Awards for 128 HU


A total of 9 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 1 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 6 | Vishist Seva Medal : 1 |
Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Abdul Naseer Hanfee 16077 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 08 Apr 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

On the 23rd September 1987, Flight Lieutenant Abdul Naseer Hanfee was launched in Siachen area to assist the Army. Taking off in a short time, he immediately undertook the much-needed Army support missions in the area. At a time when all our forward posts were under attack by enemy and the demand for ammunition and other logistic support came up, Flight Lieutenant Hanfee rose to the occasion and accepted the challenge. Flying from sunrise to sunset in marginal weather conditions with frequent snow blizzards and white out conditions and frequent enemy shelling of the posts, he achieved 14 to 15 sorties a day for three continuous days, with total disregard to him personal safety. He single handedly managed to provide the much-needed logistic support for two days, which was a big morale booster for the troops in Siachen Glacier area, fighting the enemy a hostile terrain.

In a restricted area where the guns were required to fire continuously to meet the enemy challenge, he also showed exceptional professionalism by evacuating 38 casualties in a single day from the area which was in the close proximity of enemy posts with undue disregard to his personal safety.

Thus, Flight Lieutenant Abdul Naseer Hanfee exhibited high degree of professional skill and courage in the face of the adversary.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1989 - No.23 - Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Shaurya Chakra
LAC Rajeev Bhardwaj 776440 ORUnit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Leading Aircraftsman Rajeev Bhardwaj is on the posted strength of a squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 31 Jan 2000. A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001 after the earthquake LAC Bhardwaj immediately set out to rescue survivors. Working tirelessly over the next four days, he saved 16 lives. On 26 Jan 2001, while the tremors continued, LAC Bhardwaj worked his way into the rubble of four multistoried apartments complexes in Shivnagar area and rescued five women, two children and two men. From 27 Jan 2001 to 29 Jan 2001, LAC Bhardwaj worked tirelessly and rescued Sgt Sharma RP and his family, a man, his wife and a teen-aged girl from Taxila Apartments in Shivnagar area. On 29 Jan 2001 he recovered a child after a struggle of six hours. As days passed by the task became all the more difficult. Bodies had started decaying and the probability of finding the survivors kept reducing. However, LAC Bhardwaj continued with the same zeal and dogged determination. Overcoming all hurdles and bracing the aftershocks, LAC Bhardwaj saved 16 lives from Shivnagar and Gandhinagri area.

Leading Aircraftsman Rajeev Bhardwaj displayed unparalleled courage, determination and commitment in saving others lives even at a risk of his own life.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjib Kumar Bhattacharya 15702 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Sanjib Kumar Bhattacharya (15702) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned into the Flying Branch of the IAF on 15 Jun 79. He has more than 6000 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. An A-2, QFI he has been Flight Commander of a Helicopter Squadron, an examiner with the Air Crew Examination Board and Chief Operational Officer of a flying station. He has also been on deputation to the Namibian Defence Forces.

Wg Cdr Bhattacharya was posted as Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit since 01 Feb 97. Driven by an objective orientation of operational excellence, he embarked on the transformation of his Unit in all spheres of activity. Through total involvement and concerted efforts he brought up the categorisation status of his unit to enviably high standards. He ensured operational role clearance of all eligible aircrew. Through close interaction with the maintenance staff he ensured a high level of serviceability. All tasks allotted to the Unit were executed most efficiently, economically and on schedule throughout his tenure of two years. His Unit boasts of the best tonnage per hour in the Indian Air Force.

Wg Cdr Bhattacharya always led from front. He himself flew 650 hrs during a twoyear period, a very creditable achievement considering other compelling demands on him as a Commanding Officer. He displayed extra ordinary courage in taking on difficult assignments himself. The airlift of seven tons of badly needed Foam Compound from Chabua to Digboi to fight the Oil Refinery fire and the daring dusk time airlift of critically injured school children form Tawang to Itanagar are examples in courage and leadership set by him. Both these missions were undertaken during adverse weather and extremely poor visibility conditions.

Wg Cdr Bhattacharya has motivated his personnel through sincerity of purpose and intensity of his convictions. Through meticulous planning and single-minded devotion he achieved and maintained his target of operational excellence throughout.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sanjib Kumar Bhattacharya.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

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 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)
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 (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Jang Veer Singh Guron 19879 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 06
Details : Wing Commander Jang Veer Slngh Guron (19879) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Helicopter Unit since 08 May 2001 and has been the Flight Commander since 03 Apr 2003.On 31 Dec 2004, in the aftermath of the devastating Tsunami disaster wherein the Andaman & Nicobar Islands were badly affected, the base was called upon to launch three helicopters for relief operations at Carnlcobar. Wg Cdr Guron, who was on leave, reported for duty on his own and volunteered to lead the helicopter detachment to Carnicobar. Wg Cdr Guron with his experience has worked out minute details of equipment necessary for safe and effective conduct of relief operations, operational requirements, staging, camping, messing, manpower, ration, accommodation was planned in a most professional manner. Exhaustive preparation ensured that the detachment was self-sufficient to undertake independent operations from any location in the Islands.Inspite of challenging living conditions, non-availability of infrastructure and adverse weather conditions, his enthusiasm ensured that relentless pace was maintained in carrying out the relief operations. His meticulous planning and exceptional leadership ensured smooth ferry of three helicopters through two foreign counlrles. On 06 Jan 2005, when Wg Cdr Guron was approached with an immediate requirement to airlift a group of doctors to a remote location on Carnicobar Island, he reacted to the situation in a most professional manner, airlifted the doctors and landed at a small clearing in the jungle. Five serious casualties, who were on their deathbeds, were rescued and airlifted to Carnicobar, thus saving their lives. His actions on that day not only earned respect and appreciation for the Indian Air Force from the doctors and civil administration but also the gratitude of the local population.His superior management skills and planning resulted in completion of the entire task at Carnicobar in a record time of 14 days, His dedication to the job was inspiring not only to the members of the detachment but also to the rest of the Air Force personnel at Carnicobar.For his exceptional devotion to duty and high airmanship during "Op Sea Wave" at Carnicobar, The Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Jang Veer Singh Guron.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 18th March 2006 - No.30-Pres/2006 dated 26th January 2006 & AFD2006 Investiture  

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Pankaj Kathpal 22955 ADMUnit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 06
Details : Squadron Leader Pankaj Kathpal (22955) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Helicopter Unit since 12 Jul 2004 and has been the unit supervisor since then.On 31 Dec 2004, in the aftermath of the devastating Tsunami disaster wherein the Andaman & Nicobar Islands were badly affected, the base was called upon to launch three helicopters for relief operations at Carnicobar. A Helicopter Combat Leader, Sqn Ldr Kathpal had flown more than 2500 hours and was a unit supervisor. Moreover, having served at a helicopter unit at Carnicobar earlier, he volunteered to take part in the operation. Sqn Ldr Kathpal with his professional acumen worked out the details of manpower, ration, accommodation and various operational requirements, including the requirements for staging, camping, messing as well as equipments necessary for safe and effective conduct of relief operations.Since he was the only air warrior familiar with the peculiarities of operating in Carnicobar area, he familiarised the complete detachment with the nuances of sea flying and inter-island operations and the detachment was fully operational in record time. Sqn Ldr Kathpal and his crew operated at the peak of human and aircraft limitations In marginal weather and inhospitable terrain. Under his able leadership, the officer conducted landings at restricted and unprepared areas, evacuating casualties and dropping relief material to bring maximum succour to the helpless locals. This was accomplished in such a professional manner as if it were a routine for the team. On 14 Jan 2005, he was tasked to airlift ration and fuel for around 250 people marooned at Katchal Island, The island being a vast jungle, there was hardly any place for the helicopter to land. Sqn Ldr Kathpal displayed utmost professionalism by selecting a restricted clearing in the jungle and successfully carried out the landing, after which the rescue team was able to provide relief material, which was extremely critical considering the fact that the island had been cut off for more than 20 days, and more Importantly, established communication facilities with the island. Moreover, the team, under Sqn Ldr Kathpal, was able to rescue three personnel who had miraculously survived the wrath of the Tsunami and shifted them to the rehabilitation camp,During the entire operations, Sqn Ldr Kathpal flew a total of 56 hours airlifting 72 metric tonnes of relief material and 125 marooned personnel, thus demonstrating true spirit in the midst of adversity and highlighting the professionalism of the Indian Air Force.For his selflessness, devotion to duty and upholding the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, The Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Pankaj Kathpal.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 18th March 2006 - No.30-Pres/2006 dated 26th January 2006 & AFD2006 Investiture  

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema 14292 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron Leader Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema was commissioned on 13th December 1975. He has vast experience on Mi-4 and Mi-8 Helicopters, having taken part in counter insurgency operations in Nagaland and Mizoram.

He was among the first batch of pilots trained on Mi-17 and deployed in operations over Siachen Glacier. By his meticulous planning and intelligent application, he has successfully executed various tasks.

In Operation Meghdoot, the carried out more than 620 operational sorties and has been instrumental in dropping all the artillery guns. These guns were very effectively used and proved decisive.

For Operation Vajra Shakti, he flew many operational sorties successfully against heavy shelling and adverse weather conditions.

For rendering distinguished service, the Presi dent is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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