Awards for the year 1998


A total of 68 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Prithvi Singh Brar 6007 F(P)Unit : EAC  Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details : AOC-in-C EAC
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Patney 6125 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy 6338 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Krishnan Narayan Nair 6346 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia 6497 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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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
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Velayudhan Girish Kumar 6747 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Prakash Sadashivrao Pingale 6755 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Surendra Singh Chauhan 7853 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Bhushan Lal Bhan 8034 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Brijendra Mohan Bali 8438 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde P P S Kahlon 7979 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Narayan Menon 9005 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Jagdish Singh Dalal 9228 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Satish Kumar Jain 9716 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ravindra Dattatreya Limaye 10464 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pratap Singh 8897 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kulbhushan Raj Bali 9582 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Bhupinder 21545 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  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 : 117 HU  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 : MOFTU  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 SU  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 : BFTS  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 : 24 Sqn  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 : 31 Sqn  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 : 1 Sqn  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 : 45 Sqn  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 : 114 HU  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 : 153 HU  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 : MOFTU  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 : 129 HU  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 : 153 HU  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 : TACDE  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 : 114 HU  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 : 114 HU  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 : 114 HU  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 R D Bharucha 8594 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde V Shanmugham 9250 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde S K Srivastava 10035 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Avdesh Kumar Singh 11005 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vinod Kumar Verma 11638 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt S B S Paul 11857 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt S S Hothi 12215 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Shakti Bhushan Prashar 12442 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt M P Sinha 12643 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt U C Singhal 12867 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt S R Sistla 12879 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
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Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Dhiraj Kukreja 13130 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 98 Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :
Citation Not Available
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