Awards for the year 1999


A total of 174 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2 3 4
Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Patney 6125 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Jagbir Singh Rai 6507 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Darshan Singh Basra 6519 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Verma 6528 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Dinesh Chandra Dhyani 6590 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Velayadhun Girish Kumar 6747 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Shanti Swaroop Gupta 6805 AEMUnit : MC  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details : AOC-in-C MC
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Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
AVM Satinder Singh Dhillon 7980 AEMUnit : WAC  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
AVM Jaganadhan Kumar Pathania 8053 ADMUnit : WAC  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
AVM Narayan Menon 9005 F(P)Unit : AOC J&K  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
Details : AOC J&K
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Manek Bomanshaw Madon 7681 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Dinesh Chandra Nigam 7938 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Satinder Singh Dhillon 7980 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Gulshan Kumar Kawatra 8001 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Jagnandan Kumar Pathania 8053 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Vanacharla Anjaneyulu 8609 ACCTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Har Prakash Singh Sidhu 11051 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sudhir Sah 11648 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Basudev Banerjee 11654 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Gurnam Singh Chaudhary 11870 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Shiv Kumar Bhan 12510 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Murali Sundaram 12369 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja 17864 F(P)Unit : 17 Sqn  Award Date 27 May 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja (17864-A) Flying (Pilot) was the Flight Commander of a MiG–21 Squadron inducted Srinagar for the Kargil Operations. On 27th May 1999, he was planned to lead a two aircraft mission for Photo reconnaissance of enemy positions in the Batalik Sector. As he was getting airborne he was informed that Flight Lieutenant Nachiketa had ejected in the vicinity of Muntho Dhalo. Squadron Leader Ahuja immediately realized the necessity of locating and recovering the downed pilot. He changed his mission profile and set course towards Muntho Dhalo. Despite being told that surface to air missiles were being fired in the area, Squadron Leader Ahuja carried out orbits to try and pinpoint the location of the crashed aircraft and pilot. He sent his No. 2 back to base but himself continued the search, ignoring the threat to his own life.

By sheer perseverance, he was able to locate the crash site and transmitted this information to the rescue helicopters. Unfortunately, at this stage, his own aircraft was hit by a surface to air missile. With exemplary presence of mind and cool professionalism, he attempted to nurse the aircraft towards a safer area. But when the aircraft engine flamed out Squadron Leader Ahuja had no choice but to eject. He ejected safely and had the presence of mind to transmit his last recorded ground position.

On 28th May 1999 the body of Squadron Leader Ahuja was handed over to Indian authorities. The body bore two bullet injuries.

Squadron Leader Ahuja displayed exceptional courage in going beyond the call of duty while searching for a downed brother officer.

Reference: Gazette of India , 26th January 2000 - No.18 - Pres/2000 dated 11th March 2000 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Sinha 16074 F(P)Unit : 129 HU  Award Date 28 May 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Wing Commander Anil Kumar Sinha (16074) F(P), has been the Commanding Officer of a Mi-17 helicopter unit since 27th May 1997.

On 28th May, 1999, Wing Commander Sinha was the leader of a four aircraft formation, which was tasked to fly a live air to ground rocket attack, on feature 5140 located on the Tololing ridge. The enemy, located on this ridge, was bringing down accurate fire on the highway linking Srinagar with Leh.

The enemy was armed with shoulder fired Stinger air to surface missiles and were firing these missiles at the formation. Two of the missiles missed Wing Commander Sinha’s helicopter and was seen in a video recording. It was during this attack that the number three aircraft of the formation was shot down, killing all four crew members. The rocket attack was successful and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

The leadership and sense of commitment, displayed by the officer in the face of danger to himself and his aircraft was in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 26th January 2000 - No.18 - Pres/2000 dated 11th March 2000 

Shaurya Chakra
Sepoy Sukhbir Singh 14367197 ORUnit : 914 DSC Platoon  Award Date 08 Aug 97 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Sukhbir Singh, was on the posted strength of 914 DSC Platoon attached to HQ CAU (U), AF since 05 Apr 97.

While on annual leave in his village Khandsa, Gurgaon (Haryana), Sepoy Sukhbir Singh noticed some thieves stealing items from the godowns of Jaipur Golden Transport Company by breaking the wall. He woke up his four brothers and a neighbour and armed with sticks. They all went to the site of the robbery. They surrounded the godown of the Transport Company as the thieves tried to escape in a Maruti Van. The criminals were brandishing knives and revolvers and warned Sepoy Sukhbir Singh and party not to interfere. Undeterred, Sukhbir Singh caught hold of the driver of the van. In the ensuing scuffle he was fired upon by another person sitting in the rear. The Sepoy was hit in the chest and fell to the ground, seriously wounded. He succumbed to the injury on the way to the hospital.

Sepoy Sukhbir Singh displayed valour in engaging the criminals with scant regard to his own safety and sacrificed his life to save the property which did not belong to him.

Reference: Notification No. 51-Pres/99 dated 26th January, 1999 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 3rd April, 1999.  

Yudh Seva Medal
Gp Capt Mathews Kurrhikobil Joseph 13393 F(P)Unit : AFA Awantipura  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Yudh Seva Medal
Gp Capt Arvind Ramachandra Oak 14103 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Sunderraman Neelakantan 15184 F(P)Unit : 1 Squadron  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Birendra Singh Dhanoa 15405 F(P)Unit : 17 Squadron  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Sandip Sud 15685 F(P)Unit : 223 Squadron  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Sandeep Chabbra 16032 F(P)Unit : 7 Squadron  Award Date 15 Aug 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
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Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Hemant Kumar Sachdeva 17355 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 26 Mar 98 Announced 26 Jan 99
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Squadron Leader Hemant Kumar Sachdeva (17355) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit wef 12 January 98. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and is also the Flight Commander of the Unit.

During his tenure, Squadron Leader Sachdeva has flown over 120 hours in Siachen Glacier and has led the younger pilots from the front, often through heavy enemy firing. As Flight Commander, he attained the "Glacier Ops" status within a very short span of three months and thereafter took on the Glacier training of young pilots with full gusto. He also played a key role in planning and execution of an engine change and retrieval of an aircraft from one of the highest helipads in the world.

Since 26 March 98, there had been a spate of engine malfunctions in Siachen Area. While this trend was alarming, the engines were not available for investigation due to either enemy action or take off weight constraints of high altitude. Squadron Leader Sachdeva volunteered to fly single pilot from a high altitude helipad to Base Camp to overcome the take off weight constraints. This decision was taken consciously and with full knowledge of the hazards involved in undertaking single pilot operation in the Glacier, only so that an analysis of engine malfunctions occurring at those altitudes could be done. The defective engine was flown down single pilot by Squadron Leader Sachdeva on 14 July 98.

For displaying exceptional courage and professionalism even at the cost of personal safety, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader HK Sachdeva.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Rajinder Singh 13980 F(P)Unit : 20 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
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Group Captain Rajinder Singh (13980) Flying (Pilot) commanded a Fighter Squadron, AF from 23 January 95 to 25 November 96. He is presently posted as COO of a fighter base. He is an experienced Qualified Flying Instructor and has flown over 5000 sorties of accident free flying.

During his tenure as Commanding Officer, the Squadron flew about 8300 sorties without a single flying accident. The excellent managerial skill of the officer is evident from the fact that despite the aircraft being very old, the Squadron achieved 100% serviceability on eight different occasions during which all aircraft were flown. This indeed was a unique achievement. He also conducted permanent move of his Squadron to another base. The move was meticulously planned and executed in such a way that the Squadron commenced full-fledged flying within 72 hours at the new location. For all these achievements his Squadron was adjudged the Best Fighter Squadron in the Command in 1996-97.

As COO, the officer has led from the front and shown a rare sense of drive and total involvement to provide a safe flying environment. He has ensured that the airfield environment is maintained at a very high operational standard. Inspite of the runway surface being in a bad state, his close supervision has ensured that there has not been a single FOD. Also there has been no instance of a bird hit in the last year and a half. The operational performance of the Wing during DASI and CASI visits has been exceptional. The Wing was also declared the Best Operational Wing of the Command for 1996-97.

For his exceptional qualities of leadership, initiative, dedication to service, his continued high performance and constant endeavour to achieve excellence in all areas, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Rajinder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Amit Aneja 14668 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
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Wing Commander Amit Aneja (14668) Flying (Pilot) has been the Commanding Officer of a frontline fighter Squadron since 22 October 96.

His Career has been marked by total and unconditional involvement, devotion to duty, leadership qualities and the highest norms of interpersonal relations which have ushered in unprecedented degree of improvement in administration and operational preparedness. This is borne out by the fact that during his tenure as Squadron Commander, the Squadron received the bombing trophy for Exercise Eklavya '97 and the unit was declared best in Western Air Command for operational turn around of aircraft, with unprecedented 97% marks. His introduction of a novel concept of Morale, Welfare and Recreation Cell in the Squadron has led to an environment wherein the minor offences in his unit have steadily reduced to the lowest figure of last eight years. The concept has not only been adopted by Air Force Station where his Squadron is based but has been well appreciated by Headquarters Western Air Command.

For his consistent performance of a very high order, he has been commended by Air Officer Commanding in Chief of two Commands and his accident free flying record has earned him Flight Safety Three Stars. For his good performance the officer was selected to attend the Staff College Course in USA.

For his devotion to duty, sustained professional acumen and outstanding leadership qualities, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Amit Aneja.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ramesh Rai 14669 F(P)Unit : 16 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
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Wing Commander Ramesh Rai (14669) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot in the Flying branch on 29 December 76. He is an A-2 category Instructor and is Staff College qualified. He stood first in the test pilots course and won the trophies for 'Best in Test Flying'. At the flying Instructors' course he won the trophy for being "Best in Ground Subjects". He was awarded commendation by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command in 1979 and by the Chief of Air Staff in 1995.

Wing Commander Ramesh Rai was appointed Commanding officer of a Fighter Squadron on 28 December 95. On assuming command, he devoted himself with selfless commitment to raise the operational capability and performance of the Squadron. He intensified operational training learning and flying, particularly in Armament and Electronic Warfare. As a result, his Squadron won two trophies in exercise "Eklavya" for excellence in marksmanship. The Squadron undertook extensive study and trials of the Electronic Warfare Pod and evolved successful programmes and tactics against enemy Naval and Air Force radars which have now come to stay in the Air Force. Having excelled in all facets of operations, maintenance and administration, the Squadron won the "Best Fighter Squadron" trophy in the Command. These achievements were a result of his total devotion, professional dedication and leadership.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ramesh Rai.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mohit Kumar 16554 F(P)Unit : 7 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
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Wing Commander Mohit Kumar (14674) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 29 Dec 76 in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force. He has flown 3600 hours on single engine jet fighter aircraft. He has undergone three professional courses and is a graduate of Royal Air Force Staff College, UK, where he was adjudged the best foreign student in the course. He has been commended twice by the Chief of the Air Staff for his creditable performance, first during the instructional tenure and then as Flight Commander of a Fighter Squadron.

Wing Commander Mohit Kumar has been the Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron since 21 April 97. During his tenure, the Squadron has performed exceedingly well in all disciplines. His exceptional qualities of leadership and his positive spirit have been instrumental in substantial improvement in the overall performance of the Squadron. This was amply proven during inspection visits by the Aircrew Examination Board and Directorate of Air Staff Inspection wherein the Squadron excelled itself in all facets. The high professional skills of the Squadron were also displayed during air to air firing of guns, missiles and also during Exercise Vayushakti98, wherein the Squadron scored direct hits with all the weapons fired.

Under his leadership and guidance, the Squadron was well knit into a cohesive team. With his deep sense of involvement and planning, he motivated his personnel to evolve innovative tactics and indigenous ideas. He has worked over and beyond the call of duty, thereby instilling in his men a high sense of dynamism, culture of pride and spirit to win. These steps have led to vastly improved skills in operational, maintenance and administrative aspects of his unit.

For his dynamic leadership, foresight, and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Mohit Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Suneel Shripad Soman 14681 F(P)Unit : 52 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
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Wing Commander Suneel Shripad Soman (14681) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Fighter stream of Flying (Pilot) branch of the Indian Air Force on 29 December 76. During his meritorious service he has excelled in many fields gaining fully Op status on two fighter aircrafts. He is qualified Flying Instructor holding A-2 category and has been the Chief Instructor at the Flying Instructors School. He served as the Assistant Defence Advisor in Dhaka. Bangladesh from September 90 to May 94. He distinguished himself by producing a prize winning dissertation on Indo-Bangladesh affairs during the DSSC course. Wing Commander Soman has been the Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron since November 96. The task of the unit is to train the budding fighter pilots of the IAF. He assumed the command of the squadron just after the unit relocated at a new base that was reactivated after a long gap. The repair of operational and maintenance infrastructure had not yet reached the desired standard. Wing Commander Soman utilised his vast experience and outstanding leadership to recommence flying training within a very short duration. Simultaneously, he set about organising the maintenance facilities to ensure a constant availability of aircraft to sustain Squadron's flying effort. The net result was that the flying training was completed within the stipulated time frames. With his personal example and zealous application of his professional acumen Wing Commander Soman has been able to ensure a high standard of flying training to the ab-initio fighter pilots of Indian Air Force.

For outstanding professionalism, exemplary qualities of leadership, sustained hard work, commitment and involvement, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Suneel Shripad Soman.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anthony Richard 15027 F(P)Unit : 105 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
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Wing Commander Anthony Richard (15027) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 10 June 77 in the Flying branch of the IAF. He has held the appointments of the Unit Flight Commander, Chief Operations Officer and Senior Flight Safety Officer. In 1992 he was awarded Chief of the Air Staff's Commendation.

Wing Commander Anthony Richard was appointed the Commanding Officer of a helicopter Unit on 24 July 95. On taking over, he faced the challenge of improving the helicopter serviceability state which was 51%. With his dynamic leadership and managerial skills he motivated the unit technical staff and achieved 100% helicopter serviceability in August 96, which was achieved for the first time in the history of the unit. In addition, he also undertook significant additional tasks simultaneously to improve the overall aircrew Categorisation State and operational preparedness of the unit. There were a total of 58 upgradations/initial categorisation of the aircrew and the monthly average flying was improved from 135 hours to 215 hours. During the DASI and four AEB visits, the unit performance was above average. In January 97, the unit participated in the Inter Command Helicopter competition "Exercise Ranvijay" and won two trophies. He himself flew over 688 hours towards sensitive communication duties, flood relief operations, Air Force/ Army exercises and training of young pilots, thus creating an atmosphere of confidence among the aircrew to take up challenges. With foresight, accurate planning and perseverance, he provided a new purpose and direction to the unit personnel.

For his devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Anthony Richard.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Birender Singh Dhanoa 15405 F(P)Unit : 17 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Birender Singh Dhanoa (15405) Flying (Pilot) has been commanding a Fighter Squadron since 31 March 97. His tenure has been characterized by consistent achievement of task and the highest standards of professionalism amongst aircrew. The personnel under his command are noticeable for their high morale. His Squadron has achieved every goal set for it. He has been instrumental in imparting to even junior aircrew the confidence that can only come from marked professionalism. He has encouraged them to lead and undertake the most challenging missions. By guidance and example, he has improved the armament delivery results of the Squadron. Inspite of having to train a number of UT Op pilots, he has made his Squadron an elite outfit and specialist Squadron in tactical photo reconnaissance. The Squadron under his command, has an unblemished safety record and in fact there have been two cases where pilots have brought back a stricken aircraft. This speaks volumes for Wing Commander Dhanoa's leadership qualities. His Squadron was awarded the 'Best Fighter Squadron' trophy of the Command in November 97.

For his dynamic leadership, devotion to duty and distinguished service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Birender Singh Dhanoa.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Karan Vir Singh Pammar 15688 F(P)Unit : 153 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Karan Vir Singh Parmar (15688) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a front line helicopter unit since 28 July 97. As commanding officer, he has involved himself deeply in all aspects of helicopter operations. He has worked with dedication and meticulous care in producing training notes for armament delivery from helicopter. He has also applied himself in analysis of the long standing problem of rocket firing and has evolved concepts for combat employment of the helicopter.

It is highly creditable that Wing Commander Parmar has achieved all this concurrently with commanding a unit involved in air maintenance in Saichen area. A keen flier himself, the officer has set a personal example for his subordinates to emulate. Under his guidance the unit has exceeded all previous levels of air maintenance wherein 1100 tonnes of load was lifted in three months. This was achieved at a time when it was critical for the operational posture in the sector.

In the course of this task, he has also improved the training status of the unit so that the maximum aircrew are now qualified for glacier operations. In achieving these tasks, he has shown a great ability to motivate and inspire personnel under his command to overcome physical discomfort and domestic difficulties for all round improvement.

For his continued professional competence and extreme devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Karanvir Singh Parmar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sher Singh 15718 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Sher Singh (15718) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Air Force Station, Thoise since 26 February 96 as Chief Operations Officer.

He took over as Chief Operations Officer in the "OP Meghdoot" sector under hostile conditions. In the war scenario of Op Meghdoot, he has shown exceptional courage and leadership by leading the team of pilots to do yeoman service in air maintaining all Siachen posts. On 26 August 96, when one of our helicopters crashed due to enemy action, he participated actively in recovering the bodies of his comrades from the crash site at Hoshiyar, braving an umbrella of enemy artillery and surface to air missile fire. Since then he has formulated Standard Operating Procedures in all threatened helipads by personally flying under exposed areas to get a first hand threat assessment.

By closely monitoring flying from dawnto-dusk, gathering intelligence reports, coordinating with Army for all the support servi ces round the clock, he has considerably contributed to the increase in tonnage achieved, as also a reduction in flying related incidents to a bare minimum in "OP Meghdoot" operations. The shifting of helicopter detachments from Thoise, which resulted in saving lakhs of rupees daily and the construction of a new runway at Base Camp are both his ideas.

For distinguished service of high order in this low intensity war zone of "OP Meghdoot", the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sher Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Girish Saini 15886 F(P)Unit : 24 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Girish Saini (15886) Flying (Pilot) is a pilot from the fighter stream and has over 3000 hours of total flying experience to his credit. He is a qualified flying instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

Wing Commander Girish Saini was appointed Commanding Officer of IAF's latest acquisition the prestigious SU-30 multi role Squadron in October 97. Soon after assuming command of the Squadron, Wing Commander Saini settled down to the task of building up his Squadron into an efficient and effective fighting unit. With his dynamic leadership qualities and a high degree of professionalism he has successfully guided his team of officers and men in fully exploring a new aircraft in an entirely new role. He has been intimately involved in flying missions on the SU-30 in order to explore the areas of air combat and air-to-ground armament delivery. Under his leadership, the Squadron has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of this potent weapon platform in various air shows across the country, including Vayu Shakti-98 where the fire power and pin point accuracy of armament delivery was witnessed by a large audience.

Wing Commander Girish Saini has led his Squadron with personal example of professionalism, devotion and dedication to duty in the highest tradition of Indian Air Force.

For his singular contribution in building a nascent Squadron equipped with the SU-30 aircraft into a strong operational unit and for demonstrating inspiring leadership qualities, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Girish Saini.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Murgai 16212 F(P)Unit : Suryakiran  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Anil Kumar Murgai (16212) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 13 December 80. He is an A-2 QFI, who also stood first in No. 16 IR1E course. He is an alumni of the Defence Services Staff College. The officer was posted to AF Stn Bidar on 09 May 96 as the Suryakiran aerobatic team deputy leader. Being an ex-Thunderbolts' pilot his guidance to the inexperienced pilots of the team was invaluable. It was due to his hard work, initiative and devotion to duty, that the team could build up to 7 ac status within a short time.

He was reposted to Bidar in March 97 as the team leader. With characteristic initiative and drive he harnessed the limited resources under him. It is to his credit that changes in the pilots of the 'Suryakiran' did not affect the performance of the team. In the golden jubilee year of India's Independence, the team was tasked to perform at short intervals at variety of venues all over the country. This entailed extensive practice, meticulous planning and execution. Each of these displays was greatly appreciated. A highlight was the historic formation acrobatic display over the Red Fort on 15 August 97.

Displaying total commitment and a very high degree of professionalism, Wing Commander Anil Kumar Murgai has believed in leading by personal example and leadership. Despite the very high risk involved and operating from different airfields, the team has had no incident/accident attributable to human error.

For exceptional professionalism and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Anil Kumar Murgai.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Sanjay Mittal 16773 F(P)Unit : HTS  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Sanjay Kumar Mittal, YSM (16773) Flying (Pilot), has been on the posted strength of HTS, AF since 28 April 96. He has been carrying out the duties of Flight Commander, No. 1 Sqn. On 24 October 97, Sqn Leader Sanjay Kumar Mittal, during an instructional Pilot Nav sortie with Pilot officer S. Bagga heard a loud explosive noise from the rear quarter. Immediately thereafter, the helicopter started losing height and cyclic control went into oscillatory to and fro motion. The symptoms presented by the aircraft were a rare occurrence and not commonly experienced in the helicopter fleet. Squadron Leader S Mittal instantly recognised the deteriorating conditions, and with great presence of mind elected to terminate the flight. The control forces being experienced from the oscillatory rotor became prohibitive and turned to churning as the ground was closing in. Sensing the incapability of single pilot control inputs he sought the assistance from the trainee in steering the aircraft away from the obstruction that loomed straight ahead. This timely action saved the crew from possible fatalities. By executing a controlled crash landing he also preserved the valuable evidence so that the cause of the technical defect could be ascertained.

Squadron Leader Mittal displayed situational awareness, alertness and professional competence of a very high order. His timely action averted possible fatalities and preserved valuable evidence.

For his professionalism and devotion to duty the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Sanjay Kumar Mittal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Nirmal Singh Jamwal 17156 F(P)Unit : 24 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Nirmal Singh Jamwal (17156) Flying (Pilot), from the fighter stream has over 3000 hours of flying to his credit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and has also qualified as an Experimental Test Pilot.

Squadron Leader NS Jamwal was selected for conversion on to the prestigious SU-30 multi role aircraft and underwent training in Russia. His test pilot background and the experience gained as a Qualified Flying Instructor enabled him to master the formidable SU-30 aircraft with professional ease. His delicate handling of such a large and heavy aircraft and manoeuvring with clockwork precision in a limited airspace speaks volumes of his professional ability. His deft handling of the aircraft and professional knowledge of the intricate flying characteristics of the SU-30 led to his being nominated as an aerobatic display pilot. He has successfully demonstrated the exceptional manoeuvrability of the SU-30 aircraft during various low level aerobatics displays on occasions of national importance including Republic/Independence Day, Vayu Shakti 98, Air Force Day and the Mumbai Air Show.

Squadron Leader Jamwal is a soft spoken individual who had always aimed for perfection and precision display with professional pride. With such an attitude and approach to the intricate task of aerobatic flying, he has been a source of inspiration to everyone.

For his dedication, devotion to duty and high degree of professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Nirmal Singh Jamwal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Arun Kumar Gandotra 20730 F(P)Unit : 6 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Arun Kumar Gandotra (20730) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron since 09 January 95.

On 09 June 98, he was detailed to fly as number 4 in a four aircraft tactical formation on a fighter trainer aircraft at airfield. The aircraft was configured with two 1,200 litre drop tanks with 4,500 Kgs of total fuel. During take off, while unsticking at 155 Kts, he heard two thuds. He decided to abort take off considering the weight of the aircraft (13 ton), the elevation of the airfield, short runway length available and such a critical stage at which the decision was taken, he managed to handle the situation in an exemplary fashion and stopped the aircraft 1000' short of the barrier, without any undue strain or any damage to the aircraft, the rotary hydraulic arrester gear or the arrester barrier.

Post flight inspection revealed bird ingestion in both the engines. Further investigation revealed that the Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) on both the engines had shot up past 940 degree C, as a consequence to the bird ingestion, (limit for engine withdrawal being 790 degree C) and extensive damage was caused to both the engines. In case the take off had been continued, the EGT would have risen further, probably resulting in seizure/fire on both the engines, in which case both the pilots would have had to eject at a very critical stage and low altitude, and an aircraft would have been lost.

For his keen sense of situational awareness, quick reactions and exemplary handling of a react emergency which could have cost an aircraft, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Arun Kumar Gandotra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Satish Pal Singh 13770 F(P)Unit : 25 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Group Captain Satish Pal Singh (13770-H) Flying (Pilot) is posted as Commanding Officer of a Transport Squadron since 30 Mar 98.

This highly committed Officer in true patriotic spirit motivated his men to work round the clock and ensured that servicing of aircraft was completed well ahead of schedule and that maximum number of aircraft were made available for the tasks of Op Sqn deployment, airlift of army formations, shifting of AD elements, positioning of armament load and augmentation of manpower from far flung places to the theatre of operations. He perceived this requirement well in advance and with keen involvement and correct guidance to maintenance staff ensured that three IL-76s were available and that 100% AN32 were serviceable for all tasks. Accident/ Incident free flying of over 1300 hrs by the Sqn during this period and airlift of 3000 tons and 4500 troops bears an eloquent testimony to his meticulous planning and exemplary leadership.

During 'Op Safed Sagar' the threat of enemy AD Fighters and MANPADS loomed large in the Northern Sector. Displaying exceptional degree of operational orientation he devised procedures to ensure minimum exposure of own aircraft and motivated all aircrews for uninterrupted operations in the Valley despite hostile operating environment and inclement weather. Unmindful of his personal comfort and safety he led the Sqn from the front and flew round the clock not only on the IL-76 but also on AN-32 and logged 70 hrs in just 20 days during the initial phase of 'Op Safed Sagar'. His personal example and unflinching devotion to duty motivated his team towards the singular objective of providing total support for 'Op Safed Sagar' which was a true force multiplier and immensely helped the IAF and the Army in attaining their objective.

For his exemplary leadership, devotion to duty and indomitable courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Capt Satish Pal Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Raghunath Nambiar 16378 F(P)Unit : 7 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Wg Cdr Raghunath Nambiar (16378-R) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Flying Branch on 11 Jun 81. He is on the posted strength of Air Force Station Gwalior since 12 May 98. He has flown 1820 hrs of accident free flying on the Mirage 2000 and holds the proud distinction of being the most experienced Mirage-2000 Pilot in the country.

On 24 June 99 this Officer was specially chosen to lead the first ever IAF operational delivery of an LGB. He was tasked to attack Tiger Hill which was defended by hostile enemy SAMs. The attack profile of a LGB requires the aircraft to descend below 2700 ft and exposes it to enemy fire. Despite this danger to his aircraft the pilot willingly descended to the required height and pressed home the attack. His attack on Tiger Hill at an enemy camp located at the peak was a direct hit and destroyed the entire camp. The videotapes of his attack clearly indicate the accuracy of the delivery and its devastating effect on the enemy. It is estimated that this attack was primarily responsible for the low casualty rate that the Indian Army suffered during the capture of Tiger Hill.

For his exceptional bravery, skill, dedication and courage under fire in the face of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Raghunath Nambiar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Mohan Rao 17343 F(P)Unit : 7 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details : Sqn Ldr Mohan Rao (17343-K) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron, since 27 Apr 97. He is the Flight Commander since Apr 99 and is a Qualified Flying Instructor.

Muntho Dhalo Attack: On 15 Jun 99, he was responsible for acquiring the largest enemy camp in the Batalik Sector. He followed up on 16 Jun 99 by leading a two aircraft mission, armed with 6x250 Kg bombs successfully destroying the Eastern side to the camp. This attack was responsible for annihilating the enemy's resolve leading to marginalising of enemy ground force activity. Sqn Ldr Mohan Rao launched this attack undeterred by reports of Surface to Air Missiles having been fired from the camp, with total dedication and devotion to accomplish the assigned task.

LGB Attack by Night: On the night of 0708 Jul 99 Sqn Ldr Rao carried out an attack on the Ridgeline West of Tiger Hill armed with a Laser Guided Bomb. The target location necessitated an attack profiles that would bring his aircraft within the launch envelope of shoulder fired missiles. He struck the target with determination of a rare kind and scored a direct hit as reported by our ground forces.

During the operations, Sqn Ldr M Rao flew 27 operational missions which include ten live bombing missions. Sqn Ldr Mohan Rao displayed immense devotion, involvement and professionalism of the highest order during planning and execution of the missions under hostile conditions. Awareness of missiles being launched at him only motivated him further to decimate the enemy.

For the conspicuous gallantry, valour displayed in the face of the enemy and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr Mohan Rao.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vishwas Gaur 17361 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Vishwas Gaur (17361-N) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron of the Air Force since 03 May 98.

He is a dedicated and hard working officer with sound professional knowledge. During 'Operation Safed Sagar', as Fighter Strike Leader, he was instrumental in the Squadron achieving high operational standards. It was because of his hard work and precise calculations for High Altitude Release (HAR) mode; the Squadron was able to engage all targets successfully keeping the aircraft outside enemy missile ranges. In the absence of tables for HAR mode and varying target height, this was of utmost importance to avoid fratricide. He also understood the difficulties faced by Air Force and Army planners to locate and photograph the enemy targets in rugged mountainous terrain. It was his knowledge of the aircraft systems and innovative suggestion of using Laser Designator Pod for filming the targets that made the operations simpler for the planners. Thereafter, there was no looking back in locating and destroying the enemy targets, making 'Operation Safed Sagar', a complete success. As a Flight Commander he ensured that the Squadron achieved hundred percent success rate in launching the tasked 152 sorties towards 'Operation Safed Sagar'. As professional pilot till date he has flown 26 day and night missions. He showed exceptional courage in face of strong enemy opposition and caused destruction of several important targets. His exemplary courage and devotion to duty has been a source of inspiration and motivations to others.

For his innovativeness, professionalism, exceptional courage and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Vishwas Gaur.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

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