Awards for the year 1997


A total of 66 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Anil Yeshwant Tipnis 5859 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal K B Singh 5865 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Bharat Kumar 5787 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Trever Joseph Osman 6005 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Ghanshyam Gururani 6387 AEMUnit : MC  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details : AOC-in-C MC
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Ramesh Chandra Bajpai 5967 AELUnit : MC  Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details : AOC-in-C MC
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Bar to Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia 11631 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Dinesh Chandra Dhyani 6590 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Shanti Swaroop Gupta 6805 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Sriperumbudur Raghavan 6710 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Khushindhar Singh Bindra 6863 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Michael McMahon 7399 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde A N Sen 8395 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde P K Pinta 8419 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde I P Alexander 8430 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde P K Misra 8842 EDNUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde M S Singha 9711 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Subhash Bhojwani 9734 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Shaurya Chakra
Flt Lt Sandeep Jain 19534 F(P)Unit : 130 HU  Award Date 26 Aug 96 Announced 15 Aug 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Jain was posted with a Helicopter Unit since 19 Dec 94. He was a disciplined and devoted officer of Indian Air Force. During the month of August 1996 Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Jain was on detachment to carry out air maintenance in OP Meghdoot area. During this period enemy had redeployed the forces in Southern glacier Area and had established new Bunkers at commanding positions directly threatening Indian Army Posts. Accessibility to our posts had also become extremely difficult since helicopter route to the post was under the enemy's constant watch and threat. It was a matter of great concern, since our post could not be air maintained under the circumstances. Withdrawing our forces was considered against the interest of National Security.

It was therefore decided to launch a few dedicated air maintenance stories to maintain crucial posts at Hoshiyar. Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Jain was detailed Captain of these special missions. He was thoroughly briefed about the risk involved. Notwithstanding the risk, dedicated crew under the Command of Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Jain undertook the challenging task bravely and intelligently. Two such missions were carried out successfully in spite of enemy's interference. During the third sortie on 26 Aug 96 after the load was dropped helicopter was engaged by the enemy ground forces and shot down killing Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Jain and his crew.

Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Jain showed exemplary courage and dedication by undertaking extremely difficult task in the face of known enemy threat and made ultimate sacrifice for the national interest.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st November 1997 - No.84 - Pres/97 dated 15th August 1997 

Shaurya Chakra
Flt Lt Sandeep Khajuria 20291 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 02 Mar 93 Announced 15 Aug 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Khajuria was commissioned in the IAF in September 1989. He is presently posted at a signal Unit in Air Force.

On the night of 2nd March, 1993, while he was working in GCA, from the conversations of the controllers on the duty he learned that an aircraft piloted by Fg Offr SS Chouhan (20996) F(P) had crashed–landed on the side of the runway. He immediately set out for the crash landing site. On reaching the site, which took him about 10 minutes, he observed that fire fighting was in progress and the pilot was still in the cockpit with canopy closed. Notwithstanding the risk of his personal life, he advanced to the canopy to rescue the pilot. The men who were only waiting for such daring leadership also ignored the risk of being engulfed by the fire and joined him in rescuing the pilot who was in unconscious state. The aircraft fuel tank exploded immediately following the rescue.

Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Khajuria, thus, ignoring personal safety appropriate leadership at the time of a crisis saved a life.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st November 1997 - No.84 - Pres/97 dated 15th August 1997 

Shaurya Chakra
Plt Offr Vaibhav Bhagwat 23546 F(P)Unit : 130 HU  Award Date 26 Aug 96 Announced 15 Aug 97
Details :

Pilot Officer Vaibhav Bhagwat was on the posted strength of 130 Helicopter unit since 22 Jul 96 till 26 Aug 96, when he laid down his life for the country.

Pilot Officer Vaibhav Bhagwat was detailed as a co-pilot for crucial air-maintenance sorties in Op-Meghdoot area during the month of Aug 1996 when enemy had redeployed forces threatening out posts in the area. On 26 Aug 96, a special sortie was undertaken in Mi-17 Helicopter to Hoshiyar post on the Southern Glacier. The post was threatened by enemy fire but air maintenance was planned to drop essential supplies to maintain our troops. After the load was dropped, the helicopter was engaged by enemy ground fire and shot down killing all the occupants.

Pilot Officer Vaibhav Bhagwat displayed exhibiting bravery, courage and devotion to his duty of the highest order and laid down his life for the country in the true tradition of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st November 1997 - No.84 - Pres/97 dated 15th August 1997 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Shankar Mani 13596 F(P)Unit : 4 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Group Captain S Mani, VSM was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 22 Dec 73. An experienced Qualified Flying Instructor, he has over 3600 hours of accident free flying. He was awarded VSM in Jan 1993 and was appointed Commanding Officer of a MiG 21 Squadron in Sep 94.

He led his team from up front and motivated the Squadron personnel to excel in their duties. He personally led the Squadron in a Fire Power Demonstration at Pokhran, a 6 Aircraft Fly Past for President's Standard Presentation at Jodhpur and all the exercises and numerous detachments to other stations. Inspite of extreme climatic conditions at Uttarlai and the Squadron Maintenance Flight being located at Jodhpur, he not only sustained the tempo of fighter flying training but also enhanced it. The Squadron flew over 6000 sorties amounting to 3750 hours during his tenure, which was far higher than ever flown before. Eight pilots were declared fully operational and many others were trained for both day and night flying so as to enhance the operational status of the Squadron. The Unit was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and assessed as high average. Considering that the Squadron had to operate from different bases these achievements are noteworthy.

Gp Capt S Mani showed unique determination, steadfastness, physical and mental endurance and flew over 400 hours while in command of the Sqn.

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

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Rakesh Kumar Jolly 14083 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Rakesh Kumar Jolly was commissioned on 11 Jul 75 in the Fighter Stream of the Indian Air Force. Since then he has flown over 3700 hours of accident free flying. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College.

Wg Cdr Jolly assumed command of a front-line MiG-21 Bis Squadron in March 1995. With his professional attitude and attention to detail, Wg Cdr Jolly's leadership was instrumental in significant and tangible achievements of the Squadron.

The Squadron performed well in all fields and was assessed as Average Plus by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. In the 1996-97 Inter Squadron Gunnery Meet, Wg Cdr Jolly steered his unit to the first position in rocketry, and to the second position overall. Despite constraints of weather, and frequent detachments, the Squadron was able to achieve 100% operational and instrument rating status and an enviable flight safety record. The Squadron bagged the inter-unit sports trophy for 1995-96 and also achieved one of the best aircraft serviceability status in the MiG-21 Bis Fleet.

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

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ravi Kant Sharma 14088 F(P)Unit : 6 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Ravi Kant Sharma has been commanding the Maritime Strike Jaguar Squadron. He is a Test Pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor with more than 2900 hours of accident free flying, of which nearly 1400 hours are on Jaguar aircraft. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College he has held various important appointments like Flight Commander of a Jaguar Squadron and Deputy Director at Air Headquarters.

During his tenure as Commanding Officer, the Squadron had consistently completed the command task. In every exercise that the Squadron had taken part, it had performed extremely well. In Command Gunnery Meet, the Squadron was overall runner up. The Directorate of Maintenance and Inspection team, which carried out Quality Audit of the Jaguar fleet in Oct 95, had a special word of appreciation for the Squadron with respect to its maintenance practices. To cap all the achievements, the Squadron was assessed Average Plus in all three disciplines of Operations, Maintenance and Administration by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Nov 95. The achievements were a direct result of the able leadership provided by Wg Cdr RK Sharma.

Wg Cdr RK Sharma is a thorough professional, with a keen eye for details. It was due to his total involvement that the operational status of the Squadron has remained very high. He ensured that the serviceability state of the aircraft in the Squadron remained consistently high to meet its various operational and training commitments.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ravi Kant Sharma.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Muthumanickam Matheswaran 14104 F(P)Unit : 5 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Muthumanickam Matheswaran was commissioned on 11 Jul 75 as a Fighter Pilot. He is an Experimental Test Pilot and a Fighter Combat Leader. He was actively involved in the formulation and dissemination of tactics at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He has 2800 hours of flying experience with over 2000 hours on MiG-21 and Jaguar aircraft.

Wg Cdr M Matheswaran took over Command of a Jaguar Squadron (Sqn) in Jan 95. At that time the Sqn faced very poor serviceability. The aircrew state and the supervisory status was very low. In the next one year Wg Cdr Matheswaran set out to mould the officers and men of the Sqn into an effective and powerful team. The Sqn flew over 2500 accident free hours during the next one year despite severe constraints of low aircraft availability and large number of under-training pilots. He guided his technical officers and airmen to ensure that effective serviceability was maintained at a very high level and air crew training had the cutting edge of professionalism. Within one year and five months the Sqn achieved 100 per cent operational status and over 90% instrument rating. The Sqn has flown the maximum hours for a fighter Sqn in Western Air Command.

By this sound administration, professional competence, personal example and excellent leadership, he has moulded the Sqn into an effective combat unit.

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

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Rahul Dhar 14561 F(P)Unit : 14 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Rahul Dhar, SC was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 13 Jun 76. An A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot, he has 3700 hours of accident free flying. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra in 1980.

He assumed command of a Jaguar Squadron in Apr 95. During his tenure of one year, the Squadron flew 2632 sorties amounting to 2413 hours. Of this, he flew 320 hours himself. He displayed boundless enthusiasm to ensure that his Squadron carried out realistic role oriented training. All operational pilots became qualified on the specialist equipment of the squadron in record time. The officer was also instrumental in evolving and implementing specialised tactics for the Squadron. A considerable improvement in the overall operational status of the Squadron emerged as a result of his efforts.

At Wg Cdr Dhar's initiative, a new take off and departure technique was formulated, tested and implemented. This ensured the maximum possible protection from bird hits.

He flew the lead aircraft for the Air Force and Republic Day flypasts; both of which earned the appreciation of one and all.

Due to his non stop effort, a noticeable improvement in the Avionics serviceability and an appreciable change in the Squadron work culture was achieved. Many innovative welfare measures were instituted which helped greatly in raising morale.

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

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Satnam Singh 14676 F(P)Unit : 29 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Satnam Singh was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 26 Dec 76. A Fighter Combat Leader and an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he has been in command of a MiG-21 Squadron since Jun 95. He has 2300 hours of accident free flying. By his personal example, he has been able to motivate the Squadron to achieve very high standards of professionalism both on the ground and the air.

During the Fire Power Demonstration at Pokharan Range in Oct 95, he successfully led the Squadron team and carried out precision Napalm bombing which was widely acclaimed by the press and foreign dignitaries. During the Command Gunnery Meet, the Squadron won three team events, the individual bombing event and the overall championship. During the Aircrew Examining Board visit in Mar 96, all aircrew obtained exceptional grading in the ground subjects test. He ensured upgradation of operational status of 8 pilots in a record time.

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

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Arun Purushottam Garud 14692 F(P)Unit : AFA  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Arun Purushottam Garud was commissioned as a Helicopter Pilot on 29 Dec 76. An A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor, he has instructed at four flying training establishments including the prestigious Flying Instructors School. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and has 5200 hours of accident free flying to his credit.

Wg Cdr AP Garud was posted to Air Force Academy on 10 Aug 92. He was instrumental in planning and executing flying training of eleven courses including three women courses. Over 200 trainees graduated under his guidance and his Squadron flew over 10,000 accident free hours in this period. Wg Cdr Garud managed this outstanding feat by focusing his attention on critical areas of flying and conducting workshops personally, to educate each staff and student alike. He achieved each of his enormous time bound tasks always on schedule through effective supervision, dedication and example.

Wg Cdr Garud fabricated several training aids which had valuable impact on basic training. These included a video film on circuit and landing and computer graphics for scan patterns in Instrument Flying. All these training aids are used by over two hundred trainees and seventy Flying Instructors every year.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Arun Purushottam Garud.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pochana Prasad Reddy 15008 F(P)Unit : 1 BRD  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Pochana Prasad Reddy was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 10 Jun 77. A Qualified Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot, he has 2800 hours of accident free flying. He is on the posted strength of a Base Repair Depot at Kanpur since 17 May 93 as the Chief Test Pilot.

As Chief Test Pilot, he air tested and supervised air testing and ferrying of MiG-21 variants, Mirage 2000 and AN 32 aircraft. He carried out a total of 253 air tests on MiG-21 variants handling several system malfunctions with utmost professionalism and aplomb. His contribution in the preparation of schedules and conduct of the flight test programme for first AN-32 aircraft overhauled at the BRD was praise worthy.

Being the only Test Pilot available at Kanpur, he was also assigned the task of air testing of HAL (Kanpur) manufactured aircraft such as Avro, HPT-32 and Dornier, which helped HAL Kanpur Division to achieve their production task in time. All this task was achieved without any incidents/accidents.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Pochana Prasad Reddy.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Kuldeep Singh Bharadwaj 15207 F(P)Unit : BFTS  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Wing Commander Kuldeep Singh Bhardwaj was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 28 Dec 77. He has held the appointment of Deputy Flight Commander of a MiG 27 Squadron. A Pilot Attack Instructor and a Qualified Flying Instructor, he is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He is on the posted strength of Basic Flying Training School, Allahabad since 01 May 94, as Chief Flying Instructor. He has 2800 hours of accident free flying of which 711 hours have been flown during his present tenure. He has been instrumental in formation of Standard Operational Procedures, Phase Briefs, Briefing Guides and a large number of presentations towards improving the quality of flying training. For a period of nine months he discharged duties and responsibilities of two Chief Flying Instructors all by himself. Additionally, he was assigned the duties of Chief Operations Officer of the AF base for a period of two months.

As a senior supervisor, he did not confine his responsibility to flying training alone. He closely monitored the overall quality of training to ensure that good future officers join the Indian Air Force for its growth. With his attitude of leading from the front, he has effectively spread a mixture of professional efficiency and enthusiasm among instructional staff and trainees. The quality of flying and ground training at the Institute has shown a definite and positive improvement.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Kuldeep Singh Bhardwaj.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Janakiram Balasubramanian 15558 F(P)Unit : Air HQ and Comm  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

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

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

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

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

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rohit Verma 16029 F(P)Unit : 7 Sqn  Award Date 19 Oct 95 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader R Varma is on the posted strength of a Mirage-2000 Squadron since 30 Apr 95. On 19 Oct 95, he was authorised to lead a 3 aircraft (ac) versus 2 air combat sortie in Mirage-2000 ac.

After two combat situations when the formation was regrouping, a nut on the engine front mounting of his aircraft came off. This caused the engine front part to come down and the drive shaft from the engine to the gear box got damaged and stopped rotating. As a result, the alternators and hydraulic pumps stopped running.

In the air, the pilot was faced with a total electrical and hydraulic failure. A series of warning lights including the failure of the fly by wire control system came on. The pilot reacted to the grave emergency situation with thorough professionalism and commenced the recovery of the crippled aircraft, which had to land within 30 minutes failing which an ejection was mandatory. All displays, having failed, the recovery was to be carried out with only the stand by systems. With sheer grit and determination and in keeping with the highest traditions of IAF, he brought the aircraft down to a safe landing thus saving an extremely precious national asset from being lost.

For this act of exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Rohit Varma.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Prabhamohan Mohandas Baliga 16817 F(P)Unit : FIS   Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader Prabhamohan Mohandas Baliga was commissioned as a Transport Pilot on 04 Jun 82. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor holding A-2 instructional category and has been on the Flying Staff of Flying Instructors School at Tambaram since 05 Jan 95.

On 01 Nov 95, while carrying out an instructional sortie on Kiran aircraft, at a height of 14000 feet, he experienced engine vibrations followed by a flame out. He took over control immediately, turned towards base and attempted relights. After three unsuccessful attempts, he decided to force land the aircraft. At this stage, his height was barely sufficient to land on the runway in use. Thereafter, he took a prompt decision to land on secondary runway after ascertaining the winds. This decision ensured safe recovery of the aircraft resulting in a perfect dead stick landing at Tambaram airfield. Throughout the emergency, the pilot remained calm and composed and monitored all parameters vital for the investigation of the cause of the incident. Recovery of the aircraft ensured investigation of mechanical failure that occurred which would not have been possible if the aircraft had been abandoned.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Prabhamohan Mohandas Baliga.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Sanjay Thapar 16871 F(P)Unit : Aerial Delivery Research   Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader Sanjay Thapar is on the posted strength of Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment, Agra since 15 May 96. He is the most qualified Sky Diving Instructor in the country.

This enthusiastic and dynamic officer holds many records. He has 1806 accident free jumps from 21 types of aircraft and helicopters, the highest number carried out by any Indian so far. He is the reigning "National Champion" in various disciplines of sport since 1991. On 11 Mar 91 he set a world record by carrying out 46 skydiving jumps in a short span of three hours using two Mi-17 helicopters simultaneously. Another record was set on 26 Jun 1992 by jumping with an IAF flag measuring 1000 sq ft almost four times the size of his parachute. All these feats are duly recorded in "Limca Book of Records".

On 21 Apr 96, he earned yet another distinction when he carried out a Sky Diving jump at the North Pole. He jumped from the height of 10,000 feet in toughest weather conditions where the wind speed was above 40 kms per hour and the temperature was as low as - 26 degree C on the ground and - 68 degree C in the air. He became the first Indian to perform this daring act and hoist the Indian National Flag at North Pole. A pioneer in the field, he has brought laurels to the IAF and the country.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Sanjay Thapar.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rajeev Sharma 17004 F(P)Unit : 142 SSS Flt  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajeev Sharma has been on the posted strength of 142 Survival Security and Support Flight (SSS Fit) since 27 Jun 95 and has been performing the duties of Flight Commander.

On 11 Oct 95, one Cheetah Helicopter carried out a heavy landing at Green lake area near Kanchanjunga Base Camp at an altitude of 16,000 feet due to a technical defect. The engine and under-carriage system suffered damage and repairs were necessary to recover the helicopter. Sqn Ldr Sharma flew 26 sorties in six days despite marginal weather to transport the repair team upto Base Camp and also to keep them supplied with necessary spares. He stayed with the repair team at Kanchanjunga Base Camp at 16,000 feet for a period of six days, braving snow fall and extreme cold temperature of upto -22 degrees C to motivate and provide moral support to the personnel working on the helicopter. He successfully controlled and co-ordinated all operational and maintenance activities. After the repairs were completed, he flew the helicopter back to base. His contribution to the entire recovery operation was invaluable.

In Nov 95, 142 SSS Flt was tasked to rescue and evacuate 16 tourists trapped due to heavy snowfall and bad weather from Lingshi and Gasa in Bhutan. Exhibiting professional skill of a very high order and at great personal risks, Sqn Ldr Sharma carried out these rescue operations in inclement weather and difficult terrain. This was highly appreciated by Government of Bhutan.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Rajeev Sharma.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Samir Jay Pendse 20495 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 25 Aug 95 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Samir Jay Pendse was on the posted strength of 114 Helicopter Unit from 06 Sep 93 to 09 Oct 95. He has carried out more than 425 accident and incident free landings at the world's highest helipads in the 'Op Meghdoot' area.

On 28 Aug 95 he was tasked to go to the rescue of a BSF expedition to Saser Kangri. Flt Lt Pendse got airborne as the leader of a two helicopter formation with 20 minutes of the SOS call. Aerial reconnaissance revealed that the only way to rescue the team was to land at an uneven ledge at 18,500 ft. Braving strong and turbulent winds and in fading light conditions, with exemplary courage he landed his helicopter on the small 4M x 4M ledge and rescued the stranded personnel of the BSF expedition. Following another SOS he again lead his formation and once again braving inclement weather and extremely strong and gusty winds air dropped vital supplies to the search party. In carrying out these two missions, Flt Lt Pendse, in keeping with the highest traditions of the IAF, displayed exceptional courage and professionalism.

For exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Samir Jay Pendse.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Sunil Kumar Kashyap 20991 F(P)Unit : 49 Sqn  Award Date 02 Aug 95 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar Kashyap is on the posted strength of an AN-32 Sqn in the Eastern Sector since 08 Dec 91.

On 02 Aug 95, Flt Lt Kashyap was authorised to fly an air maintenance supply drop sortie to a forward Dropping Zone (DZ). This DZ is small in size and is situated in a narrow valley. Due to this only part load can be dropped on one circuit. Further, topography of DZ necessitates an immediate climb after the drop as there are steep hills in the direction of drop and on the down wind side. Flt Lt Kashyap decided to drop three skid boards during the first circuit. As the skid boards were being released from the aircraft, the star-board engine failed. Flt Lt Kashyap remained calm and put on additional bank which brought the aircraft to the limits of its flight envelop. He skillfully turned the aircraft in the narrow valley clearing the high hills around the DZ. After clearing the immediate hills he tried to climb to route safety height but could not do so as the aircraft refused to respond due to prevailing high temperature and humidity. He then decided to follow the escape route by following the valley and crossing over high ridges with very little safety margin. Throughout the emergency he remained calm, continued to fly skillfully and safely landed the aircraft at Chabua. He displayed unflinching determination and professionalism of a very high order, in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force, in handling of the emergency and safe recovery of the aircraft.

For exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar Kashyap.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Vivek Chaturvedi 20788 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 16 Aug 96 Announced 15 Aug 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Vivek Chaturvedi (20788) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of 114 HU, AF from 15 May 95. He has flown 380 hours in the inhospitable terrain of Siachen Glacier without any accident/incident, under constant threat of enemy fire.

On 16 Aug 96, Flight Lieutenant Vivek Chaturvedi was detailed as captain to carry out a routine air maintenance sortie to Amar, a helipad at 20,000 ft. in the Op. Meghdoot area. After landing, while the aircraft was being unloaded, heavy enemy shelling began. Shells landed close to the aircraft damaging the canopy and showering the aircraft with debris. Flt Lt Chaturvedi maintained his composure and analysed the circumstances in a cool and calculated manner. Realising the gravity of the situation and the threat to the safety of the aircraft he quickly ordered the stopping of the unloading and executed a safe take off. Finding that the vital parameters of the aircraft were normal, he skillfully flew the damaged aircraft to Base Camp, and carried out a safe landing. Post flight inspection revealed damage to two main rotor blades, resulting in their being withdrawn from service, and to the engine mounting.

Flight Lieutenant Vivek Chaturvedi, displaying exemplary professionalism, ability to think calmly under stress and react quickly under enemy fire, and flying skills of a very high order saved a valuable aircraft.

For his bravery in the face of the enemy and exemplary professionalism, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Flight Lieutenant Vivek Chaturvedi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st November 1997 - No.88-Pres/97 dated 15th August 1997 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ramesh Chandra Mahadik 8570 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde S M Sethi 9479 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Subhash Chandra Luthra 12899 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt R C Goyal 8512 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vipen Channa 10960 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Selvam Kulandaisami Jayarajan 11695 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Harendrajit Singh Garkal 11780 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt J S Thakur 12012 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt P P S Sandhu 12644 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sumit Mukerji 12925 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt S Swaminathan 13044 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt G P S Dua 13306 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 97 Announced 26 Jan 97
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