Awards for the year 2001


A total of 92 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Prakash Sadashivrao Pingale 6755 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Khushinder Singh Bindra 6863 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Teshter Jall Master 7224 F(P)Unit : TC  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details : AOC-in-C TC
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Surender Singh Chauhan 7853 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Gulshan Kumar Kwatra 8001 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Rajiv Kothiyal 15696 F(P)Unit : NFTC  Award Date 04 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal (15696) F(P) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Indian Air Force on 15th June, 1979. After successful stints in various fighter squadrons, he served as a Flight Commander in a front-line-air-superiority MiG29 squadron. On completion of his tenure, he was selected to undergo the Experimental Test Pilot Course at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School. He graduated successfully from his prestigious institution in May 1990. In February, 1995, Wg Cdr Kothiyal was selected for the challenging assignment of being the Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project. Since then he has been actively involved in every facet of the design and development of the LCA, providing the most important pilot-interface to the LCA project. The successful development of control law for the Digital Fly-by-wire Control system, the Cockpit architecture and the pilot’s check lists and emergency procedures are attributed to Wg Cdr Kothiyal’s professional diligence and application of mind. Having successfully participated in the development activities, Wg Cdr Kothiyal was entrusted with undertaking the maiden flight of the first prototype of the LCA on 04-01-2001. This was the first occasion when an aircraft fully developed in India was to fly with a Fly-by-wire system. This complex system is packed with computerised flying controls, which enable an unstable aircraft to be flown with a very high degree of agility. Wg Cdr Kothiyal meticulously planned the test flight and ensured that every contingency was catered for. Wg Cdr Kothiyal flew the maiden test flight in the most exemplary manner.

Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal in this pioneering act displayed exceptional professionalism, courage and bravery that were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 56-Pres/2001 dated 26th January, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 26th May, 2001. 

Kirti Chakra
Cpl Akhilesh Kumar Mishra 734502 ORUnit : AFS Bhuj  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Corporal Akhilesh Kumar Mishra is on the posted strength of a fighter squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 10 Apr 2000.

A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001. Immediately after the earthquake Cpl Mishra immediately ran to rescue the survivors. For the next four days, he worked day and night and saved 19 lives. He had no rescue equipment but only his will, imagination, bare hands and raw courage. Snaking through tiny crevices, he worked his way in and pulled out one boy and three women from the remains of three different buildings in Shivnagar area on 26 Jan 2001. The same night, human sounds were detected in another mound of rubble. Despite parts of the building still collapsing in fresh tremors, Cpl Mishra continued to tunnel his way through different collapsed floors of the buildings. Fully aware of the risk of being buried alive any moment, he worked through the night to rescue a father and child. On 27 Jan 01, Cpl Mishra again volunteered to enter a small passage created by Army engineers through the top concrete slab of Vaibhav Laxmi Apartment in Shivnagar. He scraped through the rubble and tunneled his way through three different levels of the buildings (almost 30 feet) to save Cpl Shah and his wife. Working almost non-stop for six hours, he finally rescued Mrs. Gita Ben trapped below two pillars, a roof and a wooden frame in the early hours of 28 Jan 01. On 29 Jan 01, Cpl Mishra rescued a teenaged girl named Avni, who had been pinned down by two concrete beams. In the night, while the tremors continued, he entered the most unstable part of the wreckage and emerged after about an hour with the last survivor in that complex.

Corporal AK Mishra displayed conspicuous valour and presence of mind in rescue operations, without caring for the grave risk to his life.

Reference: Notification No. 128–Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002.  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Laljee Kumar Verma 7768 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Purnendu Kumar Mukherjee 7698 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Satish Kumar Ramlal Dham 8097 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Ramesh Chandra Mahadik 8570 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Vijay Achyut Patkar 8632 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Bijoy Krishna Pandey 8990 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Subhash Chandra Rastogi 8999 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Puran Chandra Singh Rautela 9576 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Donovan Eric Jonas 10131 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Harsh Tripathi 11087 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Thekkekara Thomas Job 11507 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ashok Dharam Chibber 12118 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
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Citation Not Available
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Shaurya Chakra
Flt Lt Samir Riaz Kagdi 23771 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 04 Jul 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sameer Riaz Kagdi, was on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 08 Oct 1999. He was an extremely professional flier and a matured officer, who gained the status of glacial captain in Op Meghdoot in a record time of five months. During his short stay of nine months, he flew 350 hours, including 225 hours on the Glacier. On several occasions he flew through enemy shelling to drop supplies to tactically crucial posts at the world's highest helipads. On 04 July 2000, Flt Lt SR Kagdi was detailed to fly as a captain to Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO). While flying to DBO, 05 nm short of Goshen, his helicopter experienced collective pitch lever failure and started descending rapidly. He handled this unusual and grave emergency in an extremely professional and competent manner. He selected the most suitable force landing field available and put down the helicopter with only cyclic control. He sustained grievous spinal injuries and fractures during landing. Unmindful of his excessive pain, his accurate and logical analysis of the emergency brought out the factors which gave the Court of Inquiry the requisite direction and made it possible to determine the cause of the failure and instituting remedial actions, thus preventing further recurrence. Flt Lt SR Kagdi succumbed to his injuries and died on 16 July 2000 in Command Hospital, Chandigarh.

Flt Lt SR Kagdi exhibited thoroughbred soldierly attitude, exceptional professional courage and gallantry in face of an unusual grave and emergency and made supreme sacrifice in the best traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Mahender Singh 683508 ORUnit : 15 Sqn  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Sergeant Mahender Singh Radio Fitter is on the posted strength of a Squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 24 June 1998.

A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001. Immediately after the earthquake Sgt M Singh rushed to Shivnagar of Bhuj where a number of Air Force personnel were staying in multistoried buildings. Risking his own life several times at different occasions, even when the after shocks were continuing, he went underneath the crumpled buildings, broken water tanks and falling structures to rescue the lives of wife and daughter of late Sgt Awasthi, wife of Sgt Rajput, wife of Cpl DP Singh and others trapped inside at different places. While saving lives of eight Air force personnel and their family members, he not only displayed unmatched courage and valour but also sharp presence of mind and intelligence. Efforts required to clear off the debris and take out people alive from inside were trying and stressful in the absence of proper tools and implements. However, he used innovative methods and preserved in rescue work to save human lives from debris. Without losing heart and hope, he worked continuously day and night for five days with little rest and care for him. His timely efforts, selfless attitude and zealous approach motivated others to contribute in the rescue operations thus saving more lives.

Sergeant Mahender Singh displayed exemplary bravery, courage and selfless devotion in saving human lives.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Suresh Chintalapati 741025 ORUnit : 27 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Corporal Suresh Chintalapati was on the posted strength of a Squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 30 Mar 1999. On the morning of 26 Jan 2001, a devastating earthquake hit Bhuj where in a lot of buildings collapsed, trapped people within them. Immediately after the earthquake Cpl Suresh took the job of rescuing people trapped under the rubble. He rushed to Ashapura Apartment, a multistoried building in Shanti Nagar area of Bhuj, which had collapsed trapping many families of airmen and civilians. With make shift tools and bare hands, he made passage through a small opening in the rubble and risking his life rescued four children. Thereafter, he proceeded to the next building and tunneled through the rubble to pull out a small child the only surviving child of late Corporal Thapa. In another building nearby he rescued three civilians. Then he moved to Shiv Nagar apartments where many people were trapped in the debris. For the next four days, he worked in this apartment and helped in locating and rescuing about fourteen trapped persons. It was his initiative and sheer courage, which saw him repeatedly going under the debris to extricate trapped persons and all this when tremors were still being experienced. Due to his immense patience and indomitable will, four persons were extricated on 30 Jan 2001. His heroic efforts and never day die attitude resulted in rescue of 24 Air Force personnel and civilians.

Corporal Suresh displayed indomitable courage, grit and outmost commitment in saving precious human lives.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Mohammad Javed 749551 ORUnit : AFS Bhuj  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Corporal Mohammed Javed Radio Fitter was on the posted strength of a Squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 25 Nov 1997. A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001. Immediately after the earthquake Corporal Javed commenced rescue operation within the Air Force Camp. Working with basic implements as hacksaw blades and crowbars, he made a passage through the rubble of one building and pulled out the two surviving members of a family. Quickly moving on to another building, he pulled out wife of Corporal D Singh and wife of Sgt VS Yadav. Thereafter he proceeded outside the Air Force Camp to Vaibhav Lakshmi Apartments at Shivnagar area. Even as after shocks continued, he worked through the mangled steels and concrete of the multi-storey complex to locate survivors. Unmindful of physical exhaustion and personal risk, he kept breaking concrete and cutting through steel rods to extricate the living. On 26 Jan 2001 itself, he pulled out seven survivors from the site. On 27 Jan 2001, he pulled out one more women from beneath of debris of Gayatri Complex in Shivnagar. On 29 Jan 2001, he extricated the last survivor in Kaveri complex, an infant child. He repeatedly put his life at risk to save others. Thus working selflessly, he saved 14 lives.

Corporal Mohammed Javed displayed courage of high order in undertaking rescue operations at great risk to his own life.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Sanjeev Kumar Arora 763234 ORUnit : 27 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Corporal Sanjeev Kumar Arora is on the posted strength of a squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 25 Oct 1999. A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001. Immediately after the earthquake Cpl SK Arora commenced rescue operations. Working day and night, almost non-stop and with great risk to his own life, he saved 14 precious lives over the next four days. On hearing voices from the rubble of Vaibhav Lakshmi Apartments in Shivnagar area that had come crashing down, he created a narrow passage by using only basic implements like crowbars and hacksaw and located two couples. Even as after-shocks continued and parts of wrecked building continued to fall down, Cpl Arora worked continuously for long hours unmindful of his own safety and pulled out Sgt Tripathi SS, his wife, Sgt Roy Chaudhary and his wife. On their information he continued digging and at late night, pulled out a small girl child followed by her father. Cpl Arora continued to work on the same site on 27 Jan 2001. Tunneling down narrow passengers dug through the rubble, he pulled out five more survivors from Gayatri Apartments in Shivnagar. On 28 and 29 Jan 2001, Cpl Arora saved three more lives including Sgt KT Prasad's wife from Kaveri Apartments.

Corporal Sanjeev Kumar Arora displayed immense courage and unflinching commitment and saved lives of others at great risk to his own life.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
LAC Amar Kumar Bajpai 764609 ORUnit : 2251 Sqn  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Leading Aircraftsman Amar Kumar Bajpai was on the posted strength of a squadron at Bhuj, Gujarat since 18 Jun 2000. In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001, Leading Aircraftsman Bajpai immediately rushed to Shivnagar area of Bhuj, where number of Air Force personnel were staying in multistoried buildings. Risking his own life several times at different occasions and even as tremors continued, he went inside the broken buildings and hanging structures to rescue the lives of nine people including airmen and civilians. With no tools and instruments to work he used innovative methods to save human lives from the debris. Efforts required were arduous and stressing but without losing heart and hope, he worked continuously day and night for 5 days with little rest and care for himself. His timely efforts, selfless attitude and zealous approach motivated others to contribute in saving more lives.

Leading Aircraftsman Amar Kumar Bajpai displayed exemplary courage and selfless commitment in saving human lives.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
LAC Arvind Kumar 774907 ORUnit : 153 HU  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Leading Aircraftman Arvind Kumar was on the posted strength of a squadron at Bhuj since 28 Jan 2000. On the morning of 26 Jan 2001, a devastating earthquake hit Bhuj wherein a lot of buildings collapsed, trapping people within them. Immediately after the earthquake Leading Aircraftman Arvind Kumar rushed to the affected residential quarters within the Air Force Camp and commenced rescue operation. With raw courage, make shift tools and bare hands, he made passage through a small opening in the rubble and rescued a girl. Then he proceeded to the collapsed DSC quarters where some people where trapped inside. Again, with grit and indomitable will he tunneled through the rubble to pull out two persons. For the next four days, he was instrumental in locating and rescuing 12 trapped persons. It was his initiative and sheer courage which saw him repeatedly going under the debris to extricate persons trapped within and all this when tremors were still being experienced. During this he succeeded in taking out a child by cutting leg from dead body under which the child was trapped. On 29 and 30 Jan 2001 when hope of locating and rescuing live persons was diminishing. LAC Kumar showed a high degree of perseverance and continued working untiringly. His efforts paid of, when a girl child was rescued alive on 30 Jan 2001. His heroic efforts and never say die attitude resulted in rescue of 20 Air Force personnel and civilians.

Leading Aircraftman Arvind Kumar displayed courage of high order and utmost commitment for saving precious human lives.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Shaurya Chakra
LAC Rajeev Bhardwaj 776440 ORUnit : 128 HU  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Leading Aircraftsman Rajeev Bhardwaj is on the posted strength of a squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 31 Jan 2000. A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001 after the earthquake LAC Bhardwaj immediately set out to rescue survivors. Working tirelessly over the next four days, he saved 16 lives. On 26 Jan 2001, while the tremors continued, LAC Bhardwaj worked his way into the rubble of four multistoried apartments complexes in Shivnagar area and rescued five women, two children and two men. From 27 Jan 2001 to 29 Jan 2001, LAC Bhardwaj worked tirelessly and rescued Sgt Sharma RP and his family, a man, his wife and a teen-aged girl from Taxila Apartments in Shivnagar area. On 29 Jan 2001 he recovered a child after a struggle of six hours. As days passed by the task became all the more difficult. Bodies had started decaying and the probability of finding the survivors kept reducing. However, LAC Bhardwaj continued with the same zeal and dogged determination. Overcoming all hurdles and bracing the aftershocks, LAC Bhardwaj saved 16 lives from Shivnagar and Gandhinagri area.

Leading Aircraftsman Rajeev Bhardwaj displayed unparalleled courage, determination and commitment in saving others lives even at a risk of his own life.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Yudh Seva Medal
Gp Capt Bijender Singh Siwach 12413 F(P)Unit : UNAMSIL  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Motilal Nalluri 13911 F(P)Unit : ASTE  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Group Captain Motilal Nalluri (13911) Flying (Pilot) has been functioning as the Chief Test Pilot (CTP) of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Air Force since Jun 99. He earlier served in ASTE from Dec 85 to May 88, where he was actively involved in indigenous weapon integration trials on the MiG-21 and MiG-23 BN as also on AEW TOP aircraft for baseline flight and thrust derivatives.

As CTP he has supervised and monitored as many as 52 flight trials, of which 44 were completed in 1999. This was a quantum leap from 17-flight trials completed in the previous year. Most of these trials were of a very complex nature involving large-scale integration of state-of-the art equipment, systems and weapons on contemporary aircraft, in order to substantially enhance the strike and avionics capability of the IAF. He personally conducted a number of high-risk flight trials himself. In addition to the trials, the officer has been deeply involved with a number of ongoing projects to upgrade aircraft in service. He has also provided useful inputs for the LCA and ALH programmes.

The officer's contribution in enhancing the punch and reliability of aircraft and system in the IAF is noteworthy, as is his undivided dedication and devotion to duty.

For his devotion to duty and yeoman contribution to Flight Testing, the Hon'ble President, is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Motilal Nalluri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manmohan Sud 13945 F(P)Unit : AHQ and Comm  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Group Captain Manmohan Sud (13945) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 15 Feb 75. He converted to transport aircraft in Sep 76. He is posted as Commanding Officer of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron since 01 Jan 1999.

Gp Capt Sud has flown over 7700 accident free hours in his career on nine different types of aircraft including Dakota, AN12, AN-32 and B-737 in various roles. This includes VVIP role, air logistics in northern and eastern sector and bombing role on AN12 aircraft. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with 1850 hours of instructional experience. He achieved exceptional category and instrument rating 'A/MG' in 1989 on AN-12 and has been a Type Examiner.

The professional skills of Gp Capt Sud are regularly put to test in the demanding environment of VVIP flights undertaken by the squadron. Personally he has flown 506 hours in the present tenure including 261 hours on VVIP/VIP commitment. The squadron has contributed to projecting the Indian Air Force as a professional and competent force amongst the service and civilian dignitaries. As Commanding Officer, Air Headquarter Communication Squadron, he has displayed leadership qualities in all operational and administrative spheres.

He had the computerisaton of the flying, admin and technical data of the Squadron completed. On the flying side he has ensured that available flying hours are optimally utilised to achieve the highest standards and turn over the aircrews as required by the service. In the technical sphere he has ensured monitoring of spares, technical manpower and training requirements of each trade on the three types of aircraft that the Squadron holds. He has also ensured computerisaton of the flying administration and technical data of the Squadron. He has also commanded the Air Force Day Parade 2000.

For his dedication to duty, professional competence of a high order and leadership qualities, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Manmohan Sud.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Inder Singh 14082 F(P)Unit : 18 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Group Captain Inder Singh (14082) Flying (Pilot) has been functioning as the Chief Operations Officer of an Air Force Base in the western sector since 12 Apr 99. Within a few weeks of taking over this appointment the Base was faced with a war like situation with Operation Safed Sagar. Apart from ensuring speedy launch of the local fighter squadrons to their Op locations he personally supervised the induction of over forty fighter aircraft of four different types. The Herculean task of loading and offloading men was handled under his supervision in an exemplary manner. With little regard to personal comfort he relentlessly ensured that the task on hand was completely expeditiously.

On taking over as Chief Ops Officer, Gp Capt Inder Singh voluntarily took up the task of office computerisation and automation on war footing. With his knowledge and experience he motivated and guided his subordinates to achieve a systemic IT network within 'operations' that included daily flying programme, weather forecasts, e-mail and web sites among others.

Both, on and off work, with his energetic attitude and management skills, Gp Capt Inder Singh has cohesively bonded officers of all branches working under him to achieve synergetic results.

For his devotion to duty, dedication to service and consistent results, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Inder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Raghvinder Nath Joshi 15432 F(P)Unit : HTS  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Raghvinder Nath Joshi (15432) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as Helicopter Pilot in the flying branch on 07 Jul 1978. He is an A-2 QFI and holds Cat A/Master Green rating on Mi-8, Mi-17, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. He was served in Aircrew Examination Board and Air HQ Communication Squadron and has commanded a Helicopter Unit.

Wg Cdr RN Joshi was posted to Helicopter Training School in Apr 98. In his initial appointment as Chief Group Instructor he restructured the training schedule, called for feed back from instructors and student officers, identified weak areas and continuously monitored progress. His deep and personal involvement resulted in the performance of trainee officers showing a continuous upward trend.

In his tenure as Chief Flying Instructor since Nov 98, he has utilised his vast experience in streamlining the flying procedures, standa rdising and computerising phase briefs and manoeuvre briefs. The good flight safety record and high standards achieved by the School, as brought out during inspections, have been largely due to the sustained work put in by him.

As the IInd I/C of the School, Wg Cdr RN Joshi has taken very active part in all activities of the school. His cheerful disposition, sincerity, devotion to duty and positive attitude has been a source of inspiration to the younger generation.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Paramjit Singh Mann 15570 F(P)Unit : TTF  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Paramjeet Singh Mann (15570) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned into the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 30 Dec 78. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 3200 hours of fighter flying. He was a member of the erstwhile formation aerobatics team, 'Thunderbolts', and has served three tenures as Flight Commander in different fighter squadrons. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College.

Wg Cdr Mann commanded a Hunter Unit for nearly three years. On assuming command, he was beset with two difficulties. The first was the maintenance problems of an aged Hunter fleet and the second was the logistics and administrative impediments due to a widely dispersed technical area. Encouraging in-house solutions and local adaptations, he achieved a high serviceability, touching 100% on a number of days. His leadership and personal involvement were manifest in the efficient accomplishment of tasks and the excellent Flight Safety record that was maintained during his tenure. By ergonomically re-organising his Flight and maintenance Complex, he improved the working environment, thus negating the inherent disadvantage of a widely dispersed technical area. Qualitative improvements in his Airmen's billets by way of provisioning cable TV, curtains and bed-side lamps and the creation of a Recreation room, effectively reinforced the 'one family' feeling among his Unit personnel.

Wg Cdr Mann was also very involved in the induction of the indigenous pilotless Target Aircraft-Lakshya. Even in the nascent stages of induction, he formulated preliminary operating procedures, training schedules and also suggested modifications to the system. As a result of his dedication, the entire spadework is already in place for the operational induction of the new equipment. For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Mann.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shirish Baban Deo 15681 F(P)Unit : 51 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Shirish Baban Deo (15681) Flying (Pilot) took over the command of a frontline fighter squadron on 19 Jan 98. His squadron was the only squadron that carried out operational flying training and other operational commitments simultaneously. Wg Cdr Deo has led the squadron from the front through out his tenure and has flown more than 700 sorties during the period. Having served as DS at Flying Instructors School and Tactics and Combat Development Establishment, he has used his experience and expertise to improve the training standards of the squadron and ensured accident free flying without sacrificing the quality of training.

The squadron has also performed extremely well during all inspection visits. Wg Cdr Deo's professional attitude, exceptional standard in weapon delivery and air combat skills have motivated the squadron pilots to maximise their potential. He has been thoroughly involved in all maintenance-related activities and has ensured the cohesiveness so essential in a combat unit. The Squadron has initiated various welfare and educational assistance schemes for airman's children, which helped in sustaining high morale of Squadron personnel.

For his exceptional qualities of leadership, devotion to duty, dynamism, safety consciousness, dedicated efforts for betterment of service and ability to inculcate professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Shirish Baban Deo.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Umesh Shastri 15698 F(P)Unit : 45 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Umesh Shastri (15698) Flying (Pilot) has been in command of a front line fighter squadron of the Air Force since 10 Mar 97 up to 31 April 2000. He is a highly experienced fighter pilot with over 3400 hours of accident free flying of which 2086 hours are on MiG-21 aircraft. He is a qualified flying Instructor holding A-2 category and is also a Fighter Combat Leader.

During his tenure as Commanding Officer he has always led the squadron from the front. He has ensured good planning and exemplary execution of all tasks assigned to the squadron. The squadron has always risen to every occasion and has acquitted itself with credit in all facets of activity. He has personally led the squadron's formation during the airpower demonstration at Pokharan, Vayushakti-98 as well as Vayushakti-99 and carried out attacks on the assigned targets with impeccable professionalism. During 'Op Safed Sagar' the squadron was the first in SWAC to achieve the feat of 100% serviceability, which speaks volume of his quality of leadership, planning and coordination. The squadron has also weathered through two cyclones, which hit the station in 1998 and in 1999. Through meticulous planning and execution he ensured the dispersion and securing all service equipment and other assets of the squadron, thus saving them from any damage. He ensured a high training status of aircrew and ground crew at all times. This manifest itself on 10 Aug 1999 when an intruding Pakistani Atlantique, a Naval surveillance aircraft was shot down by a section of two aircraft from his squadron.

For his excellent leadership of the squadron through all tasks assigned, for his capabilities and dedication to duty and for leading the squadron by personal example which is in the best tradition of the service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Umesh Shastri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rakesh Kumar Negi 15869 F(P)Unit : 2000 HC Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Rakesh Kumar Negi (15869) Flying (Pilot) is on deputation to United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) as Commanding Officer of No. 2000 (Helicopter) Squadron consisting of Mi-8 and Chetaks.

On 07 May 2000, Wg Cdr Negi, while flying over rebel held territory, monitored a distress call from another IAF Mi-8 stating that his aircraft has force landed and the rebels are approaching the aircraft from different directions. Realising the gravity of the situation Wg Cdr Negi, displaying exceptional courage and presence of mind, immediately proceeded to the force-landing site and successfully evacuated the 19 UN personnel and the crew before the rebels could capture them. The daring rescue mission received wide scale appreciation including from UN HQ, New York.

On 15 Jul 2000, Wg Cdr RK Negi led his squadron in a joint air-land operation 'Op Khukri' to extricate 222 beleaguered troops from the inhospitable terrain dominated by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels equipped with anti aircraft weaponry. Undaunted by the heavy odds, Wg Cdr Negi courageously led his squadron from the front and flew 40 missions under extremely challenging terrain, weather and battle conditions. All these missions involved troop induction and redeployment from extremely restricted areas in treacherous weather with cloud touching treetops and under continuous firing from rebels. Throughout the operation, he continued to inspire and motivate his crew by his personal example and was able to get the best of them. Wg Cdr RK Negi was instrumental in the swift success of "Op Khukri".

For these acts of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Rakesh Kumar Negi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anil Khosla 15871 F(P)Unit : 6 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Anil Khosla (15871) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in 14 Dec 79 in the Flying Branch of the IAF and has been the Commanding Officer of a Jaguar squadron since 12 Apr 99.

A highly motivated, diligent and responsible officer, Wg Cdr Khosla has been able to motivate the Unit personnel 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. The operational capability of the Squadron kept on improving under his command and all the tasks given to the Squadron were executed in a professional manner. The Unit under his guidance performed extremely well in every exercise that it took part in and also proved its mettle in the Command Gunnery Meet.

Leading by his personal example, Wg Cdr Khosla has been able to instill confidence, enthusiasm and 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 SWAC and being nominated for best Fighter Squadron of IAF bears testimony to this fact. At the same time, he has always held the welfare of those below him high on 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 Anil Khosla.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha 16053 F(P)Unit : 52 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha (16053) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch on 15 Jun 80. He has 3600 hours of accident free flying to his credit. The officer has held the appointments of Flight commander of a MiG-21 squadron and Chief Flying Instructor at a Flying Training Establishment. He is a Cat-A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and an Air Force Examiner. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He has been commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Air Command and by the Chief of the Air Staff.

Wg Cdr Sinha has been posted as Commanding Officer of a MiG Operational Training Squadron since 07 Dec 98. Operational Conversion Training on fighter aircraft is an unenviable task, given the inexperience of ab-intio trainees. Early in his tenure, Wg Cdr Sinha assessed the demands of this exacting task. Through concerted efforts and effective leadership, Wg Cdr Sinha ensured prompt task completion, enabling MOFT courses to pass out on time. The exceptional flight safety record enjoyed by the squadron, inspite of the intense training environment, speaks volumes of the Commanding Officer's deep personal involvement. Staff Pilot training was also accelerated to ensure 100% operational and instructional clearance. All this was achieved by leading from the front through personal example. Despite the preoccupation of his appointment, the Commanding Officer has held the distinction of flying the maximum number of sorties in his squadron.

Driven by the singular aim of improving aircraft availability, he addressed the issue of a large number of AOGs. Through effective liaison with higher formation and HAL, he accelerated the clearance of his Squadron AOG demands. Effectively utilising his managerial skills and excellent interpersonal relations, he raised the productivity of his technical staff. The end result was a sustained high serviceability, occasionally touching 100%. His genuine concern for his men and his orientation towards morale, resulted in a large number of welfare measures in his Squadron. He has been an exemplary leader.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr S Harpal Singh 16071 F(P)Unit : 47 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander S Harpal Singh (16071) Flying (Pilot) has been in command of a front line fighter squadron since 04 May 09.

During the last two years, the squadron, under the command of Wg Cdr Harpal Singh has done 3155 h of accident-free flying. For the past 12 months, the Squadron has had an incident-free record barring two cases of material failure and one of technical defect. DASI visited the Station on two occasions and on both occasions, the Unit performed creditably, getting an overall grading of Average Plus. The Squadron was entrusted with several professional tasks during his tenure such as the formulation of Communication Jamming operating procedures, certain new intercept procedures and air to ground attack procedures, which were carried out in a most professional manner. During 'Op Safed Sagar', the Squadron was tasked with an Air Defence missions in the valley and gave a good account of itself. Throughout the period of Kargil Ops, the Unit operated from two different locations, and met all assigned tasks despite the shortage of manpower and equipment.

The squadron has constantly maintained a high serviceability to aircraft and avionics and achieved 100% serviceability in Aug 99. The squadron has developed software for Flight Data Recorder analysis, which overcomes several shortcomings of the present system.

As a professional, Wg Cdr S Harpal Singh has a wide and varied experience. He has flown all the MiG aircraft on the inventory of the IAF except the MiG-25 and has a total of 2468 hrs of accident free flying. He has led his Unit from the front in all aspects, be it professional, social or on the sports field. The work environment of the Unit has undergone steady change for the better. Under his leadership, the Squadron operated as wellknit team and was adjudged the best fighter Squadron of WAC for the year 1998-99.

For displaying exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander S Harpal Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Balakrishnan Suresh 16206 F(P)Unit : 2 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishnan Suresh (16206) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 13 Dec 80 in the flying branch of IAF. An accomplished professional, he has over 2200 hours of fighter flying to his credit. He is a Fighter Strike Leader (FSL) with the distinction of two instructional tenures at the Tactical and Air Combat Development Establishment.

Wg Cdr Suresh was appointed the Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron on 24 Aug 98. On taking over command, he faced the twin challenges of low aircraft availability and low operational status of pilots mainly in the op and strike roles. A thorough analysis of the situation revealed that while improvement of role-qualifications was an operational necessity, resources would be hard to come by. Through a concerted and well-focused training effort, he affected a quantum jump in the status of his squadron. The squadron armament results showed a noticeable improvement under his watchful guidance.

Enhanced operational readiness saw his squadron ready and willing to go whenever called upon. He responded promptly during the mobilisation for Op Safed Sagar and the build-up during the Sri Lankan contingency. His squadron accredited itself in exemplary fashion during the annual joint Navy Air exercise off the Eastern seaboard.

The Commanding Officer had to call upon the very best of his managerial skills in juggling scarce aircraft resources. Through close interaction with his maintenance staff, he ensured maximum support for his operations. Meaningful interaction with Wing and Command staff fetched real time solutions for his operational and maintenance problems. At the same time, his humane approach towards his men and their problems resulted in a large number of meaningful welfare measures being instituted for the overall improvement of his unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Balakrishnan Suresh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Jasjit Singh Kler 16225 F(P)Unit : 127 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Jasjit Singh Kler (16225) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the flying branch on 13 Dec 80. A Qualified Flying Instructor, he has 6800 hours of flying to his credit including 700 hours towards Op Meghdoot. He was specially selected for an instructional tenure in Namibia in 1996. He has been twice awarded Commendations by the Chief of the Air Staff, the first in Jan 90 and the second in Jan 93. In recognition of his professional competence, the officer was selected to conduct the first ever type QFI course on helicopters in 1998.

Wg Cdr Kler commanded a Helicopter Unit for over two years. Shortly after assuming command, the officer was assigned the onerous responsibility of formulating an operating procedure for Air Sea Search and Rescue, a task he executed admirably. He later validated the procedures himself by undertaking twelve missions over the sea.

Wg Cdr Kler realised the enormity of his task towards bringing up the operational status of his Unit. Adverse weather, relative inexperience of his aircrew and seemingly insurmountable maintenance problems, all came in his way. He addressed each issue through a two-pronged strategy. First, he accelerated the categorisation and roleclearances of his aircrews, through a wellfocused training schedule. Through excellent liaison with the Wing and Command, he progressively streamlined his maintenance activities and built up and sustained his fleet of Mi-17s. The net result was a significant jump in the operational capability of his Unit. During his tenure, the Unit flew 4400 hours, airlifting over 5000 MT load, all the while maintaining an unblemished safety record.

Leading by example, Wg Cdr Kler completed his own area-familiarisation and operational role clearances in record time. Through his personal involvement, all operating procedures were reviewed to ensure a safe environment for his relatively young aircrew. The officer's capability was such that he was often called upon to undertake special missions by Command Headquarters.

For exceptional devotion to duty, exemplary leadership and conduct, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Jasjit Singh Kler.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Arun Tillu Samtani 17002 F(P)Unit : 2000 HC Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Arun Tillu Samtani (17002) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of the Mi-35 Squadron of the IAF Contingent Sierra Leone-2000 for the United Nations in Sierra Leone.

'Op Khukri', a joint Army Air Force Operation of the United Nations forces was executed to extricate 222 UN Peace Keepers held hostage for more than 75 days by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels at Kailahun in Eastern Sierra Leone. Mi­35 helicopters of the IAF contingent were tasked to provide fire support to own troops at all times from dawn to dusk during this operation.

On 16 July 2000, Wg Cdr AT Samtani was tasked to carry out strike on RUF reinforcements coming through Manowa Ferry to impede the advance of UN troops heading from Kailahun to Daru and suppress the RUF fire at UN ground forces road convoy. Undeterred by the enemy anti aircraft guns and heavy machine guns fire, Wg Cdr AT Samtani attacked enemy positions with rockets and front guns with pinpoint accuracy, inflicting heavy damage on rebel positions. Throughout the period of operation, Wg Cdr AT Samtani relentlessly carried out strikes at RUF positions with clinical accuracy at RUF strongholds of Kailahaun, Giehun, Pendembu and Kuiva that were located along the axis of advance of UN ground forces. Wg Cdr AT Samtani flew eight missions involving 14 hrs of flying in less than two days under extremely adverse weather and terrain conditions and under the threat of continuous firing by the rebels.

For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President of pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Arun Tillu Samtani.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Tejinder Singh Sareen 17138 F(P)Unit : 153 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Tejinder Singh Sareen (17138) F (P) was posted as the Flight Commander of an Attack Helicopter Squadron with effect from 03 May 1998. During his tenure as the Flight Commander this officer involved himself intensely in the operational well being of the Squadron. The Squadron has a peculiar chain of control with the Army, Western Air Command, AOC J&K and the local administration. The tasking, therefore, becomes multi point and places a great strain on the Unit. The Flight Commander, being the pivot, has to deftly manage the man and material resources to meet multi point demands. Wg Cdr TS Sareen managed this very well. With his knowledge of the aircraft he maintained a high serviceability.

During the Kargil war he led the Squadron Detachment in the Valley. For the last six months, the squadron has been manning a detachment of the same place and Wg Cdr TS Sareen has been leading the detachment most of the time. He has also been involved in the trials on the usage of the Attack Helicopter in the Valley with certain modifications. Whenever the Squadron got tasked for the anti-insurgency operations in the Valley, Wg Cdr TS Sareen was in the forefront, which is an ample display of his leadership qualities.

For devotion to duty and professionalism and for being an example to emulate, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Tejinder Singh Sareen.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr George Thomas 17722 F(P)Unit : 2000 HC Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Squadron Leader George Thomas (17722) Flying (Pilot) is posted to the Mi-8 flight of the IAF Contingent for the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone. He is the Flight Commander of the Flight.

Op Khukri, a joint Army Air Force UN operation, was conducted to extricate 22 UN peacekeepers, held hostage for more than 75 days by Revolutionary United Front rebels in Kailahun. The Mi-8 helicopters were tasked to carry out special heliborne operations in support of ground operations. These included insertion and extrication of troops into and from rebel stronghold. The helicopters were required to operate from unprepared sites and confined spaces under constant threat of enemy fire. Sqn Ldr George Thomas, a veteran helicopter pilot, was undeterred. Despite being fired upon on a number of occasions he led 24 missions into enemy territory, under extremely adverse weather conditions, over most inhospitable and thickly forested terrain. Throughout the conduct of this operation, the officer flew all the sorties assigned to him, with courage, enthusiasm and with utter disregard to personal safety.

On 08 Jun 2000, Sqn Ldr Thomas was tasked to escort a UN convoy from Hastings to Rogberi, which was captured by rebels. His task included providing fire cover to the ground column. It involved flying the helicopter at extremely low altitudes over treacherous and thickly forested terrain of Sierra Leone under constant threat of rebel fire. During this mission Sqn Ldr Thomas spotted an ambush the rebels had laid for the convoy. Realising the gravity of the situation, the pilot engaged the enemy while at the same time informing the advancing column of the impeding ambush. The rebels fired 03 rockets at the helicopter. With his exceptional flying skill, he successfully evaded these attacks. Undeterred, he held his position in the area and continued to guide the ground force. This timely action thus prevented the ground forces from suffering heavy causalities due to enemy ambush.

For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader George Thomas.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Dharmender Singh 18580 F(P)Unit : 111 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Squadron Leader Dharmender Singh (18580) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 25 Jan 99 and is the Flight Commander of the Unit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Unit Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner with 4000 hrs of flying.

On 21 Jun 2000, a request for casualty evacuation was received from HQ CAC, 1AF. Erin Gushing, a lady member of a US expedition team was suffering from acute appendicitis and high attitude sickness, which had become life threatening. Sqn Ldr D Singh was designated as leader of a two helicopters formation for the evacuation, which was to be effected from close to Sundardunga glacier near the peaks of Nandakot (22510') and Baling (22651'). Unfortunately all attempts made by him to pick up the casualty at higher altitudes on that day were negated due to bad weather. On 22 Jun 2000, after two unsuccessful attempts, Sqn Ldr D Singh's relentless persistence to penetrate the weather was rewarded. Armed with years of hill flying experience, he navigated below clouds and close to the valley bottom to locate the casualty. As he located the site, the approaching weather and rain made the landing site visible only briefly. Using his skill, professional knowledge and maturity he took a calculated risk to make a swift landing to evacuate the casualty, minutes before weather engulfed the helipad with rain. The circumstances required the mission to be completed at all costs. Squadron Leader Singh courageously evacuated the casualty with his brave effort in the face of imminent danger and saved life of a foreign expedition member. His display of courage in adverse and trying circumstances was in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

For this act of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Dharmender Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Pranay Dixit 22726 F(P)Unit : 130 HU  Award Date 06 Feb 99 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Pranay Dixit (22726) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 02 Feb 98.

On 06 Feb 99 an emergency SOS message was received by the Air Force. A team consisting of two French and five Belgian nationals were stranded near Padam area in the Zanskar Valley due to an unprecedented snow blizzard. Hypothermia, an acute respiratory trauma, critically affected several members of the team. The officer was on a detachment at Thoise and was entrusted upon with the casualty evacuation task. On receiving the task, he was airborne within a short time after modifying an aircraft for casually evacuation. The weather was deteriorating fast in the upper reaches of the Zanskar Valley. He flew through the treacherous and unforgiving confines of the narrow snow bound Zanskar Valley and located the site of the stranded trekkers.

Despite whiteout, poor visibility conditions and precarious obstructions, the officer landed at the snow-covered site. The timely rescue saved the perilled trekkers from a near certain calamitous fate. This laudable act of courage and valour was acknowledged by All India Radio, Television and local Newspapers. His display of exceptional courage in averse and trying circumstances was in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

For this act of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Pranay Dixit.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
JWO Valiya Veetil Rajeev 669018 ORUnit : 153 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

669018 Junior Warrant Officer Valiya Veetil Rajeev, Flt Engr is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 12 Jan 1998. He has been flying extensively in the highly demanding and hostile terrain of the Op Meghdoot and Op Rakshak sectors. He is an exemplary airman and a distinguished Flt Engr who has as astute knowledge of various helicopter systems and procedures.

Over a period of three years, JWO VV Rajeev has flown a total of 950 hrs of which 750 were flown in air maintenance sorties in the Siachen Glacier and Kargil sectors. During the month of Feb 2000, repeated enemy firing over Alpha and Jwala DZs in the Op Meghdoot sector brought the dropping missions to an abrupt halt. The forward posts of Indian Army were in dire need of ration and ammunition. JWO VV Rajeev, with his vast experience and excellent knowledge of the topography, volunteered for emergency drops over the DZs. Accurately monitoring engine and rotor parameters, he guided the crew of the helicopter towards the DZ by resorting to terrain masking. This provided reasonable cover and concealment to the helicopter right up to the DZ. The drop was successful and further missions could be carried out due to the confidence instilled by JWO VV Rajeev.

His sound knowledge on all matters pertaining to service flying makes him a very valuable and dependable worker. His thorough professionalism and sense of responsibility has been big motivating factor for his juniors and colleagues instilled by JWO VV Rajeev.

For his dedication to the service and devotion to duty of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Junior Warrant Officer VV Rajeev.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajesh Isser 16968 F(P)Unit : 128 HU  Award Date 11 Jun 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Wing Commander Rajesh Isser (16968) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a helicopter unit in the Eastern Sector since 17 May 1999. On II Jun 2000, East Siang district was inundated by flash floods causing wide spread devastation. Three helicopters were launched {or the rescue task and Wg Cdr Isser was to coordinate these ops at Passighat. Wg Cdr Isser personally flew numerous missions and was able to evacuate 46 people from rooftop, treetop, small eroding islands and a capsized boat by rope ladders and winching. This involved hovering over the swirling and ferocious Siang River in poor visibility conditions and heavy rain. A total of 76 people were rescued from the swirling water. Thereafter, he searched for a capsized ferry, which was finally located after an hour of search. The ferry and Its 98 occupants were stuck In the middle of the river, with some of the passengers stuck waist deep in quick sand. He was personally responsible for rescuing 58 people, while others were rescued by the second helicopter pooled in for the task. With his untiring efforts he also coordinated relief operations in East Siang, Yinkiong and Annini district. A total of 2800 marooned people on either side of the Siang were rehabilitated to their homes between 12 Jun 2000 and 26 Jun 2000. He personally flew more than 70 sorties to evacuate more than 1600 persons cut off from their homes entailing operations from riverbeds, hillside and unprepared areas. On 24 Jun 2000 some survivors were spotted from a helicopter on a cut off island. Wg Cdr Isser took off within minutes of the SOS call and winched up 47 people to safety from the swirling waters of the Deopani River. This involved flying in a narrow valley, inclement weather and poor light conditions in late evening. For displaying exemplary professionalism, zeal and courage beyond the normal call of duty, the Hon'ble President Is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wind Commander Raiesh Isser.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Gulbag Singh Padda 18303 F(P)Unit : 112 HU  Award Date 24 Aug 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Squadron Leader Gulbag Singh Padda (18303) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 25 May 1998. He is a Fully Ops staff pilot of the unit. On 24 Aug 2000 the unit was tasked to launch two helicopters for flood relief in Hyderabad. Sqn Ldr Padda, along with his crew, got airborne from Yelahanka at 1300 hrs within an hours notice. Information was received that approximately 150 persons were stranded atop a building, which was mid stream in Musi river. The river was in full spate and had damaged the foundation, which could have led to collapse of the building. Lives of 150 persons were in danger if they were not evacuated before night fall. After reaching Hyderabad, Sqn Ldr Padda got airborne for the rescue mission nearing the sunset time. On reaching the spot he found that the building was surrounded by tall obstructions and winds were gusty. Considering the gravity of the situation he decided to winch up the people from the rooftop one by one. The helicopter was made to hover at 5-7 meters, the only reference being a small portion of parapet of the building roof. Sqn Ldr Padda winched up 127 adults and 15 infants In a little more than 1.45 hrs. The task was completed in eight shuttles without refueling. Sqn Ldr Padda displayed tenacity of purpose and professionalism under very demanding situation. For displaying a high degree of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Gulbag Singh Padda.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sanjeev Sharma 20489 F(P)Unit : 127 HU  Award Date 23 Jun 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Squadron Leader Sanjeev Sharma (20489) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted Strength of a helicopter unit since 11 Oct 1999. On 23 Jun 2000, an emergency message was received from the Deputy Commissioner, Tezu District that the lives of more than 100 people were at stake as the Lohit river had risen to dangerous levels inundating large areas. Also, a bus carrying 42 passengers was stranded on a remote Island. Unless rescued immediately, all 42 people were likely to perish. The weather was marginal with Incessant drizzle, low clouds and poor visibility. Sqn Ldr Sharma immediately swung into action. Using his skill he negotiated adverse weather to reach the site. Displaying a keen sense of professionalism and skills he winched up five people who were perched on the roof of the bus. Thereafter, displaying his Indefatigable spirit, grit and determination, Sqn Ldr Sharma flew 12 sorties rescuing 141 people including six infants from various marooned villages. The rescue operation was so well planned and efficiently executed even in trying circumstances that the casualties were landed at Tezu Aircraft Landing Ground even before the District Administration could reach there. This daring operation enhanced the image of the IAF among the people of the region. For his act of daring rescue of flood ravaged people and displaying courage under trying circumstances, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Sanjeev Sharma.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

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