Awardee List for the AHQ Comm Sqn


A total of 26 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 21 | Vishist Seva Medal : 5 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mohan Inder Singh 4219 GD(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

Wing Commander Mohan Inder Singh has been intimately associated with the introduction of the HS-748 aircraft in operations with the Air Force. The level of efficiency at which the present force of HS-748 aircraft operates in the squadron is mainly due to his professional skill, foresight and good planning. While he was in command of this squadron, he effected smooth changeover to modern turbo­jet aircraft for VlP communication duties. He ensured the highest standard of flight safety required in the communication squadron for air transportation of VIPs. He has a total of about 6990 flying hours to his credit his credit.

Throughout, Wing Commander Mohan Inder Singh displayed professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 8th June 1968 - No.35 - Pres/68 dated 26th January 1968 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Swatantra Kumar Goel 4684 GD(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 69
Details :

Squadron Leader Swatantra Kumar Goel was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in December 1963 as a pilot on Dakota aircraft for carrying high dignitaries. On the introduction of HS-748 aircraft to the Unit he was among the first to qualify for carrying V.I.Ps. Subsequently, he also qualified on TU-124 aircraft. He has flown over 1,700 hours in the Squadron of which over 900 hours are on VIP flights. He has also to his credit nearly 350 hours of instructional flying. He is also the Type Examiner on HS- 748 aircraft. Throughout, Squadron Leader Swatantra Kumar Goel displayed professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th April 1969 : No.18 - Pres/69 dated 26th January 1969 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Debendra Nath Mukerjee 4670 GD(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Squadron Leader Debendra Nath Mukerjee was posted to a communication squadron in October 1966 on completion of conversion training on to a new type of transport aircraft. During training, he was adjudged one of the best pilots in his course. On joining the Squadron, he was instrumental in organising the initial training on the type and its operational trials. He has flown more than 840 hours on the type without a single incident. He has also flown in Northern and Eastern Sectors where he was employed in Air Transport and Supply Dropping missions from 1960 till September 1966. During this time, he flew over 1,500 hours in operational areas. He also flew vital air supply missions during the India-Pakistan conflict in 1965. He has flown about 5,200 hours and has the distinction of having an accident free record. In all the commitments given to Squadron Leader Mukerjee, he has discharged his duties with utmost skill and enthusiasm.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Debendra Nath Mukerjee displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 25th April 1970 - No.16 - Pres/70 dated 26th January 1970 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kuthirodan Bhaskaran 5208 GD(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

After completion of his conversion training on to a new type of aircraft, Squadron Leader Kuthirodan Bhaskaran was posted to a Communication Squadron in February 1967 for navigational duties. During training, he was adjudged as exceptional in his batch. After arrival in the squadron, he undertook the conversion of other navigators in the squadron on the type and successfully achieved this task in a remarkably short time. As Navigator Instructor, he has previously worked in Navigation School and in Transport Training Wing and has the distinction of having his pupil navigators pass out on top of the course list. He has flown about 5,000 hours, of which 1,300 hours have been during his tenure in the Communication Squadron. His hard work and very high professional skill is responsible for bringing up the standard of Navigators in the squadron.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Kuthirodan Bhaskaran displayed courage and professional skill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 25th April 1970 - No.16 - Pres/70 dated 26th January 1970 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Surendra Kumar Kaushik 5929 F(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Surendra Kumar Kaushik has been posted to an operational Squadron since June 1965. During this period, while on a course abroad for conversion on to a new type of aircraft his performance was rated 'exceptional'. In the Squadron, besides his normal operational assignments, he has been responsible for training of newly posted Navigators. He has over 1,900 hours of flying to his credit. In the earlier assignments in the Eastern Sector, he had flown over 900 hours in difficult terrain. During his tenure as instructor in the Navigation School, most of his pupils passed out with high positions in the Course. He holds the Instructional Category 'A-2'. Throughout, Squadron Leader Surendra Kumar Kaushik displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Veluyadhan Gireesh Kumar 6747 F(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Velayudhannair Girish Kumar has been serving with an operational Squadron since August 1966. In this Squadron, he has flown over 1,650 hours. In an earlier tenure with another operational Squadron, he carried out a number of trial landings at hitherto unused airfields. He flew numerous supply dropping missions in NEFA. During the earthquake in Nepal in 1966, he did commendable work in connection with reconnaissance flights and setting up of dropping zones. He has flown over 4,200 hours without accident.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Velayudhannair Girish Kumar displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Clarence Joseph D'Lima 5870 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Clarence Joseph D'Lima was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in December, 1963 and has since flown 3254 hours on various aircraft. On the introduction of an advanced transport aircraft into the Air Force, he was one of the Pilots selected for training abroad and was adjudged exceptional after completion of the training. Prior to his posting to this unit, he had flown 2900 hours, mostly on supply dropping missions over NEFA and Nagaland. He has over 6200 hours of accident-free flying to his credit. He has held the highest category on transport aircraft for the last three years. Besides his flying, he has taken active part in all the other activities of the unit.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Clarence Joseph D'Lima displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Subramanian Srinivasa Rathnam 6010 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details : Squadron Leader Subramaniam Srinivasa Rathnam was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in August 1966 and has since flown 2400 hours. Prior to his joining this unit he had flown over 3000 hours in five vears, of which 2000 hours were over NEFA aittd Naga hills area. Apart from his outstanding keenness for flying, he proved his professional ability by obtaining 'A' transport category and check Pilot's endorsement on CARIBOU aircraft when he had only 4 years of total service. On posting to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, he began conversion on to a type of aircraft he had not flown previously. He was the first pilot selected for conversion on TU 124 aircraft and has since obtained 'A' transport category on this type also. He has flown over 6200 hours in his service career.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Subramaniam Srinivasa Rathnam displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Shiv Nath Rathour 5580 F(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Squadron Leader Shiv Nath Rathour has been serving with the Air Headquarters Communication Squadron since February, 1968. He worked as the Navigation Leader of the unit for two years. He holds the highest transport category both on HS-748 and TU-124 aircraft. He has a total of 6035 flying hours to his credit, of which 1915 hours were flown while on the strength of this unit in conveying VIPs. Prior to his posting to this unit, he worked as a local examiner on AN-12 aircraft and did over 1500 hours of operational flying including night dropping sorties in operational area. He has been taking very keen and active part in sports and other extra­curricular activities of the Station and has worked tirelessly for the welfare of the personnel.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Shiv Nath Rathour displayed professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th July 1974 - No.85 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1974 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bhanwar Singh Rathore 8687 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 77
Details :

Squadron Leader Bhanwar Singh Rathore was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in August, 1964. He has an Impressive total of 5600 flying hours, flying as many as 650 hours in one year alone. During his present tenure with the Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, he has flown 2000 hours, mostly on VIP tasks. He holds the highest category and Instrument Rating on HS-748 aircraft. He has had three engine failures on Devon aircraft. In all the three cases, squadron Lender Rathore executed a safe landing with admirable courage and flying skill. During the 1971 operations Squadron Leader Rathore flew day and night to supply troops in the Eastern Sector. He put in 200 flying hours, making a significant contribution to the war effort

Squadron Leader Bhanwar Singh Rathore displayed courage, high professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 27th May 1978 - No.29- Pres/78 dated 26th January 1977 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Surjit Singh Malhotra 4831 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Group Captain Surjit Singh Malhotra was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in November, 1954. He has been serving as the Commanding Officer of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron since March, 1976. During the very first year of his command, he brought about appreciable improvements in all round performance and efficiency of the Squadron. The Squadron flew a total of 5,292 accident­free hours maintaining a high state of serviceability. He also ensured that the aircrew training was vigorously progressed. This enabled the Squadron to achieve hundredpercent aircrew categorisation and remain fully operational. Under his able guidance, the Squadron also completed its tasks connected with the transportation of dignitaries and undertook all the transport support missions assigned to it. Group Captain Malhotra has over 7,300 hours of unblemished accidentfree service flying to his credit. He has flown six types of operational aircraft and has held highest transport category 'A' on no less than four types. At present, he holds 'A' category on two types of aircraft in current use. This is commendable achievement particularly when he has been on ground tenure for nearly seven years during his service.

Group Captain Surjit Singh Malhotra has thus displayed high professional skill, determination and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Vishwanathan Natarajan 10462 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 83
Details :

Squadron Leader Viswanathan Natarajan is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 22 Jul 80. In July 1981 Jaipur area experienced unprecedented floods. Squadron Leader Viswanathan Natarajan conducted the relief operations and under his leadership and guidance 41810 Kgs of food and other supplies were airlifted to stranded villagers. A total 37:15 hours were flown by the unit detachment, of which 23:10 hours were flown by Squadron Leader Viswanathan Natarajan alone. Squadron Leader Natarajan worked tirelessly and it was by his singular determination and dauntless efforts that relief was provided in the shortest possible time to the affected area.

Squadron Leader Natarajan has over 5000 hours of helicopter flying to his credit, out of which 3000 hours have been flown as Captain over hazardous mountainous terrain in the East and in offshore flying over unforgiving seas of West and East Coast. Under his direct supervision as Flight Commander the unit flew a total of over 3000 hours, accident free, in the first year after induction. This was possible only because of Squadron Leader Natarajan's untiring efforts, zeal, devotion to duty, exemplary leadership and understanding of the critical problems in their totality.

For displaying exceptional professional skill, effective managerial ability and undaunted devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award VAYU SENA MEDAL to Squadron Leader Viswanathan Natarajan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd February 1985 - No.5-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1983 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Tejinder Singh Gauri 11644 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 84
Details :

Squadron Leader Teninder Singh Gauri was commissioned in the Air Force on 02 Jun. 68. He has over 14 years of uninterrupted accident free flying career in the Air Force. He is a qualified Production Test Pilot and has test flown and cleared over 100 helicopters. In addition, during his tenure at Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment, Air Force, he has been successfully associated with several flight trials.

While on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit, Sqn Ldr TS Gauri was specially detailed to carry out flood relief operations at Bhubaneswar (Orissa). In a short span of one week, flying from dawn to dusk and with utter disregard to personal comfort, he air dropped/ landed over 100 tonnes of provisions and life saving medicines, flying as much as eight sorties a day. Through out the relief operations, Sqn Ldr TS Gauri displayed a high sense of duty thus living up to the best traditions of the Air Force.

On another occasion, Sqn Ldr TS Gauri by his skilful handling of helicopter saved the lives of 33 people who were marooned on an island during floods in Arunachal Pradesh.

For his devotion to duty, professional skill and qualities of leadership, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Teninder Singh Gauri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd February 1985 - No.5-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1983 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Raj Pal Singh Garcha 8413 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Raj Pal Singh Garcha was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron for the third tenure on 03 Mar 80. A highly experienced transport pilot, he has 6058 command hours to his credit. He has a total of 2340 hours in the VVIP, VIP role on HS-748, TU-124 and Boeing-737 aircraft and has a Category A/MG on the C119 G/L, TU124, HS-748 and B-737 aircraft. In addition, he is an A-2 QFI.

During his service, he has held appointments of Flight Commander at Elementary Flying School, Bidar and Transport Training Wing. In addition, he has had a tenure at the Aircrew Examination Board. Presently, he holds the appointment of Flight Commander, Boeing Flight and is the command and type examiner on HS-748 and B-737 aircraft respectively.

As part of his duties, Wg Cdr Garcha was entrusted with the in­unit conversion to B-737 of the second batch comprising four pilots in June, 1981. He undertook the challenging task with characteristic zeal and dedication to duty. The result of his untiring effort was the categorization of all the four pilots in 1981, of which one was A/MG, two were awarded B/MG and one awarded B/ Green categories respectively. In addition he undertook the task of training and preparation of newly inducted HS-748 pilots for the Categorization Board.

His qualities of cool courage in the face of danger, professionalism and selfless devotion to duty were displayed on 13 May 83 when he carried out a precautionary landing at Hyderabad after a suspected tyre failure with no less an eminent personage than the Vice President of India on board.

For his outstanding qualities of courage in the face of danger, professionalism and self devotion to duty, the President id pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Raj Pal Singh Garcha.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Adya 12010 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Adya was posted to Air HQ Communication Squadron, AF. He has flown more than 3000 Hours on Boeing 737 aircraft and has a total of 8000 hours of accident-free flying to his credit.

On 16 Jan 90, Wg Cdr Adya was detailed to fly as a check pilot on Boeing-737. The route was Delhi-Lucknow-Varanasi. As he gained altitude en route to Varanasi, he heard a pilot of the Piper aircraft calling Lucknow. The Piper pilot appeared to be lost. He was trainee pilot who had taken off from Lucknow for Faizabad due east about 70 NM for a solo cross country by day. He had got lost and had tried to come back to Lucknow. By then night had fallen. Since he had never flown at night in his life, he did not know what to do.

Wg Cdr Adya discontinued the training flight to Varanasi to search for the lost aircraft and render all assistance. He immediately turned towards the track from Lucknow to Faizabad, switched on all his landing and wing lights and asked the Piper pilot to switch on his landing lights to increase the chances of spotting either aircraft.

He continuously kept the morale of the Piper pilot by reassuring him that he would be found. A few minutes later, the Piper pilot reported seeing the lights of a city. Wg Cdr Adya asked him to head for the city and then modified his search plan. Finally the Piper pilot was helped to land safely.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, professional competence, calm and cool manner the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr AK Adya.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Arun Dattatreya Karandikar 10865 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Gp Capt Arun Dattatraya Karandikar had been on the posted strength of one of the Transport Squadrons of the IAF since 23 Oct 89. He has flown a staggering 10850 hours without a single accident or incident. The first 10,000 hours were flown in the first twenty years, at a rate of almost 500 hours a year, continuously. This achievement, probably not duplicated by any one in the Air Force, assumes greater significance considering that a large portion of flying was undertaken on air maintenance missions over the rugged terrain of Ladakh, J&K, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizo Hills on AN-12, Dakota and now AN-32 aircraft and most of the remaining on VVIP flights.

In addition to the full times duties to coordinate the entire spectrum of flying tasks including daily air maintenance missions for two transport Squadrons and supervising the administration of two Advance Landing Grounds all by himself, he took on the major task of bringing up the base Air Defence Centre, the Intelligence room and Nav Briefing room from a practically non functional level to a fully operational level. These have since been commented on appreciatively by visiting dignitaries and DASI.

In 1973, he was commended by the CAS for successful handling a critical engine failure on a fully loaded Dakota, immediately after take off from a forward airfield in Assam. He qualified on AN-32 achieving exceptional category in just four months. He has been assessed as exceptional on all the types of aircraft he has flown. His exceptional skill in the conduct of VIP flights earned him and the Air Force praise from a number of Indian and foreign dignitaries.

For display of leadership, exceptional professional standard for more than two decades, dedication to duty and unstinted hard work towards the operational efficiency of a squadron, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt AD Karandikar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Shanmugam Ayyangar 249290 ORUnit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 95
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Shunmugam Ayyanar, Flight Engineer was enrolled as an engine technician on 25 June 1962. He converted as Flight Engineer in January 1973 and since then he has been working as a flight engineer in various helicopter units and Air HQ Communication Squadron.

Master Warrant officer Ayyanar is one of the most experienced Flight Engineer on Mi-8 helicopter with 7800 flying hours to his credit. He has been holding aircrew category 'A' since 1987. He has experience of flying missions like air maintenance, special heliborne operations, casualty evacuation, flood relief, air lift of VVIPs etc. in entire length and width of country. His impressive incident free flying record includes over 1800 hours in air maintenance, more than 600 hours for flood relief and casualty evacuation and over 1700 hours in helilift of VIPs. During 'OP PAWAN' as the senior most flight engineer, he carried out his job in an extremely exemplary manner. He flew more than 300 sorties during 'OP PAWAN', many of them under fierce firing from LTTE gunmen.

For, exceptional devotion to duty the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Master Warrant Officer Shunmugam Ayyanar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 1995 - No.99-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1995 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr R K Plakkot 16835 F(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details : x
Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Janakiram Balasubramanian 15558 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Janakiram Balasubramanian, SC was commissioned as a Transport Pilot on 30 Dec 78. A Qualified Flying Instructor, he is on the posted strength of Air HQ Communication Squadron since May 93. An experienced flier, with over 7200 flours of accident free flying, he was earlier a Command Examiner in the Eastern Air Command on the AN-32 aircraft. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra as a Flying Officer in 1982.

Despite a long gap in flying the Avro aircraft, Wg Cdr Balasubramanian attained the highest category of A/MG and was cleared for VVIP flying within a short period. He took over as 'A' Flight Commander in Oct 94 and worked in a very systematic and professional manner which resulted in an exceptionally high VVIP clearance state of the Flight. The Flight, under his leadership, undertook the onerous task of flying VVIPs safely to short and difficult airfields where only the Avro can operate.

Wg Cdr Balasubramanian was additionally tasked with the responsibility of in-flight catering services and the maintenance of the ground equipment, a twin responsibility never undertaken by any officer before. He ensured a very high and commendable standard in a cost effective manner without any audit observations.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Janakiram Balasubramanian, SC.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 15th March 1997 - No.19-Pres/97 dated 26th January 1997 

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 Codanda Chitrajit Cariappa 15038 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa (15038) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 10 Jun 1977. He took over command of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron on 16 Aug 2001. The task of the Squadron (Sqn) is to convey the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister within India and sometimes ex-India. The Sqn is also tasked to convey foreign Heads of States and other VIPs within India. The nature of the task demands perfection and a very high degree of professionalism.

On taking over the Sqn, Gp Capt Cariapa initiated measures to enhance professional standards and optimise resources. Using a systems approach, he restructured the B-737 flying training and reduced the conversion time of B-737 aircrew from eighteen months to seven months. His foresight and involvement has resulted in the B-737 flight having as many as 10 Cat 'A' aircrew which is a rare achievement in the history of the Sqn. Similarly, flying training and night flying targets of Avro and MI-8 flight have doubled in a short period through innovative planning.

As the Commanding Officer of a unit that is a 'flag bearer' of Indian Air Force both within India and abroad, the officer has ensured successful execution of more than 2000 VVIP/VIP sorties. Last year, the Prime Minister complemented the Sqn for the flawless execution of his election tour. During the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister to France and Thailand, the Sqn was commended for projecting a high image of the nation. Further, there has been an increase in VVIP/VIP task since September 2002 by as much as 250%. This enhanced task has been achieved successfully primarily due to the professionalism, hard work and meticulous planning of Gp Capt Cariapa.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vishist Seva Medal
MWO Gabriel Patric 10516 ORUnit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 67 Announced 26 Jan 67
Details :

Master Warrant Officer (Honorary Flying Officer) Gabriel Patrick has been on the posted strength of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron for the last 10 years. During his stay in this unit he has been responsible for servicing and maintenance of Viscount aircraft used for conveying Indian as well as visiting foreign dignitaries. During this period the Viscount aircraft of this squadron have operated at the best possible standard of serviceability and safety. There has not been a single known case of delay on account of an engineering defect. The accident-free record of Viscount operations in this squadron during the last 10 years, has been a proud achievement of this unit. This has been primarily due to the substantial contribution made by Honorary Flying Officer Gabriel Patrick through his high level of professional skill and efficient personal supervision.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1967 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Srikanth Ganesh Thatte 7298 AE(M)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 82 Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

Wing Commander Srikanth Ganesh Thatte was commissioned in Mar 63. He has been on the posted strength of Air HQ Communication Squadron since 7 Jan 80, as the Squadron Engineering Officer. During his tenure, this officer, with his dedication to duty, hard work and professional skill of the highest order has proved to be a very effective Engineering Officer of the Squadron. He has been primarily responsible for maintaining the two different types of aircraft operated by the unit to VVIP standards.

On assuming charge as Squadron Engineering Officer, Wg Cdr Thatte had the enviable task of meeting the requirement of a VVIP Squadron flying two types of aircraft on which he had no previous experience. Undaunted, he took upon the responsibility with full vigour and soon mastered the technical requirements on both TU-124 and HS748 aircraft. This ensured a high percentage of serviceability state. In fact, during his tenure, average serviceability state reached an all time high of 90% for TU-124 and 85% for HS-748 aircraft.

Besides looking after the needs of an elite unit of the IAF as its EO, Wg Cdr Thatte has often officiated as the Chief Engineering Officer of Air Force Station, Palam and has willingly and cheerfully taken up the additional responsibility reposed on him. WG Cdr Thatte has by his sincere effort, charming disposition and pleasing manners motivated his subordinates to put in the extra bit that is so essential to achieve high results.

Throughout his service career and his present tenure in this unit, Wg Cdr Thatte has been the embodiment of hard work and innovative skill, thus exemplifying the finest traditions of the IAF.

For his professional excellence, administrative competence and selfless devotion to duty, Rashtrapati is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Srikanth Ganesh Thatte.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1982 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Unnikrishanan Nair 10085 AE(M)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Unnikrishnan Nair is on the posted strength of Air Headquarters Communication Sqn with effect from 08 October 84 and is performing the duties of Senior Engineering officer.

Because of his past experience and profound knowledge, Wg Cdr Nair was specially selected and posted to the premier VIP Squadron to fulfill one of the most challenging and arduous tasks which entails maintenance and upkeep of three variants of transport aircraft viz. Boeing-737, Chitra and Pratap Helicopter. He showed exemplary zeal, enthusiasm, man-management technique and an uncanny sense of analytical frame of mind to identify problem prone areas in advance and resolve them meticulously and systematically from grass root levels.

While maintaining a very high degree of aircraft serviceability, he took a special interest to incorporate certain modifications in Boeing-737, Chitra and Pratap helicopter. To quote a few instances, he designed and developed a dry galley for both Boeing-737 and Chitra aircraft, a compact baggage hold for Pratap helicopter and an improved call system for Chitra aircraft. These modifications were appreciated immensely by the VVIP/ VIPs.

For his utmost sincerity, dedication, devotion, determination, sense of purpose and courage of conviction, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Unnikrishnan Nair.

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

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Raman Kutty Plakkot 16835 F(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Squadron Leader RK Plakkot was commissioned as a navigator on 04 Jun 82. He is one of the youngest officers to achieve the exceptional flying category in just over three years of service. He is also the youngest navigator ever to be cleared for VVIP operations in the Boeing-737 aircraft. He has a total of 4300 hours of flying and is fully qualified in all roles on the HS-748 and Boeing 737 aircraft. An A-2 Navigation Instructor, he was actively associated with the preparation of the IAF long range route chart and was instrumental in ensuring that the chart conformed to international standards. He almost single handedly designed and developed an indigenous state of the art navigation simulator at the Navigation and Signals School. The simulator has significantly cut down training costs and a large portion of the flying syllabus is being taught on the simulator now.

He was specially selected for posting to Air HQ Communication Squadron in Sep 93. During this tenure, Sqn Ldr Plakkot has flown over 950 hours on VVIP and VIP flights to all parts of the country on B-737 aircraft. His dedication and navigational expertise ensured that each sortie was executed with noticeable finesse, earning him and the Air Force the appreciation of the dignitaries flown. He has also been carrying out the flying and ground training of navigators.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader RK Plakkot.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1996 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Pradeep Wellesly Karvinkop 16537 AE(M)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 03 Announced 26 Jan 03
Details :

Wing Commander Pradeep Wellesly Karvinkop (16537) AE (M) was commissioned in the IAF on 10 Aug 1981. He is posted as Senior Engineering Officer (SEO) of Air HQ Communication Squadron since 30 Aug 1999.

Wg Cdr Karvinkop has been dynamic AE officer throughout his career in the IAF. His outstanding performance has been his way of life from the beginning as shown by his previous achievements of Commendation by AOC-in-C, WAC in 1991 and by CAS in 1995.

During his tenure as SEO, with systematic planning, close supervision and extraordinary foresight, Wg Cdr Karvinkop ensured a high serviceability state of B-737-200, HS-748 and Mi-8 aircraft held with this squadron. He has ensured close monitoring of spares and training requirements of each trade. The professional skills of Wg Cdr Karvinkop are regularly put to test in the demanding environment of VVIP flights undertaken by this squadron. Under his leadership, the squadron has contributed towards projecting the Indian Air Force as a professional and highly competent force amongst Indian and Foreign dignitaries. His dedicated efforts resulted in improving flight and maintenance safety at this premier squadron. Wg Cdr Karvinkop is an able and effective instructor who constantly updates and trains his subordinates in latest maintenance practices. He is regularly invited for guest lectures at the Institute of Flight Safety and various Technical Type Training (TETTRA) Schools.

The squadron was tasked to convey the Vice President of India to Indonesia and Cambodia. At D'Jalota due to incorrect handling by the ground handling agency the tow bar got jammed in the nose wheel assembly. Using his professional acumen and depth of knowledge, Wg Cdr Karrvinkop got the nose wheel untangled and thus avoided an embarrassment to the IAF and nation.

For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Pradeep Wellesly Karvinkop.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2003 Number: 

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