Awards for the year 1996


A total of 72 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Shaurya Chakra : 3 | Vayu Sena Medal : 23 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Mohinder Kumar Anand 5498 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal MK Anand, VM was commissioned in the IAF on 17 Mar 58, During his distinguished career spanning of 37 years, the Air Officer acquitted himself commendably in a wide array of challenging assignments which include Chief Personnel Staff Officer of two Commands, Director of Organisation, Director of Personnel Airmen and Senior Officer Administration of South Western Air Command (SOA, SWAC.),

Air Marshal Anand commenced his career on an admirable note as Para Jumping Instructor and has many firsts to his credit. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1974 for his pioneering role in para trooping in high altitude areas .

An alumnus of national Defence College, Air Marshal Anand while serving as SOA, SWAC, diligently planned and improved upon the infrastructure to increase the operational potential of the Command as well as working and living environment of all field units. He ensured timely completion of projects thereby eliminating cost and time overruns.

The Air Officer was appointed Air Officer incharge Administration at Air HQ on 13 Jul 92. The Air Officer undertook a number of progressive actions in planning and execution of works services and administration of Non Public Funds and IAF Schools. He has taken effective steps to improve the state of discipline by laying emphasis on preventive measures and timely administration of justice. Air Marshal Anand has been responsible for introduction and improvement of a large number of welfare programmes to improve the quality of life, namely, increasing the satisfaction level and availability of married accommodation and improving medical facilities for serving and retired personnel.

Air Marshal MK Anand, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Shiv Nath Rathore 5580 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal SN Rathour, AVSM, VM was commissioned, as a Navigator on 19 Dec 58. He has held highest transport category on four types of aircraft and was selected for training in USSR on IL-14 and AN-12 aircraft. He was awarded VM for distinction in flying in Jan 74.

During his distinguished service spanning 37 years, the Air Officer has held many key field and staff appointments. He has commanded three Air Force Stations and was specially selected to train the Air Force Officers of a friendly country. For his distinguished service of exceptional order, he was awarded AVSM on 26 Jan 88.

The Air Officer was appointed President of Air Force Selection Board at Dehradun for 3 years where about 5000 candidates were interviewed and screened every year for selection as officers to various Branches of IAF. He was also appointed DG Resettlement and later held with distinction the appointment of Senior Officer in-charge Administration at HQ Central Air Command and HQ Western Air Command.

An alumnus of National Defence College, the Air Officer, on promotion to the rank of Air Marshal, was appointed Air Officer incharge Personnel at Air HQ in Jan 94. The Air Officer showed a remarkable ability to produce man-machine interface which is so vital to a military service. The Air Officer with his vast knowledge, experience, acumen and finely developed managerial skills, very ably carried the gamut of perspective planning or personnel towards designing Human Resources Development Systems for the futuristic Air Force. These policies on implementation are bound to serve towards betterment of operational preparedness of the IAF.

Air Marshal Shiv Nath Rathour, AVSM, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Janak Kapur 5585 F(P)Unit : Eastern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal Janak Kapur, VSM was commissioned as a pilot on 19 Dec 58. The Air Officer's potential as a fighter pilot was recognised within a short period of his commissioning and he was chosen to undergo Pilot Attack Instructor and Instrument Rating Instructor's Courses in quick succession. He was selected to undergo the Air Staff Course at Royal Air Force Staff College, UK. He also served as Air Attaché in the Indian Embassy at Cairo, Egypt. For his distinguished service, he was awarded VSM in 1976.

During his long service career the Air Officer has served in many prestigious and prominent command and staff appointments. He has commanded a frontline fighter squadron with distinction. He was appointed Chief Operations Officer of the then newly established Jaguar Base and later took over as Air Officer Commanding of the same base. He has held the sensitive appointments of Director of Flight Safety and later Air I of HQ South Western Air Command.

The Air Officer was appointed Senior Air and Administrative Staff Officer of HQ Maintenance Command for more than three years. Thereafter, he took over as Senior Air Staff Officer of Western Air Command in Oct 93 and very gainfully applied his vast experience to improve operational environment and the state of preparedness of the forces in Command.

A graduate of the prestigious National Defence College, Air Mshl Janak Kapur was appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command (EAC) on 01 Feb 95. EAC is a unique Command with dual role on fighter as well as Air Transport aircraft. Within a very short time, the Air Officer was able to appreciate the priorities of the Govt. and dovetail them with the Command Plans.

Air Marshal Janak Kapur, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Dinanath Ramchander Nadkarni 5587 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal DR Nadkarni, AVSM, VM was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 19 Dec 58. He was selected as member of lAF's first nine aircraft (ac) formation aerobatics team in 1961. In later years, the team was named 'Thunderbolts'. He qualified as a Pilot Attack Instructor in 1964 and as Instrument Rating instructor in 1967. He was specially selected to be posted to the first MiG-21 Squadron (Sqn) of the IAF and later as an Air Force Examiner at the Aircrew Examining Board. For exceptional devotion to duty, he was awarded VM in 1970. During 1971 IndoPak war the Air Officer was attached to elite unit TACDE (Tactics & Combat Development Establishment) to be a part of a nucleus of highly experienced pilots to carry out special operations by day and night.

The Air Officer Commanded a frontline MiG-21 Sqn and was selected to go to UK for training on Jaguar ac. He commanded the first Jaguar Sqn of the IAF and successfully oversaw the induction of new ac in a planned manner. He was awarded AVSM in 1982 for distinguished service of an exceptional order.

The Air Officer was specially selected for the course at Royal College of Defence Studies, UK and on his return was appointed Air Officer Commanding of a major frontline fighter base. On completion of command he was appointed Air Assistant to the CAS in 1987. On promotion to the rank of AVM, he was appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations). Air Marshal Nadkarni took over as Inspection General (IG) of IAF in Jul 94. It was his perceptive vision of compelling necessity to institute safety measures guaranteed to produce long term and lasting gains that a realistic appraisal was made and the present target for the entire decade was set. This raised the IAF's horizons from concerns about immediate gains to that of accident reduction and prevention of a more lasting nature over a long term.

Air Marshal DR Nadkarni, AVSM, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Machanda Chinapa Uthaya 5627 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal MC Uthaya was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) branch of IAF on 24 Nov 58. During his long and distinguished service career, the Air Officer has held various key field and staff appointments such as Air Officer Commanding of a signal unit, Directorate of Plan ADGES (Air Defence Ground Environment System) and Chief Programme Director ASWAC (Aerospace Warning and Control). He has also been an alumnus of the National Defence College. The Air Officer has been Staff Officer responsible for all technical maintenance at HQ Training Command and HQ Western Air Command. Subsequently he took over as Director General RCPO (Radar and Communication Project Organisation) responsible for system engineering and installation of Radar and Tropo communication links throughout the IAF as part of ADGES plan.

The Air Officer was appointed Air Officer incharge Maintenance at Air HQ on 01 Feb 94. Despite two major constraints, namely, depleted funds availability due to financial crunch and declining product support from the erstwhile Soviet Union, the Air officer effectively handled the maintenance management of IAF to keep up its operational preparedness. Air Marshal Uthaya with his technical acumen and administrative ability braved the challenge to ensure that the operational requirements were not unduly impaired or adversely affected. A number of projects to expedite indigenisation effort have been initiated under his watchful eyes and the successful implementation of these would greatly help tide over the crisis situation created by shortages of many imported items.

Air Marshal MC Uthaya has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sharadkumar Ramakrishna Deshpande 5694 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal SR Deshpande, AVSM, VM was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 28 May 59. He has had the distinction of commanding a premier fighter Squadron and two operational fighter bases. The Air Officer is a qualified Pilot Attack Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader. He has served as an AF examiner in Aircrew Examining Board and as a directing staff in Tactics and Combat Development Establishment. An MA in Sociology, he is an alumni of Defence Services Staff College, National Defence College and College of Defence Management. His vast reservoir of knowledge, professionalism and ability to interact were amply displayed during his diplomatic assignment as Air Attaché in Embassy of India at Islamabad, Pakistan. He has also held important appointments of Director of Personnel Officers at Air HQ and Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ South Western Air Command. The Air Officer was awarded VM in 1976 and AVSM in 1991. Air Marshal Deshpande was appointed Deputy Chief of the Air Staff on 02 Mar 94. He is responsible for Planning and establishing long term re-equipment of IAF. He has formulated various modernisation plans, namely, MiG upgradation, procurement of Electronic Warfare equipment and other force multipliers and put them on firm footing all within the budgetary allocations. His phenomenal flair to interact effectively with civil officers at the highest level has been the hall mark of his professional excellence. He has left an indelible imprint in all the appointments he has held during his career spanning 36 years.

Air Marshal SR Deshpande, AVSM, VM has rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Vinod Patney 6125 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Vinod Patney, VrC was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 31 May 61. The officer is an outstanding pilot and took part in the 1965 and 1971 operations. He was awarded Vir Chakra in 1965 and Mentioned in Despatch in 1971. After successfully undergoing the Royal Air Force Staff College Course in UK in 1973, the officer was specially selected to be part of the newly formed Career Planning Cell at Air HQ. This was followed by his appointment as instructor at the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment in 1976. He commanded a fighter squadron in 1977. The Air officer has held important appointments of Chief Operations Officer of a major fighter base and in the Defence Planning Staff in 1987. This was followed by a tenure as Deputy Air Attaché at the Indian High Commission in London, UK. On his return, he commanded a premier fighter base.

On promotion to the rank of Air Vice Marshal he was appointed as Air Officer Commanding Jammu and Kashmir (AOC J&K) in Sep 94. As AOC J&K, the officer has been performing a difficult task in difficult circumstances with great skill and success. He is largely responsible for the maintenance of high morale, inter­service and service­civil relations and successful completion of all Air tasks in the most efficient manner.

Air Vice Marshal Vinod Patney has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy 6338 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Vice Marshal S Krishnaswamy, VM & Bar was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF on 19 Dec 61. Throughout his career he has held a variety of key Command and Staff appointments with distinction. These include command of a fighter Squadron, a major Fighter Base, Director Air Staff Requirements and presently as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (ACAS) (Plans) at Air Headquarters.

A qualified Test Pilot and Fighter Combat Leader, the Air Officer was an instructor at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment in 1975-78. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1977. In 1978-80, placed in command of a Fighter Squadron he displayed unique leadership and brought up the Squadron to a high level of combat readiness. He was awarded Bar to VM in 1981. In 1990 the Air Officer was appointed Air Officer Commanding of a fighter base. An alumni of Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College, the Air Officer was specially selected for a diplomatic assignment at the Indian High Commission in London, UK. On promotion, the Air Officer was selected to hold the appointment of ACAS (Plans). The Air Officer has successfully set up various Modernisation Programmes, namely, MiG upgrade, procurement of EW equipment and other Force Multipliers on a firm footing.

Air Vice Marshal Srinivasapurum Krishnaswamy VM & Bar has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Jayant Haribabu Gajendra Gadkar 6602 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Vice Marshal JHG Gadkar Adm was commissioned in the Administrative branch in Jun 62. He has held a variety of important field and staff appointments which include Command Works Officer of Western Air Command, Chief Administrative Officer of a major flying wing and Officer incharge Drafting Wing at Air Force Record Office. In 1993-94, he was posted as Senior Officerin­Charge Administration of Southern Air Command and was responsible for planning and layout of entire Command Headquarter Complex at Trivendrum. He ensured that all the essential requirements of the Command Complex were provisioned. This could be achieved only because of his personal involvement and liaison with State and Civil authorities as it involved acquisition of land, for integrated development of the only IAF complex in the State of Kerala.

The Air Officer was appointed as Director of Personnel (Airmen) at Air HQ in Aug 94. Within a short time he rationalised the manning levels of Airmen and Non Combatants (Enrolled) at all Air Force units. He was instrumental in reviewing and streamlining the policies on personnel in order to enhance the operational efficiency of the units. His deep involvement has resulted in speedy finalisation of non-effective benefits to the retired personnel. He also streamlined the civilian cadre management leading to greater work efficiency.

Air Vice Marshal Jayant Haribhau Gajenpra Gadkar has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Pran Nath Bajaj 6392 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal PN Bajaj was commissioned on 01 Dec 61 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. A post­graduate in Industrial Management from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, he is also an alumnus of National Defence College.

Air Vice Marshal PN Bajaj has held appointments as Chief Engineering Officer of a fighter Wing, Commandant Air Force Technical College, Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Jalahalli, Command Engineering Officer at HQ Western Air Command (WAG) and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (ACAS) Eng 'B' at Air HQ.

As ACAS Eng 'B' he meticulously planned setting up of the overhaul facilities for Mirage aircraft and its engines. The Air Officer was appointed Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at HQ WAC in Feb 94. He is responsible for technical and logistics management and support of entire WAC. He has been able to discharge his responsibilities competently and effectively, surpassing laid down targets for aircraft availability during all major and minor operational exercises and all round enhancement of operational capability without compromising flight safety.

Air Marshal Pran Nath Bajaj has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Nirmal Thusu 9033 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Commodore N Thusu, VM was commissioned in the IAF on 25 Dec 64. He holds an A2 instructional category, he has over 6000 hours of accident free flying. In recognition of his exceptional flying skills, he was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1987.

Air Commodore N Thusu was posted as Deputy Commandant of Air Force Academy on 03 Jan 94. He was quick to identify such areas of training faculties which required immediate attention. He proceeded to improve the quality and standards of training by closer monitoring of trainees and the methods of instructions. This resulted in significant decline in the suspension rate in the pilot's courses. A model class room with modern teaching aids was set up in the flying faculty and a much required Cafeteria was established for the other training faculties. The Flight Cadets' Mess received a face lift with kitchen being modernised and refurbished completely. He was instrumental in setting up the second Academy Sports Complex which now allows simultaneous participation by all trainees in various sporting disciplines. His professional contributions resulted in Air Force Academy winning the Best Flying Training establishment Trophy in 1994.

Air Commodore N Thusu, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

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
Details :

Air Commodore RPS Garcha, VM was commissioned on 18 Apr 1964 as a Pilot. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has been an Air Force Examiner. He was awarded VM in 1985 for skillful handling of an Airborne emergency while carrying the President of India. He was specially selected to train the pilots of a friendly country from 1986 to 1988.

He commanded an IL-76 Squadron for two years and was thereafter appointed Commanding Officer of the prestigious Air HQ Communication Squadron. He has held the highest category and instrument rating on eight different types of transport aircraft and is the only pilot to hold Cat 'A' on all three jet transport aircraft of the IAF. He has distinguished himself by his long, impeccable and unblemished flying career of over 11500 hrs of accident/incident free flying. He has often been called upon by DGCA to give his valuable recommendations in the investigation of major civil air accident. AVSM 1996

The Air Officer was appointed Air Officer Commanding of AF Station Palam in Jan 94. Under his stewardship the Air Force Day Parades 1994 and 1995 were a great success and every aspect of the activities involved showed his personal involvement and keenness to achieve the highest standards. He is also a keen sportsman and has given a boost to the already existing sports facilities at AF Station Palam,

Air Commodore Raj Pal Singh Garcha has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Madhukar Krishna Marathe 7328 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Commodore MK Marathe, VSM & Bar was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering branch of the Indian Air Force on 03 Apr 63. He has been in the command of the Base Repair Depot at Ozar since Nov 93. Prior to his present appointment, he was Jt Director at Air HQ. He was awarded Vishisht Seva medal in 1984 for his contribution towards establishing MiG­21 overhaul line. Thereafter, he was awarded Bar to VSM in 1992 while working as Joint Director in­charge of MiG­29 and MiG-25 fleets at Air HQ.

Under the dynamic leadership and guidance of Air Cmde MK Marathe, the BRD has successfully developed indigenously the capital repair technology for MiG-23 variants and life extension schedules for MiG-23 and MiG-29 fleets. Besides achieving self-reliance, this effort will accrue a saving of more than Rs 2 Crores in foreign exchange to the Nation. With his vast experience on the MiG series aircraft and his innovative approach, he has overcome a serious problem of wing fuel leak of MiG­29 aircraft by indigenously developing the repair technology. He has also successfully carried out a large number of prototype modifications on MiG-23/27 aircraft. Air Commodore Madhukar Krishna Marathe VSM & Bar has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ananta Ramakrishna Kumar Pandrangi 8747 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Commodore ARK Pandrangi was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 01 Aug 64. He has held the important assignments of Commanding officer, Air Headquarters Communication Squadron and Directing Staff at the College of Defence Management. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and the College of Defence Management.

Air Commodore ARK Pandrangi was appointed the Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Yelahanka on 24 Dec 92. On taking over he found that the success rate in initial categorisation of trainee officers of AN-32 and Avro conversion courses was not upto the desired level. He ensured that the categorisation rate improved to above 98%. Further he ensured a substantial improvement in serviceability of the AN-32, Avro and Mi-8 aircraft. In 1994, his station won the Flight Safety and Maintenance Trophy (Helicopters) instituted by HQ Training Command.

The first ever International Air Show 'Avia India-93', was held at AF Station, Yelahanka during 15-18 Dec 93. He was able to create the infrastructure within a short span of 3 to 4 months and make the event a great success.

Air Commodore Ananta Ramakrishna Kumar Pandrangi has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Gopalasamudram Mahadevan Vishwanathan 9056 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Commodore GM Vishwanathan, VM was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 25 Dec 64. The Air officer is a very experienced combat pilot with more than 4000 hours of accident free flying on single engined combat aircraft. During his career he has commanded a fighter squadron, a modern high-performance air defence radar unit and an all important fighter support airbase in the Kashmir valley.

As Air Officer Commanding of a major fighter base since Oct 93 he systematically analysed the role his airbase has to play during hostilities and peacetime. Directorate of Air Staff Inspection during their inspection assessed the Base and all the lodger units as highly satisfactory. The Base has flown/ recovered more than 10,000 sorties. The Base being nodal point for distribution of armament stores, was able to effect transfer of large quantity of munitions without any incident.

Air Commodore Vishwanathan also undertook the onerous task of constructing an Air Force School building with non­public funds to improve the educational facilities at the station.

Air Commodore GM Vishwanathan, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Paramjit Singh Bhango 12932 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain Paramjit Singh Bhangu was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 22 Jan 72. An A-2 qualified flying instructor, he is also a Fighter Combat Leader. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he commanded a Fighter Squadron with distinction and was awarded VM in 1992. He was appointed Commandant of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) on 02 Aug 93.

Since taking over command Gp Capt PS Bhangu made it a point to lead from front. His command came at a crucial stage when TACDE was in the process of changing its development and training patterns. This he did far beyond normal expectations. The result is that TACDE today runs a finely honed integrated schedule for meeting all the operational needs of the IAF. The MiG27 aircraft were inducted into the Unit in a record time without interrupting the training schedule of the ongoing courses.

The MiG-27 induction also demanded the drawing up of a fairly comprehensive war plan for TACDE. Gp Capt PS Bhangu with scant regard to personal comfort worked laboriously with appropriate sense of urgency to turn out the plan in 10 days. The plan was vindicated during the simulated Command exercise and worked magnificently.

Gp Capt PS Bhangu has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Kuldip Rai 6051 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Marshal Kuldip Rai was commissioned as a Doctor on 28 Feb 61. The Air Officer has flown over 600 hrs on trainer aircraft and is a pioneer in the field of Aviation Medicine. He obtained a PG Diploma, and an MD in Aviation Medicine. He was appointed professor of Aviation Medicine under Bangalore University. He carried out over 25 Research Projects at Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM) and was responsible for assessment and approval of indigenous anti-G suits for the fighter pilots.

During his tenure as Commandant, IAM, he was instrumental in upgrading the Simulator and introduction of a pattern of training for pilots flying Air Superiority Fighters to enhance their +Gz tolerance. He was the coordinator of the Commonwealth Aeronautics Research Council and also Indo­Soviet cooperation Programme in Space Medicine under the aegis of ICMR.

Air Marshal Kuldip Rai, during his tenure as principal Medical Officer, Training Command, has devoted his efforts towards improvements in the Professional Standards of Medical and Nursing Officers. Through his personal involvement, he has brought about substantial savings in local purchase of Medical Stores at all Stations and hospitals under Training Command.

Air Marshal Kuldip Rai has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sunil Kumar Malik 9002 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Air Commodore SK Malik was commissioned on 25 Dec 64 as a fighter pilot. He has over 4000 hours of accident free flying to his credit. He has commanded a premier fighter squadron and a wing. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, and Air War College of USA. He has held the appointment of Joint Director of Operations (Offensive) for three years at Air HQ.

Air Commodore SK Malik was appointed the Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Pathankot on 01 Oct 93. He carried out a thorough review of all the Non­Public Fund accounts, updated them and brought them to acceptable service standards. The Air Officer undertook the task of reassessing the operational deployments of Air Defence systems at Air Force Station, Pathankot. Many sites were personally reconnoitered by him and the most optimum ones selected which later proved to be highly successful during the annual WAC major exercise. During his tenure, a major operational work of runway resurfacing was executed with top quality within a record duration of six months.

The average aircraft serviceability improved from 65% in 1992-93 to 74%. The Station was awarded the 'Best Administration Trophy' for the year 1993-94.

Air Commodore Sunil Kumar Malik has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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

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 : No.152 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.131 FAC Flight  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 : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  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 Forward Base Support Unit  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 : No.32 Squadron  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 : No.52 Squadron  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 : Air Head Quarters  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 : No.48 Squadron  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 : No.18 Squadron  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 : Air Head Quarters  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 : No.3 Squadron  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 : No.20 Squadron  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 : No.153 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.107 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.114 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.109 Helicopter Unit  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
Sqn Ldr R K Plakkot 16835 F(N)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details : x
Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bhupinder Singh Subhlok 13795 F(P)Unit : No.117 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.119 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.122 Helicopter Flight  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 : No.117 Helicopter Unit  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 : No.29 Squadron  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 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Praduman Singh 9384 AE(L)Unit : AFS Jaipur  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain P Singh was commissioned on 05 Apr 65. He has served in Guided Missile Squadron and has flown as Air Signaller from 1969 to 1974. Gp Capt Praduman Singh served in the Air Staff of HQ Western Air Command from 1977 to 1984. He was deputed to Radar and Communication Project Organisation (RCPO) from 1982 to 1984 for integration of first PSM-33 radar.

Group Captain Praduman Singh has been in Command of a Tropo Communication centre since 01 Mar 93. By his hard work and profess knowledge of very high order he has been able to ensure the system availability over 99%. There has not been a single instance of link loss attributable to equipment unserviceability of generation equipment and air conditioning plan the last one year. Air HQ team inspected the unit in Dec 94 and assessed the functional wing of the unit to be highly satisfactory while Transports, Armoury and Signals were assessed as above the average. Gp Capt P Singh has also developed a single Integrated Console which has helped to improve the communication efficiency in all our tropo units.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Praduman Singh.

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

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ramyar Keni Batha 9588 AE(L)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain RK Batha was commissioned on 04 Oct 65 in the Engineering Branch. After a tenure as Chief Engineering Officer at Air Force Station Ambala, the officer was posted to Air Headquarters as Joint Director Engineering (Jaguar) in Feb 92.

During the present tenure at Air Headquarters, the officer was responsible for directing and guiding the small team of officers under him in all aspects of technical and logistics of Jaguar maintenance. The officer was instrumental in planning and execution of activities connected with provisioning, repairs by HAL, major servicing plan, induction, repair and overhaul task of rotables/repaira bles etc. The officer has been an effective interface with HAL to execute these tasks.

The specific achievement of the officer during his tenure was to head the Air Headquarters Investigation Team into the two Jaguar accidents in Dec 93 resulting from failure of Slat brake unit. The findings and recommendations were accepted and implemented for re-commencement of Jaguar flying in Jan 94. The follow up on the investigation resulted in modification proposal of the failed part being accepted by the manufacturers.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain RK Batha.

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

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Virender Kumar Sharma 9795 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain VK Sharma was commissioned in Accounts Branch in 1965. During his career of around 30 years he has held a variety of assignments with distinction. He was appointed Joint Director (Cost Analysis) at Directorate of Financial Planning in Nov 89.

A very significant portion (about 20%) of the IAF Budget goes to HAL every year. The payments to HAL are made as per the pricing policy issued by Govt in 1988. With his indepth knowledge and understanding of commercial accounting, working procedures of Corporate bodies and remarkable negotiating skills, the officer has been able to most effectively argue and cut down the high costs projected by HAL. By rationalising the prices quoted by HAL he ensured that from 1989 the cash outgo from IAF Budget to HAL was reduced by more than 400 Cr, a substantial saving for the Air Force.

In addition, GP Capt Sharma applied himself to resolve other long outstanding issues such as, methodology for claiming refund of profit on the idle labour of HAL, charging of cost of accessories on the basis of the year of manufacture in place of the year of fitment, refund of excess depreciation on assets, lesser profit on non-production overheads, non-acceptance of loss to IAF due to shortfalls of production in HAL. These achievements reflect on eloquent testimony of his professional competence and haul accrued a saving of about Rs 15-20 Cr on annual basis.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain VK Sharma.

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

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Arun Dattatreya Karandikar 10865 F(P)Unit : AirHQCS  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain AD Karandikar was commissioned on 04 Jun 67. He has served with distinction in various appointments. A Qualified Flying Instructor, he holds the highest category and Instrument Rating on various transport aircraft. An outstanding professional he was awarded VM in Jan 92. He was appointed Commanding Officer of Air HQ Communication Squadron in Feb 92. Under his dynamic leadership, astute planning and outstanding management abilities, the Squadron has achieved close to 100% serviceability state of a fleet comprising three different types of aircraft, namely, Boeing-737, HS748 and Mi-8 helicopters.

He initiated a special project to refurnish the fleet of HS-748 aircraft. All aircraft of the squadron carry this interior scheme which has evoked great appreciation at all levels. The recent success of the airlift effort towards the SAARC Summit held at Mashobra in May 95, including modification of the two Boeing-737 and five Mi-17 helicopters involved, were achieved directly due to the total involvement and innovativeness of the officer. Gp Capt AD Karandikar has flown a staggering 13,000 hours without a single incident/accident in his 28 years of active flying. This significant achievement stands unequalled in the history of Indian Air Force.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain AD Karandikar.

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

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Surya Kumar Gupta 10983 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain Surya Kumar Gupta was commissioned as Transport pilot in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 04 Jun 67. He later converted to helicopters. He has held numerous important appointments like Flight Commander, Commanding Officer, Chief Operation Officer and Station Commander at Training/Operational field units/stations as well Assistant/Deputy and Joint Director at Air Headquarters.

He has been on the strength of the Dte of Air Staff Inspection since 18 Mar 92 as Joint Director in charge of Inspection of 29 helicopter units of the IAF. Being the only Helicopter Inspector, his is an onerous task. By constant effort he has increased yearly inspections to 14 thus bringing all helicopter units into a two year inspection cycle. This has been a commendable performance resulting in a significant upgradation of Operational stan dards and preparedness.

Totally fair and mature in his approach, he has transformed the inspection process to one fruitful, interaction which has enhanced the performance of the units. He evolved the procedure, scope of inspections and assessment criteria for helicopter units which has made the process more transparent, objective and rational.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain SK Gupta.

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

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Prakash Vishwanath Karapurkar 11105 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 96 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain PV Karapurkar was commissioned on 24 Jun 67 in the Logistics Branch. He has held the appointments of Senior Logistics Officer of a major frontline fighter station and Joint Director at Air HQ. He was also Asst Director of Purchase at London (UK).

Group Captain PV Karapurkar took over as Commanding Officer of an Equipment Depot (ED) on 12 Apr 93. Through his dynamic leadership, initiative and drive, he ensured that adequate stocks of spares, aerolubricants, clothing items etc were always maintained by timely replenishments. He provided maximum product support to Operational Units under South Western Air Command by maintaining close liaison with bases, thus ensuring maximum user satisfaction and operational preparedness.

With his determination, drive and cheerful disposition, Gp Capt PV Karapurkar has been able to give a new direction to the ED and maintained intensive support to the Operational bases of the Command.

For distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain PV Karapurkar.

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

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