Awards for the year 1998


A total of 68 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Vir Chakra : 1 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 18 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 | Mention in Despatches : 2 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Prithvi Singh Brar 6007 F(P)Unit : Eastern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal Prithvi Singh Brar AVSM & Bar VM was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in December, 1960. Since then he has held various flying and command appointments. His entire service has been marked with outstanding professionalism in every field of activity that he has been involved with. Throughout his distinguished career, he has always strived to set new standards in professional skill, dedication to duty and personal commitment. For his professional skill and leadership he was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1981 and Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 1983. In 1989 he received Bar to AVSM for his dynamic leadership and sustained hard-work in commanding a base in the south western sector.

During his tenure as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command there has been remarkable all round improvements, not only in the operational capabilities of the various units under EAC, but also in the quality of life enjoyed by all personnel. One of the main tasks of the EAC is to undertake time bound training of budding fighter pilots prior to their induction into the front-line operational squadrons. In spite of manpower and other resource crunch, the pilot training has always been completed on time. Air Marshal Brar's innovative ideas and improved training programmes are the driving force behind this commendable achievement. His personal involvement in each and every aspect of command functions have resulted in many a innovations that have been implemented by other Commands in the IAF,

Air Marshal Prithvi Singh Brar AVSM & Bar VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Patney 6125 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal Vinod Patney AVSM, VrC, was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 31 May 61. The officer is an outstanding pilot and took active part in 1965 and 1971 operations. He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1996, Vir Chakra in 1965 and Mention-in-Despatches in 1971, by the President of India.

A graduate of RAF Staff College Bracknell, UK, Air Marshal Patney has held a variety of important operational and Staff appointments during his service career. He was specially selected to be part of the newly formed Career Planning Cell at Air HQ in 1973 and also as an Instructor at TACDE on its formation in 1976. He commanded a frontline fighter Squadron with credit and was selected for deputation abroad as an Instructor in 1980. He also has the distinction of having served as an Instructor at CAW and TACDE. As Chief Operations Officer of a prestigious fighter base and subsequently as an AOC of a premier fighter station he performed exceptionally well. He was also selected to be a founder member of Defence Planning Staff in 1987 followed by a tenure as an Air Adviser at High Commission of India in UK.

On promotion to the rank of AVM he was appointed as AOC J&K at a time when militancy in this strife torn state was at its peak. He acquitted himself creditably and performed a difficult task in adverse conditions with his outstanding skill and ingenuity. He was thereafter appointed Air Defence Commander at HQ WAC which was followed by an appointment as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, in the rank of Air Marshal.

Air Marshal Patney has the rare distinction of being AOC-in-C of two operational Commands of the IAF. He held the appointment of AOC-in-C, Central Air Command from 01 Jul 96 to 31 Mar 97 and on 01 Apr 97 he took over the reins of Western Air Command, which is the premier operational command of the IAF. As AOC-in-C of these two operational Commands of the IAF he has strived hard relentlessly to improve work culture, morale and motivation and operational preparedness of both the Commands. With his innovative skill and conceptual foresight he has introduced the concept of self help approach in almost all aspects of operations, maintenance and administration which has resulted in large savings to the exchequer by utilising untapped human and infrastructural resources available within the Command. He has been instrumental in initiating a series of major drives for clearance of vegetation at all airfields to reduce accidents due to bird strikes, beautification of technical and domestic areas at all stations, improving the quality of output by the MES and most important of all improving the quality of life of Air Force personnel specially at remote and difficult stations. Air Marshal Patney in a short time has given a tremendous impetus to the overall operational potential of Western Air command and has brought about a sea change in its operational preparedness state.

Air Marshal Vinod Patney AVSM, VrC has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Man Mohan Singh Vasudeva 6128 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal MS Vasudeva was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 31st May, 1961. During his long and distinguished career he has held a number of important command and staff appointments which include command of a large and active air base in the Eastern Sector, Addl Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) at Air HQ, Air Defence Commander at both Western Air Command and South Western Air Command and Senior Air Staff Officer at the Central Air Command.

During the Indian Peace Keeping Operation in Sri Lanka (IPKF), the Air Marshal was appointed as the AOC, with the overall responsibility for planning and execution of all Air Operations in support of the IPKF, For 'Distinguished Service of Exceptional Order' in Sri Lanka, the Air Marshal was awarded the Presidential award of 'Uttam Yudh Seva Medal'.

A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington the Air Officer has held various staff appointments and has displayed remarkable clarity in thought and reasoning in modifying the Air Defence Philosophy while functioning as the Air Defence Commander in the Western and South Western Sector.

As the Deputy Chief of Air Staff he had overall responsibility of long term planning including the force structure planning of the Indian Air Force; laying down qualitative requirements for acquisition of all future equipment viz Aircraft, radars, weapons etc and testing of such systems for the future induction into the Air Force. Bulk of the work done by the Air Officer during this tenure remains on the highly classified list. However, his service to the Air Force specially in the field of Perspective Planning both in force structure planning and financial planning keeping in mind the realistic approach to operational needs of the IAF have gone a long way in enhancing the operational preparedness and capability of the IAF.

Air Marshal MS Vasudeva UYSM VM has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy 6338 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal S Krishnaswamy is currently serving as the AOC-In-C of Central Air Command. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in Dec 61. He is a highly qualified professional and has held many important field and staff appointments that include Deputy Air Adviser in London, AOC of a fighter base, DASR and ACAS (Plans) in Air HQ, SASO of an Operational Command and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. During the long 36 years service, he worked tirelessly toward, enriching the Air Force with his professional acumen, sincerity and devotion.

Air Marshal Krishnaswamy is operational on a variety of aircraft including the Mirage2000. He flew the Gnat during the 1965 war and earned Mention-in-Despatches. Later he qualified to become a test pilot and a Fighter Combat Leader. He made immense contribution as a test pilot in developing the Ajeet and HF-24 aircraft and indigenous weapon systems and has captained near about 35 varieties of aircraft and helicopters. He evaluated the Mirage-2000 and the SU-30 before their induction in Service. In the operational field, he was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for his contribution while in the staff of TACDE and a Bar to VM for display of professionalism and leadership while in command of the first Electronic Warfare squadron of the IAF.

During his tenure as DASR and ACAS (Plans) at Air HQ he made significant contribution to the development of Light Combat Aircraft and Advanced Light Helicopter as a member of the Technical Committee and Special Review Committees. As the ACAS (Plans) and later as the DCAS, he led the activities towards casting the Air Force modernisation programme and initiated important acquisitions and aircraft upgrades. He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his contribution in 1996.

Considering his vast knowledge and experience in the field of aviation, the officer was often called upon to participate in trials and review of many important programmes. He undertook flight testing on combat aircraft even while on staff appointment. In his higher appointments as SASO and AOC-in-C, Air Marshal Krishnaswamy directed his vision towards enhancing the combat worthiness of the Indian Air Force, development of human resource and improving the quality of life. He supervised and conducted Air Force exercises and demonstrations in an exemplary manner. He reviewed and optimised training schedules and facilities at operational bases towards enhancing safety and efficiency.

Air Marshal S Krishnaswamy AVSM, VM and Bar has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Krishnan Narayan Nair 6346 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal Krishnan Narayanan Nair was commissioned on 19 Dec 61. He has to his credit over 7300 hours of accident free flying on various transport and trainer aircraft. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff in August 65 for having achieved more than 2175 hours of flying on Dakota aircraft in Ladakh and has logged over 2500 hours of instructional flying on various types of aircraft. His command tenures include 48 Squadron, Administrative Training Institute, Sambre, Air Force Station Agra and the prestigious Air Force Academy. He has held several senior key staff appointments in which he has served with high distinction. He is also the Commodore Commandant of 48 Squadron. For his distinguished services of an exceptional order he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 95. During his tenure as the Senior Air Staff Officer of Training Command, Air Marshal Nair played a key role in the formulation of the new pattern for training for the pilots of the Indian Air Force in Jan 96. His personal involvement and dedicated application were patently evident in the efficacious implementation of this training pattern leading to increased efficiency in training. Air Marshal Nair played an active role in the initial establishment and training of the aerobatic display team of the Indian Air Force, the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team. It was also during this period that the Aero India 96 was held at Air Force Station Yelahanka under the overall control of Training Command. The meticulous planning and attention to detail which were instrumental in making this show an unqualified success have been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force and earned kudos not only for the Indian Air Force but also for the Nation as a whole from the world aviation community.

Air Marshal Nair has been appointed as the AOC-in-C of Southern Air Command on 01 May 97. Since then he has spared no effort to give a new direction and thrust to the all round activities of the men under his command, both in the professional field and in the field of improvement in the quality of life.

The selfless and dedicated service rendered by Air Marshal Nair is worthy of emulation. He has displayed noteworthy skill in motivating his subordinates to perform to their potential for achieving the higher aims of the Service. He has shown exemplary skill in the management of resources at his Command for their optimal utilisation. Air Marshal Krishnan Narayanan Nair AVSM has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia 6497 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal VK Bhatia was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 26th May, 1962. During his long and distinguished career he has held a number of important command and staff appointments which include command of a fighter squadron, two sensitive and operational flying stations, Air-1 of an operational command, Deputy Director General in the Defence Planning Staff, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) at the Air HQ and Inspector General (Inspection & Safety),

An outstanding fighter pilot of repute, he participated in the Indo-Pak ware of 1965 and 1971. In both the wars, he flew a large numbers of missions deep inside the enemy territory, with good results. For his gallant conduct, he was awarded the Vir Chakra in 1965 and Bar to Vir Chakra in 1971 operations.

A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK, the Air officer held several staff appointments with distinction. As the Air-1 of Eastern Air Command, he brought his varied experience to bear on the conduct of a large number of command level exercises successfully. As Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station SRINAGAR from 19901991 (a period of peak militancy in J&K), he provided inspired leadership and matching resources to ensure peak operational preparedness of his station and high morale of personnel placed under him. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1992.

As Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) at Air HQ, Air Officer displayed remarkable clarity of thought and reasoning in modifying the philosophy of air warfare, He brought about a number of innovative improvements which significantly enhanced the lAF's operational potential.

As Senior Air Staff Officer at Western Air Command, the Air Officer's contribution include achieving laid down targets of air drops in forward areas as well as enhancing the operational preparedness of the front line fighter squadrons in the command. He activated Tilpat Range after a long gap and led the fly-past on 08 Oct 96, thus leading by example.

Air Marshal VK Bhatia AVSM, VrC & Bar has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Velayudhan Girish Kumar 6747 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal Velayudhan Girish Kumar VM was commissioned as a pilot In the F(P) Branch on 10 Nov 62. He has over 8000 hrs of flying to his credit. AVSM 1998 He has been on the faculty of Defence Services Staff College. As the Commanding Officer, Air HQ Comm Sqn, he formulated various operating procedures and upgraded the internal facilities on the newly Inducted Boeing-737 and Mi-8 to International standards. As the Air Attaché, USA, he provided significant inputs to Air HQ, on the arms transfers to a neighbouring country. As the AOC, AF Station, Palam, he refined VVIP operational and security procedures. As the SOA, HQ EAC, he completely revamped the Administrative set up, leading to increased efficiency, and better quality of life. As Director Intelligence, he produced several incisive analyses regarding the changing military balance in the region. He forcefully put across India's view points at the ASEAN Regional Forum Meeting held in Bangkok. In the present appointment as SASO, HQ CAC, he has provided the impetus, for enhancing the operational potential of Jaguar and Mirage­2000 aircraft. He has organised trials on transport aircraft which have yielded important lessons relating to the operations and protection of these aircraft during operational missions. Air Defence network, and utilisation of radars of CAC improved demonstrably due to his direct supervision and guidance. Several large scale exercises have also been planned and undertaken in CAC successfully. He has evaluated and introduced valuable lessons that emerged from such exercises to enhance the operational capabilities of the IAF.

Air Marshal Velayudhan Girish Kumar VM has thus rendered distinguished service of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Prakash Sadashivrao Pingale 6755 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Marshal PS Pingale was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF on 10 Nov 62. Throughout his career he has held a variety of key command and staff appointments with distinction. These include command of two fighter squadrons, a major flying training base, a major fighter base, SOA of an operational command, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters, and presently as the Inspector General (Inspection and Safety).

The Air Officer is a qualified flying instructor holding the highest QFI category of A-l. The Air Officer has been on staff of the first MiG-21 Conversion Squadron, College of Air Warfare as Deputy Commandant, Aircrew Examination Board and Flying Instructional School. He took active part in 1965 Operations and was awarded Vir Chakra for gallantry in the face of the enemy. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1988 for displaying unique leadership when placed in command of Hunter Operational Flying Training Unit. The Air Officer is an alumni of National Defence College. During his present assignment, the Air Officer has successfully pursued various studies and programmes related to flight safety and operational preparedness namely HPT-32 engine failure, MiG-21 engine failure, on condition servicing of avionics equipment, review of promotion examinations for airmen, environmental inspections of operational bases, air crew resource management workshops, etc. These studies and programmes have contributed significantly in improving flight safety and operational preparedness. A major drive was launched by the IAF to reduce accidents especially due to technical defects and human error which has resulted in an all time low accident rate in 1996-- 97, The Air Officer played a pivotal role in this commendable performance.

Air Marshal PS Pingale VrC VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Surendra Singh Chauhan 7853 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Surender Singh Chauhan VSM (7853) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in Oct 63. The officer held various staff and other key appointments, including that of Senior Test Engineer at Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment, Chief Engineering Officer at Mirage base, Command Engineering Officer at Headquarters Central Air Command, and Director Engineering 'A' and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Engineering 'B') at Air Headquarters (VB). The officer is a Graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College. As Chief Engineering Officer of Mirage base, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 1989.

During Dec 95 to Jul 96, as Director Engineering 'A' responsible for the maintenance of Russian combat fleet, he carried out a composite study defining the future maintenance needs of all MiG Variants and finalised provisioning contracts to the tune of Rs. 292 crores, accepted and executed by the MOD. This included the contract enabling setting up of indigenous overhaul facilities for MiG­29 aircraft.

In Jul 96, the Air Officer was promoted and appointed as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Engg 'B'), responsible for the maintenance of complete Indo-Western aircraft fleet. During his tenure, there has been a marked uptrend in serviceability state, attributed to the extraordinary perception of the Air Officer in resolving the production bottlenecks in HAL/IAF. He also completed a vital study on restructuring of the Aeronautical Engineering branches in the IAF.

Air Vice Marshal Surender Singh Chauhan VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Bhushan Lal Bhan 8034 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Bhushan Lal Bhan, VSM (8034) Adm was commissioned in the Air Force in Dec 63. An alumni of National Defence College he has held important Field, Staff and Instructional appointments and has left a mark of dedicated professionalism in every field of activity.

The Air Officer started his career as a specialist Photo Interpreter. His analysis of aerial photographs of operational missions and enemy targets contributed significantly during the 1965 and 1971 wars. As APM and Security Officer of sensitive Units, his professional competence led him to substantially improve the security and vigilance setups. As Chief Administrative Officer of the AF Station, Srinagar, he brought out vast improvement in the Administration - particularly when the security environment was severely vitiated, due to sudden spurt of subversive activities in Kashmir Valley. As Provost Marshal (Air), he once again displayed outstanding professionalism resulting in qualitative improvement in the Security and Counter Intelligence measures.

AVM Bhan was appointed as SOA of South Western Air Command in Apr 96. In an incredibly short span of time, under his dynamic leadership substantial progress has been achieved in various ops­related admin works services. The Air Officer has methodically and with timely planning, cleared several key cases and Boards relating to development of two strategic airfields in the SWAC, Sector married/OTM accommodation and KLP cases. Completion of these projects will immensely enhance the operational preparedness, quality of life, morale, health and hygiene in SWAC. His deep personal involvement and meticulous planning in providing the extensive administrative arrangements during major events like Ex-Vayu Shakti, Vijay Diwas, Longewala Day, Visits of VIPs Air Force & Foreign dignitaries, ensured successful culmination of these events. Air Vice Marshal Bhushan Lal Bhan, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Brijendra Mohan Bali 8438 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

AVM Brijendra Mohan Ball VM (8438) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot, on 18 Apr 64. He has over 3800 hours of accident free flying to his credit on different fighter aircraft variants inclusive of over 600 hours on the MiG-25R. He has flown several operational missions during the Indo­Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971 and commanded the Air Force element at Jaffna during the IPKF operations in 1990. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for personally leading several strategic reconnaissance and elint missions deep into operational areas,

AVM Bali is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and as a Fighter Combat Leader served as an instructor with the Iraqi Air Force. As Director of Plans at Air Hqs, he was personally involved in the procurement of important aircraft and radar equipment.

AVM Bali was appointed as Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Pathankot on 28 Aug 95. During the ensuing period he has progressively optimised maintenance and operational performance on the base to unprecedented levels with significant results. The base recorded an average increase of twenty percent in flying effort with corresponding improvements in the operational status of the fighter squadrons. During August 1996, the station was tasked with the airlift of over 9000 para­military personnel and equipment into J&K and the base responded to meet this special

commitments well

within

specified time

frames

and without impediments.

During his tenure, the station has been amongst the best administered wings of Western Air Command. During the induction of forces for Exercise Trishul, the station was able to effortlessly absorb additional strike squadrons and air defence elements comprising 600 officers and men. The exercise was also the proving ground for certain innovative measures and concepts which were successfully tried out under his guidance.

AVM Brijendra Mohan Ball VM has thus rendered distinguished service of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pirthi Pal Singh Kahlon 7979 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore Pirthi Pal Singh Kahlon, VSM (7979) AE(M) was commissioned on 12 Oct 64 in the AE(M) branch and is posted as AOC, AF Station, Jalahalli since 16 Oct 95. Air Officer has held important appointments of STO No 1 and 10 Squadrons, CEO No. 10 Wing, JD MiG-27(Weapon Systems), CO No 1 TETTRA etc.

During 1971 operations, the officer devised mechanised loading of Canberra Bombers in the blast pen itself, thereby resulting in reduced turn around time. As the first STO of MiG-23 BN ac, the officer was instrumental in the Squadron attaining Ops status within a short period of three months.

At Air Force Station, Jalahalli, the Air Officer Commanding, through his dynamic leadership, has given a new orientation and impetus to achieve high quality of Training, through utilisation of the CAI Packages and introduction of paper­less examination. Jalahalli has perpetually suffered from acute shortage of water due to successive failure of Monsoons. Air officer has displayed vision, persuasive skills and leadership in liaising with the State Govt and other agencies to find alternate means to supply required quantity of water. The station is now better placed with adequate internal generation and has thus avoided disruption in training. The Station, with a few villages interspersed, was afflicted with a spate of robberies of Sandal Wood. Air Officer displayed daring and tenacity in stopping the robberies through imaginative utilisation of security measures and intelligence. He also enlisted the support of Civil Police and Forest Dept who were otherwise reluctant to undertake preventive measures.

With a trainee population of 4000 and a total population of about 8000, Administration of Air Force Station, Jalahalli presents, at the best of times, a formidable task. Air Officer has discharged his responsibility admirably. He has brought about tremendous improvement in the quality of life and through ingenious Financial Management, added a total of nearly Rs. one Crore to the NPF of the Station. Air Commodore Pirthi Pal Singh Kahlon, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Narayan Menon 9005 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Cmde Narayan Menon was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 25 Dec 64. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader. Apart from the 3200 hours of flying experience, he has served with credit on the faculty of TACDE & CDM and graduated from the NDC in Dec 96. His field service includes command of not only a fighter squadron but also the rare achievement of three flying stations as well, last of which was Adampur, where four combat squadrons were based. His leadership and intellectual capabilities were responsible for the safe conduct, of flying, formulation of war plans, conduct of major exercises and management of a crisis during extensive flooding consequent to unprecedented monsoons in 1995. Air Cmde Menon has held a variety of challenging staff appointments and has contributed significantly towards the formulation of policies for the enhancement of professionalism in the IAF. In his present assignment as Director Operations (Air Defence), he has displayed considerable foresight and a deep sense of involvement in the management and optimisation of resources for the defence of our skies.

Air Cmde Narayan Menon has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Jagdish Singh Dalal 9228 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore JS Dalal was commissioned on 23 Dec 64. Since then he has accomplished many challenging tasks in Flying Stations/EDs, BRDs and Air HQs thereby making an outstanding contribution to the operational preparedness of the IAF.

In 1968, as CLO of 28 ED AF, he, with his innovative approach and initiative, sourced and procured indigenised spares of T10 French Rockets which gave unlimited lease of life to this weapon resulting in substantial saving of foreign exchange. As CO 29ED, he rationalised the Local Purchase System which yielded an yearly savings of Rs.35 lacs. AVSM 1998 As DDMA at Air HQs he cleared all the outstanding losses of stores and audit objections and greatly pruned his Dte which resulted in a recurring saving to State. He was commended by AOC-in-C, CAS and was awarded VSM.

As AOC 24ED with his indefatigable drive, he reduced inventory holdings by 50%, gave a big boost to computerisation and vigourously carried out commonality establishment which resulted in colossal savings to state. The depot was judged at 70.70% by DMI and bagged the best ED trophy of the year.

As Director of Purchase he brought about in house organisational changes which resulted in placing of 720 contracts and clearance of 1833 invoices in a record time liquidating all the indents prior to 1996. A detailed systematic analysis by him led to sourcing and procurement of 390 difficult-to-get items from OEMs at much lower prices than those of principal manufacturers which resulted in big saving of foreign exchange. He also initiated cases on enhancement of financial powers/release of FFE through MOD which when approved would result in perceptible change in centralised procurement system.

Air Cmde Jagdish Singh Dalal VSM has thus rendered distinguished services of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Satish Kumar Jain 9716 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore Satish Kumar Jain VM was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF on 16 Oct 65. He has rendered sterling service in many important flying and staff assignments, including command of two front-line fighter stations, a fighter Squadron, and as faculty member at the Staff College. He has flown over 4100 hrs on 25 types. He was commended by the CAS and AOC-in-C Trg Command for good performance as a QFI. For his distinguished performance as Squadron Commander of a MiG­21 Squadron he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1987.

In 1988 he was selected for the post of Air Adviser at our Mission in Islamabad. He acquitted himself admirably despite the hostile environment which was appreciated by the three service HQs. As the Commander of Air Force Station Bhuj, he made significant improvements in the operational capability and maintenance record of the Station.

As AOC of AF Stn Adampur, a key operational Fighter Wing of the Air Force, through his meticulous planning, sustained hard work, and by example, he brought the Stn, its Fighter Sqns and air defence units to a pinnacle of efficiency. The operating environment and the maintenance and support facilities witnessed sweeping improvements thus enabling higher operational preparedness and 40% increase in flying hours and very high ac serviceability. He ensured significant clearance of vegetation in the airfield area and clean up of the aircraft maneuvering areas. This enabled significant reduction in incidence of bird strikes and FOD. The latter which brought down to zero from a high seven in previous year, saving the Air Force many crores. As a welfare measure, he set up a new MI room for a distant campus within the Station resources. He has also done many papers, studies and presentations including CCPA papers, the draft AST for LCA, revision of DSSC Entrance exam policy and syllabi.

Air Commodore Satish Kumar Jain VM has thus rendered distinguished service of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ravindra Dattatreya Limaye 10464 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore Ravindra Dattatraya Limaye was commissioned on 29 Oct 66 in the Flying Branch of the IAF. He had participated in the Indo-Pak war of 1971 and had carried out 24 operational missions on Gnat aircraft from Pathankot. During his career so far, he has held important appointments like Flying Instructor with Govt of Iraq, Commanding Officer of a Fighter Sqn, Directing Staff at DSSC, Wellington, Chief Operations Officer at a fighter base in the Eastern sector and Battalion Cdr and Senior Instructor (AF) at NDA Khadakwasla, and in all these varied command, staff and instructional, appointments his contribution was very significant and noteworthy not only for the cause of the IAF but for the Indian Armed Forces, as a whole.

Air Commodore RD Limaye has been the Air Officer Commanding of No 1 Wing Air Force, Srinagar since 25 Sep 95, which is actively engaged in joint counter militancy/ insurgency operations in the valley. In spite of difficulties like militancy related IS situation and weather, he brought about tremendous improvement in the Station environment in terms of cleanliness, works services, safe maintenance activities, high serviceability and efficient administration. The security measures too were upgraded to ensure safety of this vital military air field.

As AOC of this frontline fighter base, he has indeed acquitted himself well in executing all the assigned operational and other tasks successfully and safely. No 1 Wg AF was adjudged as the Best Fighter Wing in operations in Western Air Command for the year 1996, During 1996, timely rescue operations by IAF helicopters during Amarnath Yatra tragedy saved lives of over 400 sick and stranded pilgrims. This was made possible due to meticulous planning and detailed coordination on the part of the Air Officer Commanding.

Air Commodore Ravindra Dattatraya Limaye has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pratap Singh 8897 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore Pratap Singh was commissioned, in the Technical Signals Branch of the IAF on 05 Oct 64 and is commanding No. 11 Base Repair Depot of IAF since 24 Jul 95. Under his guidance, the basic role of the Depot of an advanced strike aircraft overhaul is being sustained with vigour. Capital repair technology for this fleet was indigenously developed and five aircraft have already been produced. The Depot is now engaged in setting up overhaul facilities for an advanced air superiority fighter. The task is progressing with great momentum and overhaul of two of these aircraft will be completed by the end of Oct 97. This fleet had developed serious fuel leaks and cracks in wing ribs in 1996. Air Cmde Pratap Singh ensured development of technology for fuel leak repairs and repairs have commenced. Wing Rib Repair Scheme was developed indigenously and repairs on the whole fleet are due to be completed shortly. This has resulted in saving of very large sums of foreign exchange.

Under the able guidance of the Air Officer, the Depot also undertook a number of life extension studies. All these studies have been completed and the resulting life extensions have also resulted in large savings in foreign exchange. Under the inspiring leadership of Air Cmde Pratap Singh, the Depot was awarded ISO 9002 by Bureau of Indian Standards on 16 Dec 96 and the trophy for the Best BRD in 1996.

Air Commodore Pratap Singh VSM & Bar has thus rendered distinguished service of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kulbhushan Raj Bali 9582 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore KR Bali, VSM was commissioned on 30 Oct 66 in the AE(L) B ranch of the IAF. The officer has held various staff and key appointments like Chief Technical Officer of a premier radar unit, Chief Engg Officer of a fighter Base and Joint Director/ Director at Air Headquarters. The officer is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He was commended by the CAS in 1986 and awarded Vishisht Seva Medal in 1989.

As the Chief Engineering Officer of Air Force Station, Srinagar (Nov 92 to Apr 95) the officer had organised all activities in this very important base extremely efficiently and during the most troubled times in the valley. Always leading by the front, the officer gave near 100% result in vast spectrum of activities despite tremendous environmental and climatological problems. He also helped in operationalising high altitude air to ground range as well as in evolving a unique plan for Air Defence of the valley. The station had picked up trophies of the best Fighter Squadron and best maintained Station in Western Air Command during his tenure. In his present appointment as Director Plan ADGES, the officer is required to look after one of the most demanding systems concerning Air Defence Radar and Communications network of the IAF. He helped to evolve a new overhaul policy for radars resulting in saving of approx Rs. 15 crores per radar alone without compromising assured availability. Similarly, the officer has made concerted efforts for indigenization resulting in saving of crores of rupees yet ensuring enhanced operational availability. His participation in complex state-of-the-art futuristic projects has helped extract better dividends from numerous PSUs/organisations, The officer has also done pioneering work in a large number of studies like rationalisation of the IAF manpower, revised Air Defence Plan, trifurcation of AE Branches and trade restructuring etc. The officer has brought to bear his very matured thinking and exceptional foresight In all these vital areas which will result in tremendous long term benefits to the IAF.

Air Commodore KR Bali, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Bhupinder 21545 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 22 Oct 97 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Bhupinder (21545) F(P) is on the posted strength of 114 Helicopter Unit Air Force since 25th March, 1996. During this tenure he has flown 380 hours in the inhospitable terrain of Siachen Glacier without any accident/incident.

On 22nd October, 1997 Cheetah Z-1457 force landed at Amar helipad. Consequently, the helicopter had to be recovered from the site, which was at 19,250 ft and also under constant enemy shelling. Flight Lieutenant Bhupinder was detailed as co-pilot in this recovery operation on 24th October 1997, he along with his Captain were landed at Amar helipad. Despite sporadic enemy shelling, he assisted his captain in starting up the aircraft and executing a safe take off, thereby displaying courage and professionalism of a very high order. The aircraft was subsequently flown back to Base camp safely.

On 26th October, 1997, he was detailed as captain for an air maintenance sortie to Bila helipad. While unloading at the helipad, his aircraft came under heavy shelling. His copilot Flight Lieutenant AK Kurian (121730) F (P) sustained a shrapnel injury in the leg, and the aircraft itself suffered debris damage. Flight Lieutenant Bhupinder maintained his composure and quickly carried out a take off. He safely flew the extensively damaged aircraft to Base camp. Post flight inspection revealed heavy damage to main rotor blades, airframe and Perspex.

Flight Lieutenant Bhupinder has, thus, consistently displayed courage and professionalism of a very high order in the face of enemy.

Reference: Gazette of India , 15th August 1998 - No.113 - Pres/98 dated 23rd January 1999 

Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Mohammed Shahjahan Mohammed Naseer 17012 F(P)Unit : No.117 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 27 Nov 97 Announced 15 Aug 98
Details :

Squadron Leader Mohamed Shajahan Mohamed Nasser (17012) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of 117 Helicopters Unit, Air Force and is performing the duties of Flight Commander since 31 Mar 97.

On the evening of 27 Nov 97 Squadron Leader Nasser was called upon to search and rescue three Snow and Avalanche study Establishment personnel from the snow bound Solang-Beas Kund area. Despite fading light conditions, he located the ground search party along with the lone survivor in an unconscious state. He landed the helicopter in extremely difficult snow bound conditions close to a steep slope. However, due to extremely difficult ground conditions and approaching darkness the ground party could not bring the casualty to the helicopter. Squadron Leader Nasser returned with the first light on the following morning and rescued the lone survivor by hovering over the soft snow with only one skid in ground contact. In subsequent two stories he brought the exhausted ground rescue team members and two dead bodies.

Squadron Leader Mohamed Shajahan Mohamed Nasser thus, displayed exceptional courage and professionalism in the face of highly challenging environment, regardless of his personal safety.

Reference: Notification No. 114-Pres/98 dated 15th August, 1998 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 23rd January, 1999.  

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Air Cmde Charanjit Singh Gill 11645 F(P)Unit : 14 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Charanjit Singh Gill VSM (11645) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 2nd June, 1968. During his long and meritorious service, he gained high operational status on Hunter, MiG-21M and MiG-23BN aircraft. He commanded a MiG23BN Squadron and was Chief Operations Officer of a major fighter base. Group Captain Charanjit Singh Gill is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, USA. He was appointed Station Commander, Air Force Station, Chabua in August 1995. This base was descaled in 1992 and had been denuded of aircraft, equipment and manpower. He was entrusted with the task of reactivating the base for fighter aircraft operations. He had an extremely difficult task considering that the buildings and other infrastructure had deteriorated considerably due to lack of maintenance. The extreme weather conditions, high humidity and excessive rainfall added to the decay of assets at Chabua. He took little time to understand the ground realities and swung into action to make the base operational within the scheduled time frame. With his managerial and professional acumen he had recovered almost all the assets with minimum financial drain. This resulted in smooth induction of two fighter squadrons and a GCA unit in a very short time. Under his able guidance and dynamic leadership, the flying units at his station were able to achieve their tasks well ahead of laid down time schedules. His foresight resulted in creating maintenance infrastructure capable of providing high quality output. This had a direct bearing on flight safety and achievements by both the flying units.

An astute administrator, he was instrumental in initiating many new projects at the Station to improve the quality of life. His drive and involvement was always evident in all areas of station activities.

For his leadership, zeal, professionalism and distinguished services of an exceptional order, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Charanjit Singh Gill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Nirdosh Vatsayan Tyagi 12765 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Nirdosh Vatsyayan Tyagi VSM (12765) Flying (Pilot) has been commanding MiG Operational Flying Training Unit since 19 Jun 95. He was commissioned on 12th Jun 71. While serving in Operational Conversion Unit, he performed creditably and was awarded VSM in 1987.

He has held various important command and staff appointments during his distinguished service career. He is a Category A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor. He has also served as a Directing Staff at Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. Earlier, he successfully commanded a MiG-21 BIS Squadron. This is his second tenure in command of a fighter unit.

MOFTU AF is a premier establishment, which is equivalent to two squadrons in terms of resources and task.

Group Captain NV Tyagi's performance in command of this unit for the last two years, has been noteworthy. At the time of his assuming command, the operational training task was behind schedule by over a month. Despite resource constraints and various setbacks, such as grounding of the fleet for a month, he ensured that all subsequent courses have passed out on schedule.

The unit has flown over 10,000 hours during the last two years under his stewardship. During this period, there were four accidents in the unit due to technical malfunction on the aircraft of old vintage and relative inexperience of the junior pilots. During such moments of crisis, he ensured that normalcy of operations was restored in the shortest possible time and the morale of the personnel was kept high. The unit has continued to perform well in all spheres of activity, including sports. Aircraft serviceability has been kept high and the unit has been very well administered.

For distinguished service of exceptional order, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain N V Tyagi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Rakesh Kacker 12951 F(P)Unit : 503 Signal Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Rakesh Kacker (12951) Flying (Pilot) was the Chief Operations Officer at No 7 Wing AF from Feb 95 to Oct 96 and since then is the Station Commander of 503 SU, AF.

In view of the high attrition of IAF fighter aircraft due to bird strike, it was directed that undergrowth and unnecessary vegetation from Ambala airfield was to be eradicated at the earliest. At Ambala, this would prove a daunting task since two loop areas north of the airfield were thick jungles.

By virtue of his primary duty, this seemingly insurmountable task was given to Group Captain Kacker. The Officer was unperturbed by the very magnitude of the task and methodically began by examining all options. The Officer, aware that several crores of valuable Public Fund had recently been wasted as a result of the loss of two aircraft, was determined that he could work within the existing framework. The Defence Estate Officer was persuaded to provide manpower for this task. Primarily the contractor needed constant close supervision to ensure that legitimacy was maintained. Having cleared the area, the officer then interacted laterally with his Army counterparts for provision of heavy machinery to ensure control of vegetation and was quick to put these areas under cultivation. Work under his direction, continued unabated in order to deny birds the sanctuary to roost or nest on the airfield. This also resulted in noticeable decline in small bird activity.

In addition to above, the officer was simultaneously monitoring the installation and operation of Semi Automated Base Air Defence Centre in Base Ops (the first of its kind installed in IAF). As Stn Cdr, 503 SU, AF the officer has been instrumental in overall improvement of quality of life of personnel with his innovative ideas and also achieving high operational preparedness of the Station.

For successfully directing the task of improving flying environment and for his innovativeness in circumventing problem areas, for his moral courage and for rendering distinguished service of high order, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Group Captain Rakesh Kacker.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Krishan Kumar Nohwar 13132 F(P)Unit : 33 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Krishan Kumar Nohwar (13132) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in IAF on 24 Jun 72. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has been on staff of TACDE and has also done a tenure as Joint Director Air Staff Inspections. He has to his credit over 3000 hrs of accident free flying.

Group Captain Nohwar was posted to AF Station, Jamnagar as Chief Operations Officer wef 03 Sep 95. During his one year and nine months tenure, a total of 36346 sorties were carried out by the local units and 61 detachments of flying units which operated from this base. Planning, controlling and co-ordinating of such large amount of flying which varied from training flying by helicopters to advance fighter exercises carried out by TACDE was a Herculean task. With his professional acumen, intense personal involvement and boundless capacity for hard work, Gp Capt Nohwar ensured that this massive amount of flying activity was carried out in a safe environment maintaining high operational standards. He ensured that the Air Traffic Services and the other operational facilities were maintained at peak efficiency at all times.

On 04 Jan 96, a rescue operation by helicopters was launched by him to search and pick up crew sailing boat lost in high seas. Again on 19 Jun 96 a helicopter was launched in marginal weather to rescue 3 marooned seamen. Both these operations were meticulously planned and supervised by him which saved many lives.

During the Flight acceptance trials of Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation equipment, a number of shortcomings in the system came to light due to his deep involvement. In some cases the designers of the system were thankful for identifying these shortcomings so that they could improve upon the system. As Chief Operations Officer he has not limited himself to operational aspects only but also fully involved himself in all activities and aspects of the station.

For his professional competence, excellent performance, exceptional devotion to duty and distinguished service of high order, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Group Captain KK Nohwar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Swapan Kumar Karmaker 13379 F(P)Unit : Basic Flying Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Sapan Kumar Karmaker (13379) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of BFTS, AF as Commanding Officer wef 08 Jan 96. He has over 4050 hrs of flying to his credit.

He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate from 'College of Defence Management' with a 'Directing Staff' grading. He has held the appointment of Commanding Officer of No 8 Sqn, AF from Jul 93 to Jul 95. Under his command, No 8 Sqn was adjudged as the 'Best Fighter Squadron' in Eastern Air Command during 94-95. He is also commended by Chief of Air Staff in Aug 90 for dedicated service while serving as Flight Commander of No 23 Sqn, AF.

He took initiative to bring up the quality of training imparted to flight cadets. He dedicated himself in formulating the new Stage-I flying training syllabus on HPT-32 ac which is currently being followed for flying training of ab-initio pilots. Under his command, the unit achieved the task to clockwork precision despite various difficulties faced. The HPT-32 fleet was grounded due to many engine cut incidents during Nov 95 to Jan 96. After taking over the unit, he involved himself with the problem and put his best efforts to contain the problems and ensured a high serviceability of HPT-32 fleet.

After taking over as the Commanding Officer of BFTS, AF, he guided the unit to new heights. The quality of both flying and ground training at the FTE has shown a definite and positive improvement under his command. He set his standards to such high level that every individual of the unit saw him as a role model. His exceptional command and guidance was underscored by the fact that the unit was adjudged as the 'Best FTE' under Training Command in year 1996.

For his exceptional dedication, devotion and overall outstanding contribution in all spheres of activities, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Sapan Kumar Karmaker.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Balkrishna Rahane 14096 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Balakrishna Rahane (14096) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 07 Jun 75. He is a Fighter Combat Leader and during the course, he won all the three important trophies; best pilot in Air Combat, best pilot in Ground Attack and best overall Fighter Combat Leader. During his career, Group Captain Rahane has flown over 2500 hours, out of which more than 2250 hours are on the MiG-21 and MiG-23 MF aircraft.

Group Captain Rahane assumed Command of 24 Squadron on 24 Apr 95. At the time of taking over, non availability of adequate number of supervisors, serviceability was 52% and large number of Ex MOFTU U/T pilots had been posted in. He set out to improve the supervisory and operational status of the pilots. During his tenure, eight pilots gained operational status, three pilots were made two aircraft leaders, five pilots became four aircraft leaders and six were made trainer captains; all eligible pilots acquired instrument ratings. Today, out of 20 pilots on strength, 16 are operational.

Group Captain Rahane also ensured very high operational status of the Squadron. He carried out extensive role oriented training flying and integrated training with Jaguars and Mirages. The Squadron was awarded Best Overall in Western Air Command Gunnery Meet in 1995-96.

In the year 1996, the Squadron undertook major detachments. Despite restraints of detachment, large number of U/T pilots and poor serviceability, the Sqn flew 4684 sorties (3060 hours) accident free. This was a remarkable achievement.

Group Captain Rahane's professional competence, sound leadership, devotion to duty and sustained hard work has substantially contributed towards enhancement of Flight Safety and operational status in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For setting an example worthy of emulation, zeal and distinguished services of high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group CaptainA B Rahane.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Pramjit Singh Gill 14097 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Paramjit Singh Gill (14097) F (P) assumed command of No. 31 Sqn (MiG23 BN), AF on 12 Jun 95. In the 22 months of his command tenure the officer brought in remarkable changes in every field of endeavour of a frontline ground attack squadron.

In terms of training he achieved 100% operational status of all his aircrew by 06 May 96 by according his priority of U/T ops training. At the same time he ensured that the fully ops pilots consolidated in varying modes of weapon delivery, the role of the squadron. He also successfully undertook four flight trials on the MiG-23 which inter alia also included blind LDA using the GPS. There were no accidents during his tenure.

In the field of maintenance his unit achieved 100% serviceability on all ac on three separate occasions and sustained this serviceability for long periods on each occasion. This was largely possible due to his involvement and demand for excellence. Significant achievements of the officer in this field included a superbly crafted tool crib which was appreciated by the AOC-in-C during his recent inspection. Also remarkable was the achievement of the Sqn in ops TRS of loading 4 x 500 Kgs bombs in an impressive time of less than five minutes. In addition to all this, the officer paid a lot of attention to administration and welfare of his men by providing amenities from the Sqn resources.

For his significant contribution in managing an efficient frontline fighter squadron by his leadership, devotion to duty and thirst for change, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Group Captain Paramjit Singh Gill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Daljit Singh 14553 F(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Wing Commander Daljit Singh (14553) F (P) was commissioned on 16 Jun 76 in the flying Branch of the IAF. He was amongst the first batch of officers selected to undergo Electronic Warfare (EW) course in France and was instrumental in smooth induction and formulation of operational guidelines on the use of EW equipment on Mirage 2000 aircraft. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff in 1993 for devotion to duty.

With his in-depth knowledge and ingenuity, Wg Cdr Daljit Singh was able to resolve major electromagnetic problem that existed in operation of Mirage-2000 and Jaguar aircraft. Without this solution, the operational potential of both types of aircraft would have been severely constrained. He reviewed operational procedures and carried out in depth review of the functioning of the electronic warfare organization. His ideas and innovations have resulted in optimum operational capability of Mirage-2000 aircraft. Wing Commander Daljit Singh has flown 1460 accident free hours, on Mirage-2000, the maximum by any Mirage-2000 pilot in the IAF. Under his leadership the sqn has done 3200 hrs of accident free flying. With his professionalism, planning and perserverance the sqn operated detachments from several different locations and met the operational tasks allotted without any incident.

For his exceptional professional acumen and sincere devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Seva Medal" to Wing Commander Daljit Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Jain 14565 F(P)Unit : No.45 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Wg Cdr A K Jain (14565) F (P) has been on the posted strength of No. 45 squadron, AF since 25 Sep 95 and has been performing the duties of Commanding Officer since then. Besides being a FCL he is a highly accomplished fighter pilot who has flown over 2,700 hrs on various types of ac of which over 1700 hrs are on MiG-21 Bis. As a CO and in a short time frame of one year and five months he has flown 385 hrs on MiG-Bis ac which is commendable.

His Sqn has achieved many laurels during his able command. DASI in their surprise visit in Nov 95 assessed the Sqn performance as 'Average Plus'. AEB in Mar 96 also gave 'Average Plus' grading to the Sqn in both flying and ground subjects, 'Above Average' grading in technical subjects. During the intersquadron meet, the Sqn stood first amongst all Sqns of the fleet of the command. All this was possible mainly because of his untiring efforts, high degree of professionalism and top quality guidance given by him to his Sqn pilots.

His planning and control over the maintenance activities of the Sqn and management of the meagre resources is also noteworthy. He has ensured a very good stagger plan which has ultimately resulted in over 70% ac serviceability making it possible for the Sqn to fly more than 230 hrs every month. Though located in a remote base with many inherent problems, he with his effective leadership qualities has ensured a very high standard of morale amongst all his unit personnel.

For his exceptional professionalism, vision and foresight, superb managerial skills, sustained hard work and for an excellent and very successful command of a fighter squadron located in a remote base, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Wing Commander A K Jain.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Manmohan Bahadur 14665 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Wing Commander Manmohan Bahadur (14665) Flying (Pilot) has been the Commanding Officer of 114 HU, Air Force since 14 Nov 94. The 114 HU AF has the distinction of being the only Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force to be actively engaged in Op Meghdoot for the past 13 years.

Wing Commander Bahadur, an experimental Test Pilot (France) has to his credit more than 4300 hrs on 21 different types of aircrafts of which more than 700 hrs have been in the inhospitable terrain of Siachen Glacier. A sterling example of "Leading from the front".

Under Wing Commander Bahadur's stewardship 114 HU was bestowed with the prestigious Presidents Standard for its distinguished performance in actual war like situation. It was due to his motivation and personal example that the units contingent exhibited a commendably high standard of parade in front of the Supreme Commander. His drive for excellence had been imbibed by one and all of the unit.

During his tenure, DASI visited the unit twice, in Oct 95 and Jul 96 for a regular and surprise visit respectively. The unit was graded Av+ in Operations, Maintenance and Administrative aspects.

Wing Commander Bahadur has inspired the men under him in all aspects of the units functions. His leadership qualities, humane approach to problems of men under him and effective management is worthy of emulation by any leader of men.

For his devotion to duty, professionalism of a very high order and excellent leadership qualities, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Wing Commander M Bahadur.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Govindan Ajit Kumar Nair 14677 F(P)Unit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Wing Commander Govindan Ajith Kumar Nair (14677) F (P) is on the posted strength of 153 HU, AF since 21 Jun 94. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and an A-2 Flying Instructor. He is an experienced helicopter pilot and has amassed over 4930 hrs of operational flying. A pioneer of Mi-26 helicopter fleet he has also been a member of the Antarctica Expedition team on two occasions.

During his present tenure, he has flown 510 hrs in Siachen Glacier towards "OP Meghdoot". Displaying exceptional courage in this inhospitable terrain and low intensity conflict environment, he has not only been instrumental in delivering vital supplies to our troops but also training all aircrew in the highest helipads/ threatened DZs in the sector. He has also carried out ArmyAir Force joint appreciation and formulated SOPs for safe operations in this sector.

Under his able leadership, the unit has logged over 7500 hrs of accident free flying and achieved all allotted tasks. He has simultaneously ensured a high state of operational preparedness of the unit. This was evident during the DASI inspection, wherein the unit was assessed as "Average Plus". Wing Commander Ajith Kumar has been instrumental as Deputy Task Force Commander in Ex-Chakravyuh in flawless planning and execution, evacuation of a large number of causalities of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in Aug 96 and night operation between Leh, Thoise and Base Camp has been praise worthy and in the highest traditions of our service.

For his exceptional courage, professional excellence and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Wing Commander G A K Nair.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Nuthalapati Koteswara Rao 15413 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details : Wing Commander NK Rao (15413) F(P) was on posted strength of MOFTU AF from 12 June 1995 till his demise on 4 April 1996. He functioned as the Flight Commander of 'B' Squadron. During this period, Wg Cdr NK Rao flew 235 sorties / 126.15 hrs. He was an above average pilot, who was willing to undertake any mission with whole hearted enthusiasm. His personal involvement in the flying training contributed directly to the timely completion of the flying task of the squadron. Wg Cdr NK Rao was fatally injured in an air accident on 4 April 1996. He experienced engine failure oin a low level mission on MiG-21FL aircraft. He attempted relight, which was unsucessful. Subsequently, the ejection seat also malfunctioned, fatally injuring the pilot. Wg Cdr Rao made all attempts to save the aircraft. Despite his correct and prompt actions, his life was lost. For his distinguished service, devotion to duty and professional competance, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Rao Posthumously.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Sunil Kaura 18598 F(P)Unit : No.129 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Squadron Leader Kaura (18598) F (P) is on the posted strength of 129 Helicopter Unit with effect from 01 May 95. He is holding current CAT/IR 'B' Green on Mi-17 helicopter. His flying experience includes operations in Srinagar, North East, SHBO, air to ground rocketry and bombing, air maintenance and VVIP flying. His total service flying is 2731 hours.

In Aug 96, incessant rains and continuous bad weather resulted in a large number of serious casualties amongst the stranded pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra. Squadron Leader Kaura, was made the Task Force Commander of relief operations and four Mi-17s were placed under his command.

On 25 Aug 96, Squadron Leader S Kaura got airborne in marginal weather for Panchtarni, situated at a height of 12,000', and rescued the first batch of 14 serious causalities, for whom this sortie made all the difference between life and death. Flying in marginal weather conditions and inhospitable terrain, Sqn Ldr S Kaura got airborne immediately for another rescue mission. In a short period of two days he flew a total of 10 missions, rescuing 97 casualties besides air lifting 46 stranded pilgrims and 13 dead bodies.

Undaunted by the vagaries of weather and magnitude of the task, he displayed extreme professionalism, maturity and leadership qualities in planning, co-ordinating and conducting the massive relief operation which went, beyond the normal call of duty. With the attention of the whole nation focused on the Amarnath Yatra tragedy, Sqn Ldr S Kaura led his team of officers and men from the front, in successfully accomplishing the challenging and uphill task of rescuing the pilgrims winning unqualified praise for the IAF from one and all.

For this display of exceptional professional skill and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Squadron Leader Sunil Kaura.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Somesh Kumar Saini 21021 F(P)Unit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Flight Lieutenant S K Saini (21021) F (P) has been on the posted strength of 153 Helicopter Unit since 26 Jul 93.

During the recent Amarnath Yatra tragedy, the IAF was called upon to undertake the necessary relief operations. Flight Lieutenant Saini who participated in the operations, indeed did a very commendable job by evacuating 136 causalities, 28 bodies and 07 passengers. This was the maximum number of causalities that were airlifted by any individual during these operations. It is noteworthy that these operations were carried out in marginal weather, from unprepared surface and in hostile environment.

Flight Lieutenant S K Saini has been operating in OP Meghdoot area for the past three years and has successfully completed over 810 hours on the glacier. He has also flown extensively all over Jammu and Kashmir sector.

The unit was given the task, to carry out a night cross country from Thoise to Leh and back and subsequently lay down SOP for causality evacuation. Flight Lieutenant Saini a selected aircrew was detailed to carry out this task. Flight Lieutenant Saini, a thorough professional got into the minutest of the details and left no stone unturned to carry out the assigned task safely and successfully. For his exceptional courage and professionalism of highest order, excellent team work and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Flight Lieutenant S K Saini.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Amulaya Chandra Bharali 15049 F(P)Unit : Tactics and Combat Development Establishment  Award Date 22 Jun 98 Announced 15 Aug 98
Details :

Wing Commander Amulaya Chandra Bharali (15049) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of TACDE, AF wef 16 June 97.

On the evening of 22 June 98, at about 1900 hrs, the AOC, 33 Wing Air Force received SOS message from Reliance Petroleum Limited stating that they had a casualty on board at one of their barges at sea, who if not evacuated immediately was likely to succumb. The gentleman had a heart attack, which needed immediate attention. Wing Commander Amulaya Chandra Bharali of TACDE was alerted by the AOC 33 Wing Air Force because only a few days earlier he had carried out evacuation from another barge in day time in the wake of cyclone at Jamnagar. Although Wing Commander Bharali did not have experience on deck landing at night yet he immediately volunteered to undertake the task. Realising the gravity of the situation and the urgency of mission, Wing Commander Bharali quickly gathered his crew and got airborne for the mission in the shortest possible time. The sortie was undertaken in dark night condition with winds gusting to 25 Kts and more. The barge helipad was illuminated but the surrounding areas were enveloped in absolute darkness with no reference or depth perception possible. Harnessing his vast experience and professional expertise, Wing Commander Bharali executed a successful landing on the barge and evacuated the casualty thus saving his life.

For his valour and professionalism in executing a hazardous task to perfection, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Amulaya Chandra Bharali.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 28th November 1998 - No.107-Pres/98 dated 15th August 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Vivek Vikash Bandopadhayay 15863 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 22 Oct 97 Announced 15 Aug 98
Details :

Wing Commander Vivek Vikash Bandopadhay (15863) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit Air Force since 23 April 97.

On 22 October 97, one helicopter of his unit was compelled to force land at an altitude of 19250 ft near 'Amar' while operating in Op Meghdoot area. The force landing point was very close to enemy position and within their firing range. On receiving news, Wing Commander Bandopadhay immediately initiated the action to retrieve the aircraft despite very difficult circumstances.

He immediately flew in to 'Amar' to assess if the helicopter could be flown out. On confirming that the aircraft could be flown out from the forced landing point after rectification, he flew in a second sortie the same day with necessary equipment and manpower. This time he was unable to land due to heavy enemy firing. He made the third successful attempt on the next day and got the helicopter rectified. However, the aircraft could not be flown out due to persistent enemy firing. On 24 October 97, sensing that any further delay in flying out the stranded aircraft could result in its loss due to enemy firing, Wing Commander Bandopadhay decided to take a bold step. He started up and flew out the aircraft in the face of enemy firing. The helicopter had suffered significant collateral damage due to enemy shelling but was flown out safely to the base camp.

Wing Commander Bandopadhay executed this task with utmost courage and with complete disregard to his personal safety. In this action of retrieving the helicopter, he showed complete dedication to duty, exceptional qualities of leadership and courage.

For his devotion to duty and professional courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vivek Vikash Bandopadhay.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 28th November 1998 - No.107-Pres/98 dated 15th August 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Janapareddy Venkata Sunil Kumar 20838 AELUnit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 22 Oct 97 Announced 15 Aug 98
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Janapareddy Venkata Sunil Kumar (20838) AE (L) is en the posted strength of a helicopter unit, AF as Senior Technical Officer wef. 20 March 96.

His Unit has the challenging task of airmaintaining Army posts on the Siachen Glacier, operating at the extremes of flight envelope, the aircraft experience frequent snags peculiar to high altitude operations. Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar with his keen sense of involvement, has ensured a high serviceability state and work output of the highest quality.

On 22 October 97, one helicopter force landed at 'Amar' Helipad. It was decided to recover the helicopter from the site which was at 19,250 ft. and under constant enemy shelling. Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar volunteered to lead the rectification team without waiting for acclimatization. He along with the team was landed at 'Amar' and inspite of intermittent enemy shelling worked in the open trying to recover the aircraft. The recovery had to be abandoned that day due to heavy enemy fire. Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar again led his team the next day and braving extreme cold and enemy fire pinpointed the required snag. He motivated his men to work under very hostile conditions by leading them from the front. Consequently the aircraft was rectified and safely flown back to the Base Camp. Any delay in rectifying and recovering the aircraft could have resulted in its loss due to heavy enemy shelling. Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar not only saved the aircraft, but also displayed exemplary qualities of leadership and courage, in the best tradition of the Air Force.

For his leadership, devotion to duty and courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' to Flight Lieutenant JV Sunil Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 28th November 1998 - No.107-Pres/98 dated 15th August 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Debashish Ganguly 22347 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 06 Jul 98 Announced 15 Aug 98
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Debashish Ganguly (22347) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit wef 03 February 97. During his tenure, he has flown approximately 900 sorties in Siachen Glacier.

Since September 97, the enemy firing along the AGPL had gone up manifold. Flight Lieutenant Ganguly, displaying, raw courage, time and again flew through enemy shelling (airbursts) to drop supply to the technically crucial and critical posts of 'Amar' and 'Sonam'. While operating to posts on the AGPL, he never let personal safety come before national pride.

On 06 July 98, Flight Lieutenant Ganguly was carrying out air maintenance sorties to 'Sonam', the highest helipad in the world. While off loading, an enemy artillery shell landed merely 15 feet from the helicopter. The proximity of the explosion rocked the aircraft while few sharpnels directly impacted on it. Undeterred by the explosion and displaying nerves of steel, Flight Lieutenant Ganguly quickly checked the important aircraft parameters, and took a split second decision to recover the damaged aircraft to Base Camp, out of the enemy's reach.

Flight Lieutenant Ganguly displayed not only raw courage in the face of enemy, but also exceptional professionalism and ability to think and react calmly, quickly and correctly under "Fire".

For his exemplary courage, in the face of enemy, composure & professionalism of a very high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Debashish Ganguly.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 28th November 1998 - No.107-Pres/98 dated 15th August 1998 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Rohinton Darashaw Bharucha 8594 LGSUnit : 25 Equipment Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

During his tenure at 25 ED, Air Commodore Bharucha was instrumental in upgradation of the Computer Systems. He ensured completion of software programming for the new hardware. The entire Equipment Accounting activity at the Depot is now being done with the help of computer and Audit clearance for discontinuation of manual records has been accorded.

Air Commodore Bharucha, in the course of his command, has displayed a commendable sense of dedication and sincerity of purpose. With his professional skill, specialty in the field of Computer, his forthright approach and willingness to lead from the front has enabled the Depot to ensure higher demand satisfaction and better utilisation of the available inventory.

For his dedicated efforts and exceptional leadership qualities, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Air Commodore Rohinton Darshaw Bharucha.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Vaithianathan Shanmugham 9250 ACCTUnit : Air Force Group Insurance Scheme  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Cmde V Shanmugham (9250) Accounts was commissioned in Accounts Branch on 23 Dec 64 and since then has held various appointments with distinction such as Command Accountant Officer, Joint Director Accounts at Air HQ, Controller of Accounts in the Ministry of Labour and presently working as Director, AF Group Insurance.

During his stay at AFCAO, he was responsible for revamping and fine tuning of manual as well as computerised Pay Accounting system of over 1.5 lakh personnel of Air Force. As a Controller of Accounts in the Ministry of Labour, he was responsible for the budgeting, enforcement of financial canons and compilation of 350 crore allotment.

Air Cmde Shanmugham took over the task of managing an AFGIS corpus of Rs. 450 crores during Dec 96, at a crucial stage when all the running schemes were under review for enhancement and the portfolio management was under critical scrutiny for its non performing assets. He took over the responsibility with zeal and enthusiasm, despite various constraints. After due deliberation and review he gave a final shape for launching the revised/enhanced schemes wef 01 Apr 97. On the other hand due to his untiring efforts coupled with deftness, he has brought down the state of non performing assets to a manageable figure.

For his exemplary leadership, unflinching devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Air Commodore V. Shanmugham.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sudhir Kumar Srivastava 10035 ACCTUnit : Air Force Central Accounts Office  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore Sudhir Kumar Srivastava (10035) Accounts has been the Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Central Accounts Office from 01 Apr 97. Commissioned in December 1965, the officer has served with distinction in a number of field and staff appointments including a deputation to the Min of Finance in 1989.

For his achievements and meritorious service, the Air Officer was commended by AOA in 1971, AOC-in-C, HQ CAC in 1976 and twice by the Chief of the Air Staff in 1981 and 1993.

His methodical approach and professional competence were discerned in his efforts to find lasting and viable solutions to numerous complex problems concerning Public and Non-Public funds both in field formations of HQ WAC and the whole of Air Force.

As a consequence of his relentless efforts, the difficult task of computerisation of 1.7 lac accounts of airmen/NCs (E) and civilians, which at one stage looked almost impossible, was achieved with remarkable speed and accuracy.

He has been instrumental in the upgradation of the old computer system in AFCAO, into a new generation computer system. The new systems had become functional well in time to take on the commitments of the Vth Pay Commission. Under his guidance, History modules have also been developed for approximately 1.8 lacs serving and retired personnel to ensure instant generation of Pay Commission arrears to all personnel.

For his distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Air Commodore Sudhir Kumar Srivastava.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Avdesh Kumar Singh 11005 F(P)Unit : 7 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Air Commodore Avdesh Kumar Singh, VM (11005) F (P) was commissioned on 04 Jun 67. He has held the appointments of Flight Commander, Squadron Commander and Chief Operations Officer of fighter squadrons and stations, Station Commander 503 SU, AF and Air Officer Commanding, AF Station Ambala, a premier fighter base.

Air Commodore AK Singh is the only transport pilot who has successfully converted and flown fighter aircraft which is recorded in the Limca Book of Records. During 1971 operations, he took part in "Tangail Operation". He was "Task Force Commander" of Jaguar forces during the operation "PAWAN". He flew as many as 30 photo reconnaissance missions by day and by night and was awarded Vayu Sena Medal.

In the period 1990 to 1992, he was Chief Operations Officer at Air Force Station Gorakhpur. His planning and acumen was once again appreciated by AOC-in-C, WAC during his tenure as Stn Cdr, 503 SU wherein he connected all non-essential load of 503 SU to commercial power thus shutting down one Generator which gave a saving of Rs. 24 lacs per year.

Air Commodore AK Singh took over as AOC, 7 Wing, AF on 24 Jun 96. He has effected tremendous improvements in quality of life, living conditions and most importantly operations and Flight Safety. The flight safety and stringent bird control measures have paid dividends, as there has been no case of bird strike during last 12 months at the airbase.

Air Commodore A K Singh has displayed maturity, dynamism, bold initiative and a sharp analytical mind throughout his service career. He has been working single mindedly towards improving efficiency, operational preparedness and economy in expenditure in IAF. For distinguished services of Exceptional Order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Air Commodore Avdesh Kumar Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vinod Kumar Verma 11638 F(P)Unit : AFS Sirsa  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain VK Verma, VM (11638) F (P) was commissioned in the fighter stream on 02 Jun 68. He is a Flying Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader, having over 3000 hours of flying on fighter aircraft. During his career, he has commanded a frontline high performance Fighter Sqn and was the Chief Operations Officer of a major base in Assam. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1983 while serving in a fighter squadron.

The officer took over the command of an important flying station in Punjab in Dec 94. His professionalism, wide experience, guidance and leadership by example had an all pervasive effect on all the units at base, as each took a quantum jump in its operational preparedness.

Due to high density of vegetation on the Station, bird strike incidents were resulting in substantial damage to fighter aircraft. He planned and supervised a massive vegetation clearance drive on the station. Group Captain Verma set a fine example by finding time from his multifarious duties to regularly fly fighters with the local fighter Sqn. During one of these sorties in Feb 96, at a critical juncture just after take off, his aircraft had a control failure. With his vast flying experience and presence of mind, he correctly recognised the criticality of the situation and abandoned the aircraft in the most difficult conditions bravely escaping with grievous injuries.

The quality of his leadership was reflected in the assessments by DASI and Command HQs. His station was adjudged 'Runners Up in Operations' during 95-96, while the FAC Flt and the Tropo Unit based at his station came first. The Missile Sqn was also adjudged Runners Up.

For distinguished service of high order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain V K Verma.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Shah Baig Singh Paul 11857 F(P)Unit : 5 Forward Base Support Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain SBS Paul (11857) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 29 Dec 68. The Officer assumed the Command of 5 FBSU on 09 Mar 96.

The efficient conduct of station level operational training activations has enhanced base preparedness which was realistically demonstrated during a Command level Exercise 'Gujraj' in Jan 97. His thorough planning and SOPs for CRC-II network resulted in an effective air defence organisation in that sector. Using the existing infrastructure the Base gave prompt support to the outstation flying detachments for Ex 'Maru Prahar', Ex 'Vayu Shakti' and annual Pokhran range air-toground armament training.

Stressing the need for safe flying operations, he has initiated large-scale maint enance on runway, taxi tracks and all manoeuvring areas of the base. He vigorously persued the case for the acquisition of land for the alternate runway project. He also took timely steps to implement the antiflood, drainagechannel scheme. His liaison with the local Army and BSF Units as also close rapport with the local civil administration and Police force has aided in the security of the base. He ensured speedy completion of the Airmen living-in accommodation. Further, a total recasting of local welfare ventures has taken place with the creation of facilities such as play school, market complex, evening tutorial classes which has helped to raise the morale of station personnel. There has been visible and systematic improvement in Base operational capability, rise in living standards and general well being of personnel at this remotely located base in Rajasthan.

For his total dedication to the Service and outstanding performance, the President is pleased to award the "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain SBS Paul.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Saravjit Singh Hothi 12215 F(P)Unit : 41 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain SS Hothi (12215) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 20 Dec 69. He assumed the Command of Air Force Station, Jaisalmer, an important Fighter Base of SWAC, on 20 Sep 95. The Officer was tasked to rationalise the Air Defence (AD) assets and relocate these, to new sites to enhance their operational capability. The task, comprised moving of an AD Radar Unit, one Pechora SAGW flight and four TRUs which required certain work services. Normally, the work services would have taken over a year and involved substantial expenditure of about Rs 4-5 lacs. Owing to his personal liaison with the local Border Roads and Army formations, he was able to accomplish the task in few months. He also rationalised the CRC and BADC set ups which had in-built duplication of personnel and equipment. By combining the two, he established a Combined Ops Centre (COC) at the Base, which is proving to be more effective and efficient.

During the last 15 months, the Base was allotted three special tasks-conducting Fire Power Demo-95, Longewala Silver Jubilee Celebrations, and Exercise 'Vayu Shakti'. These functions were graced by Ministers and high ranking civilian and military dignitaries. Both FPD-95 and Ex 'Vayu Shakti' called for meticulous planning and close coordination at the Base level which involved reception of about 800 personnel and their movement to Pokhran weapons range. Under his dynamic leadership the Station rose to the occasion executing these events successfully. Further, the officer's personal drive and directions have resulted in immense improvement in the quality of life on the Base.

For his outstanding performance, dedication and devotion to duty of an exceptional order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain SS Hothi.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Shakti Bhushan Prashar 12442 AE(M)Unit : 8 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Shakti Bhushan Prasher (12442) AE (M) is commanding No. 8 Base Repair Depot since 09 Oct 95. He is a versatile and innovative Engineer who has constantly exhibited a very high degree of professionalism and technical acumen throughout his career.

During his tenure in a Squadron, operating state-of-the art combat aircraft of the IAF, he had accepted the challenge to modify the air intakes of the aircraft against the advice of the manufacturers to ferry the aircraft abroad for this modification. The task was executed to perfection on all aircraft of the fleet and thus a very large amount of foreign exchange drain was averted. As Senior Engineering Officer with Air HQ Communication Squadron, his recommendations on periodicity of Check II servicing of Boeing-737 aircraft resulted in substantial savings to the Exchequer. During his tenure as Senior Engineering Officer, the Squadron completed approximately 25,000 flying hours without any incident or accident on three different variants of aircraft used for conveyance of VVIPs. For distinguished services rendered, he was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff on 26 Jan 94. Under his command, No. 8 Base Repair Depot has recorded all round improvement in production, administration and environmental upgradation. Under his direction, the Depot has completed four Vehicle Re-engineering Projects with available infrastructure and expertise, which has enabled them to complete overhaul of a number of vehicles lying unserviceable for many years. With sustained hard work, he has inspired personnel under him to improve technical practices, develop new concepts and innovative methods towards achieving a high standard of performance.

For distinguished service of high order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain Shakti Bhushan Prasher.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Mohan Prasad Sinha 12643 AE(M)Unit : Eastern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Sinha has proved himself as a pivot of all flying related technical activities under his command. This has aptly been proved by the all round improvement in every sphere of technical activity related to flying. Where flying task of the squadron is enhanced with the resources remaining same, the officer has had a daunting task ahead. By virtue of his exceptionally high managerial capabilities, he improved the work ethos and brought forward a synergetic approach to the problems at hand. As a result, the serviceability of fighter fleet in general and that of MiG-27 fleet in particular, improved systematically. Efficiency of his management was quite visible in the way first and second line servicing facilities of 52 Squadron was in the given time frame transferred to another location. His continual liaisoning with Air HQ, HAL and BRDs has resulted in cutting down "on the ground" time of aircraft. With his personal knowledge on Russian aircraft, he identified many testers lying at 25 ED, got them allotted to various squadrons, which resulted in considerable reduction in concessions on aircraft servicing activities.

For his dedication to service and distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain Mohan Prasad Sinha.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Umesh Chandra Singhal 12867 AE(L)Unit : 9 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain UC Singhal (12867) AE (L) has been the Chief Engineering officer of a premier fighter base since 27 Mar 95. Right from the start the officer displayed his commitment to professional excellence by motivating personal office setup to improve their qualitative output in every field of maintenance, be it aircraft, weapon systems, radio nav aids or transport systems. The overall improvement in maintenance standards thus achieved greatly helped this base in achieving all the targets set by higher formation without additional financial material or manpower resources.

He has been instrumental in achieving a consistently high serviceability state of both the MiG-23 BN Sqns at this base whereby demands for additional flying tasks were fully met. In April 1996 when an additional MiG-23 MF Sqn was permanently moved to this base, the officer took up the challenge and displayed his managerial skill and persistence by not only setting-up second line maintenance facilities for the incoming Sqn in record time, but also significantly improved their aircraft serviceability. He achieved all this with the existing infrastructure without any financial help. This has contributed significantly to the overall operational potential of this base.

During this period, he was given the additional task of carrying out 3rd and 4th line servicing of Magic-1 Missiles for which repair cost quoted by the suppliers abroad was high. This officer, with his determination, put back in use eighteen unserviceable missiles, thus saving considerable foreign exchange.

The quality and extent of work carried out, has been duly recognised by HQ WAC, IAF when the maintenance trophy was awarded to this base. Group Captain Singhal's overall contribution was significant in this achievement.

For his devotion to duty, leadership and innovative skill, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain UC Singhal.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Srinivasa Rao Sistla 12879 AE(M)Unit : AAIW Khanuria  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Srinivasa Rao Sistla (12879) AE (M) was commissioned on 05 Jul 71 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. For his outstanding services he has been commended by AOC-in-C, CAC, IAF in 1980 and 1988 and by the Chief of Air Staff in 1982 and 1993. He underwent training abroad in LR Pod and SARI-V Equipment (Jaguar armaments equipment) in 1990 and as "Mirage Maintenance Specialist" on GIMI system in 1984-85.

Group Captain SR Sistla was posted as Officer Commanding to Air Armament Inspection Wing, Khamaria on 29 Dec 94. Under his leadership and professional guidance, AAIW, though an inspection agency, has undertaken successfully the development and fabrication of proof equipment, preparation of proof schedules for issue of Air Armament stores like Cartridge PPL and Cartridge PPLT, Cartridge Primary Cluster, Cartridge Secondary Cluster, ERU Ajeet, Cluster Bomb (Sitafal), 23 mm API, Rocket 57 mm practice and manufacture of standard rounds 23 mm Gasha.

The officer's personal involvement in development of stores mentioned above in close liaison with Ordnance Factories and R&D Organisation has resulted in indigenous availability of these stores to the Services enhancing the operational preparedness of IAF, together with the associated saving in financial effects.

For the distinguished services of a high order, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain Srinivasa Rao Sistla.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Dhiraj Kukreja 13130 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Dhiraj Kukreja (13130) F (P) assumed command of 25 Sqn, AF on 05Jun95.

Group Captain Dhiraj Kukreja has over 3000 hrs of accident free flying on the AN-32 ac. He is fully qualified in all roles of the ac and has actively participated in all para drop exercises in the past year and a half. He was the WAC dett commander at 4 Wing, for the AB assault exercise "GRAND SLAM" in Mar 96, wherein he successfully led 06 ac for a night drop. He was also the Task Force Commander for "EXERCISE SNOWLION", a high altitude drop at DZ Stakna, involving 24 x AN-32 ac and 01xlL-76 ac. The drop was successful with no injuries attributable to the IAF. He has also undertaken the first night sortie from Chandigarh to Leh and back with the AOC-in-C, WAC, IAF in Oct 96. The sortie was appreciated by the AOC-in-C for being conducted in a very professional manner. He is also qualified on the IL-76 ac and has participated in the "BIG BOY" formation on the Air Force Day and Republic Day earning accolades for the IAF from the viewing dignitaries.

An enthusiastic leader, his zeal and enthusiasm is infectious. Under his guidance and encouragement the Unit achieved 100% serviceability on both fleets in Nov 96 and flew all 10 ac (06xAN-32 & 04xIL-76 ac) simulta neously. The Unit has, in the past one year, also airlifted more than the allotted task in air maintenance operations. This is an achievement considering the low availability of ac since the Unit also under takes other tasks as detailed by HQ WAC, IAF and Air HQ.

Under his command, the Unit has grown from strength to strength and earned appreciations from all, for safe and efficient operations, maintenance and administration. The Unit was declared the "Best Tpt Sqn" in WAC for the year 1995-96.

For his high degree of sincerity and loyalty to serv ice aims, lively enthusiasm and dynamic leader ship, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Group Captain D Kukreja.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1998 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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