Awards for the year 2000


A total of 69 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Pran Nath Bajaj 6392 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar 6748 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Satish Govind Inamdar 7189 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sahab Prasad Varma 6466 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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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
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Thirunillayi Ramaswamy Janakiraman 7058 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Proteep Kumar Ghosh 7106 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Krishna Chandra Varma 7583 METUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Suresh Chandra Vohra 6713 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Man Mohan Sehgal 8390 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Arunachalam Saibaba 9996 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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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
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Prakashchandra Khandubhai Desai 10078 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Avdesh Kumar Singh 11005 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale 11630 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kanwar Dalinderjit Singh 12403 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Bijender Singh Siwach 12413 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ajay Shriniwas Karnik 13140 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
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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 SU  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 : 119 HU  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 : 45 Sqn  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 : 44 Sqn  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 : 44 Sqn  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 : 220 Sqn  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 : 30 Sqn  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 : 6 Sqn  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 : 128 HU  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 : 105 HU  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 : 114 HU  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 : 8 Sqn  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 : 114 HU  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.
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Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Prakash Eknath Patange 17706 F(P)Unit : 142 SSS Flt  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 : 118 HU  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 : 114 HU  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 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt M S B Singh Jauhar 12201 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt N S Raveendran 12614 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt V S Kapani 12766 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt R Pratap 13146 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt V N Kalia 13568 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt J Arunachalam 13725 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt P K Roy VM 14100 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr N K Kapila 13638 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr V Subramanian 13673 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr N Rattan 14242 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :
Citation Not Available
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