceability in the entire SU-30 MKI fleet for the last two years. His dynamic leadership was recognised when the Sqn was declared the Best Fighter Squadron for the Year 2009-10. For distinguished service of exceptional order and devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Group Captain Amit Vij.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Rajdeep Singh Gill 21212 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Rajdeep Singh Gill (21212) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF on 15 Jun 91. Presently, he is commanding a Pechora Squadron (Sqn) at a frontline IAF Station. During his career, he has held various key appointments including that of a Qualified Flying Instructor, Flight Commander of a Mirage-2000 Squadron and a team pilot of the 'Suryakiran' aerobatic team. He has over 2000 hours on different fighter/trainer aircraft of the IAF. He took over the command of the Sqn in Aug 2009. In a systematic manner, he has pioneered the operational and maintenance activities to build a robust and extremely reliable Air Defence (AD)weapon platform out of this vintage equipment. This was displayed in the exceptional performance during the two command level exercises last year, which were highly appreciated by HQ WAC. Leading from the front, the officer has motivated his team to aim high and reach the pinnacle of operational preparedness that any AD unit can achieve. The squadron was adjudged 'Average Plus' by DASI in Sep 10, a feat unheard of in the fleet. This transformation of the unit from being 'Non-Ops' in 2006 and just 'Average' in 2008 shows their strong' resolve and grit. Under his able guidance, the squadron has been performing exceptionally and has been adjudged the "Best SAGW unit-2010' in WAC. A cheerful leader, Gp Capt Gill has performed the role of a Commanding Officer to the hilt. With his stress on building a positive attitude and his personal involvement towards the welfare of his personnel, the morale of the Squadron is at an all time high. This has been borne out by the unit winning almost all the interunit competitions at the Station continuously for two years in running. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Group Captain Rajdeep Singh Gill.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt K Prem Kumar 21241 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain K Prem Kumar (21241) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Pilot in the Flying branch on 15 June 91. He is a 'Qualified Flying Instructor', 'Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner' and alumni of the Defence Services Staff College. The officer took over command of a MiG-27 DASH 2 Squadron (Sqn) on 15 Sep 08. The Sqn, under his command, completed its upgradation to the MiG-27 Dash 2 aircraft in Dec 08. It was due to his foresight, methodical approach and documentation that many issues related to the 'Final Operation Clearance Implementation' (FOCD) of the MiG-27 Upgrade came to the fore. As a result, three phases of FOC implementation trials were instituted to resolve those issues. Based on the recommendations in the service paper written by the officer, certain modifications and changes were also incorporated to improve the features on the Upgrade aircraft thus enhancing its ergonomics and operational employability. He was also instrumental in operationalising the Laser Designation Pod on the MiG-27 Upgrade and formulating various briefing guides and SOPs for the fleet. His immense contribution towards making the Upgrade fleet fully operational is indeed praiseworthy. It was under his able leadership that the Sqn was recommended by Command HQ for Unit Citation. The officer's administrative skills were commended by dignitaries during various visits to the Sqn and the Station. Despite various limitations, he had, with his characteristic initiative and drive, marshaled his Sqn resources effectively to win the maximum number of trophies in the Gunnery Meet 2009-10. He also led from the front during the unit's inspection by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASl) achieving exceptional scores in all range strikes. The Sqn was adjudged 'Average Plus' by DASI with no observations to be actioned by the unit. The Squadron's performance in AEB was also commendable. It goes to his credit that the operational performance of the Sqn remained unaffected despite frequent turnover of the aircrew during his tenure. He also achieved the commendable feat of 4000 hrs of total flying during his tenure as the Commanding Officer. A committed Air Warrior, Gp Capt K Prem Kumar displayed total dedication and a very high degree of professionalism and believed in leading by personal example. Despite the change in aircraft type and numerous commitments, the unit has maintained an excellent flight safety record by avoiding any accident or incident attributable to human error. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Group Captain K Prem Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sivaraman Sajan 21807 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Sivaraman Sajan (21807) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on 13 Jun 92 and is currently the Commanding Officer of a SU- 30 MKI Squadron (Sqn). A recipient of the Sword of Honour and the President's Plaque for standing first in his course, the officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and holds a Masters in Defence Studies from National University, Dhaka. The officer also bagged trophies at the Flying Instructors' School for standing first in overall order of merit, being best in flying, aerobatics and instructional technique. He has also been awarded commendations by the Chief of Air Staff as well as the AOC-in-C Eastern Air Command for his professional acumen. Wg Cdr Sajan has over 3500 hours of flying and is qualified on frontline fighters like the SU- 30 MKI and MiG-21 aircraft. The officer was the first in the IAF to have successfully fired the Anti Shipping Missile as well as the Anti Radiation Missile on realistic targets, thereby validating the missile envelope as well as employment philosophy. The firing of the Anti Radiation Missile involved detailed coordination and in-depth study since it was undertaken for the first time ever in the IAF, that too without any involvement from the missile manufacturer. His expertise on the various munitions helped him spearhead the Special Weapon Camp for all SU-30 operators, imparting training to a vast number of aircrew. Wg Cdr Sajan is a qualified low level aerobatics display pilot and has performed breathtaking displays at various venues. Prior to his present appointment, he functioned as the Flight Commander of the same squadron and ensured high professional standards amongst the squadron aircrew. During visits conducted by external agencies like the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection.(DASl), he was graded 'Exceptional' in all the three armament missions that he undertook in Nov 2006 and all four missions in April 2009. Under his command, the squadron took part in various exercises and came out with flying colours. The surgically precise armament employment showcased by the squadron aircrew during Ex-Maha Vayu Shakti- 2010 is a testimony of the same. As the only SU-30 MKI maritime squadron in the IAF, the unit undertook a multitude of missions over high seas with the Indian Navy, spanning from the Eastern to the Western seaboard. Wg Cdr Sajan was instrumental in training a large number of aircrew in the maritime role to meet the challenges over sea. In November 2009, the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil undertook the historic flight on the SU-30 MKI with Wg Cdr Sajan. The event which was showcased by national as well as international media was conducted flawlessly and in a befitting manner by the squadron under his guidance. For his high degree of professionalism, consistent endeavour to achieve excellence and exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Sivaraman Sajan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Prajual Singh 21809 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Prajual Singh (21809) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the Flying branch on 13 Jun 92. He has previously been Joint Director Air Defence at Air Headquarters, as also been the Flight Commander of the acclaimed Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT). Wing Commander Prajual has been Commanding Officer of the SKAT since 28 June 2010. Under his leadership, the team has successfully demonstrated its capabilities across the country and has been instrumental in showcasing the prowess of the IAF to audiences all over. He has continuously innovated to introduce new manoeuvres and profiles into the team's displays while simultaneously ensuring flight and demonstration safety alongside adequate training of its members. He has put his administrative abilities, keen observation and foresight into ensuring that the team has achieved high serviceability of its aging aircraft. Despite working under severe constraints of resources, the team has continuously achieved exceptional performance in its displays which have been thorough in planning and flawless in execution. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Prajual Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Harsh Vardhan Thakur 22105 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander (Now Group Captain) Harsh Vardhan Thakur (22105) Flying (Pilot) As the Commanding Officer of the unit since 29 Mar 10, he has led his recently resurrected unit with great passion and gusto. These have clearly been reflected in the numerous achievements of the unit and the high level of morale and motivation of all personnel of the squadron. The Sqn, under his command has aggressively transformed itself from a regular Jaguar fighter Sqn to take on the additional role of type training for the Jaguar fleet. The flying task of the Sqn was increased from 170 hrs per month to 300 hrs per month from Apr 10 onwards without any additional resources. The Sqn has sustained this flying over the past seven months and has flown an unprecedented 3400 hrs of accident free flying over the last one year. All this was only possible due to the untiring effort of the Officer and his highly motivated team. Through this effort, the Sqn has graduated seven U/T pilots to Day Ops qualification and an additional seven pilots are on the threshold of graduation, thus adding 14 more Ops pilots to the Jaguar fleet, which is the equivalent of one additional Sqn's aircrew resource. Meanwhile, all Ops pilots in the Sqn have also graduated to achieve all possible higher qualifications such as 4 ac leader, Trainer Captain, Supervisor, Night Strike Qualified, LDP Qualified, AAR Qualified etc. The Officer has also employed his skills as a test pilot to innovate and provided many value additions to the Jaguar DARIN II suite. One of these praiseworthy innovations was the incorporation of Full-Color, Moving Satellite Imagery into the Multi-Function Display, to aid in navigation, target acquisition, and target designation, at no additional cost to the IAF. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Harsh Vardhan Thakur
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Aditya Kumar Wahi 22111 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Aditya Kumar Wahi (22111) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 19 Dec 92. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a Mirage-2000 Squadron (Sqn). The officer has more than 3600 hrs of accident free flying with more than 1700 hrs on Mirage-2000 aircraft. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College and is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner. He has earlier held the key appointment of Flight Commander of a Mirage-2000 Sqn, where he has been instrumental in creating and implementing a computer application which has enhanced the supervisory capability of the flying units at base. Wg Cdr AK Wahi has consistently proved his mettle in various tasks assigned to him. In a short span of time his unrelenting drive and efforts have ensured complete operationalisation of a Precision Guided Munitions. This pilot project has given tremendous impetus to the strike capability of the Indian Air Force. On taking over the Sqn, he laid special emphasis on improving the Ops status of the Sqn. The Sqn has flown 2600 hrs in the last one year & two months without any accident, with the officer himself flying over 360 hrs and 450 sorties, despite all the responsibilities of a Commanding Officer. The Sqn's Ops status has improved considerably with the junior most pilot averaging over 150-160 hrs in the last one year and one of them having bagged an Eklavya trophy. Under his command, the Sqn performed exceptionally well during various inter and intra command level exercises and also during the Aircrew Examination Board. Wg Cdr AK Wahi has also been instrumental in training the low level aerobatic team on the M-2000, as the display supervisor. Innovative and enterprising, he is constantly finding solutions and meeting the highest standard in all spheres for others to emulate. His innate ability to interact with the Airmen and NCs (El at the lowest level has earned him the respect of his subordinates, both officers and men alike, inculcated the spirit of unflinching loyalty towards the Sqn and kept the morale of his Sqn very high. This has manifested itself in high ac availability of the Sqn thereby resulting on excellent performance of the Sqn in various inspections and exercises. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Aditya Kumar Wahi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Dharmendra Singh Dangi 22115 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Dharmendra Singh Dangi (22115) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the Flying branch on 19 Dec 92. He is currently commanding a SU- 30MKI squadron since 01 Sep 09. His earlier appointments were as Flight Commander of a SU-30 MKI squadron and as a senior project test pilot for MiG-27 aircraft upgrade. His deep involvement and contribution in the MiG-27 upgrade project ensured timely achievement of initial operational clearance leading to early ac induction in the field. For his f1yiI1g experience and earlier involvement as a test pilot in the operational evaluation of the SU-30MKI aircraft, he has often been called by the Air HQ to analyse and resolve issues related to the operational employment or maintenance of this technologically advanced flying machine. He is a qualified Pilot Attack Instructor, Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot, a rare combination which has been achieved by only a handful of pilots till date. He also has an impeccable Flight Safety record in his 2800 hrs of flying. The officer has earlier been commended by the Chief of the Air Staff twice in 1999 and 2009. In Sep 2009, the officer was entrusted with the responsibility of raising the first SU-30MKI Sqn in Eastern Air Command. The resurrection of a new unit at a new base was a gigantic task. It involved putting in place the unit's operational, maintenance and administrative setup right from the grass roots level with extremely limited manpower and resources. His foresight, deep involvement, focus towards the task, ability to find pragmatic solutions and managerial skills ensured that the flying operations commenced in time and the monthly flying task has steadily grown to more than 225 hours within a short span of less than a year. The squadron achieved fully operational status within six months and has successfully participated in Exercise Indra Dhanush-03 with a foreign Air Force. His Squadron has also participated in the Republic Day Flypast and various other Command level exercises. The unit has also employed Laser Guided Bombs and operationalised the Flight Refueling Pod within this short span. The unit's progress towards achieving operational status and its performance in various exercises has been highly appreciated by all the dignitaries who visited the squadron. In spite of limited maintenance support and facilities, especially in the first year, the unit has been able to maintain a comparatively higher serviceability vis-a-vis other SU-30MKI squadrons of the IAF. Currently, the unit is fully geared towards taking on any task and is being gainfully employed in the Eastern sector which bears testimony to his untiring efforts and leadership. While according very high priority to the task at hand, he has never lost sight of morale and welfare of Squadron personnel. He exudes zeal for modernisation and innovation and has been able to motivate all the air warriors towards better work output. In short, he has led from the front and led by example. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Dharmendra Singh Dangi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Manish Vasantkumar Patel 22152 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Manish Vasantkumar Patel (22152) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 19 Dec 92 as a pilot in the IAF. He has operated in various operational helicopter units all over the country. He is a Category A Qualified Flying Instructor, a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, he has been the Flight Commander of a Mi-17 IV unit in the northern sector and is presently posted as Commanding Officer of a Cheetah helicopter unit at one of the front line bases of the IAF since 29 Jun 09. The officer has displayed commendable initiative, dedication and dynamism in commanding his unit in the most operational and challenging environments of the Siachen Glacier. He has flown more than 5000 hrs of accident free flying, of which over 1500 hrs are in high altitudes and over 1000 hrs are in 'Op Meghdoot' in the Siachen Glacier. He has executed more than 800 landings at helipads which are amongst the highest operational helipads in the world. Under his command the unit has flown more than 6500 hrs undertaking tasks in treacherous mountain terrain and unpredictable weather. With his meticulous planning and judicious use of resources, the unit has exceeded the allotted air maintenance task for sustaining the troops deployed along the border areas consecutively for last two years. The heroic efforts of the unit during the flash floods at Leh in Aug 2010 earned high praise for him and the unit in the national and international media. His leadership has been inspirational in stimulating his subordinates towards achieving very high operational standards which has now become a hallmark of his unit. The induction of Cheetah helicopters in the unit and its successful utilisation in the Siachen Glacier took place under his leadership. He worked tirelessly to solve all teething problems related to this new induction including training of air warriors, formulating Standard Operating Procedures and instituting safe flight and maintenance practices. The concern and motivation that he has displayed for his men operating in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade and in the most difficult of circumstances has kept the morale of his unit very high. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Manish Vasantkumar Patel
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Yashpal Singh Dhariwal 22171 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Yashpal Singh Dhariwal (22171) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 19 Dec 92. He has 1300 hours of flying experience on fighters and 1650 hours of Remotely Piloted Aircraft. He is Qualified Internal Pilot Instructor and also the command examiner for Mission Commander / Internal Pilot in SWAC. Presently he is commanding a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Squadron at frontline airbase since 20 Apr 09. On 23 Feb 11, he was authorised to fly a circuit and landing sortie as Mission Commander and Internal Pilot Instructor on Heron RPA. The take off was uneventful, during the first circuit while turning from downwind to base leg, he noticed engine RPM reducing below flight idle limits along with engine oil pressure reducing at a faster rate. This was followed by engine cut warning coming on, sensing the gravity of the situation he took charge of the situation, maintaining cool and calm composure, he announced the emergency on intercom to External Pilot and continued to provide all necessary flight parameters towards safe recovery of the aircraft. His pro-activeness, concise transmission and assertiveness helped in safe recovery of Heron RPA with a failed engine. Wg Cdr Dhariwal is a dynamic officer with exceptional professional knowledge achieved through hard work and perseverance. As the Commanding Officer he has led the squadron from the front by ensuring sagacious planning, foresight and achieved enviable status of best RPA serviceability state in the entire RPA fleet, the squadron was commended for 100 % serviceability state twice by HQ SWAC. Under his leadership, the squadron has trained maximum number of External Pilots to facilitate smooth operations of RPA in IAF. His decision making abilities, level of staff work, command and control are of exceptional order. Despite his demanding appointment, he is ever willing to take on any additional service commitment and accomplish it with enthusiasm. For exceptional devotion to duty, quick and correct decision making while handling a complex emergency in air in saving the valuable aircraft, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)' to Wing Commander Yashpal Singh Dhariwal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Subramaniam Srinivasan 23773 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 12 Announced 15 Aug 12
Details : Wing Commander Subramaniam Srinivasan (23773) Flying Pilot is on the posted strength of a Cheetah! Chetak Helicopter Unit as Flight Commander, at Air force Station Leh since 07 Feb 11. On 26 Aug 11, Wg Cdr S Srinivasan , was authorised to lead a two helicopter formation to rescue a critically ill American member of an Indo-American team of mountaineers which was climbing down from Saser Kangri-II peak. The expedition team requested for an air rescue through their organising agency and the embassy in India. Despite very limited time and information available to him, he along with his crewmembers displayed extreme swiftness and professionalism in planning the mission, which included the route and fuel planning, power requirement and a plan to execute the search and rescue. After carrying out the detailed analysis and assessment of the situation, he ensured that the formation was airborne in a matter of minutes. He reached the area, started a search pattern, and quickly spotted the casualty. He found that the landing site was at the density altitude of 23000 ft, which is at the absolute limits of aircraft operating envelope Also, the site was located on a treacherous' glacier amidst wide crevasses. The inhospitable terrain coupled with negligible reserve of power and turbulence in the area, left him with no margins at all in case of an eventuality. However, he remained undeterred, used his experience, and well calculated judgment to execute an extremely difficult approach to land on loose snow in a very restricted space. The casualty was taken on board without wasting any time and the rescue team landed back at Leh within two hours. This act of valour by Wg Cdr S Srinivasan, wherein he lead the mission efficiently in the face of inhospitable terrain and extremely demanding conditions, showcases the highest level of leadership, professionalism and exceptional courage. This daring rescue from the dizzying heights of Saser Kangri has enhanced the glory of Indian Air Force well beyond national boundaries. For act of exceptional courage, professional competence and successful execution of the rescue mission, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Subramaniam Srinivasan.
Reference: Air Force Day 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.