Awards for the year 1996


A total of 71 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Mohinder Kumar Anand 5498 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Shiv Nath Rathore 5580 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Janak Kapur 5585 F(P)Unit : EAC  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details : AOC-in-C EAC
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Dinanath Ramchander Nadkarni 5587 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Machanda Chinapa Uthaya 5627 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sharadkumar Ramakrishna Deshpande 5694 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Vinod Patney 6125 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy 6338 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM J H G Gadkar 6602 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Pran Nath Bajaj 6392 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Nirmal Thusu 9033 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Raj Pal Singh Chorcha 8413 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde M K Marathe 7328 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde A R K Padrangi 8747 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde G M Vishwanathan 9056 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt P S Bhango 12932 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Kuldip Rai 6051 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sunil Kumar Malik 9002 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
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Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Ajit Singh Saich 13812 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Jun 95 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Ajit Singh was posted as the Commanding officer of a helicopter unit on 02 May 1994.

On 15 June 95, Wing Commander Ajit Singh was called upon to airlift three casualties from Masimpur. One of these causalities was an Army Major who had a bullet embedded in his spinal cord and his lower body was already paralyzed. He needed immediate attention of a neurosurgeon. Wing Commander Ajit Singh took off from the base at 1630 hrs under marginal weather conditions. After landing at the Masimpur helipad he was informed that due to unstable condition of the patient, the take off had to be delayed. Realizing that the patient may not survive the road journey, he decided to wait even though it had become dark and the weather had deteriorated. By the time the patients arrived at about 2045 hrs, the entire area was under the grips of severe thunderstorm activity. As any further delay would have almost certainly proved fatal for the patients, Wing Commander Ajit Singh took off from the unlit helipad in total darkness. In spite of heavy odds and extremely trying conditions, he safely landed his helicopter at Khumbhigram at 2120 hrs accomplishing safe evacuation of the causalities.

Wing Commander Ajit Singh Slaich, thus, displayed courage, determination and dedication with utter disregard to his personal safety.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.16 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Har Pal Singh Natt 14281 F(P)Unit : 152 HU  Award Date 12 Sep 95 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Harjinder Pal Singh Natt is commanding the Mi-17 Helicopter Unit located at 30 Wing, Air Force since 10 May 1993.

During September, States of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were extensively affected by devastating floods. Helicopters were pressed into service to bring succor to the flood victims. On 12 September, 1995 there was massive landslide, north of Kulu, wherein scores of civilians were trapped in the fast flowing Beas River. These people had lost all hope of survival. On being informed about this, Wg Cdr Natt went along with Wg Cdr Mann, (Commanding Officer Cheetah Dett) and rushed to the site in a Cheetah helicopter. Proximity of electric and telephone cables precluded the chances of rescue. Under these circumstances, Wg Cdr Natt alighted himself on a large rock and the helicopter returned to Kulu for removal of doors in order to facilitate rescue.

As the helicopter returned, Wg Cdr Natt got into the act and he physically pulled out two survivors from the fast flowing Beas, standing on the skids of the helicopter. While doing so, Wg Cdr Natt showed phenomenal presence of mind in planning and executing this act of bravery. The situation was always dangerous but he hung on, in the presence of thousands of stranded people, who gave a standing ovation during and after the mission. Besides personal achievement, this act is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force and vindicated the motto – “The Angels from the Skies”.

Wing Commander Harjinder Pal Singh, thus, displayed courage, determination and dedication with utter disregard to his personal safety.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.16 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Ravinder Singh Mann 15434 F(P)Unit : 131 FAC Flt  Award Date 12 Sep 95 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wg Cdr RS Mann (15434) F (P) is on the posted strength of 131 FAC Flight since 17 Jul 1995 as the Commanding Officer.

On 06 Sep 95 he was tasked to operate a detachment of three helicopters from Manali to carry out rescue and relief duties for the stranded personnel of SASE which had been severely damaged due to floods. He along with his other pilots of the unit undertook the task in a professional manner. During the detachment period, on 12 Sep 1995 at 1330 hrs Wg Cdr Mann received a message from Deputy Commissioner, Kulu that there had been a massive landslide 4 km north of Kulu and that there was a requirement to carry out a aerial recce to assess the damage to life and property. Wg Cdr Mann realized the gravity of the situation and got airborne in Cheetah helicopter with Wg Cdr Natt. On reaching the site he found that the landslide had taken place in a bowl due to the river changing its course. There were electric and telephone cables criss crossing the entire bowl. During the recce he observed two survivors in the river on submerged boulders. He attempted to land the helicopter on a small island between the fast flowing rivers to rescue them but could not do so due to large boulders, tall trees and wires. He quickly assessed the situation and decided that the only way was to physically pull out the two stranded persons for which the helicopter doors had to be removed. Wg Cdr RS Mann picked up Wg Cdr Natt from the island and flew towards the survivors. The helicopter was very carefully and precisely hovered near the survivors and then slowly inched forward and lowered with its skid touching the water. Wg Cdr Natt stood on the skid holding the pilot's seat and pulled up the survivors into the helicopter from the fast flowing river. This was achieved in the third attempt. Another circuit was carried out and the second survivor was pulled out in a similar manner.

Wing Commander Ravindera Singh Mann thus displayed high level of professional competence and courage of high order beyond the call of duty.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.16 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Arun Gurunandan Katre 11852 F(P)Unit : MOFTU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain Katre assumed Command of MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) on 09 November 1992. Immediately, he set about improving training standards by streamlining Operational, Maintenance and Administrate functions with emphasis on Flight Safety. MOFTU is a training institution with the time bound task of converting young fighter pilot onto front line jet aircraft. Despite the constraints of bad weather, the limited experience of the young fighter pilot trainees and the use of aging MiG-21 aircraft, Gp Capt Katre carried out his task with flair and determination. He not only set the finest example himself but was able to motivate his personnel to achieve the very highest standards of efficiency. Under his command, the unit flew over 14,000 sorties and completed all the tasks set before it. Gp Capt Katre himself flew 600 accident free sorties in addition to all this manifold duties and responsibilities. He thus exhibited exemplary qualities of leadership. On many occasions the officer was assigned additional responsibilities which he discharged with verve, alacrity and diligence.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain AG Katre.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Satish Kumar Sofat 12207 F(P)Unit : 8 FBSU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain Satish Kumar Sofat was commissioned on 20 Dec 69 as a fighter pilot. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a Jaguar Squadron, Commanding Officer (CO) of a Jaguar Squadron and staff officer in Operations Branch at HQ Western Air Command. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and Higher Air Command Course.

Group Captain SK Sofat was appointed CO of Air Force Station, Awantipur in J&K on 18 Oct 93. Immediately on taking over, he was given the challenge of increasing the activation of the base with Fighter Squadron detachments from two to 10 in a year. The security problems were studied by him and the security organisation was restructured to meet the task. He ensured that 10 separate Fighter Squadron detachments were able to operate from his base per year. Thus, the task given to the base was achieved without any extra cost. In addition to increasing the operation potential of the base, he also undertook additional tasks of repair and modifications in airfield lighting system, communication facilities and electrical support systems. All these tasks were achieved without any addition in manpower or other resources.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain SK Sofat.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Amul Kapoor 13378 F(P)Unit : 32 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain Amul Kapoor was commissioned as a Flying (Pilot) on 02 Jun 73. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, a Fighter Combat Leader and an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and College of Defence Management.

Gp Capt Amul Kapoor took over the command of a MiG-21 Squadron (Sqn) in Apr 93 after a tragic accident in which his predecessor had lost his life. Through very careful handling of all the personnel he was able to put back the Sqn into the right frame within a short period. Aircraft serviceability of the Sqn increased from 58% to 72%, a state which has been maintained for the last four months. This is highly commendable and laudable. The motivation, inspiration and confidence instilled by Gp Capt Kapoor in his officers and men resulted in the Sqn being graded highly satisfactory by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and 'Above the Average' by Aircrew Examining Board during their respective inspections. The Sqn also did extremely well during the Command Armament meet by winning the rocket firing team event and one individual event trophies.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Amul Kapoor.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Sashi Prakash Ojha 13394 F(P)Unit : 52 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain SP Ojha was commissioned in the IAF as Flying (Pilot) on 02 Jun 73 and has since flown over 3000 hours on SU-7, MiG-25 and MiG-21 ac. He is a Fighter Combat Leader, Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

GP Capt SP Ojha took over the Command of a MIG-21 (BIS) squadron based at Air Force Station, Srinagar on 26 Sep 93. Within two months of taking over the Command the squadron was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and the squadron's performance was graded as highly satisfactory. This can be attributed to his professional competence, resourcefulness, leadership and administrative skill of a high order. Subsequently, during his Command, the squadron has been inspected twice by Aircrew Examining Board. The squadron performed very well during these inspections.

A very good flier, who despite adverse climatological and security environment and very frequent detachment commitments has been able to motivate the officers and men under his Command and maintained a high state of Operational preparedness. The squadron won the Western Air Command's 'Best Squadron of Year 1994' Trophy.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain SP Ojha.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Punnoli Iruppattil Muralidharan 13579 F(P)Unit : AHQ  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain PI Muralidharan was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 22 Dec 73. He has flown over 2700 hours of flying on MiG-21 and MiG-23 variants. He is a Pilot Attack Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. After coveted appointments such as Directing Staff at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment and Flying Inspector with the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, he commanded a MiG-23 MF air defence squadron from Jan 93 to Nov 94.

In November 1994 the Air War Strategy Cell was formed at Air Headquarters with the primary task of evolving an Air Power Doctrine for the IAF. Gp Capt Muralidharan was one of the three officers specially selected for this job. The task was to be completed in a period of only four months as compared to two to three years taken by certain other Air Forces to write their doctrines. Gp Capt Muralidharan was able to translate his arduous effort and originality into formulation of the IAF Doctrinal manual within the stipulated time frame. Evolution of a doctrinal manual was a long-felt necessity and Gp Capt Muralidharan has been instrumental in making IAF Doctrine a reality. The manual would provide valuable impetus to all practitioners and students of air power in this country.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain PI Muralidharan.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Atul Saikia 13585 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain A Saikia was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 22 Dec 73. He has held the appointments of ADC to the President of India and Staff Officer to the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern and South Western Air Commands. He was selected to undergo Systems and Safety Management Course in USA. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and has been an instructor at Flying Instructors' School. He has 3200 hrs of incident/accident free flying to his credit.

He was appointed Commanding Officer of a MiG-23 BN Sqn in Jul 93. Under his command, the Squadron has carried out record number of hours of accident/incident free flying. Inspite of non-availability of critical spares, good serviceability was maintained. During this period the Sqn was tasked to participate in various Fire Power Demonstrations and trials at Pokhran and Ahmednagar Ranges. These were carried out with surgical precision and were well appreciated by all. During the Command Armament Meet 94 the Sqn was adjudged overall runners up. During Directorate of Air Staff Inspection he was graded exceptional in three missions and Above the Average in the fourth one. Owing to his initiative, the Sqn carried out six innovations/modifications at the unit level with local resources utilising crashed aircraft equipment resulting in the reduction of man-hour requirement.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Atul Saikia.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Praveen Chander Chopra 10883 F(P)Unit : 48 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain PC Chopra is posted as Commanding Officer of an AN-32 Squadron since Aug 92. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 7,400 hrs of accident free flying. Gp Capt PC Chopra had an instructional tenure in Iraq and was Chief Flying Instructor at Flying Instructors School, and Chief Instructor at Air Force Station, Yelahanka. The officer was selected for the first batch to USSR for training on AN-32 aircraft and was subsequently responsible for the initial conversion and Operational training of many AN-32 pilots. He had been instrumental in the formulation of Standard Operating Procedures and had evolved techniques for initial AN-32 operations in the Eastern Sector. The officer is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, and has also held the appointments of Command Examiner on Kiran and AN-32 aircraft.

As a Commanding Officer he is carrying out extensive training and operational flying in the Siachen Glacier and the unit flew more than 12,000 hours accident free. He successfully completed three major airborne assault exercises during his tenure, which were meticulously planned and flawlessly executed.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain PC Chopra.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Anil Gupta 13242 F(P)Unit : 18 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain A Gupta commanded a MiG-27 Squadron from May 93 to Feb 95. As the Commanding Officer, Gp Capt Anil Gupta displayed good leadership qualities. He involved himself in the training of pilots and achieved a very high standard in air to ground armament training and in air combat. In the Command gunnery meet the squadron bagged the winner's trophy in bombing team event and the overall champion's trophy. Directorate of Air Staff Inspection during their visit in Aug 94 assessed the Squadron as highly satisfactory. The squadron has achieved all this with an accident free record during his tenure.

Gp Capt Anil Gupta's professional ability, be it in air or ground, has been a source of inspiration for all his subordinates. Despite numerous outstation detachments the motivation level of all personnel has been of a very high order.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Anil Gupta.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Krishna Kumar Swaminathan 13251 F(P)Unit : AHQ  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain KK Swaminathan has been on the posted strength of Air Headquarters since 27 Sep 94. He has flown over 2600 hours on Mirage-2000 and MiG-21 variants. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader. In 1984, he was specially selected to train on Mirage-2000 aircraft in France. In 1989 he was selected to attend the Defence Services Command and Staff College in Bangladesh. He has been a Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College and the Commanding officer of a MiG-21 Squadron prior to taking over his present appointment.

Gp Capt Swaminathan is the founder Director of the Air War Strategy Cell, having been specially selected for the task of evolving an Air Power Doctrine for the Indian Air Force (IAF). This was a pioneering task since the IAF did not have a written doctrine. Gp Capt Swaminathan applied himself to the task and produced a draft of the doctrine in the specified time frame of four months, which is highly commendable. The doctrine manual has since then been scrutinised at the highest levels of the IAF and has won accolades. This manual would come out in print soon. The Air War Strategy Cell under the able leadership of Gp Capt Swaminathan submitted the doctrine paper in the specified time frame, which is at par with the doctrines of the major Air Forces of the world.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain KK Swaminathan.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Vaidynathan Babu 13386 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander V Babu was commissioned in the Air Force on 02 Jun 73. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he was appointed Commanding Officer of a Mi-8 Helicopter Unit on 26 Apr 93. As the Commanding Officer he flew over 840 hours in two years towards VVIP commitments, flood relief operations and training of young pilots. There were 23 upgradations in pilots' Categorisations and instrument ratings. He made the unit operational in all the roles envisaged for the Mi-8 Helicopters. In May 94 the Unit was assessed highly satisfactory by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team.In an exercise conducted by South Western Air Command in Dec 94 for assessing Mi-8 Helicopter Units in their operational roles, the Unit performed creditably and won the Best Helicopter Crew Trophy. One of the noteworthy achievements of Wg Cdr V Babu was the airlifting of more than 80 tonnes of relief supplies by flying 28 sorties in four days despite the inclement weather during floods in Orissa in Sep 94. This was done by one helicopter with judicial fuel management to carry maximum load.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vaidyanathan Babu.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Tejender Pal Singh Gill 13767 F(P)Unit : 3 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander TPS Gill has been in command of a MiG-21 Squadron (Sqn) since 27 Dec 93. Immediately on taking over command of the sqn, Wg Cdr Gill set out to uplift the Operational, Technical and Administrative potential of the unit. The sqn has performed extremely well in the Command Armament meet held in 1994-95 and is a very strong contender to win the overall trophy.

In spite of shortage of supervisors he maintained a high level of supervisions in flying training and ensured that all pilots achieved their various operational status in the shortest possible time. The flight safety record of the unit has also been good with no pilot error accidents/incidents in the last one year. Three of his pilots have been commended for their timely and apt actions in dealing with in flight emergencies which saved precious aircraft. He motivated the sqn personnel to maintain aircraft serviceability of more than 70%. In the last three months the serviceability of the sqn has been 77%.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander TPS Gill.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Vijay Kumar Bali 13787 F(P)Unit : 20 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Vijay Kumar Bali has been in command of the only Hunter Squadron (Sqn) since 31 May 93. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Service Staff College. The officer has over 2600 hours of accident free flying to his credit. Wg Cdr Bali has been responsible for operational conversion and training of newly commissioned officers on Hunter aircraft prior to their posting to front line fighter Sqns. During financial year 1994-95, the Sqn under his command flew 4976 sorties without any accident/incident, averaging 414 sorties per month. In Oct 94, the Sqn reached its zenith when it flew 615 sorties, which was the highest effort achieved by the Hunter fleet in the previous five years. The squadron successfully completed three operational Training courses, all well ahead of schedule. The aging Hunter fleet faced serious constrains involving constant maintenance, lack of adequate spares and poor product support. Wg Cdr Bali ensured an exceptionally high average serviceability state of 75.2% during FY 1994-95. In Oct 94, the Sqn achieved 100% serviceability on four consecutive days.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vijaya Kumar Bali.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Raj Kumar Beniwal 13789 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Raj Kumar Beniwal was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 01 Jun 74. Wg Cdr Beniwal is a thorough bred professional who has more than 3600 hrs of accident free flying. An A-2 Flying Instructor, he has held the appointments of Instructor in Flying Instructors School, Flight Commander of MiG-23 BN Squadron and Staff Officer to Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Air Command. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He assumed the Command of a MiG-23 BN squadron on 27 Sep 93.

Wg Cdr Beniwal, improved the service ability and utilisation rate of aircraft towards better output in terms of quantity as well as quality. The Sqn flew 100% task on fighters and trainers by flying more than 3500 sorties on fighter and 700 sorties on the trainer during the last two years. A total of 13 young pilots upgraded their operational status and 10 pilots their instrument rating. The Squadron was adjudged 'Best Fighter' Sqn in WAC in 1993. He led his team to win the Rocket Trophy in team event during Armament meet of Command in 1994.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Raj Kumar Beniwal.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Harbhajan Singh Sandhu 15428 F(P)Unit : 153 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Sandhu was on the posted strength of a helicopter unit operating in 'Op Meghdoot' since May 93. He had been posted as Flight Commander, after successful completion of the Air Staff Course. He was tasked to plan and execute the air maintenance task in 'Op Meghdoot' area and ensured that his was always completed inspite of large number of variables.

Wing Commander Sandhu is a pioneer in Siachen operations having operated on the glacier in 1984. He utilised his previous experience to good effect in the present tenure. He has flown a total of over 622 hours in 'Op Meghdoot' area. As a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) he also imparted the knowledge to the other pilots of the unit. Being the only QFI during the first year of his tenure, he had the added responsibility of training and clearing the pilots for operations in Siachen. He also undertook the first-ever night flying trials at Thoise airfield. Wg Cdr Sandhu has accident-free flying of over 3900 hours and his rich experience has always been a source of inspiration to the other pilots.

For displaying exceptional courage and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander HS Sandhu.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Anup Kishore Prasad 15566 F(P)Unit : 107 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Prasad is on the posted strength of a Mi-8 helicopter Unit of Indian Air Force since 02 May 93.

On 13 Jul 94, he was authorised to ferry a Mi-8 helicopter from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur. After ten minutes of flying, he experienced severe vertical vibrations which increased suddenly in amplitude and frequency to a level where control of the helicopter itself was likely to be lost. Both the pilots were required to use their combined force to keep the helicopter under control.

Wing Commander AK Prasad with a cool mind carried out an in-flight check that revealed that a landing was possible only at about 100 Kmph speed. In bushy sandy terrain with loss of the aircraft almost a certainty, Wg Cdr AK Prasad displayed exceptional courage and quickly made a decision to land on a field touching down at high forward speed. Thereafter, he manoeuvered the helicopter on ground with deft reflexes to prevent it hitting the trees and managed to stop the aircraft safely.

Wing Commander AK Prasad displayed exceptional courage in keeping with the highest tradition of the IAF in handling the emergency which resulted in saving the machine and valuable lives.

For exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander AK Prasad.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 9th March 1996 - No.23-Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ramaswamy Raju Srinivasan 16234 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 27 May 94 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Squadron Leader Raju Ramaswamy Srinivasan was the Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit (HU) from Apr 93 to Feb 95. He has flown more than 800 hours in the inhospitable terrain of Siachen Glacier and has to his credit more than 350 landings at the highest operational helipads of the world. Additionally, he also has over 1000 landings on the treacherous Siachen Glacier.

Sqn Ldr Srinvisan was to the fore when the unit was tasked for the induction of snowmobiles to five posts in May 94. Not airlifting the snowmobiles would have meant abandoning the post which would have been a major set back in OP Meghdoot. Realizing the gravity of the situation Sqn Ldr Srinivasan undertook these missions personally. He flew 10 sorties with undrslung snowmobiles between 27 and 31 May 1994. On two of these missions the posts came under continuous barrage of artillery shells. Inspite of the imminent danger, he kept cool and had the mission requirements foremost in his mind which he executed successfully.

For displaying exceptional corage and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader RR Srinivasan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 9th March 1996 - No.23-Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Kandarpa Venkata Surya Narasimha Murthy 20136 F(P)Unit : 109 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Murthy is on the posted strength of a Mi-8 helicopter unit since Dec 94. He had joined the unit immediately after completing ab-initio training on Mi-8 helicopter and his experience on Mi-8 helicopter is very limited.

On 14 Mar 95, Flt Lt Murthy was detailed for a continuation training sortie on a Mi-8 helicopter. During the second circuit, on approach, just as he was coming to hover, he experienced total loss of directional control and the aircraft yawed uncontrollably to the left and turned through 450 degrees. Flt Lt Murthy, under this critical situation, put the helicopter down by taking prompt and correct action with no damage to the helicopter. On touch down, Flt Lt Murthy ordered the flight engineer to shut down the engines, which was executed without delay. He ordered the flight gunner, flight engineer and co­pilot to vacate the helicopter. Flt Lt Murthy abandoned the helicopter only after ensuring that the rotors had stopped so that no damage to the aircraft could take place.

It was discovered to be a case of tail rotor control failure which is a very critical and serious emergency in any helicopter and can result in disaster. Flt Lt Murthy displayed exceptional degree of professional skill and courage in tackling the grave emergency situation.

For his exceptional courage and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant KVSN Murthy.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 9th March 1996 - No.23-Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bhupinder Singh Subhlok 13795 F(P)Unit : 117 HU  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Wing Commander Bhupinder Singh Subhlok was commissioned on 07 Dec. 74 in F (P) Helicopter stream. At about 1400 hours on 5th September, 1995 an emergency message was received for immediate evacuation of men stranded on an island in the area engulfed by the fast rising Beas river near Tihra Sujanpur. On receipt of the message Wg Cdr Subhlok who was commanding 117 HU Chetak/Cheetah Helicopter Unit, got airborne in a Cheetah helicopter. He was followed by Sqn Ldr A Gode in a Chetak helicopter. On reaching the site, they could spot 6 men huddled on a tiny island with no way of escaping. Time was at a premium as water was rising rapidly threatening to engulf the survivors. The local condition precluded rescue by winching. The lead helicopter flown by Wg Cdr Subhlok first made an approach and pulled in 3 survivors. This act of saving lives in the face of imminent danger to the aircraft and the lives of the aircrew has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For the act of exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Bhupinder Singh Subhlok.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th November 1996 - No.92-Pres/96 dated 15th August 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ravi Krishnan 13807 F(P)Unit : 119 HU  Award Date 19 Jun 96 Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Wing Commander Ravi Krishan (13807) Flying (Pilot) is Commanding a Helicopter Unit since 28 Mar 93. He has got 6200 hours of total service flying, out of which 3200 hours are on type.

Consequent to cyclone storm hitting Saurashtra area on 17 Jun 96, a request was received from Civil authorities on 19 Jun 96 to rescue three seamen from a sinking barge in the Gulf of Kutch. Existing weather was not fit for this rescue operation, but following the highest tradition of the Air Force, Wing Commander Ravi Krishan as a commanding officer decided to lead from the front and took on this task.

Surface winds were exceeding 70 kmph, incessant rain had reduced the visibility and the sky was covered with 6 Octa of low clouds at 90 mtrs AMSL & the sea was very choppy. Inspite of these unfit and dangerous conditions, not caring for his own safety and beyond the call of duty, Wing Commander Ravi Krishan displayed exceptional courage to undertake the mission.

After getting airborne, a thorough search was carried out in poor visibility and the seamen were spotted. Hovering itself in the prevailing adverse weather conditions was an impossible task. In addition, carrying out winching operation to rescue three untrained civilians, panicking to get to safety, ignorant of winch limitations was a mission which required extreme courage, skill, devotion and coordination. Wing Commander Ravi Krishan, without caring for his own safety, not only flew his helicopter in these dangerous conditions as the captain of the aircraft, but also led his team in an exemplary manner. This resulted in successful winching operations rescuing the seamen from a certain disaster, which would have certainly led to their loss of life. This act of gallantry above and beyond the normal call of duty displayed by him speaks volumes of his exceptional courage and professionalism.

For this act of exceptional gallantry, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ravi Krishan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th November 1996 - No.92-Pres/96 dated 15th August 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Philip Jacob 15725 F(P)Unit : 122 HF  Award Date 04 Jun 96 Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Squadron Leader Philip Jacob (15725) Flying (Pilot) is the Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit and is on the posted strength of AF Base Port Blair w.e.f. 30 Apr 95. He has over 1000 hours of flying experience on type.

At 2230 hours on 04 Jun 96, an SOS was received from INS Valsura. A rescue boat, a sailing boat with seven sailors was missing since 1830 hours and was believed to have been swept way by the receding tide into the Gulf of Kutch. More critically, one of the occupants who attempted to reach the shore was believed to be stuck in the marsh. The new rising tide would drown this officer and therefore a prompt reaction was critical to the success of the mission.

On being detailed, Squadron Leader Philip Jacob was airborne within an hour. In addition to the regular complement of aircrew, using his ingenuity; he carried two more technicians and improvised equipment, which may have been required to recover the officer from the marsh. The weather conditions were not favourable for SAR mission of this sort at night. The winds were in excess of 40 kmph and blowing into the just rising moon, which affected the minimum speed for search and visibility. Also due to the sea spray the search had to be done at 20-25 mtrs, for the landing lights to be effective.

After having reasonable ascertained the absence of officer in the marsh, search was shifted towards the water line and the sea. After a search of over an hour, the drifted boat was located with six survivors on board and a Motorola set was handed over to the survivors from a low hover. Contact could not be established even on this set with the boat. Now, it becomes imperative to winch up one of the survivors to ascertain the whereabouts and well being of the rest of the crew. Therefore one of the survivors was winched up into the helicopter, with whose help the rest of the survivors were later recovered.

In flying this highly demanding mission in unfamiliarly conditions over the sea at mid night, compounded by extremely strong winds and poor visibility, Squadron Leader Philip Jacob has exhibited a strong sense of commitment and responsibility above and beyond the call of duty. Further an exceptional display of skill and professionalism, resulted in the safe and successful conduct of the mission in turn fostering a tremendous spirit of inter service cooperation.

For the act of exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Philip Jacob.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th November 1996 - No.92-Pres/96 dated 15th August 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Anand Gode 16231 F(P)Unit : 117 HU  Award Date 05 Sep 95 Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Squadron Leader Anand Gode was commissioned on 13 Dec 80 as Flying (Pilot) in Helicopter stream.

At about 1400 hours on 5th September, 1995 an emergency message was received for immediate evacuation of men stranded on an island in the area engulfed by the fast rising Beas river near Tihra Sujanpur. On receipt of the message Wg Cdr Subhlok who was commanding 117 HU Chetak/Cheetah Helicopter Unit, got airborne in a Cheetah helicopter. He was followed by Sqn Ldr A. Gode in a Chetak helicopter. On reaching the site, they could spot 6 men huddled on a tiny island with no way of escaping. Time was at a premium as water was rising rapidly threatening to engulf the survivors. The local condition precluded rescue by winching. The lead helicopter flown by Wg Cdr. Subhlok first made an approach and pulled in 3 survivors. This act of saving lives in the face of imminent danger to the aircraft and the lives of the aircrew has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For the act of exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr Anand Gode.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th November 1996 - No.92-Pres/96 dated 15th August 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Subroto Chaki 22521 F(P)Unit : 29 Sqn  Award Date 10 Jul 96 Announced 15 Aug 96
Details : Flying Officer Subroto Chaki (22521-L) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MiG-21 squadron of the Air Force since 22 Aug 94.

On 10 Jul 96, he was authorised to fly a procedures sortie. At an altitude of 6 km, all of a sudden he felt vicious longitudinal jerks accompanied by wild fluctuations of engine parameters. The pilot maintained his cool, reported his emergency on RT and throttled back to reduce the oscillations. Initially the engine did not respond to throttle reduction. On further throttling back, the engine flamed out. Pilot successfully relit the engine. On opening throttle to prove the engine, violent fluctuations recurred and on reducing throttle the engine flamed out again. The pilot relit the engine a second time. He left the throttle at idling this time, correctly analysing that if he advanced the throttle, the same cycle of violent fluctuations and flame out would occur. The pilot executed a flawless landing with the throttle at idling rpm knowing fully well that the engine could malfunction at any time.

After the engine failed the second time, the pilot had an option to eject as minimum power required for a safe recovery was not available. It was a dangerous situation, as after that he would not have had the minimum parameters required for a safe ejection. However disregarding personal safety he, very gallantly chose to recover the aircraft. It was by exercising sound judgment and exceptional flying skill that he landed the aircraft safely Flying Officer S Chaki not only saved the aircraft worth many crores but also provided vital evidence for investigations which would go a long way in instituting remedial measures for the future. In handling the emergency he displayed extraordinary courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For this act of gallantry, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flying Officer Subroto Chaki.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th November 1996 - No.92-Pres/96 dated 15th August 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr R K Plakkot 16835 F(N)Unit : Air HQ and Comm  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details : x
Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt R K Batha 9588 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt V K Sharma 9795 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Arun Dattatreya Karandikar 10865 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt S K Gupta 10983 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt P V Karapurkar 11105 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Amrish Kumar 11547 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

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