Awards for MONUC


A total of 13 Awards are listed.
Yudh Seva Medal : 4 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 2 | Mention in Despatches : 7 |
Yudh Seva Medal
Gp Capt Kulwant Singh Gill 15220 F(P)Unit : MONUC  Award Date 26 Jan 05 Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :

Group Captain Kulwant Singh Gill VM (15220) Flying (Pilot) has been the Contingent Commander of the Indian Aviation Contingent (IAC), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 14 Aug 2003.

Gp Capt Gill has displayed professionalism of a very high order as Commander of the largest IAF contingent ever sent on a UN Peace Keeping Operation under hostile and operational conditions. The officer's judgment of situations in an alien and hostile environment enabled him to develop a concept of operations that has earned accolades from all echelons of the UN. Under his leadership, in the last ten months, the Contingent has flown over 2000 hrs, which has been a key factor in the expansion of the UN's ambit from a few urban centres to a continuous swath of approximately 1000 km along the eastern DRC.

He was instrumental in the recovery of a crash-landed Mi-25 that was resting precariously on a down slope. The officer camped on site and personally led recovery of the helicopter in spite of the volatile security situation. After safe recovery of the aircraft, he flew it back to base without any outside support.

While continuing to accomplish the UN task with flair, the Indian Contingent has also earned a lot of goodwill from the local Congolese population. He has organised numerous medical and food camps for benefit of the local populace. The “Run for Peace", organised by the Contingent, saw participation of thousands of Congolese and was widely appreciated. The high degree of discipline and professionalism displayed by the Contingent has also come in for praise from all quarters. The Force Commander of the UN Mission in Congo has gone on record stating that IAC was a model worth emulating and urged Commanders of all participating countries to visit it. The officer has thus continually portrayed a befitting image of the Nation and the Service at an international forum.

For his exemplary display of professionalism and dedication to duty under operational conditions, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Yudh Seva Medal' to Group Captain Kulwant Singh Gill VM.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2005 Number: 

Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Sunil Kumar 17713 F(P)Unit : MONUC  Award Date 26 Jan 05 Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :

Wing Commander Sunil Kumar (17713) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of IAF Squadron 2003, part of the Indian Air Force Contingent in Congo since 01 Aug 2003.

A firm believer in leading by example, he has always been at the forefront, be it in Goma or in Bunia. It was Wg Cdr Sunil Kumar, whose first shots from Mi-25 in the Congo firmly established the hold of MONUC in Congo. The much abused town of Bunia was in danger of falling into chaos in the early days of MONUC. Hundreds of militia were moving towards the town. A few well placed shots by Wg Cdr Sunil Kumar demonstrated the strength of MONUC's will, and the entire province returned to peace.

He has participated in several challenging missions, wherein he had to open fire on hostile militia. Time and again, without concern for his personal safety, he has engaged or deterred the militia. In the process, he has also managed to save valuable UN lives as well as property. As a Commanding Officer he has also been an inspiration of the highest order to both his aircrew as well as the rank and file of the Mi-25 Sqn. The recent restoration of peace in Ituri region is attributed by MONUC to relentless combat operations of Mi-25 detachment at Bunia under the guidance of Wg Cdr S Kumar. It is a testimony to his leadership and managerial skills that in spite of operating from two different locations, 400 km apart, the Squadron has performed exceedingly well and is always held in high esteem by the MONUC. Such may not have been the case without the hard work, dedication and omnipresence of Wg Cdr S Kumar.

For his motivating, efficient and result oriented leadership, which has helped to establish the Mi-25 Sqn as the most potent combat force of MONUC, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Yudh Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Sunil Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2005 Number: 

Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Bibhuti Kumar 18495 AEMUnit : MONUC  Award Date 26 Jan 05 Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :

Squadron Leader Bibhuti Kumar (18495) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) has been on the posted strength of Indian Aviation Contingent (IAC), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 12 Jul 2003.

During the pre induction phase in India, Sqn Ldr Bibhuti Kumar was entrusted with the role of maintenance and material manager. This involved meticulous planning, forecasting and networking for collection of Helicopters, Signal, Armament and other equipment. He was also faced with the challenging task like persuading agencies, finding the source of equipment, its serviceability and safe transit to its final destination in Congo. With his sustained hard work, detailed planning and networking, all these tasks were completed successfully. His motivational approach and team spirit ensured the erection of Helicopters in eight days and setting up of maintenance facilities like Daily Servicing State (DSS), Central Repair and Servicing Section (CR & SS), Avionics Lab, Signal section in twenty days in the alien land and in hostile conditions to set the pace for safe operation. The ingenuity with which the meagre resources were optimally utilised and deployed was complemented by all.

On 08 Dec 2003 one Helicopter crashed at Fataki, a rebel infested area. This aircraft after crash was resting on a slope in a hilly area that was inundated with thick foliage. All the five main rotor blades, TRA and wing of helicopter were damaged. Sqn Ldr Bibhuti Kumar, along with a team of technicians, worked in that inhospitable terrain and trying circumstances to enable its safe recovery. After six days of hard work, the Helicopter was successfully recovered. This unimaginable feat won laurels from UN and others. To meet the maintenance challenges in this environment, Sqn Ldr Bibhuti Kumar also developed an excellent maintenance culture to get the best from the available resources. With his excellent resource management skill, he was able to achieve 85% serviceability of helicopter, average monthly flying of 250 hrs with 100 technicians.

For his professionalism and exceptional dedication to duty in active field and operational conditions, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Yudh Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader Bibhuti Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2005 Number: 

Yudh Seva Medal
Gp Capt Atanu Guru 16794 F(P)Unit : MONUC  Award Date 26 Jan 08 Announced 26 Jan 08
Details :

Group Captain Atanu Guru VrC (16794) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Helicopter Pilot in the flying Branch on 04 Jun 82. A Qualified Flying Instructor with over 5550 h of flying, he has commanded an operational helicopter unit and has been a Directing Staff at DSSC. He has been the Contingent Commander of the Indian Aviation Contingent at Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, and is currently the CO of the Mi-35 Attack Helicopter Sqn based at Goma, He as awarded VrC in 1990 for display of conspicuous gallantry.

On 25 Nov 06, in a swift and violent move, rebel groups occupied Sake, a town near Goma. The situation rapidly escalated adversely with Goma town itself coming under an imminent treat of being taken over by the rebels. The situation was critical, the operating conditions marginal and the resources meagre. He involved himself in the joint planning with the Indian Brigade Commander and charted a robust, yet UN sensitive operational plan, synergising mission accomplishment with basic UN ethos of proportional force, least collateral damage and no attrition. He led from the front, carrying out missions by day and night in inclement weather conditions, undeterred by hostile fire from the rebels. Manning the Operations Room while not flying, he was personally directing the pilots airborne, and monitoring every move of the attack helicopters and the ground forces. Throughout the operations, he brought his experience to bear in a critical environment where a measured, but effective response was required, ensuring that no fratricide took place. He took calculated and judicious risks in launching the missions in adverse conditions of high altitude, poor visibility and persistent spells of rain and thunderstorms. Through his deft handling of the rapidly changing situation, he ensured that the scant helicopter resources were optionally utilized to blunt the rebel offensive, both through offensive engagement and conveying crucial inputs on rebel movements to the ground forces. This demolished the game plan of the rebels and they were forced to retreat. Thus, not only did Comma remain secure, but Sake and the nearby ridges too were flushed off the rebels.

Group Captain Guru is a decorated veteran of the Indian Peace Keeping Force at Sri Lanka, where he operated a similar attack helicopter. Both MONUC and North Kivu Brigade have roundly complimented his professional acumen and the excellent synergy in operations with the Indian Army Brigade. His ability to remain focused and clam in challenging situations has indeed been exemplary.

For his steadfast resolve in face of adversity, inspirational leadership, commendable contribution too peace enforcement operations in the region, and distinguished service of a high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Yudh Seva Medal' to Group Captain Atanu Guru VrC.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2008 Number: 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Manu Chaudhry 19896 F(P)Unit : MONUC  Award Date 29 May 04 Announced 26 Jan 05
Details : Squadron Leader Manu Chaudhary (19896) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of Indian Air Force Squadron 2004, part of IAF Contingent in Congo since 13 Jul 2003. During this period he has been performing the duties of the Squadron Flight Commander.

A Qualified Flying Instructor with over 4500 hours of flying experience, the officer has consistently displayed a penchant for leading from the front. Since the squadron's induction to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he has flown over 290 hours and has time and again exhibited willingness for undertaking difficult tasks, when called upon to do so. In the initial phase of the Contingent's induction, he personally reconnoitred the area, selecting helipads for future operations. Most of these helipads were in areas never hitherto visited by UN forces and were controlled by various rebel groups, some inimical to the UN. He also actively participated in Operation Dhanush in May-June 04.

On 29 May 04, following the unrest in the town of Bukavu, Kelehe, a small hamlet on the road from Goma to Bukam was the scene of an ambush laid out by militia in which they killed one UN military observer while another, a lady officer was reported missing. Sqn Ldr Chaudhary was tasked to insert troops to search for the missing military observer. While the Mi-25s fired some rockets to sanitise the area, the Mi-17, captained by Sqn Ldr Chaudhary landed the search party comprising 36 troops, in two shuttles. With little regard to personal safety, the officer landed at the site, which the rebels, armed with rocket propelled grenades and other heavy calibre weapons, could have targeted from a vantage point close by. Had it not been for the search party being inserted in time, the marooned officer would not have been rescued. The missing lady officer was subsequently rescued, albeit badly injured and in a state of shock. In the glorious traditions of the Indian Air Force, the officer planned the mission meticulously and carried it out with the elan and professionalism. that epitomizes the officer's approach to his duty.

For consistently exhibiting courage in hostile environment, the Hon'bie President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Manu Chaudhary.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 9th April 2005 - No.28-Pres/2005 dated 26th January 2005 & AFD2005 Investiture  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ajay Shukla 18793 F(P)Unit : MONUC  Award Date 25 Nov 06 Announced 26 Jan 08
Details : Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Personnel Holding Section, on deputation to the UN Mission in Congo since 27 Feb 06. He is working as a squadron pilot in the Mi-35 Attack Helicopter Squadron at Goma.

On 25 Nov 06, a renegade warlord made deep advances towards Goma town, with the town coming under an imminent threat of being taken over. The Mi-35 attack helicopters were immediately pressed into action to prevent the fall of Goma. Leading from the front, Wg Cdr Ajay Shukla got airborne for fire support and reconnaissance in support of the Indian Brigade. In face of repeated hostile fire from the rebels on his helicopter, including that by Rocket Propelled Grenades, he remained undeterred and continued with the mission. Soon he detected heavy militia activity inside a well camouflaged camp and targeted it successfully with 57 mm rockets, leading to destruction of a key rebel command centre. This action by Wg Cdr Shukla delivered a crippling blow to the rebels and precipitated a severe disruption in their co­ordinated offensive. He flew a total of 10 crucial operational sorties, both by day and night. The sorties were carried out in very demanding conditions of hazardous terrain, inclement weather and enemy action. An experienced pilot on Night Vision Goggles, Wg Cdr Shukla was also at the forefront of all night operations. He took calculated risks and displayed exceptional skills in handling the night targeting devices to effectively scan for movement of rebels on the critical nights of 26 and 27 Nov 06. Crucial inputs provided by him exposed the game plan of the advancing rebels and enabled immediate friendly reinforcements to be sent. Throughout the operations, his accurate weapon delivery had a devastating effect on the vanguard rebel elements threatening Goma and on their camps being used for reinforcements, thereby, preventing Goma town from falling into the hands of the rebels and helping recover Sake town.

Wg Cdr Shukla is a very qualified and extremely professional Air Warrior. During this crisis, his gallant contribution towards keeping Goma town secure from the rebels has been exceptional. His actions have won accolades from all quarters for the IAF and have contributed immensely towards UN efforts at peace enforcement in this troubled region.

For this act of exceptional courage and steadfast resolve in face of adversity during the operations, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Ajay Shukla.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 10th November 2008. No. 34-Pres/2008 dated 26th January 2008 

Mention in Despatches
Sqn Ldr Deepak Chandra Pandey 19223 ADMUnit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

Mention in Despatches
Sqn Ldr Sushant Dutta 19243 LGSUnit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

Mention in Despatches
Sqn Ldr Manish Singh 20995 F(P)Unit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

Mention in Despatches
MWO Om Pal Tomar 657360 ORUnit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details : Air Frame Fitter
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

Mention in Despatches
Sgt Piyush Mohan Jangid 679448 ORUnit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details : Air Field Safety Officer
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

Mention in Despatches
Sgt Radha Raman Mishra 728234 ORUnit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details : Flight Engineer
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

Mention in Despatches
NC(E) Rabindra Nath Maithy 820921 ORUnit : MONUC  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details : Safaiwala
Reference: Gazette of India No.33 - Pres/2005 dated 9th April 2005 

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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