Awards for the year 2000


A total of 69 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 20 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 | Mention in Despatches : 2 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Pran Nath Bajaj 6392 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Pran Nath Bajaj AVSM (6392) AE (M) was commissioned on 01 Dec 1961 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. In a career spanning 38 years, the officer has served with distinction at various operational units, Base Repair Depots and in DRDO. He served as Senior Maintenance Staff Officer (SMSO) at HQ Western Air Command and HQ Maintenance Command and as ACAS Eng B at Air HQs. During the years 1990-91he commanded the Air Force Technical College and Air Force Station Jalahalli, one of the largest station in the IAF. In 1970-71, he completed his post graduation studies from Indian Institute of Science with highest possible grades. He is the alumnus of National Defence College and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

He did pioneering work at Base Repair Depots in the field of Operation Research relating to problem of production lines, resulting in smooth flow of output and enhanced product ion. As SMSO of Western Air Command he reworked in the War Maintenance plans and instructions to make them more responsive to the needs of the Operation plan. For these efforts and other achievements in the filed of aircraft serviceability and availability, institution of a large number of maintenance safety measures and efficient logistics management, he was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal in the year 1996.

As SMSO Maintenance Command during the years 1995-97, his scientific approach to production planning and effective organizational skills were mainly responsible for BRDs to meeting their enhanced task without additional manpower resources. He effectively supervised the various studies on calendar life extension of various aircraft, which resulted in extending their operational 1ife.

Presently as Director General, Radar & Communications project Office, he has introduced many conceptual level organisational and procedural changes to ensure effective project Management. A mechanism for effective interaction with the user, suppliers and other related agencies has also been put in place. These have led to better achievement of project objectives within the constraints of resources and, time frames.

Air Marshal Pran Nath Bajaj AVSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sahab Prasad Varma 6466 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Sahab Prasad Varma VSM PHS (6466) Medical was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in Jan 1962. During a chequered career spanning over three decades, he specialised in Internal Medicine, underwent super-specialty training in Cardiology and was awarded post-doctoral degree of DM (Cardiology) in 1983. He was the Chief architect in establishing Cardiac Evaluation Centre at AF Central Medical Establishment in Sep 89. He was also selected to command the prestigious Air Force Command Hospital at Bangalore.

The Air Officer was instrumental in raising and updating the Medical Categorisation Policy in 1988, enabling several aircrew to regain their flying category after cardiac event, balloon angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery. This achievement earned him the award of VSM in 1990 and a place in Limca Book of Records in 1993.

While serving as Principal Medical Officer at HQs Western Air Command he was appointed as the project incharge and chief co-coordinator for planning and establishing a Super Specialty Veterans Hospital at Subroto Park, New Delhi. The Hospital was functional in record time and was inaugurated on 08 Oct 96. The Hospital is of immense benefit to the ex-Servicemen who suffer from terminal diseases. Under his dynamic leadership and initiative, all facets of health underwent a qualitative change in the Indian Air Force.

His initiative on review of medical standards and waivers towards medical licensing of civil aircrew in India, have been well appreciated and given due recognition by Head of Medical Section, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), as these are at par with Joint Aviation requirements of USA, Canada, and European countries.

Air Marshal Sahab Prasad Varma VSM PHS has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar 6748 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar AVSM VM (6748) F (P) is one of the most exceptional test pilots in the IAF. In September 1994 when he was the Additional ACAS (Ops) at Air HQ, he was deputed to the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to oversee the flight testing of the Light Combat Aircraft. This deputation was arranged at the request of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, SA to RM and Director General, ADA. During the past five years the officer carried out seminal work in the areas of control law development for the fly by wire control system by extensive use of ground based and in flight simulators. The real time simulator was developed over a period of three years by continuous interaction between the control law engineers, simulation engineers and the flight test crew. The simulator is now as good as any simulation facility being used in any development program anywhere in the world. He has set up the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) at the HAL Bangalore to conduct the flight testing of the LCA. The two technology demonstrator aircraft have been heavily instrumented with state of the art instrumentation. A real time telemetry monitoring station has been set up under his guidance. The use of telemetry for flight safety monitoring of flight tests is a concept, which is being tried out in India for the first time. After systems integration the first set of ground runs of the General Electric F-404 engine were carried out by test pilots of NFTC under his control. Thereafter a set of low speed taxi trials were carried out to test the software of the brake management and nose wheel steering systems at the managerial level. Air Marshal Rajkumar has participated in several hundred-review meetings held to monitor progress of systems development. He has continued to maintain his flying proficiency by flying at ASTE when required. He has flown 5200 hrs on 55 types of aircraft.

Air Marshal P Rajkumar AVSM VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Thirunillayi Ramaswamy Janakiraman 7058 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Thirunillayi Ramaswamy Janakiraman AVSM (7058) AE (M) has been the Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at HQ Maintenance Command from 16 Jun 97 to 23 May 99. Before coming to HQ MC, he was SMSO at HQ WAC and prior to that Dir Eng 'A' at Air HQ. For his outstanding contributions, he was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in the year 1995.

During his tenure at HQ MC, Air Mshl TR Janakiraman restructured the organization of the SMSO's Branch and created two very vital cells from within the existing resources. One was for monitoring the outstanding AOGs by using the data banks of last line balances and indigenisation. He also formed a cell for provisioning and procurement of items of indigenous origin. By the formation of this cell, HQ MC was able to procure spares required in matter of few months, which earlier used to take much longer. By this measure, stocking period was also reduced, thus resulting in lower inventory carrying cost.

He was instrumental in imparting a great impetus to the indigenisation effort of HQ MC. Under his guidance, elaborate compendiums were prepared outlining our requirement of spares under various categories. The compendiums contained detailed information of all kind so that the indigenisation effort could be directed to most productive areas. Indigenisation data bank was expanded from 50,000 records to more than 170,000 records. With these measures, import of spares from abroad is bound to come down significantly, resulting in savings of crores of rupees besides achieving limited self-reliance.

Air Marshal Thirunillayi Ramaswamy Janakiraman AVSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Satish Govind Inamdar 7189 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Satish Gobind Inamdar VSM was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter Pilot in Mar 63. He has flown over 3700 hours on a variety of fighter aircraft and took active part in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflicts. He has commanded a Fighter Squadron, a Fighter Wing and the prestigious Aircrew Examination Board. An MSc (Defence Studies) and an AMAeSI, he is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, the Pilot Attach Instructor School, Higher Air Command Course, Senior Defence Management Course (CDM) and the National Defence College. He has held various Air Staff Appointment at Air HQ and Operational Commands HQs. He was the Chief Instructor at Defence Services Staff College and Senior Air Staff Officer at: HQ CAC (1998-1999) before taking over his present appointment as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.

He was chairman of the Pay Commission Cell, representing the Chiefs of Staff Committee on the fifth Central Pay Commission. As the chairman of the V CPC, he was responsible for formulating the norms, channelising and guiding the members for the first ever combined formulation of the three service proposals. It goes to his credit that an Armed Forces Joint Memorandum well researched and authentic document complete with full justification running into 600 pages was submitted to the V CPC in record time in Apr 95.

His vast experience and competence on the operational front became evident when he was SASO of an operational Command. During the Kargil crises his meticulous planning and guidance in respect of the use of right weapon system, especially Mirage aircraft and modified weapons, turned the tide of the battle and resulted in a comprehensive and convincing victory for the Indian Armed Forces.

Air Marshal Satish Gobind Inamdar VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Syed Shahid Hussain Naqvi 7193 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Sayed Shahid Hussain Naqvi AVSM VrC (7193) F (P) wan commissioned as a fighter pilot in Mar 63. In his long and distinguished career he had the unique distinction of commanding seven establishments. These include commands of 5 FBSU, 17 FBSU and Air Force elements in Sri Lanka under challenging circumstances. He also commanded 39 Wing and 16 Wing with distinction. He has served on the staff of Pilot Armament Instructors School for a period of five years and served on deputation with the Iraqi Air Fore as a Flying Instructor. He is also a graduate of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington and Air War College, USA.

Air Mshl Naqvi is a veteran of two wars. In the 1971 operation, he was awarded the Vir Chakra for his valour in the face of enemy in the western sector. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for excellence in the year 1992. During the Indian Peace Keeping Operation Srilanka, the Air Marshal, then a Gp Capt, was appointed the first Air Force Station Commander with the responsibility of planning and execution of all Air Operation of IAF elements at Jaffna, in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. The Air Marshal has held various staff appointments and has displayed remarkable clarity in thought in modifying the Electronic Warfare Philosophy of the IAF during his tenure as Director EW in Air HQ.

As Deputy Chief of Air Staff he shouldered the overall responsibility of long term planning including the Force Structure Planning of the Indian Air Force. Special emphasis was made towards laying down qualitative requirements for the acquisition of all future equipments namely aircraft systems, radars, weapons etc. and testing of such equipments for the future induction into the Air Force. His services to the Air Force in the field of perspective planning have gone a long way both in enhancing the operational preparedness and capability of the IAF. During the recent operation 'Safed Sagar', following strict time bound programmes, aircraft were suitably modified with state-ofthe-art systems and made available for the operations under his guidance.

The Air Marshal has been on the Board of Director of various Public Sector undertakings namely Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and Center for Airborne systems. He has been conferred fellowship of Aeronautical Society of India and holds the post of Senior Vice President of the Society.

Air Marshal Sayed Shahid Hussain Naqvi AVSM VrC has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Proteep Kumar Ghosh 7106 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Marshal Proteep Kumar Ghosh VSM (7106) AE (L) is working as Senior Maintenance Staff officer at HQ Maintenance Command with effect from 24 May 99. Earlier in his career starting from 29 Jan 63, he has been recipient of several fellowships of different academic institutions, namely IETE and Telematics Forum of India. He also holds the membership of prestigious Indian Science Congress, Institution of Engineers (India) and Aeronautical Society of India. In his distinguished career he has held the key appointments such as Officer Commanding, Station Commander, Air Officer Commanding of a very important Base Repair Depot, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer of an operational command and ACAS (Sys) at Air Headquarters. Besides, he was Air Officerin­Charge Maintenance for two years before taking over as SMSO at HQ MC, IAF.

During the recent Op Safedsagar, when the situation warranted the modification of EW equipment on the Russian fighter aircraft and helicopters, he took up the challenge. With his professional competency and efficient leadership, he ensured completion of task in record time at the BRDs. He has also continuously stressed the need of making IAF self reliant with indigenization efforts, and has worked on it with a singular aim to reduce the foreign dependency to the minimum. The positive support of PSUs and other industries in this direction was successfully achieved with his enthusiastic approach, which have been of immense help in making significant progress toward indigenization and saving substantial amount of foreign exchange. Also, he has embarked upon the life extension programme for different types of ageing aircraft and their overhaul with indigenous capability. Under his guidance the Maintenance Depots have undertaken the modernization drive in IAF and the old infrastructure is being revamped by sophisticated modern stat of art technology machines in a phased manner.

Air Marshal Proteep Kumar Ghosh VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Krishna Chandra Varma 7583 METUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Krishna Chandra Varma (7583) Met has functioned in the capacity of Director Met and later as ACAS (Met) at Air Headquarters with effect from 01 Dec 94.

During his tenure at Air HQ, AVM Varma has worked with dedication and single­minded purpose to enhance the efficacy of Met services in the IAF. The officer has played a major role in the induction of modern Met equipment in the IAF. The introduction of Satellite Reception and Video Display Systems at IAF bases has provided timely and high quality Met information. The availability of accurate and prompt Met forecasts has contributed immensely towards enhancing flight safety. The officer was also instrumental in reorganizing the communication network with India Met Department. His dedicated efforts resulted in better connectivity, automation and access to valuable Met data from Indian Meteorological Department. His praiseworthy efforts have resulted in enhancing the reliability and accuracy of Met forecasts. The saving of manpower due to automation has led an annual savings of over Rupees ten lakhs. The implementation of the officer's proposal to include personnel below officers rank for independent forecasting duties has enabled the IAF to overcome shortage of officers in the Met branch to a great extent.

The officer has had a brilliant academic and professional record during his thirty six years of distinguished service. He stood first in the Senior Forecasters' Course in 1972 and later topped the course on Computer Oriented Scientific Techniques in Management conducted at Defence Science Centre Delhi in 1979. He is a graduate of the National Defence College. AVM Varma is currently a member of the Editorial board of the National Met Journal 'Mausam' published by IMD. He has also participated and effectively contributed in a number of National and International seminars and symposiums on Meteorology.

Air Vice Marshal Krishna Chandra Varma has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Suresh Chandra Vohra 6713 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Suresh Chandra Vohra (6713) Lgs was posted as Air Officer-in-charge Logistics Management at HQ MC from 10 Jul 95 to 21 Mar 99. He is a graduate of National Defence College and has undergone a number of professional courses besides holding prestigious appointments including command of two of the Equipment Depots. He is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal and has been commended twice by the CAS and once by an AOC-in-C.

The provisioning and procurement responsibility of aircraft spares of Kiran Mk­I & II, HPT-32, Dornier and Cheetah/Chetak helicopters along with clothing and MT spares was transferred from Air HQs to HQ MC on an experimental basis with effect from 01 Apr 96. AVM SC Vohra took charge of new commitment and applied his professional and managerial skills with zeal and enthusiasm to produce commendable results. Specific achievements are given in subsequent paragraphs.

He ensured adequate and speedy availability of aircraft spares by proper forecasting and initiating timely procurement. The serviceability of these centralized fleets during the last two years has been very high and much above the target. The MPE figure was reduced voluntarily thus resulting in reduced inventory carrying cost as well as cash outflow. Though the net saving in this regard have not been calculated, these would however run into crores. 100% availability of clothing items has been ensured while reducing the expenditure. This was achieved by regular monitoring of various locations, frequent reviews and positioning of stocks directly at nodal points instead of centralized stocking which also meant reduced inventory carrying cost.

Air Vice Marshal SC Vohra has made innovations in the field of Logistics Management, which have far­reaching impact.

Air Vice Marshal SC Vohra VSM, has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Man Mohan Sehgal 8390 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Man Mohan Sehgal, VSM (8390-F) F (P), commissioned on 18 Apr 64 and with 2578 hours of accident free fighter flying, has held numerous Command and Staff appointments with distinction. He is a fighter combat leader, a graduate of DSSC and has undergone the Higher Command course. Consecutively for two years, the Squadron that he commanded was declared 'Best Supersonic Sqn' of the IAF. He encountered successfully the threat from subversive elements and yet maintained high state of operational preparedness when commanding both Amritsar (including a short stint at Trincomalee) and Srinagar which had a lot to do with his superior leadership, managerial skills, innovative approach and administrative ability.

As SAASO, HQ MC, IAF he contributed immensely by innovative approach of personally directing “Nodal Point Works Conferences" on a regional basis, which paid rich dividends. His directional ability and firm attitude brought about minimum rate of 2­wheeler accidents and the least outstanding movements in the year 1997-98. He was not only largely instrumental in compilation of an excellent book on “Protocol & Quality of life" but also, introduced numerous innovative measures to enhance the quality of life through out the Command.

He is presently posted as ACAS (Plans) w.e.f. 17 Aug 98, a job that has an unlimited canvas and is extremely demanding. In a short span of time with no previous experience in the Plans Branch, he has acquired the highest levels of requisite job skills beyond all expectations. He has introduced regular inter­branch coordination/integration interactions on an organised scale leading to expeditious processing of various projects. His excellent communication skills and flair for liaison with various agencies has further contributed to hastening of on going schemes. The officer was most actively involved in promptly responding to all war equipment requirements during the Kargil operations. His infectious work ethos, excellent monitoring and feed back system, positive attitude, intellectual honesty, being oblivious of long working hours and unquestionable loyalty and integrity are hallmarks of his personality. He belongs to that breed of officers who always leave a void wherever they have worked, since the standard they set for themselves and the atmosphere of cordiality and commitment they engender are difficult to replace and replicate for sheer quality.

By his selfless devotion to duty, ingenuity, resourcefulness, remarkable foresight and vision, wholehearted involvement and exceptional administrative and planning acumen, Air Vice Marshal Man Mohan Sehgal, VSM has rendered distinguished service of an exceptionally high order. AVSM 2000

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Arunachalam Saibaba 9996 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Arunachalam Saibaba (9996) Adm was commissioned on 26 Dec 65 in the Administrative Branch of IAF. For the first twenty-five years, as a Fighter Controller, he was associated with Air Defence Operations of Air Force and held various associated appointments at field, training establishments and HQs. He has to his credit more than 300 live interceptions and was Air Force Examiner for seventeen years. He is recipient of 'Best Professional Award (Fighter Controller)' award from the Prime Minister in Oct 84. He also performed creditably during his stint as operation Manager on the research and development project 'Low level Radar Networking Group' at Bangalore. After his reversion to administrative duties in 1991, the Air Officer has distinguished himself in the appointments of Chief Administrative Officer of a Fighter Wing, President of Central Airmen Selection Board, Senior Personnel Staff Officer of an Operational Command, Provost Marshal (Air) and Director Air Force Works. Currently he is functioning as Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration, Training Command. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, the Air Officer has acquitted himself with credit throughout his service career.

Air Vice Marshal Arunachalam Saibaba has capably handled the administrative support machinery at Training Command leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the required administrative cover is available to meet training schedules as per time­frame. All administrative aspects pertaining to Aero-India 98 namely work services, manpower augmentation, hospitality and security were taken care of adequately under the stewardship of the Air Force. A large number of compliments in this regard were showered by various visiting dignitaries.

Air Vice Marshal Arunachalam Saibaba has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Puzhankara Ambalavattam Hari Mohan 9723 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Puzhankara Ambalavattam Hari Mohan, VM (9723) F (P) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Oct 1965. he has held prestigious field and staff appointments. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for his devotion to duty while commanding an AN-32 Sqn. Being professional to the core and widely experienced, this officer has made valuable contributions in improving professional standards of transport pilots in the IAF. During his squadron commander's tenure, a discernable improvement in the categorization state of pilots was achieved at this station.

His tireless efforts in improving the operational status of all the flying units in his station has ensured high state of availability of aircrew and aircraft at all times. This resulted in the achievement of all major tasks including successful conduct of field exercises. Two seminars on transport operations were organized at Air Force Station, Agra and the benefits derived by the participants were highly appreciated.

Air Force Station Agra had for a long time been seriously affected by shortage of water and electricity. Air Cmde Hari Mohan, with his personal involvement, determination and relentless interaction with civil authorities, managed to improve the situation beyond expectations. Various welfare measures initiated and services provided have contributed immensely in improving the quality of life of all personnel at Air Force Station Agra.

Air Vice Marshal Puzhankara Ambalavattam Hari Mohan, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Prakashchandra Khandubhai Desai 10078 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Commodore Prakashchandra Khandubai Desai, VSM (10078) AE(M) took over as Air Officer Commanding of a major maintenance base on 16 Aug 96.

During his career, besides having an excellent academic record in numerous service and civil course including DSSC and post graduation, he has successfully handled critical appointments of Test Engineer at Aircraft and System Testing Establishment (ASTE), Dy Air Attaché at Embassy of Moscow, Chief Engineering Officer at 11 Wing and Chief of Planning at 11 BRD before coming to 402 Air Force Station. He was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal in 1984 for major contribution in many weapon evaluation, adaptation and testing trials at ASTE.

His qualities of leadership and man management and administrative acumen came to the fore while commanding this base. His untiring efforts in providing transparent, proactive as well as sensitive administration resulted in improved morale, better work culture and higher output. In functional areas, he personally guided the production activities of Base Repair Depots, logistic management of Equipment Depot and modification tasks of V/UHF Installation Team.

Besides surpassing the production targets for three years in running, establishment of M-53 Depot Level Maintenance, computerization of inventory and disposal of large salvage store were some of the major achievements. Airfield maintenance, accident/incident free record of operations, resolution of major land disputes, improved security environment, welfare of personnel and their families and provision of better living conditions/ work environment were other areas where he diverted his energy vigorously and achieved great success.

He has been the Chairman of many joint studies with scientific and R&D organizations. He was also involved in various studies like currency of foreign exchange for the state. He was also involved in various studies like trifurcation of AE branch, reorganization of R & SUs, trade allocation of airmen and review of quality assurance services at BRDs. As Chairman Aeronautical Society of India UP & Bihar Chapter, he conducted seminars on subjects of Air Force interests like rubber technology, vibrations and metallic materials for aviation, which gave great impetus to indigenization efforts.

Air Commodore Prakashchandra Khandubai Desai, VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Avdesh Kumar Singh 11005 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Commodore Avdesh Kumar Singh, VM, VSM (1105) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in Jun 67. During his thirty­two years of service, he has held important Staff and Command appointments like Squadron Commander of a fighter squadron, Chief Operations Officer, Station Commander of ADDC and Air Officer Commanding of an operational wing. During Srilankan crisis, he was appointed the Task Force Commander of Jaguar Forces. He flew thirty photo reconnaissance missions over Srilanka by day and by night. For his contribution during Srilankan crises, Air Commodore AK Singh was awarded Vayu Seva Medal.

As an Air Officer Commanding of an operational wing, Air Cmde AK Singh focused on improvement in quality of life, living conditions and most importantly, operations and flight safety. His emphasis to create awareness of flight safety have paid dividends as there was no cases of bird strike during 199697. With the recovery of eight aircraft on AOG for periods ranging from eight months to two years, the station recorded an all times record in serviceability of aircraft in the Indian Air Force. It was a creditable performance.

He is presently posted as Air­1 in Western Air Command. His notable achievements have been his major contribution towards Ex­Trishul and the ongoing Kargil crisis. His control, careful formulation of plans and execution thereof, have yielded the desired results. He was instrumental in developing connectivity of all Stations under WAC on Wide Area Network, which was tested successfully for the first time ever during ExTrishul. The system was well appreciated by all concerned and is now being introduced in other operational commands as well. By his exemplary involvement and rare dedication, he made a substantive contribution towards the operational preparedness of units/squadrons under Western Air Command. His efforts towards planning and conduct of Air Operations in the current Kargil crisis were also noteworthy.

Air Commodore Avdesh Kumar Singh, VM, VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale 11630 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Commodore Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale, VM (11630) F (P) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 02 Jun 1968. He has been an instructor both at FIS and DSSC. He was awarded the Vayu Seva Medal while commanding a fighter sqn. He is a graduate of Air War College, USA. He has also served as Defence Attaché in Indian Embassy at Cairo. He has flown various types of aircraft and has about 3700 hrs of incident free flying. Presently, he is commanding a major fighter base.

Air Cmde BN Gokhale possesses exceptional managerial skills, which he has effectively put into use. He has activated the parallel taxi track, south dispersal and under ground base operations, all of which were lying unused for a long time. He provided impetus to the maintenance activity. For the first time inventory control was carried out resulting in very high and sustained serviceability of both Jaguar and Mi-8 fleet at the base.

During last year's flash floods in Eastern UP Air Cmde Gokhale promptly responded to the call of the Civil Administration. Under his able leadership the station carried out two months of sustained relief operations providing succour and relief to lakhs of hapless and marooned masses. This was appreciated by the Prime Minister of India himself.

With his sustained efforts and close liaison with Civil authorities the station reacquired over fifty acres of land which had been encroached upon. He is also responsible for activating Darbangha airfield, which was lying unused since long.

Air Commodore Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kanwar Dalinderjit Singh 12403 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Commodore Kanwar Dalinderjit Singh (12403) F (P) has been the Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Bidar, a flying training establishment (FTE) since 05 Jan 98.

Last year he took significant and bold steps to improve the working environment in the station. By his own example he brought up a culture of hard work and professional honesty. The Air Officer motivated all personnel to bring about a high degree of general cleanliness, neatness, maintenance of buildings and beautification of surroundings. He ensured that all the Flight Safety Directives were implemented strictly and ensured that all unwanted vegetation was removed. By close supervision, detailed planning, motivation of maintenance personnel he succeeded in improving the serviceability state of aircraft from an average 40-50% to 80-90%.

Air Officer led the flying training wing by personal example and motivated the flying instructors to upgrade their instructional capability and category. He flew with each and every instructor and also sample test sorties with trainees to maintain high standards of training. As a result of high quality of flying AVSM 2000 and academic training, trainees of Air Force Station Bidar performed better than their counterparts in other FTEs. They secured high positions in the overall final merit.

He closely supervised the training of Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team inducing high degree of professionalism and perfection in their displays. The Air Officer was instrumental in a quick attainment of nine aircraft display capability in the new profile. He, with his foresightedness and innovative thinking, directed the aerobatics team to build a variety of display maneuvers.

The Air Force Station was adjudged the best flying training establishment in 1998-99 considering an overall excellent performance in flying training, maintenance and administration. The achievements of the station were also appreciated by the Chief of Air Staff during his visit in Jul 99.

Air Commodore Kanwar Dalinderjit Singh has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Bijender Singh Siwach 12413 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Bijender Singh Siwach VM (12413) F(P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in Jun 1970. An exceptional and keen flier, he has over 6000 hrs of accident/incident free flying to his credit. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for exceptional devotion to duty in 1979. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and College of Combat. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor with over 1500-hrs instructional flying in India and abroad. During his long and meritorious service, he has acquitted himself creditably particularly while commanding Mi-17 and Mi-8 Helicopter units.

Gp Capt BS Siwach, immediately after assuming the command of Air Force Station, Sarsawa on 05 May 97, whole heartedly devoted himself to the task of building up his station personnel into a well knit cohesive and professionally competent force. Displaying a very high degree of organizing ability, foresight, initiative and resourcefulness, he brought about distinct all round improvements in every facet of the station functioning. A highly committed officer, he has ensured a very high standard of operational preparedness of the station. His innovative approach in conducting two highly successful Flight Safety Weeks has contributed immensely towards the promotion of Flight Safety.

Keeping the resource crunch in mind, Gp Capt BS Siwach motivated his personnel to innovate, indigenize and fabricate mobile AVSM 2000-01 starting and servicing power trolley, six test benches and host other items. The mobile power and hydraulic trolley which have been fabricated without any addition in manpower or resources are being used as a substitute to Russian Appa and Upega vehicles costing around Rs. 50 lakhs each in foreign exchange. In addition, these trolleys have enhanced operational flexibility and effectiveness and a saving of recurring expenditure to the tune of approx. Rs. 2500/- per day.

Gp Capt BS Siwach with his personal liaison and relentless efforts, has been able to ensure uninterrupted power supply on the station as against earlier 8 to 9 hours power shut down every day, thus enhancing quality of life and morale of the station. Under his leadership, Air Force Station, Sarsawa has been awarded best Transport and Helicopter Wing and best overall runners up Wing Trophy in Nov 1998.

Group Captain Bijender Singh Siwach VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ajay Shriniwas Karnik 13140 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Ajay Shriniwas Karnik, VM (13140) F (P) has been the Base Commander of a FBSU, Air Force since May 97. Commissioned in the IAF as a fighter Pilot on 24 Jun 72, Gp Capt AS Karnik has had a distinguished record as a Squadron pilot. He is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College. Prior to taking over his present assignment, he commanded a fighter squadron and has done a tenure as Chief Operations Officer at a major base.

As a station commander of this important forward base he has brought about an all round improvement in the operational, maintenance and administrative set up. Notwithstanding the remote location of the unit he successfully inspired his men and officers to perform optimally and achieved the desired results. Activities like setting up of ASBADC, replacement of AC plant in ATC, clearance of vegetation around runway shoulders, improvement in drainage system to prevent flooding of runway were achieved with innovative use of unit resources within the PDCs. Apart form contributing extensively during FPDs, the unit took an active part in Ex-Shivshakti and EX-Gujraj. Successful UAV trial and day-night SHB operations in conjunction with Army were carried out from this base during the period of exercise. A big thrust was given to improve the technical practices and working environment within the base. The technical flight at Uterlai was successfully set up with transfer of manpower and equipment from Jodhpur. Timely completion of various labs contributed in a large measure to the expeditious setting up of tech flight. Works services were given a fill up resulting in more than 20 original works being executed within the PDC and savings ranging from a few thousands to Rs. 10 lakhs in some cases.

Displaying leadership qualities of high level, Gp Capt AS Karnik led by setting a personal example in the base. He has successfully infused a sense of pride and camaraderie amongst the personnel resulting in their battling against all odds to achieve success.

Group Captain Ajay Shriniwas Karnik, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Santosh Kumar Ebenzer 20486 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 21 Jul 99 Announced 15 Aug 00
Details :

On 21st July 99, Squadron Leader Ebenezer was authorized to fly a night flying sortie. The sortie was uneventful till the performance of pre-landing checks on Down Wind, when, on lowering the landing gear, the starboard wheel failed to come down. The wheel remained locked up despite all attempts. The pilot was advised by the Air Traffic control to eject over a safe area. However coolly weighing the options available to him and prudently analysing the inherent risks, the pilot elected to opt for a landing with the main wheels up and only the nose wheel extended even though such an option was fraught with brave risk to his life. Thereafter, Squadron Leader Ebenezer brought the aircraft down safely with the main wheels up, incurring minimal damage. Additionally by this act he facilitated vital evidence for technical investigation to precisely identify the problem and institute remedial measures for the future.

Squadron Leader Santosh Kumar Ebenezer displayed exceptional courage, dogged determination and dedication to duty of a high order in the face of the grave emergency.

Reference: Notification No. 115-Pres/2000 dated 15th August, 2000 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 30th December, 2000. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Vishnu Suman Sharma 14490 ADMUnit : 254 Signal Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Suman Sharma (14490) Adm/FC was commissioned in the IAF as a Fighter Controller on 16 Jun 76 and has been the Commanding Officer of an Air Force Radar Unit since 10 Feb 97. He is an extremely capable and highly qualified Fighter Controller and a Master Fighter Controller.

In the recent past the enemy had stepped up its hostile activities including frequent violations of the Indian air space for purposes of reconnaissance and intelligence. On 10 Aug 99, at 1052 hrs, the Controller on duty on radar picked up an unidentified track inside Pakistan heading towards India 160 km from base 42 km from the nearest point on the International Border. The Controller immediately informed the Sector Director and Wg Cdr Sharma. Considering the significance of the track, Wg Cdr Sharma took personal charge and immediately placed our air defence interceptors on higher alert. The speed of the unidentified aircraft indicated the possibility of a shooting engagement involving risk to Indian life and property. The unidentified aircraft continued several orbits over the IB, in the process intruding into Indian air space twice between 1100 and 1111 hrs. Wg Cdr Sharma directed the air defence interceptors at 1100 hrs to scramble and positioned them in such a manner as to boldly intercept this unidentified aircraft if it carried out any further violation of Indian airspace.

When this hostile aircraft intruded into Indian air space again at 1115 hrs, he ordered the air defence mission to identify the intruder. On being identified as a Pakistan Navy Atlantique maritime reconnaissance aircraft, Wg Cdr Sharma, in a cool and professional manner, ordered the hostile aircraft to be shot down, thus ensuring the sanctity of Indian air space.

Wg Cdr Vijay Suman Sharma displayed courage, immaculate professionalism and extremely accurate and superior controlling of the air defence interceptors, which culminated in a successful execution of a difficult interception at low levels.

For his act of professional excellence and gallantry in the face of hostile enemy action, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vijay Suman Sharma.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Pankaj Vishnoi 17347 F(P)Unit : No.119 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Pankaj Vishnoi (17347) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since Mar 97. He has flown more than 4600 hrs and is a Type Qualified Flying Instructor.

On 19 May 99, a severe cyclone storm hit near the Kutch coast causing heavy devastation and destruction in the high seas around the coastal areas of Porbandar. A message was received to rescue a country vessel "Al Quasmi" which was incapacitated due to engine problems in the mid seas. Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi was detailed to under take this arduous task to winch out the passengers from the disabled ship to safety. Inclement weather and gusty sea conditions made it harder to achieve this mission. He took off from Porbandar and located the ship after searching relentlessly for an hour in conditions of low clouds and thundershowers. He commenced winching under strong wind conditions and low clouds and was able to pick up five persons. Thereafter the visibility started reducing making it more and more difficult to operate over sea as the waves rose to a height of 3-5 mtrs. Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi continued with the task, with great courage and determination and successfully managed to rescue a total of eight persons after which the wealthier did not permit him further operations.

Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi was also responsible for recovery of the Atlantique aircraft debris which was shot down over the Bundela Rann of Kutch on 10 Aug 99. The task was carried out in a difficult terrain and under very hostile conditions.

For his professionalism and courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Prashant Kumar Bundela 21540 F(P)Unit : No.45 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Prashant Kumar Bundela (21540) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the fighter stream on 14 Dec 91 and is posted to a Fighter Squadron in the Western Sector. He has acquitted himself exceptionally during his service, achieving a high level of professional competence. On 10 Aug 99, Sqn Ldr Bundela was the leader of a two aircraft MiG-21 Bis live AD alert mission. After several hours of resolute alert state, at 1100 hrs Sqn Ldr Bundela's mission was scrambled by the radar unit to intercept an unidentified track approaching the international border, North-West of Naliya. After scrambling expeditiously, Sqn Ldr Bundela took his formation to meet the threat and made visual contact with the unidentified aircraft which had crossed the border into Indian airspace and correctly identified the aircraft as a Pakistan Navy Atlantique Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft.

Squadron Leader Bundela asked his Wingman to identify the intruder and judged that intruder was engaged in a hostile Reconnaissance/Elint/Probe Mission. Squadron Leader Bundela first tried to instruct the intruder through visual signals to land at the designated Indian Air Base. However, instead of following these instructions, the intruder turned menacingly towards Sqn Ldr Bundela. On establishing the intruder's hostile intentions Sqn Ldr Bundela, keeping his composure under enemy threat, fired an Air to Air Missile at the intruder. The intruder was brought down by the single missile finding its mark. The threat to our air space and hostile action of the enemy was thus neutralized.

Squadron Leader Bundela's gallantry ensured the inviolability and sanctity of Indian Air Space against hostile action by enemy aircraft.

For this conspicuous act of gallantry in the face of the enemy and for displaying professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Prashant Kumar Bundela.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Kandarpa Venkata Surya Narasimha Murthy 20136 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Kandrapa Venkata Surya Narismha Murthy VM (20136) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 30 Jun 97.

On 28 Feb 99, Sqn Ldr Murthy was detailed to carry out air maintenance operations from Kamzwal Detachment, Mizoram. En­route to the Vasitlong dropping­zone, over mountainous terrain, he noted the Port Engine fire warning light coming ON followed by the fire extinguisher bottles operating in the 'AUTO' mode. He took immediate actions to shut down the affected engine and to recover the Helicopter on to a single engine flight. The terrain did not offer any immediate emergency landing round. Displaying considerable presence of mind, and utilising his intimate knowledge of the area, he headed for a field 20 nautical miles away, at Chawngte, where there was scope for safe landing of the helicopter and its subsequent recovery. The field was a level ground of restricted dimensions surround ed by all trees and poles at the edges. A forced-landing on single engine at this field demanded considerable skill, composure and courage. Sqn Ldr Murthy prepared himself and his crew for the task ahead through a comprehensive briefing covering all contingencies. Displaying flawless control and with perfect crew coordination, he carried out a safe single engine landing. There was no damage to the Helicopter.

A dedicated and thorough professional, Sqn Ldr Murthy displayed most remarkable airmanship and effective leadership and saved a valuable Helicopter and precious human lives from possible mishap. In doing so, he has set an inspirational example for others to emulate.

For this act of exceptional devotion to duty in the face of a grave emergency and exemplary airmanship, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Bar to Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Kandrapa Venkata Surya Narsimha Murthy.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt James Sebastian 13385 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain James Sebastian (13385) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 02 Jun 73 in the Flying Branch of the IAF. He is a qualified Flying Instructor and has more than 6000 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. His past assignments include Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of a Transport Squadron.

Gp Capt. Sebastian took over command of a Transport Squadron on 18 Oct 95. He was not type-qualified at that time. The Officer realised that sustained excellence could materilise, only through a total cultural reorientation of his manpower. He also realised that personal example and self-esteem would be an important catalyst in the change. With this objective, through a series of sustained individual and collective interactions, he infused a sense of belonging and cohesion in his personnel and instilled a sense of pride in them. Simultaneously, through meticulous planning, he ensured that the support environment matched and complimented the ethos of excellence he set for his Sqn. Intense efforts toward both, accelerated categorisation and operational role clearances of aircrew, on the job training and classes for ground crew, concerted efforts in maintenance and the dedicated thrust towards works services were all elements of this focus.

Leading by example, Gp Capt Sebastian completed his conversion and categorisation and commenced his operational role qualifications within six months of assuming command of his Sqn. He qualified himself in formation-role and led the Sqn in all major Air Force exercises. He also formulated the operating procedures and necessary training schedules and made his Sqn operational in bombing, a new role assigned to the unit. As a result of his sustained and dedicated efforts, his Sqn was adjudged 'Best Transport Squadron' in EAC for two years consecutively and was declared 'Best Transport Squadron' in the IAF in 1998. The culture of excellence also reflected itself in prompt task completion and exceptional Flight Safety record.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain James Sebastian.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal 13598 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal (13598) Flying (Pilot) was Commissioned on 22 Dec 73, in the Flying Branch of the IAF. He has held the appointments of Flight Commander of two Squadrons, Chief Instructor at Air Force Station Yelahanka and Commanding Officer of a Transport Squadron. He is a graduate of the College of Defence Management.

In Dec 96, during the Aero India Show at Air Force Station Yelahanka, as the Chief Instructor and Co-ordinator of the event, he with his meticulousness, eye for detail and an uncanny ability to optimally utilise the limited human and material resources, worked intensely long hours to make the show a grand success in every sense.

In his present capacity as the Commanding Officer he has taken keen interest in ensuring and achieving an exceptionally high categorisation and Ops Status of the unit. This materialised in an outstandingly successful Battalion Group Drop with exceptional accuracy. He was further instrumental in successfully completing the conversion of six newly posted pilots, two navigators, seven flight signallers and three flight engineers in a record span of seven months against the targeted eighteen months.

On 26 May 1999, when alert was declared, he rose to his full measure. The unit maintained a very high serviceability state throughout the operations. Every single aircraft was launched on time, often at very short notice and at odd hours and every commitment met with the highest professionalism.

When given a window of opportunity during the two transport seminars held in his tenure, he has shown vision, far-sightedness and brilliance in presenting outstanding papers on Transport Tactical Training and Development Establishment, Airborne Assault Operations and Route Transport Operations. These valuable contributions of his did not go unnoticed and were commended at the highest levels and have already seen the light of day.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Gp Capt TK Venugopal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Devinder Singh 14284 F(P)Unit : 9 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Devinder Singh (14284) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 13 Dec 75. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor with 4500 hrs of total Flying. A graduate from DSSC who has held important appointments like QFI at Flying Instructors' School, Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron. Presently, he is the Chief Operations Officer of a major flying base.

In the last two years, as the Chief Operations Officer, he set certain major goals for himself and achieved them with distinction. All the Ops commitments given to his station were successfully completed. During his tenure, this base was inspected by the DASI team twice. In both the visits the DASI assessed the operations aspect of the Station as average plus. All this was possible due to his deep involvement and dedication to professional excellence.

Another major achievement of the officer was the computerisation of the air to ground SK Range score data. With his innovative ideas and with the local resources he developed a software programme, which is capable of carrying out a very good analysis of the range scores on various aspects. This programme has been accepted by HQ WAC and is presently in use.

The officer worked very hard during the major exercises i.e. Trishul 98 and Trishul 99. His performance in both the cases was outstanding. During these exercises his base launched the maximum number of sorties, (840 and 909 sorties respectively). All operational aspects were well co-ordinated and well handled.

For the WAC Flight Safety Council Meeting held at his base on 03 May 99, the officer meticulously co-ordinated all the aspects which ensured that the meeting was held in clockwork precision. He put in a lot of effort in beautifying the Base Ops Complex both inside as well as on the outside, which is noteworthy.

For his tireless devotion to duty, professional excellence and innovative ideas Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Devinder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Perumpillabil Narayanan Radha Govind 15019 F(P)Unit : No.220 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Perumpillabil Narayanan Radha Govind (15019) Flying (Pilot) has been the Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron since 25 Mar 97. He is an A-2 QFI who has served as an instructor both at Air Force Academy and Flying Instructor School. He has over 4000 h of accident free flying to his credit, having been fully Ops on the SU-7, MiG-23 BN and MiG-27. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, and the College of Defence Management.

Wg Cdr Govind, the Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron has distinguished himself in many ways. He relocated his Squadron at a new station in a short span without compromising in its operational efficiency. The Squadron was relocated at a place that had been disused for a long time. With his leadership and motivation he set about cleaning up and operationalising the area which now stands out for its cleanliness and operational efficiency. He also implemented an innovative concept of providing spatial identity by providing each aircrew with distinctive work area.

In terms of training, he achieved and maintained near 100% operational status of all his aircrew. In spite of shortage of aircrew he ensured a high percentage of night strike qualified pilots while consistently meeting the allotted flying task.

In the area of maintenance, in spite of constraints of limited technical infrastructure, his unit achieved and maintained a high aircraft and specialist vehicles serviceability. He motivated his unit to achieve the best Ops turn around service timing for two years in a row during Ex-Trishuls 98 and 99. His Unit has also designed and fabricated innovative test rigs, which were highly appreciated by AOC-in-C, HQ WAC during his visit to the Unit.

For his significant contribution is managing a front line Fighter Squadron with his effective leadership, tireless devotion to duty and thirst for excellence, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Perumpillabil Narayanan Radha Govind.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Adiyeri Chevidichi Rajeev 15215 F(P)Unit : No.30 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Adiyeri Chevidichi Rajeev (15215) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Branch on 28 Dec 77. He has 3850 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. The officer has held the appointments of Right Commander and Station Flight Safety and Inspection Officer. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Strike Leader and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has been commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command and by the Chief of the Air Staff.

Wg Cdr Rajeev is posted as Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron responsible for ab-initio type training. Operational conversion training of ab-initio trainees on fighter aircraft is an unenviable task. Early in his tenure, Wg Cdr Rajeev assessed the demands of his exacting task. Through concerted effort and effective leadership Wg Cdr Rajeev ensured prompt task completion thus enabling all courses to pass out in time. The exceptional flight safety record, the Squadron enjoyed, inspire of the intense training environment, speaks volumes of the Commanding Officer's deep involvement. Staff pilot training was also accelerated to ensure 100% operational and instructional clearances. His innovative training techniques have been adapted by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection for implementation in other Squadrons. Wg Cdr Rajeev himself reached a personal land-mark of 2000 hrs of accident free flying on the MiG21, which is a most creditable achievement by itself.

Driven by the singular aim of improving aircraft availability for his task, he addressed the issue of a large number of aircraft on ground (AOG). Through effective liaison with higher formations and HAL, he accelerated the clearance of his AOG demands. Effec tively utilising his managerial skills and excellent interpersonal relations he raised the productivity of his technical staff. The end result was a sustained high serviceability, touching 100% at times. His genuine concern for his men and welfare orientation has resulted in a large number of welfare measures in his Squadron.

For exceptional devotion to duty and exemplary leadership the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Adiyeri Chevidichi Rajeev.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Jasbir Walia 15684 F(P)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Jasbir Walia (15684) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 15 Jun 79 in the Flying Branch of the IAF and has been the Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron since 17 Mar 97.

A highly motivated, diligent and responsible officer, Wg Cdr Walia has been able to motivate the Unit to a very high level of performance. The Squadron, during his tenure, has risen from strength to strength, which has been possible as a result of his exceptional leadership qualities. In Nov 97 the Squadron was graded above average by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI). The Unit has also proved its mettle in the Command Gunnery Meets, winning the first overall position for two years in succession. Wg Cdr Walia ensured that the operational capability of the Squadron kept on improving over this period. Whereas initially there was only one maritime night strike qualified pilot in the Squadron, now the Squadron can boast of nine nights strike qualified pilots and eleven supervisors. Except the newly postedin pilots, all are rated Green and above.

Leading by example, Wg Cdr Walia has been able to instill confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of pride in his men, binding the unit into a strong and potent team of professionals. The Squadron being adjudged the best Fighter Squadron in the Command bears testimony to this fact. At the same time, he has always held the welfare of those below him high in his priority by taking personal interest in the problems pertaining to the personnel and has been able to keep the morale of the personnel high.

For his professional capability and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Jasbir Walia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjib Kumar Bhattacharya 15702 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Sanjib Kumar Bhattacharya (15702) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned into the Flying Branch of the IAF on 15 Jun 79. He has more than 6000 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. An A-2, QFI he has been Flight Commander of a Helicopter Squadron, an examiner with the Air Crew Examination Board and Chief Operational Officer of a flying station. He has also been on deputation to the Namibian Defence Forces.

Wg Cdr Bhattacharya was posted as Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit since 01 Feb 97. Driven by an objective orientation of operational excellence, he embarked on the transformation of his Unit in all spheres of activity. Through total involvement and concerted efforts he brought up the categorisation status of his unit to enviably high standards. He ensured operational role clearance of all eligible aircrew. Through close interaction with the maintenance staff he ensured a high level of serviceability. All tasks allotted to the Unit were executed most efficiently, economically and on schedule throughout his tenure of two years. His Unit boasts of the best tonnage per hour in the Indian Air Force.

Wg Cdr Bhattacharya always led from front. He himself flew 650 hrs during a twoyear period, a very creditable achievement considering other compelling demands on him as a Commanding Officer. He displayed extra ordinary courage in taking on difficult assignments himself. The airlift of seven tons of badly needed Foam Compound from Chabua to Digboi to fight the Oil Refinery fire and the daring dusk time airlift of critically injured school children form Tawang to Itanagar are examples in courage and leadership set by him. Both these missions were undertaken during adverse weather and extremely poor visibility conditions.

Wg Cdr Bhattacharya has motivated his personnel through sincerity of purpose and intensity of his convictions. Through meticulous planning and single-minded devotion he achieved and maintained his target of operational excellence throughout.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sanjib Kumar Bhattacharya.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sunil Bijlani 16087 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Sunil Bijlani (16087) Flying (Pilot) has been commanding a Helicopter Unit since 24 Nov 97. He is a QFI with over 3700 hrs of flying experience on Mi-8, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.

On 18 Aug 98 a group of outgoing Mansarovar Yatris was decimated during a massive landslide at Malpa village in UP hills. Wg Cdr Bijlani was designated the Type Force Commander (Chetak/Cheetah) for 'Op Blue Angels' in support of disaster relief of Mansarovar Yatris at Malpa and Ganji. On 20 Aug 98 he led a detachment of four helicopters to Dharchula. Two attempts were made by him to penetrate the weather and land at Malpa on 21 Aug 98 but were not successful. However, on 22 Aug 98 in the second attempt he entered the narrow gorge between clouds, which were a few hundred feet above the valley floor and successfully carried out a landing at the semi-prepared and slushy helipad, thus clearing operations from Malpa by other pilots. Thereafter, he personally carried out fiftyeight sorties towards this operation, which involved airlifting survivors, decomposed bodies, passengers and supplies to and from Malpa. Apart from carrying on his flying duties he was also required to liaise with the civil administration, relatives of the yatris and the Press resulting in smooth flow of information. His dedicated professionalism and leadership ensured completion of an accident/incident free flying task resulting in evacuation of 37 dead bodies, 15 casualties and 119 passengers. As the Commanding Officer he was also able to sustain very high level of morale of all pilots and ground crew at Dharchula operating under difficult conditions to bring out the best in all Air Force personnel. His personal example, leadership and close co-ordination not only helped the civil administration in successful conduct of relief operations but also elevated the image of the Service through the Press.

For exceptional devotion to duty during flying operations in adverse weather, terrain and leadership qualities of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sunil Bijlani.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Vidya Sagar Bharati 16611 F(P)Unit : No.105 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Vidya Sagar Bharati YSM (16611) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 11 Dec 81 in the Flying Branch of the IAF. For his distinguished service during the IPKF Ops in Sri Lanka he was awarded YSM in 1989. He has held appointments of Flight Commander of two operational units and is presently Commanding a Helicopter Unit since 29 Jun 98. He is a QFI and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

The recent unprecedented floods in U.P. and Bihar left lakhs of people marooned and helpless. The State Administration sought immediate help of the Air Force. Wg Cdr Bharti's unit was tasked to provide relief and succour to the victims. With meticulous planning and foresight he led the three months long flood relief operations on a war footing. Under his dynamic leadership the unit airlifted 521528 Kgs of relief material and 342 personnel. The relief operations brought appreciation and laurels from all around and especially from the Government of U.P. The Prime Minister himself greatly lauded this effort during his visit to the Station.

Wg Cdr Bharti ensured very high aircraft serviceability and availability during the entire operations and capped it with 100% serviceability by flying all the helicopters on unit's strength on culmination of the relief operations.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Rajiv Kumar Narang 20456 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajiv Kumar Narang (20456) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit. During his tenure he has flown 135 hrs in the unforgiving terrain of Ladakh and Siachen Glacier.

On 14 Aug 98, Sqn Ldr RK Narang was detailed as captain for an ITBP communication sortie in Sub Sector North. On the return leg after crossing Sacer-La Pass, he experienced an engine failure at an altitude of 17800 ft. Sqn Ldr RK Narang maintained his composure and reacted correctly to the emergency and was able to retain the rotor rpm, which is vital for a successful autorotative landing. Displaying the highest standards of captaincy, he utilised his co-pilot to pick up the only available landing spot in that rocky terrain. The execution of the autorotative landing was such that the helicopter touched down with near zero speed and hardly any impact, though it rolled over subsequently due to the rocky terrain. After landing, disregarding his personal safety, he helped his passenger to escape before leaving the damaged aircraft himself.

Sqn Ldr RK Narang not only displayed exceptional standards of professionalism but also an ability to think and react calmly, quickly and correctly in a critical emergency.

For his exemplary airmanship, composure, presence of mind and professionalism of a very high order in the face of a grave emergency, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Rajiv Kumar Narang.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Chandan Sharda 21026 F(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Chandan Sharda (21026) Flying (Pilot) was authorised to fly an air test sortie on 04 Aug 98 on fighter aircraft. During the descent from 11 Km at 6.5 Km he experienced a loud bang and ducked down instinctively. Soon he realised that the right side upper bubble of the canopy had shattered and he had been hit by a chunk on Perspex on his head. He quickly throttled back to idling rpm and descended to 2 Km with airbrakes out, simultaneously dropping speed to 400 Km/h IAS. During the descent he realised that his visor had broken free, there was blood on his shoulder and blood splattered on the rear view mirror which had also been shattered. He had suffered deep cuts on his cheek and forehead and the bleeding was obscuring his vision. Due to the high noise level in the cockpit, R/T was ineffective, necessitating a U/S R/T recovery. To obviate further injury from loose corners of the shattered canopy he attempted to jettison it, which failed to lift free from the railing. During the base leg turn the canopy finally lifted free and a safe landing was made.

Squadron Leader C Sharda has displayed a high degree of courage and acted gallantly with a composed frame of mind even in an injured state, thereby saving a valuable aircraft.

For devotion to duty in recovering the aircraft in a difficult situation, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Chandan Sharda.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Flt Lt Sandeep Soti 22343 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Soti (22343) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit from 03 Mar 97. He has flown a total of 967 hrs during his tenure in this Unit of which 632 hrs were flown in the Siachen.

Flt Lt Soti has been an extremely hard working Pilot. He has flown on many occasions in the face of enemy firing to the shell prone posts of Amar and Sonam. He has had close shaves with enemy shells on numerous occasions. Displaying nerves of steel he kept flying to the threatened posts relentlessly. Composed and determined, Flt Lt Soti continued giving his best with added enthusiasm and dedication. His courage in the face of the enemy and professional approach were source for inspiration for others.

In May 98, he carried out a spectacular evacuation of pilots, off a hover, from Amar (at an altitude of 20,000 ft) under heavy enemy firing. He was also a part of the recovery team which was inducted to Amar in Oct 97 to retrieve a battle damaged Helicopter. His contribution towards the war effort in the Siachen has been significant.

For this exemplary devotion to duty and professionalism of a very high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Soti.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
WO Narayan Chandra Ghosh 613179 ORUnit : Para Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details : 613179 Warrant Officer Narayan Chandra Ghosh GTI/PJI was enrolled as ground training instructor on 08 Nov 72 in the Indian Air Force. WO N C Ghosh has been on the posted strength of paratroopers training school, airforce since 08 feb 82 and has been performing duties of parachute jump and free fall instructor. WO Ghosh is one of the pioneers who have earned the distinction of carrying out 1089 parachute jumps, without an incident or injury, which includes 879 free fall jumps and 210 static line jumps. He has jumped from 13 different types of aircraft using 12 types of parachutes. He is also a qualified combat free fall instructor. Due to his immense experience and skill he has participated in Malaysian armed forces open parachuting championship held in Malaysia in May 95.WO N C Ghosh has jumped from the highest altitude that is 30,000 feet AGL. This is an indian record. It should not be out of place to mention that jump from such a high altitude demands extreme physical fitness and very high professional standards. He is also the founder member of indian airforce sky diving team 'Akash Ganga'. He has participated in innumerable demonstrations put by the team at various places to mark important national events.He is an expert in discipline of canopy formations, which includes making the tricolour stack and landing them inside stadia and restricted drop zones.He has been part of the pioneer team of three who for the first time in the history of indian parachuting carried out relative work and canopy relative work formation during the night free fall.For exceptional devotion to duty the hon'ble president is pleased to award 'vayu sena medal',to Warrant Officer Narayan Chandra Ghosh.
Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Prakash Eknath Patange 17706 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Prashant Eknath Patange YSM (17706) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 20 Apr 98 and is presently its Flight Commander.

On 22 Oct 99, the unit was tasked to evacuate 16 mountaineers (Foreign nationals) from Linghsi Makan in Bhutan, trapped at an altitude of nearly 15,000 feet due to heavy snowfall. They were suffering from high altitude sickness and were desperately short of food and supplies. The marginal weather and the forbidding snow bound mountainous terrain made the task of rescue extremely difficult and daunting. To get to the trapped group, a pass at 17500 feet had to be negotiated. This required skillful handling of the helicopter since the machine would be close to its operational limits.

After meticulously planning the entire operation Sqn Ldr Patange took-off for the location in a very short time. On locating the survivors he realised that the only option was to land on a small makeshift clearing, located on an exposed ridge, which itself was under more than four feet of snow. Such landing would demand exceptional flying skills and extra ordinary courage, since even a slight mishandling could lead to a catastrophic accident. Unmindful of personal danger he landed at the makeshift site not once but eight times to evacuate all the mountaineers to safety. His efforts saved 16 lives on that day. In executing the mission Sqn Ldr Patange ignored the grave danger to his life and lived up to the true traditions of the IAF.

Sqn Ldr Patange was involved in a similar rescue of two Dutch mountaineers suffering from severe high altitude sickness in Bhutan Himalayas on 08 Oct 99. His bold and courageous actions on both occasions have brought accolades and praise for the country and the Indian Air Force from the Royal Govt of Bhutan and heartfelt gratitude from evacuated foreign nationals.

For his act of courage and professionalism, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Prashant Eknath Patange.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th December 2000 - No.150-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kailash Gurao 21573 F(P)Unit : No.118 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 00
Details :

Squadron leader Kailash Gurao (21573) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 22 Feb 99. On 01 Nov 99 he was detailed to fly the Raksha Mantri (RM) and two other VIPs for a reconnaissance sortie over the cyclone ravaged areas in Orissa followed by a landing at Paradip. After the recce was over Paradip, Sqn Ldr Guaro apprised the minister of the risk of landing at an unsecured and unprepared helipad. However, as desired by the RM, a landing was executed on an unprepared site.

After the departure of RM, the crowd started getting disturbed and restive, forcing Mr. Navin Patnaik, Minister of Mines and Minerals, who had earlier deplaned, to rush to near by building to seek shelter from the angry mob. Part of the crowd by then, turned violent and some of them threatened to burn the helicopter and assault the passengers. Sqn Ldr Gurao decided to start the helicopter and await arrival of the RM. The Flight Gunner, along with the available policemen was detailed to guard the tail rotor during the start up. On seeing Mr. Navin Patnaik being manhandled by the mob, Sqn Ldr Gurao along with his crew pulled him safely inside the helicopter. By then the crowd started pelting stones and some even tried to board the helicopters. At this stage, Sqn Ldr Guaro immediately took-off to ensure safety of the VIPs. After the crowd had dispersed he picked up the gunner from a low hover. Subsequently, Sqn Ldr Gurao located the Raksha Mantri at the Paradip Port jetty. He immediately maneuvered the helicopter into the confined space, executed a landing and returned to Bhubaneshwar with the RM.

This mission of safely retrieving the helicopter as well as rescuing the VIPs from mob frenzy in a difficult and volatile situation bears testimony to Sqn Ldr Guaro's extraordinary courage and professional skills. His actions saved the Raksha Mantri and his entourage from possible physical harm. The presence of mind shown by him at the time of the crisis is extremely praiseworthy.

For his act professionalism and extraordinary courage in the face of a challenging situation, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Kailash Gurao.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th December 2000 - No.150-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Rajat Saha 22374 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 00
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Rajat Saha (22374) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) is on the posted strength of 114 Helicopter Unit since 18 Aug 98. He is the Senior Technical Officer of the unit.

As Senior Technical Officer, Flt Lt Rajat Saha has displayed a deep sense of professional commitment. Many snags peculiar to the high altitude flying in 'Op Meghdoot' sector were effectively resolved by his initiative and involvement. With his professionalism and persistent efforts he has maintained a very high state of serviceability of the Cheetah helicopters operating in the battle zone of Siachen Glacier.

On 21 Sep 99, a Cheetah helicopter of the unit had an engine surge and flame out at Amar helipad, which is located at the AGPL at 19000 feet height. The post is under regular enemy fire by Mortar, Artillery and HMG. On 22 Sep 99, Flt Lt Saha willingly got inducted to Amar Post along with the Deputy Flt Cdr of the unit, to work out the modalities for recovering this helicopter. As this post is located on a narrow ledge, covered with ice and undulating surface, changing an engine there was extremely demanding and risky. Under consistent enemy fire, unmindful of danger to his life, he checked out the engine for its condition physically and carried out two ground runs. With application of his sound professional knowledge, Flt Lt Saha rectified the engine and gave his consent for flying out this helicopter from Amar helipad. Not only did he clear the helicopter for flying but also insisted to travel as a passenger, thus displaying exceptional courage and sense of responsibility. Flt Lt Saha has done proud to the Indian Air Force and the nation by recovering a costly machine from the highest helipad in 'Op Meghdoot' area in the face of enemy fire, disregarding the danger to his life.

For his dedication, professionalism and courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Rajat Saha.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th December 2000 - No.150-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Thekkekara Thomas Job 11507 AE(M)Unit : 11 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Air Commodore Thekkekara Thomas Job (11507) AE (M) is commanding a premier Base Repair Depot (BRD) for fighter aircraft.

The BRD was assigned the task of overhaul of a front line fighter aircraft. Due to disintegration of erstwhile USSR the project had got delayed. Spares were not forthcoming. There was considerable delay in arrival of equipment and specialists. Consequently, only one aircraft could be overhauled in 1997-98. A large number of aircraft started falling due for overhaul. Under the leadership of Air Cmde Job a life extension study was successfully carried out involving specialists/ scientists from Indian Air Force, Hindustan Aeronautical Limited, NAL, IGCAR and RCMA (N). Consequently, the aircraft could be given a longer lease of life before overhaul, thereby preventing the possibility of sending the aircraft abroad for overhaul. This saved crores in foreign exchange.

Extension of life of aircraft was a shortterm solution. Therefore, Air Cmde Job took on the uphill task of fully setting up the overhaul facilities to enhance production of aircraft. He motivated a team of officers and men to install test equipment and rigs without the help of Russian Specialists. Consequently, the requirement for Russian Specialists reduced. He guided another group to successfully indigenise and produce spares. Consequently, six aircraft were overhauled in 1998-99. He simultaneously devoted considerable time and energy in improving quality of life in the Depot by introduction of a number of welfare measures. Under his able leadership, the Depot has won awards for best BRD, best MI Room and best Nursery School in Maintenance Command as well as best Nursery School in IAF.

For his exemplary vision, dedication and professional competence, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Thekkekara Thomas Job.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Manovinder Shamsher Bahadur Singh Jauhar 12201 F(P)Unit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Manovinder Shamsher Bahadur Singh Jauhar (12201) F (P) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 20 Dec 69. He was inducted in the fighter stream and has over 3600 hrs of flying to his credit. He is a qualified flying instructor (QFI), has done the Staff Course and is a post graduate in the Defence Studies. He has also served as a QFI in Iraq. In 1979 he converted to Canberra and took active part in Operation Meghdoot and Operation Pawan. He commanded the Canberra Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron between 1990-92.

Between 1993-95 he served as Chief Operations Officer at AF Station Leh. Despite the constraints of manpower and resources, he supervised and controlled the safe conduct of all air operations for Op Meghdoot in the high altitude and hostile environment. He also set up and activated the BADC for Leh sector.

In Dec 1995 Gp Capt Jauhar was posted as Joint Director Weapons at Air Headquarters with the additional responsibility of coordination all tech and logistics function of weapons planning for the IAF. The revision of IAF's operational philosophy and induction of advanced weapon systems required a reworking of War Waging Reserves for weapons for the IAF. Gp. Capt Jauhar quickly gained in-depth knowledge of the weapon systems, involved himself with various trials and evaluations and completed the above task. He liaised with various defence development and production agencies to initiate indegenisation and achieve prioritised production for IAF requirements. Along with his dedicated team of officers he also identified various shortcomings in our weapon holdings and the storage facilities and initiated remedial actions. Stores like LGBs and R-73E missiles were made operational at the earliest.

With the commencement of Op Safed Sagar the awareness of above weapon limitation helped in ensuring that only the correct and complete weapons reached the field formations. Along with his team of officers and airmen, Gp Capt Jauhar ensured that weapon requirements, weapon logistics and weapon data was processed round the clock at Air Headquarters and weapon stocking as per field requirements completed in the shortest time.

For his distinguished service of a very high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Manovinder Shamsher Bahadur Singh Jauhar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Nairessery Sekharan Raveendran 12614 AE(L)Unit : Guided Weapons Training Institute  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Nairessery Sekharan Raveendran (12614) AE (L) has been the Commanding Officer of Guided Weapons Training Institute (GWTI) since Sep 97. Ever since assuming command he has exhibited creativity in improving the training and the standard of output at this Institute.

With initiative and planning, Gp Capt Raveendran has set up a Technology Cell to identify methods of indigenisation of spares. This is crucial as no indigenous repair facilities exist for this equipment. This Cell has developed an important device for CVs resulting in saving of Rs. 4 lakhs till date and is likely to accrue further savings.

Under his dynamic guidance, the GWTI, which is mainly a training institute, had repaired/modified complicated PCBs and channel selectors of CVs, which had prevented many of them from being rendered MOG. A radar alignment vehicle of a missile Squadron, which had been unserviceable for about 20 months due to lack of publications on its hydraulic system, was made serviceable. The importance of this rectification lies in the fact that the radars and computers of the CVs are required to be calibrated with an alignment vehicle prior to operational deployment. He was also responsible for resurrecting a PU-12 Missile Control Post vehicle which was U/S for more than three years, by indegenisation of spares and imaginative modification. The repairs have caused huge savings in foreign exchange as well as reduced the down time of the equipment.

Gp Capt Raveendran has made many innovations in the sphere of training also. Till recently the training material supplied to the trainees were direct translations of Russian publications into English, which did not take into consideration our own experience in the field. He brought out a total of 26 précis, which are simpler and better. All the syllabii were revised and training aids and standards were improved. Because of these improvements, the DASI graded the GWTI as above average, in Jul 98.

In recognition of his foresight, imagination, dedication and contribution to the quality of maintenance at the field level, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Nairessery Sekharan Raveendran.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vijay Shanker Kapani 12766 F(P)Unit : 12 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Vijay Shanker Kapani (12766) F (P) was commissioned on 12 Jun 1971 in fighter stream and is fully qualified on MiG-21 variants with 2800 hrs of accident free flying. He is an A-2 QFI as well as Fighter Combat Leader. He is posted as Chief Operations Officer of a base, which is unique in its operations requirement and has the distinction of operating fighter, Tpt, Hepters and guided weapon elements. He has shouldered this immense responsibility with total commitment, foresight and constructive planning spanning over two years.

This base by virtue of being a nodal point for complete air maintenance of the northern sector demanded expert management of meagre resources. His rational application of experience and effective operational handling yielded commendable results in achieving 100% air maintenance tasks during 1997-98 and 1998-99. VIP commitments, national flypasts and specific operational task assigned to the Station at short notice were also commendably executed under his able leadership. Because of his sincerity, dedication and flawless guidance this base could achieve all operational tasks during his tenure.

Understanding and far sightedness of Gp Capt VS Kapani to appreciate operational requirements provided him the impetus to rejuvenate the loop dispersal area, which housed 17 Blast Pens. This loop dispersal and assets worth crores were lying disused since last ten years and were in a dilapidated condition. Through personal example, grit, perseverance and time bound programs, he managed to retrieve these irreplaceable assets without any MES expenditure, thus affecting savings of crores to the exchequer. The area is now fully fit for fighter operations.

He is also responsible for heralding computer awareness at this station. His personal involvement and dedication has resulted in establishing of LAN and associated training including repair of large number computers which demanded extremely long and sustained quality work, much beyond the normal call of duties.

For his exemplary dedication total commitment and self-less contribution to service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Vijay Shanker Kapani.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Randhir Pratap 13146 F(P)Unit : 1 Air Defence Control Centre  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Randhir Pratap (13146) F (P) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Flying Branch on 24 Jan 72. He has held the appointments of Station Commander, Air Force Station Memora, and Commanding Officer of a Mig-21 Bis Squadron, Chief Flying Instructor, Fighter Training Wing and OPS- IB at Command HQ. He has undergone Fighter Combat Leader Course, Flying Instructor Course, Defence Services Staff College, Higher Command Course, Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner and Sector Commanders Course. He was awarded Commendation by Chief of the Air Staff in 1989 and 1995.

Gp Capt Randhir Pratap has been working as the Command Air Defence Officer since his posting to No. 1 Air Defence Control Center, Air Force on 12 Apr 97. His charter of duties in the appointment required him to discharge staff functions in respect of all the Air Defence Radars, variety of surface to air missiles and mobile observation units in Western Air Command. After taking over as Command Air Defence Officer at this Centre, Gp Capt Pratap showed remarkable understanding of his job, encompassing all aspects of Air Defence Operations. These included exploiting the capabilities of each system, their deployment, employment in assigned roles, resolving problems and conduct of exercises. He displayed 'Above Average' professional knowledge and allied skills in providing expert advice and guidance to all the units at all times. He has a highly analytical mind and staff work of a very high standard. His briefs and presentations on Air Defence matters are clear, concise and powerful.

Selfless service and ability to work beyond the routine call of duty makes him a valuable asset. He is highly innovative and accepts each new thought and project as a challenge and has the capacity to show results of his efforts. He is capable of taking independent decisions which together with a high level of honesty and integrity, makes him a potential leader of the future. He has very strong loyalty and integrity towards the Service.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Randhir Pratap.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Virender Nath Kalia 13568 F(P)Unit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Virender Nath Kalia (13568) F (P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying Branch on 22 Dec 73. He has been on the posted strength of Air HQ since April 98.

He has over 3000 hrs of accident free fighter flying. He has commanded a fighter Squadron. During his command this Squadron was awarded the runners-up trophy for the best fighter Squadron in the Command. He was earlier commended by the CAS in 1990 while he as the Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron.

In May 99 when Op Safed Sager was launched, Gp Capt Kalia who was Joint Director Personnel Officer (JDPO) was made responsible for ensuring smooth induction of officers for augmentation in the Op Units. This involved meticulous planning and close interaction with other branches at Air Headquarters. He cheerfully worked long hours and made effective use of computer media to provide details of augmentation plan to the concerned commands. This ensured that all Op commitments of manpower were met in time with no slip up whatsoever. During his tenure as JDPO he was also given the task of reviewing personnel policies concerning officers. Using his professional knowledge and experience, he was able to effectively undertake and complete all tasks assigned to him.

Gp Capt Kalia has an excellent track record in the 26 years spent in the Indian Air Force. He is a dedicated and devoted officer who has always placed Service before self. His devotion to duty and hard work has been a source of inspiration to his juniors and has always been appreciated by the superiors.

For excellent dedicated hard work and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Virender Nath Kalia.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Janakiramiah Arunachalam 13725 AE(L)Unit : 5 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Jankiramiah Arunachalam (13725) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) was commissioned into the Engineering Branch of the IAF on 08 July 74. During his career, he has worked in Communications, Signal Intelligence and Radars of various types. He is qualified on Mirage 2000. He has commanded a Wireless Experimental Unit.

Group Captain Arunachalam is posted to a flying base since 02 Mar 98 as Chief Engineering Officer. On assuming charge he recognised that the fighter fleets at his base were facing serious problems in serviceability due to a combination of management anomalies and acute shortage of critical spares. Galvanising his maintenance team into action, the officer adopted many innovative procedures to reduce down time of the limited number of available aircraft. Some of these are:- a. Design and fabrication of engine-stands for storage of Cat D aero engines, thus sparing the engine trolleys for servicing/ snag rectification. b. Fabrication of a de-fuelling rig for faster contamination-free de-fuelling of aircraft, in place of the laborious gravity method, an innovation adopted since then by other Stations. c. Innovative use of Cat D engines to undertake 200/400 hrs servicing and subsequent replacement of the engine with a new one, thus cutting down the downtime of the aircraft. d. Fabrication of testing facilities for Signal Processor, Doppler Navigator and elements of the Flight Control System.

In addition, Group Captain Arunachalam designed and developed a software for compilation of snag-data and construction of a snag-analysis tree, which has been effectively used to hasten snag rectification. The maintenance of another type of fighter aircraft, with its ageing problems, proved to be a more daunting task to the Group Captain, who once again had to fall back on ingenuity and innovation to overcome the hurdles. Among other things, repairs undertaken locally on the Cockpit Pressurization and Canopy Locking Systems are examples of the officer's initiative and drive.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Jankiramiah Arunachalam.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Pramod Kumar Roy 14100 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

For his contribution to studies related to low intensity conflict and for his writing on Role of Air Power in low intensity conflict, Gp Capt PK Roy became the first Service officer to receive the prestigious 'Om Satya Mehra Award'. He took over the command of an FBSU in Northern sector on 16 Jun 97. In pursuance of the task of air maintenance assigned to the FBSU, the officer has been instrumental in motivating and training young pilots to continue their hard work in most inclement weather. Under his able guidance, for the first time six barrels of 105-mm field guns were successfully paradropped on the Siachen glacier from a Mi-17 helicopter.

Utilizing his profound ingenuity and tenacity of purpose he was instrumental in fabricating, modifying and improvising various equipment. Some of his improvisations include loading trolley for Mi-17 helicopter, windsock from scrap and steering arm for Mi-17 helicopter. In running the station, Gp Capt PK Roy left no stone unturned in improving welfare of his personnel. He set up a model airmen institute, bakery, poultry, vegetable farm, cinema and a computer literacy center at the unit. He has been able to maintain the high morale of his men despite the difficult terrain and in unfriendly weather. The NPFs have shown considerable growth under his supervision. During his command, the station was declared best FBSU an achievement that can truly be attributed to his unrelenting efforts. By dint of his hard work, he maintained his station in a high state of operational preparedness.

Gp Capt PK Roy has displayed a high degree of maturity, dynamism and initiative throughout his service career. For his devotion to duty and exemplary hard work, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Gp Capt PK Roy.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Naresh Kumar Kapila 13638 ADMUnit : AHQ  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Naresh Kumar Kapila (13638) Adm/FC has been on the posted strength of Dte of Ops (AD) Air HQ since May 97. The Officer is a Cat A Fighter Controller and a graduate of DSSC Wellington. The officer has been very actively involved in development, integration, evaluation and operationalisation of various Air Defence operation systems during the last two decades. He has made highly significant and vital contributions to automation of our AD environment. The officer has successfully developed and proved three AD operational software packages of Automatic Data Handling System, which are in operational use in the IAF.

With his vast experience as Controller and his involvement in the development of computerised air defence systems the officer was specially posted to Low Level Radar Networking Group (LRNG) in 1992. In spite of being the only Fighter Controller for most of the period in the project, Wg Cdr Kapila carried out all operational activities of the project admirably and with utmost dedica tion. The first auto CRC has been a pioneering project as a concept in conduct of integrated opera tions in the IAF. The officer has also been involved in evaluation and induction of INDRA-I and INDRA-II Radars in the Air Force. His critical analysis and concrete sug gestions resulted in a number of improvements in the radar design by LRDE. The officer's contribution in this regard has been the appreciation placed on record by Director LRDE.

During the last two years, the officer was involved in induction of new Radars and Data Handling Systems and his vast knowledge in this field contributed to crystallisation of the AD philosophy. The officer has worked extremely hard to meet deadlines for drawing up a number of operational requirements for induction of futuristic systems such as Low Level Transportable Radar (LLTRs), AEROSTATS and AWACS-I.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wg Cdr Naresh Kumar Kapila.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Venkitaraman Subramanian 13673 LGSUnit : 11 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Venkitaraman Subramanian (13673) Logistics was posted at a Base Repair Depot since 11 Apr 98 as Chief Logistics Officer. During his service career he has held various important appointments viz. SLO, Air Force Station, Yelahanka, OC 24 Equipment Depot (Dett), Senior Instructor Logistics at Air Force Academy and Instructor with Nigerian Air Force.

On taking over as Chief Logistics Officer of a BRD, which overhauls front line fighter aircraft, he carried out an analysis of the problem areas that existed in providing spares to the production line. A complete reorganisation of the Logistics Support Wing was carried out bringing all provisioning activities together under one head and all stores management under another head. Key Result Areas after this were the centralization of Stock Record Section and the formulation of the BRD AOG cell. Immediate positive results were seen in the optimum utilisation of items found common between the weapon systems and elimination of duplicate provisioning action. The long term benefits that have accrued to the IAF are a 25% reduction in the quantum of spares that would be procured from foreign sources through the provisioning reviews of 1998 and resultant savings of FOREX. Centralised AOG management resulted in drastic reduction of outstanding AOG demand.

The BRD was entrusted with the enhanced task of production of a frontline fighter aircraft in 1998-99 to avoid sending these aircraft abroad for overhaul. Critical spares, which were to be received from abroad, had not materialised and the impending urgency was to procure these from HAL and other various sources. Continuous personal monitoring, adoption of ingenious methods and total involvement in the task achievement were the highlights of the officer's contribution.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Venkitaraman Subramanian.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Navin Rattan 14242 MEDUnit : 40 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Wing Commander Navin Rattan (14242) Med was commissioned in the Medical Branch on 31 Aug 75. He is a post-graduate in Aerospace Medicine as well as in Internal Medicine. As a Specialist in Aerospace Medicine, he has held important appointments at Air Force Central Medical Establishment, Air Force Academy and the Institute of Aero space Medicine (IAM). He is also Postgraduate Examiner of Bangalore University. His research efforts have contributed in retrieval of a large number of medically grounded aircrew with ECG abnormality and development of an indigenous air sickness control programme wherein 60% cases of trainee aircrew with air sickness are being prevented from being wasted out. At IAM he excelled by restoring the serviceability of the long unserviceable Decompression Chamber the Institute effecting savings to the tune of over Rupees 35 Lakhs. His original and innovative research work in the field of flying clothing and oxygen systems was the pioneering effort towards indigeni sation, development and testing of the Life Support System of the Light Combatant Aircraft, a programme of national importance.

Wing Commander N Rattan, as Senior Medical Officer of Air Force Station, Gwalior has converted the conventional primary care medical establishment of Station Sick Quarters to a modern mini hospital. Medicare has been taken to the door step by establishing two new sub MI rooms in the domestic camps. He has, through foresight, vision and perseverance, created a new modern Family Welfare Centre from an old dilapidated building which now houses a Family Clinic, Dental Clinic, modern Physiotherapy Center, a Marriage-Counseling Cell and a Child Guidance and Development Clinic. The changes have resulted in lowering hospitalisation of Air Force personnel by over 30% resulting in saving of over 5000 manhours in a year. He has provided a new dimension to preventive health by writing booklets on Child Health, Development and Small Family Norms and has also initiated innovative preventive health programme including Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Cancer Detection and Village Health Camps.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Navin Rattan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 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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