Awards for the year 2004


A total of 64 Awards are listed.
Pages 1 2
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Anil Kumar Trikha 8436 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Brijendra Mohan Bali 8438 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Bijoy Krishna Pandey 8990 F(P)Unit : TC  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details : AOC-in-C TC
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Raghu Rajan 8997 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Narayan Menon 9005 F(P)Unit : Air HQ  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details : Air Officer in Charge Personnel
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Prakashchandra Khandubhai Desai 10078 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Gordon Peter D'Souza 10984 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Arvind Kumar Nagalia 11633 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Balatikalandra Uthaiah Chengappa 12112 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Jayant Satchidanand Apte 11900 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pravesh Kumar 12411 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Shakti Bhushan Prashar 12442 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Vivek Kumar Chopra 12752 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Citation Not Available
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Dhiraj Kukreja 13130 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sanjay Kumar Jayaswal 13134 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ram Rattan Bhardwaj 13337 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Jasvinder Chauhan 14079 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :
Citation Not Available
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Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Narinder Kumar Bhoan 14312 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details : Gp Capt Narinder Bhoan, who got the award for the second time. He was part of the team that was sent to Russia in 1998 to participate in the avionics system development of the SU-30 MKI aircraft, and its tailoring to specific Indian needs. Posted at the Ahmedabad-based south western air command, he was put in charge of a venture of adapting a Russian-made weapon on the Jaguar, a task he completed well in advance of the projected year-long time frame.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Raju Stephen 14689 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Raju Stephen (14689) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1976. He has flown over 4500 h on a variety of aircraft. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a post graduate from Defence Services Staff College. He has commanded a Care and Maintenance Unit (C & MU) and has been a flying inspector with the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters. Presently, he is posted as a Commanding Officer of a transport Squadron (Sqn) since 23 Jul 2001. While Commanding the Sqn, Gp Capt Stephen has met all assigned tasks in a professional manner. He has led his Sqn from the front and has flown numerous drop and landing sorties in the northern sector under the most challenging flying conditions. He deftly managed the resources placed under him to maximise their use and achieve better than expected results. Under his dynamic leadership, the Sqn airlifted the highest tonnage in the history of air maintenance in the northern sector during three consecutive months from Nov 2002 to Jan 2003. This was achieved in spite of constraints of aircrew, aircraft availability and unprecedented bad weather during Jan 2003. The Sqn's excellent performance during 'Op Parakram' on the flight safety front and in exercise 'Geromino Thrust' at Alaska, USA, bears testimony to exceptional leadership qualities and professional competence. He continuously managed his team by keeping them in high morale and motivated to do more with utmost regard to safety in the air and on the ground.

For his dynamic leadership and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Raju Stephen.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Nasib Singh Kadian 15025 F(P)Unit : AEB  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Nasib Singh Kadian (15025) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 10 Jun 1977 as a fighter pilot. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with 4500 h of accident free flying. He has been Flight Commander of a MiG-21 Sqn and Squadron Commander of MiG Operational Flying Training Unit. He commanded a fighter Sqn and Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), wherein, he was instrumental in resurrecting both these units on MiG-21 in a record time. During his tenure of two years as Chief Operations Officer (COO) of a major airbase operating fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters, he was largely responsible for an all-time record airlift of 50,000 ton load for forward area maintenance and ensuring accident free flying. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College.

Gp Capt Kadian took over as Commanding Officer of the Aircrew Examining Board on 29 Jul 2002. It is the custodian of professional excellence of the IAF. He has given a new focus to it's thrust areas. In the last ten months, he has reoriented the examining system to an operational role specific pattern, thereby ensuring high professional standards in the IAF. The amendments in the existing instructions on instrument flying conceived by him would go a long way in enhancing operational proficiency and flight safety. Through his personal involvement and commitment, the Board has undergone a paradigm shift in terms of its working environment, computer cum edit room, computerised auto-generation of question papers, archives and library. He has been responsible for the conceptualisation of a very high-class training infrastructure for conduct of courses by the Board.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Codanda Chitrajit Cariappa 15038 F(P)Unit : AHQ and Comm  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa (15038) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 10 Jun 1977. He took over command of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron on 16 Aug 2001. The task of the Squadron (Sqn) is to convey the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister within India and sometimes ex-India. The Sqn is also tasked to convey foreign Heads of States and other VIPs within India. The nature of the task demands perfection and a very high degree of professionalism.

On taking over the Sqn, Gp Capt Cariapa initiated measures to enhance professional standards and optimise resources. Using a systems approach, he restructured the B-737 flying training and reduced the conversion time of B-737 aircrew from eighteen months to seven months. His foresight and involvement has resulted in the B-737 flight having as many as 10 Cat 'A' aircrew which is a rare achievement in the history of the Sqn. Similarly, flying training and night flying targets of Avro and MI-8 flight have doubled in a short period through innovative planning.

As the Commanding Officer of a unit that is a 'flag bearer' of Indian Air Force both within India and abroad, the officer has ensured successful execution of more than 2000 VVIP/VIP sorties. Last year, the Prime Minister complemented the Sqn for the flawless execution of his election tour. During the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister to France and Thailand, the Sqn was commended for projecting a high image of the nation. Further, there has been an increase in VVIP/VIP task since September 2002 by as much as 250%. This enhanced task has been achieved successfully primarily due to the professionalism, hard work and meticulous planning of Gp Capt Cariapa.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashok Lal 16031 F(P)Unit : 30 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Ashok Lal (16031) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 15 Jun 1980. He took over the command of a MiG-21 Squadron at Air Force Station, Chabua on 27 March 2000. Throughout his tenure of two years and five months, he not only displayed motivation, dedication and tireless zeal, but also demonstrated exemplary supervisory and leadership skills to derive the same from all the unit personnel.

Under the competent guidance of Wg Cdr Lal, the unit has achieved commendable levels in task accomplishment, flight safety, maintenance and administrative aspects. Under his proficient leadership, the unit flew 4231 h of accident free flying. For timely and effective achievement of the given task and achievement of high operational state, the unit was awarded the 'Best Fighter Squadron' trophy in Eastern Air Command in Sep 2001. For the immaculate practices introduced by him and followed at the Daily Servicing Section (DSS), the unit was also recognised as a 'Centre of excellence'.

The all round excellence of the unit under supervision of Wg Cdr Lal was validated during the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) visit in Jan 2001. The Unit was assessed as high average in Op (Air), average plus on ground, high average in maintenance aspects, average plus in administration and average plus in activation. He also ensured that very high standards of training are achieved in the Unit. Despite the pressure of the appointment, he has flown 762 sorties/445 h during his tenure.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashwani Kumar Nabh 16608 F(P)Unit : 17 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Ashwani Kumar Nabh (16608) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981 as a fighter pilot. He has 5000 sorties of accident/incident free fighter flying to his credit. In 22 years of distinguished service, he has held several important field and staff appointments like Flying Instructor in Air Force Academy and Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron (Sqn). As Flight Commander, he had safely landed a severely crippled MiG-21 trainer. For his professionalism, he received the Commendation by the Chief of the Air Staff of 26 Jan 1999.

Whilst working in the Directorate General of Signals Intelligence, Air HQ, he was instrumental in conceptualizing and development of a futuristic project 'Divya Drishti'. This project being operationalised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will provide unpreced ented intelligence gathering capabilities for national security planning.

Wg Cdr Nabh took over command of a MiG-21 Sqn on 15 Oct 2001, tasked with 'Reconnaissance' role. During 'Op Parakram', his Sqn was operationally active under most trying conditions in the valley. He displayed unwavering perseverance and foresight to ensure highest operational status of all the pilots in the Sqn by upgrading the tempo of operational training. Now, the Sqn aircrew is fully qualified in all possible operational roles. Leading by personal example and displaying airmanship of highest order, he flew over 400 sorties in last one year. He kept the Sqn technical personnel fully motivated and committed to achieve highest serviceability of aircraft and operational role equipment. The Sqn achieved 100% serviceability in Feb 2002 during the peak of 'Op Parakram' and thereafter maintained it well above 70% throughout year. The Sqn did exceedingly well during all the inspection visits during this period.

An articulate professional, Wg Cdr Nabh submitted two well-researched service papers on Pakistan's Combat Tactics. Recently, he presented two papers on contemporary subjects of 'Supervision in Flight Safety' and 'Steps for improving our Reconnaissance Capabilities'.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sharad Tewari 16616 F(P)Unit : 142 SSS Flt  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Sharad Tewari (16616) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981. He has over 5000 h of accident/incident free flying to his credit, which includes over 1500 h of instructional flying. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit. During his tenure as Flight Commander, the unit was adjudged the best helicopter unit in Western Air Command. He has been the Chief Operations Officer of a flying Station. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a Chetak/Cheetah flight since 17 Aug 2001.

Ever since taking over of the command, Wg Cdr Tewari has strived hard to bring about an all-round improvement in the functioning of the unit. As a result of his dedicated efforts, meticulous planning and personal involvement, the unit achieved 100% serviceability of Cheetah helicopters for over 280 days and of Chetak helicopters for over 75 days. In this period the unit flew over 3000 h without any accident/incident. The unit successfully undertook two mercy missions at a short notice in the high mountainous regions of Bhutan in marginal weather conditions and evacuated three American nationals to safety. Also, in Jul 2002 the unit undertook flood relief with two helicopters ex-Bhita in Bihar. These acts brought laurels not only to the unit but also to the IAF. During surprise inspection by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) in Apr-May 2002, the unit was assessed 'high average' in all three disciplines of operations, maintenance and administration. During the Aircrew Examining Board visit in Oct 2002, six out of ten pilots, who appeared, upgraded their flying category/instrument rating. The unit achieved over 90% categorisation status. For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sharad Tewari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mathews Mammen 16618 F(P)Unit : MC HQ Flt  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Mathews Mammen (16618) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981. He is a highly qualified and experienced pilot with over 7000 h of accident free flying to his credit. He is qualified in many operational and instructional roles with the highest Tpt Cat/R 'A' MG. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor/Examiner and is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC). He has been the Commanding Officer of Headquarter Maintenance Command Communication Flight wef 26 Mar 2001.

As the Commanding Officer Gp Capt Mammen has made excellent use of his knowledge and experience in meeting the task allotted to the unit. He has been able to mould and optimally utilise the potential among young pilots and navigators by inspiring them through personal example. He has achieved the synergy between operations and maintenance for safe and efficient utilisation of available aircraft. The unit achieved a very high state of categorisation, high serviceability and flew a total of 2289 h of accident and incident free flying during his tenure.

Gp Capt Mammen displayed exceptional professional ability and mental capacity to deal with the emergency and avert escalation of the emergency into a technical malfunction or material failure of an aircraft which occurred soon after take off with the AOCin-C, Maintenance Command, IAF on board. He thus set a good example of discipline in air and on ground to ensure safe conduct of flying operations without diluting operational efficiency.

Gp Capt Mammen has also made sustained efforts towards overall betterment of the unit. With his zeal, foresight, innovative organisational ability and sustained hard work, he has brought about marked improvement in the work ethos and working environment, which has contributed positively towards achieving the assigned tasks. During the recently concluded Mini Commanders Conference, his unit was awarded the 'Best Unit Support-Function for overall excellence' by AOC-in-C, MC, IAF.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik 16783 F(P)Unit : 6 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik (16783) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 04 Jun 1982. He has flown over 4000 h without accident of which nearly 2500 h has been on operational aircraft. He is a Pilot Attack Instructor and Qualified Flying Instructor.

He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He has been a Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron (Sqn) and the Chief Flying Instructor at Air Force Academy. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a fighter Sqn since 28 Jun 2001.

Leading by his personal example, Wg Cdr Kaushik has been able to instill confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of professional pride in his Sqn personnel, thus binding them into a strong and potent force. In 2001, the Sqn was nominated for best fighter Sqn of the IAF. During Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) inspection in Dec 2001, the Sqn was assessed as average plus. The armament scores of the Sqn have consistently remained above average to exceptional. The Sqn, also had the rare distinction of being the first fighter Sqn in ten years to operate from Car Nicobar airfield.

Wg Cdr Kaushik has been able to motivate the Sqn to reach a very high level of performance. The Sqn has a unique dis tinction of having two major operational roles i.e. land strike and maritime strike. Despite constraints of aircrew and assets, the Sqn has executed all tasks in both roles in a professional and noteworthy manner, including participation in six inter-services exercises. Under the leadership of Wg Cdr Kaushik, the Sqn's performance in the long outstation detachment during 'Op Parakram' was creditable. During his tenure, the Sqn has flown more than 2700 h without an accident.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Michael Fernandez 16967 F(P)Unit : 224 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Michael Fernandez (16967) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1982. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a fighter Squadron wef 28 Jun 2001.

A few months into his command, post 9/11, the Sqn mounted live Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) and stayed almost continuously on alert until deployed for 'Op Parakram' in mid-December. While deployed, the squadron participated in every command level exercise in every role from live ground attack missions to Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) Combat Air Patrols to Counter Surface Forces Operations strikes to heavy armament loading exercises and acquitted themselves commendably under Wg Cdr M Fernandez's leadership. All this while the Sqn was also carrying out live ORP. Under his guidance, the unit devised a high altitude release sighting technique to overcome the inherent limitations of the aircraft's gunsight with appreciable results. It was also under his command that the fleet dropped live armament by night for the first time. Though severely constrained in terms of aircrew and technical officer strength, he managed to operate his operational detachments efficiently undertaking all assigned tasks. This included successful operation of a two aircraft ORP from the civil airfield at Ahmedabad on a trial basis. With his leadership and motivational skills he had groups of the Sqn's Tech Flight keenly volunteering to be despatched to the op location, thereby allowing the Sqn's Daily Servicing Section (DSS) personnel adequate rotation to spend time at home base. This did wonders for the unit's morale. He enthused his Sqn members to envision the future and innovate in several areas – the most notable one being the use of the hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) as a combat debrief tool. Besides maintaining a high serviceability state throughout his tenure, an average of 62% for fighters and 74% for trainers, also achieved 100% serviceability in Jan 2003.

In Jan 2003, with no warning, the unit was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI), after almost a decade, two changes in location and a change in role. With absolutely no past indications for guidance, Wg Cdr Fernandez led his unit to achieve 'high average' in all the three prongs while the squadron flew every conceivable type of mission, be it air defence or ground attack.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Vivek Ram Chaudhari 16978 F(P)Unit : 28 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Vivek Ram Chaudhari (16978) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1982 as a Fighter Pilot. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QF1) with over 3650 h of accident free flying to his credit. He has been part of the first formation aerobatics team on the Kiran Mk-II, Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron (Sqn) and an Air Force Examiner on all MiG variant and all trainer ac. He is presently commanding a fighter Sqn since 17 Sep 2001.

Wg Cdr Chaudhari assumed command of the Sqn at the time when the IAF was put on high alert. With his initiative, hard work, perseverance and excellent leadership qualities, he brought in transformational changes in the functioning of the Sqn. During 'Op Parakram', his Sqn was tasked to deploy at three locations as per the war plans. With only nine pilots and one trainer ac available, he alternated between the bases so as to complete the revalidation of augmented pilots in record time and become operational at the earliest from all three locations. While carrying out day and night Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) duties, he flew over 150 sorties and took part in all exercises. Being the only QF1 at one base, he also undertook the conversion of three under training pilots. In consultation with Tactics and Air Combat Development and Training Establishment (TACDE), he helped in development of tactics for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Vs BVR missile engagements and interception of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. While remaining deployed, his Sqn provided Dissimilar Air Combat Training to all the MiG-21 Sqns within the command, thereby enhancing their operational status.

To overcome the constraints of limited ground equipment, which were adequate only for two detachments, he obtained common equipment from co-located fighter Sqns so that his Sqn could operate from five locations on two occasions. He also used the resources of Pechora units for air charging and Nitrogen purity testing resulting in reduced requirements of air cylinders. His Sqn made innovative use of autoloaders for removal of canopy and ejection seat for servicing, thereby saving on frequent ferries to parent base.

Working under constraints of split locations, inadequate communication between them, low manning levels and extended supply lines, he remained ahead of the situations and adopted proactive measures to enhance the output of the unit. By personally moving from one location to another he ensured that he was in constant touch with the entire unit personnel and kept morale of the Sqn high. The Sqn was deinducted after being deployed for thirteen months and was soon inspected by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team, without a warning. Wg Cdr Chaudhari led his Sqn to achieve average plus in operations and high average in maintenance activities.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu 17714 F(P)Unit : 115 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu (17714) Flying (Pilot) was commis sioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 21 Dec 1984 as a Helicopter Pilot. He has over 5000 h accident/incident free flying in a variety of roles, which include high altitude, instructional and off shore roles. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner on MI-8 and Chetak helicopters. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. During 18 years of distinguished service, he has held important appointments such as Flight Commander of a Mi-8 Unit and a Chetak Flight in United Nation Peace Keeping Mission in Sierra Leone and Commanding Officer (CO) of Chetak/Cheetah Unit. Presently he is CO of a Helicopter Unit since 13 Aug 2001.

Under the command and supervision of Wg Cdr Babu, the unit performed exceptionally well in all spheres of activities. Operationally, the unit flew over 4334 h, averaging 216 h a month, even when the aircraft strength was reduced to only seven helicopters for some time. Initiation of young pilots into operational role has been his strong point. The young officers were encouraged to shoulder the responsibility in operational matters thereby enhancing their confidence and self-esteem. The level of motivation is evident from the fact that 14 upgradations of professional rating were achieved by young officers within a short period of 18 months. To achieve a high operational efficiency, Wg Cdr Babu rationalised and standardised the techniques and tactics for op role pertaining to the terrain and trained all pilots accordingly. He displayed an exceptionally high degree of foresight, planning and motivational skills to obtain maximum efficiency from his men. He led from the front whenever his unit was assigned an important task. He fostered and nurtured an exceptional espirit-de-corps amongst all the ranks, thus bringing out an excellent teamwork to achieve desired objectives.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mayenk Tewari 17719 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Mayenk Tewari (17719) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 21 Dec 1984. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He was commended by the Chief of the Army Staff in 1994. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit since 21 Jun 2001.

The unit is tasked with air operations in the entire Ladakh sector including the disputed Siachen Glacier where the terrain and climatic conditions are extremely hostile towards helicopter operations. Operations here require meticulous planning and execution as helicopters operate at the extremes of their flight envelope and that too at helipads located in direct line of enemy fire. In these arduous conditions Wg Cdr Tewari has not only flown extensively himself but also imparted extensive flying training to all pilots of his unit. His foresight of conducting single pilot operations in the glacier at some of the world's highest helipads including Amar and Sonam was a great help when the engines of unserviceable ac had to be changed or retrieved at these helipads. Under his leadership, accurate planning and perseverance, stranded helicopters were recovered from these helipads under constant enemy threat. Disregarding the harsh weather and the enemy threat, he undertook these perilous missions of recovering these aircraft in single pilot configuration, saving crores of rupees to the exchequer.

With his continued interaction with the unit personnel, Wg Cdr Tewari has been successful in building a high level of morale in the unit and creating an environment conducive for safe flying. He also took initiative in the upliftment of the unit complex and construction of the unit museum.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sanjeev Kumar Bhatnagar 18838 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 21 Feb 03 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Squadron Leader Sanjeev Kumar Bhatnagar (18838) Flying (Pilot) is posted as the Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit at Air Force Station Leh since 08 Apr 2002.

On 21 Feb 2003, he was tasked with casualty evacuation from Batagul in Drass sector. On completion of the mission, Commanding Officer of the local army unit requested him to evacuate a patrol of 08 Jawans who were trapped in an avalanche very close to the LOC. He immediately carried out a recce and evacuated all 08 Jawans in two quick and meticulously planned missions in unfavourable weather conditions under the threat of enemy fire.

The patrol was stranded in the open without any shelter close to the LOC. The return route was blocked due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. With limited supplies and deteriorating weather conditions, any delay would have resulted in the loss of precious lives. The rescue was carried out in a calm, prompt and professional manner, despite the high altitude (which degraded the helicopter handling and performance), the narrow valley (which made manoeuvring difficult) and the unprepared and soft sloping ground, which made a landing difficult. Notwithstanding the perils of deteriorating weather conditions, white out conditions and loose snow, which made the task even more hazardous and the omnipresent danger of enemy firing, he gallantly saved the lives of the soldiers. The mission was a display of exemplary courage in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force. This brave act was well appreciated at all levels by the sister service.

For this act of courage in the face of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Sanjeev Kumar Bhatnagar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Gopinath Girish Kumar 20179 F(P)Unit : 121 HF  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Squadron Leader Gopinath Girish Kumar (20179) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 14 Jun 1989. He has flown 3600 hrs of accident/incident free flying as captain in varied roles. Presently he is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 06 Sep 1999.

Ever since his arrival in the unit, Sqn Ldr Kumar has been a pillar of strength and an epitome of selfless service in all the facets of the unit functioning. Till date, he has undertaken nine life saving missions from snow bound locations of Himachal hills located above 13500 feet. These include rescue of a Swedish and an Austrian national from Kurgiakh Village on two different occasions and rescue of a Spanish national from Mayar Glacier. In another six mercy missions, Sqn Ldr Kumar saved seven lives. It included rescue and evacuation of two trekkers stranded by an avalanche in adverse weather conditions from Gangotri Glacier, an NCC girl cadet forming part of an expedition to Rudgaira peak and a critically ill lady with post delivery complications from snow bound Hanse village. In all these life saving missions the landings involved were over loose, unprepared, fresh snow bound terrain infested with huge boulders located in narrow valleys. Due to the absence of any clear landing area at these locations, the helicopter had to be maintained in low hover over one spot with one skid touching the slopes and the rotors running to pull in the causalities. The high altitude, inhospitable terrain, lack of ground reference due to white out conditions and limited reserve of power made the task even more daunting, demanding a composed mind, immense mental courage, high degree of concentration and scant regard to personal safety.

With his excellent organizing ability and exemplary discipline Sqn Ldr Kumar not only inspires respect and confidence in the team but also ensures work output of a very high standard. As an effective supervisor in the unit he has been deeply involved in the formulation and execution of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) role, including various trials on the CSAR under slung net. He has been the pioneer in the planning and successful conduct of the hill training camp undertaken by the unit. Five such camps have been conducted under his supervision in last three years. His methodical approach, excellent practical knowledge and thorough analysis of situations inspire others to follow.

For his consistent exemplary performance and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Gopinath Girish Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Naresh Bhalerao 22908 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 05 Apr 03 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Naresh Bhalerao (22908) Flying (Pilot) is held on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 03 Sep 2001.

On 05 Apr 2003, he was tasked with casualty evacuation of Capt AK Chandan of 21 Grenadiers who had been engulfed in an avalanche near Chandan II in OP Meghdoot Sector. He reached the site within minutes and realised that the mission would have to be carried out in full view of 'U – cut', a Pakistani observation post, which could direct artillery and mortar shelling on to him. Realising the gravity of the situation, he instructed No 2 to stay clear while he picked up the causality by touching down on a single skid on an uneven rough surface and immediately set course for Base Camp.

Sqn Ldr Bhalerao displayed exceptional courage, professionalism and decision taking ability while carrying out the mercy mission at 16000 feet, where the handling and performance of the helicopter is seve rely affected. The mission was carried out under continuous threat of enemy fire and further avalanches besides the risk of getting into ground resonance and toppling. Notwithstanding the perils, he gallantly evacuated the casualty and ensured timely medical attention. His actions speak of great dedication, courage and unselfishness, which are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For this act of courage and professional competence, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Naresh Bhalerao.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Mukesh Rawat 17453 F(P)Unit : 117 HU  Award Date 21 Nov 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Wing Commander Mukesh Rawat (17453) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Helicopter Unit at Air Force Station, Sarsawa since 05 August 2002.

In the evening of 21 November 2003 the station was tasked to undertake casualty evacuation of 13 civilians stranded in critical conditions due to heavy snowfall across Rohtang Pass at about 14,000 ft. Aborted attempts by civil helicopters earlier had made the task even more daunting. Considering the degree of difficulty, Wg Cdr Rawat was detailed to carry out this mission. The next day, two helicopters got airborne for the mission. An aerial recce of the site was not much of help due to acute white out and turbulent conditions. The combined effect of high altitude, loose snow, lack of visual reference, turbulent wind and dipping low temperature made the task treacherously difficult. He made three attempts to land, which had to be aborted just prior to touchdown due to loose snow creating a snow bowl. Not deterred by this, he decided to make one more attempt. Harnessing his vast experience and after careful analysis of his previous attempts, this time he could make a partial landing, as the loose snow was unable to take the weight of the helicopter. While he skillfully hovered the helicopter with nearly nil reference, the copilot pulled in the first set of casualties. Successive attempts.

With his indomitable spirit, dauntless courage, and scant regard to personal safety, he saved 13 precious lives. For this act of conspicuous courage and selfless service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Mukesh Rawat.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Raskhale Sanjeev Kumar 19037 AELUnit : 114 HU  Award Date 21 Nov 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Squadron Leader Rakshale Sanjeev Kumar (19037) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) is posted as a Senior Technical Officer at a Helicopter unit since 23 September 2002.

On 21 November 2003, a Cheetah helicopter of this unit faced control problems and force landed at an altitude of 17,200 feet near a forward post in the Siachen glacier close to the AGPL. The helicopter remained overnight in glacier and its retrieval very next day was inescapable as further delay would have resulted in oil and lubricants getting solidified and helicopter getting submerged under snow due to bad weather resulting in loss of the entire helicopter worth crores. It was under such circumstances that Squadron Leader RS Kumar volunteered to take on the daunting and challenging task of recovering this helicopter. He landed at the crash site the very next day without any acclimatization, which could have caused him a permanent disability or even death. After required checks and rectification the major task was to get the aircraft started. Starting at such altitude calls for innovation and use of unorthodox measures, something not taught at any training institute or in any manual and required an active and fertile mind. Use of petrol in the fuel filter and blowing of oxygen into the air intakes helped to achieve successful start to aero engine and subsequent retrieval of a fully serviceable aircraft, which was otherwise destined to be a beacon in the glacier. He also displayed exemplary courage by opting to fly back as a passenger in the same aircraft, a tribute to his belief in himself. He was thus responsible for the recovery of the strike helicopter.

For this act of exemplary courage and dedicated professionalism wherein he risked his own life to save an aircraft worth crores to exchequer, the Hon`ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Rakshale Sanjeev Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Navin Maranatha Nayar 24035 F(P)Unit : 114 HU  Award Date 24 Aug 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Flight Lieutenant Navin Maranatha Nayar (24035) flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an operational Cheetah Helicopter Unit, located at Leh, since 16 July 2001.

On 24 August 2003, he was detailed to fly as number two in a three aircraft air maintenance mission in Op-Meghdoot, Ex-Base Camp to Amar and Sonam, the highest helipads in the world.

In the second shuttle from Khanda helipad to Sonam helipad, while climbing past 18,500 feet, the aircraft suddenly yawed to right, with drop in engine and rotor RPM. Flight Lieutenant Nayar, displaying great presence of mind in identifying the emergency as an engine failure, instinctively lowered the collective to put the aircraft into a state of autorotation. An engine failure at such high altitudes demands prompt actions from a pilot after which any other action is futile. He thereafter, in calm and thoroughly professional manner turned towards the foot tract the only safe landing spot in the crevasse prone, undulating terrain and simultaneously gave the May Day call. He executed a flawless autorotative landing, a feat often unheard of at such an elevation. His exceptional situational awareness, skill and professional handling of the emergency resulted in an absolutely safe landing and both the pilots coming out scratch free from the aircraft. Flight lieutenant Nayar's professionalism was also displayed earlier when he executed a safe landing at Leh airfield during an engine failure on 16 February 2002, with only minor damage to the Oleos. His actions are in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force and attributes of an Air Warrior.

For this act of exceptional gallantry and exemplary professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Navin Maranatha Nayar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Mayanglambam Manimohon Singh 24229 F(P)Unit : 153 HU  Award Date 21 Sep 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Flight Lieutenant Mayanglambam Manimohan Singh (24229) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an operational Mi-17 IV Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force, since 19 August 2002.

On 21 September 2003, our troops on the LOC in the Gurez sector noticed an infiltration attempt by a band of insurgents. There was an immediate need to encircle the insurgents and seal the escape route before they could mingle with the general populace. The insurgents were heavily armed and known to be equipped with machine guns and even the presence of shoulder fired missiles was not ruled out. The hostile terrain precluded any movement of troops on foot in the required time frame. HQ 15 Corps projected a requirement of undertaking the induction of troops to cut off the escape route for the insurgents. The general terrain in the objective area was heavily forested. Flight Lieutenant MM Singh was detailed to carry out troop induction. He planned the mission in the most professional manner and executed it with meticulous precision.

The mission required troop induction at an unprepared and unrecced area in hostile environment. Flight Lieutenant MM Singh, realizing the grave and imminent danger and requirement of extremely high skills, decided to lead the formation of two helicopters. He flew the mission in extremely turbulent wind conditions and deteriorating weather. The landing site, which was near the line of control, had no protection and there was a constant threat of fire from the terrorists, who were hiding in the vicinity. Despite the lurking danger, he kept the aim of the mission uppermost in his mind and displayed exceptional courage by carrying out two missions at an unsurveyed site on a ridge at an elevation of 13,000 feet on the first day and four more missions the next day in similar conditions. The successful air operations greatly aided the Indian Army in their anti-terrorist operation.

For this act of Gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Mayanglambarn Manimohan Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Deepak Kumar Sen 11915 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Indu Bhaal Bhasin 12871 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Rajeev Kumar 13116 ACCTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sant Prakash Singh Virk 13491 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ratan Bir Kalra 13690 ACCTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Man Mohan, Dogra 13755 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Dhar 13940 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sanjiv Misra 14094 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Kumar Sinha 14336 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Dilip Raghavendra Dani 14346 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Singhal 14615 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Amit Aneja 14668 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Chennupati Ramachandra Prasad 14998 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
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