Awards for the year 2007


A total of 69 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 22 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Pramod Kumar Mehra 11581 F(P)Unit : South Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Marshal Pramod Kumar Mehra AVSM VM (11581) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch on 18 May 1968. He has held various important appointments which include Commandant of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Director Air Staff Requirements (DASR) at Air HQ, Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Hasimara, Air Defence Commander (AD Cdr) of South Western Sector, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence) [ACAS {Int}] at Air HQ, and Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at HQ Central Air Command (CAC). He took over as Air Officer Commanding-inChief of the prestigious South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar on 01 March 06. For his distinguished services, he has been awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2005 and Vayu Sena Medal in 1989. The Air Officer took part in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 and is one of the most experienced test pilots in the IAF today. He has successfully supervised many projects in various capacities at ASTE, thus contributing immensely towards improving the operational potential of the IAF. As DASR at Air HQ, he most creditably performed the job of laying down air staff requirements for acquisition of various assets by the IAF, He was member of the Price Negotiation Committees (PNC) for the Advanced Jet Trainer (Hawk) and proved his acumen as an able negotiator during these negotiations. As AD Cdr, he was responsible for the Air Defence of the South Western Sector during Op Parakram and performed his role exceedingly well with limited resources and constraints of ageing equipment. He was ACAS (Int) at Air HQ at a time when the International defence cooperation between the IAF and friendly foreign countries was on a major upswing. His efforts were contributory towards successful conduct of bilateral visits with the other Air Forces including visits by the Chiefs of Air Staff. He also provided necessary support to the nascent Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) from Air HQ, especially towards implementation of recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM) post Kargil War. As SASO, HQ CAC, he was responsible for all the operational activities of the most well endowed Command of the IAF which has almost all types of aircraft and equipment in Air Force inventory. During this tenure he was instrumental in increasing the operational potential by introducing a series of Intra Command exercises, greater stress on enhanced training and standardizing new concepts in operations like Aerial Refueling and Combat Search & Rescue. His tenure saw meticulous planning & successful conduct of International Air Force exercises in which Squadrons based in CAC participated in joint exercises between 1AF and foreign countries like US, Singapore, South Africa, and France. These exercises earned IAF a place of pride due to its professionalism and propelled it towards being recognized as a global force with strategic reach.

As AOC-in-C SWAC, he has given a fresh impetus to the Command in its surge forward by his focused vision and a clear foresight. Successful conduct of Air Force Exercise, Gagan Shakti recently has refined the operational readiness of the IAF and has once again shown the able leadership provided by Air Marshal Mehra from SWAC. Many new concepts and systems were tried and validated during this exercise. Be it in the field of Information Technology or the infrastructure development in the Stations, SWAC is making big strides under his stewardship. The area of responsibility of SWAC recently saw unprecedented rains and floods which caused widespread damage and loss of life in these States. Rescue and relief operations launched under his guidance were prompt and well coordinated despite limited resources when compared to the magnitude of devastation. The timely succour provided by the Air Force was widely appreciated by the State Govts and was a result of his innovative idea of providing training to the district officials by air force personnel before the onset of monsoon.

Air Marshal Pramod Kumar Mehra AVSM VM has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale 11630 F(P)Unit : Training Command  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Marshal Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale AVSM VM (11630) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF on 02 June 1968. In a distinguished career spanning four decades, the Air Marshal has flown more than 3700 hrs on various fighter and trainer aircraft. He has had a rich and varied experience covering a gamut of operational, staff and instructional tenures. He is a Cat A2 Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader. The Air Officer has commanded a frontline fighter squadron and a prestigious Air Base operating Jaguars and Mi-8 aircraft. Besides instructional tenures at Air Force Academy and Flying Instructors' School, the he has served as a qualified flying instructor on deputation to the Iraqi Air Force. The Air Marshal is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, an alumnus of Air War College, USA and a Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India. He has been a Directing Staff at the Staff College and an Inspector at Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI). He has served as Defence Attaché in the Embassy of India Cairo, Egypt. He has also been Air Advisor to Chief of the Air Staff. During the Indo-Pak war of 1971 he flew several operational air-to-ground attack missions. For his professionalism and distinguished service, the Air Marshal has been awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1990 and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2000.

As Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, the Air Marshal had played an important role in planning and execution of air operations, including Op Parakram. He had coordinated the induction of the SU 30 MKI, Embraer aircraft and the Air-to-Air Refueller aircraft. His meticulous planning facilitated the enhancement of UAV capabilities of the IAF and formulation of tactics for Beyond Visual Range combat. He was the architect of a large number of international exercises conducted during this period. He was instrumental in conceptualization, planning and operationalising the strategic component of lAF's weapon inventory.

As Senior Air Staff Officer and subsequently Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Training command, the Air Marshal's vision of a futuristic Training Command has led to establishment of dedicated Aerospace and IT faculties. Besides ensuring smooth implementation of a novel concept of the Just in Time Training for officers and airmen and Distance Education Scheme for in-service courses, he was the guiding force in streamlining the pilots' training.

Air Marshal Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale AVSM VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia 11631 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Marshal Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia AVSM & Bar VM VSM (11631 Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 02 June 1968. The Air Officer has held numerous Staff and Command appointments during the course of his long and distinguished career. Amongst the important assignments held by him in the past are Commanding Officer of a frontline Mirage-2000 Squadron, Air Officer Commanding of two premier fighter bases, Diplomatic and foreign assignments, Inter-Service assignment, Director General (Inspection & Safety) at Air HQ. He is presently the Air Officer Commanding-inChief, Southern Air Command. Throughout his long and distinguished service the Air Officer has been an exceptional achiever at all levels of career progression, which is borne out by fact that the Air Officer has been decorated with VSM in 1984, VM in 1987, AVSM in 1992 and Bar to AVSM in 1997. In addition, he has also been commended by the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff in the course of his distinguished career.

As a Fighter Squadron Commander and Base Commander the officer has displayed exceptional managerial skills and leadership qualities to ensure optimal operational status of his charge. He was commanding the premier Mirage Air Base during the Kargil conflict and modifications, innovations and tactics that were necessary to induct the Mirage-2000 into the Kargil Air Operations were prominently attributable to his leadership, foresight and exceptional professional knowledge. Undoubtedly, the individual contribution of Air Officer during the Kargil conflict was instrumental in the Mirage-2000 aircraft ach-ieving high success rates. For his tour of duty during his diplomatic assignment in Japan and Republic of Korea and as an instructor pilot in a foreign country, his outstanding professional capabilities, skills and achievements were well appreciated by those countries.

As Director General (Inspection & Safety), Air Marshal PS Ahluwalia was instrumental in crafting and executing a flight safety strategy for the Indian Air Force. The officer's perseverance and determination has indeed contributed significantly in reducing the Indian Air Force's accident rate to an all time low, thereby saving precious lives and assets.

Air Marshal Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia AVSM & Bar VM VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Arvind Kumar Nagalia 11633 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Marshal Arvind Kumar Nagalia AVSM VM VSM (11633) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 02 June 1968. He has over 4400 hours of accident free flying to his credit. During his 38 years of service career, he has held important and challenging staff and field appointments, which include Commanding Officer of maritime Jaguar Squadron, Air Attaché at Kiev, Director of Projects and Director of Air Staff Requirements at Air HQ, Commandant Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Director National Flight Test Centre, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) and Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel at Air HQ. He is a qualified Flying Instructor and Experimental Test Pilot. He has undergone Advance Staff Course at UK. He is also an alumnus of National Defence College (NDC). He was awarded VSM in 1985, VM in 1993 and AVSM in 2004. Presently he is holding the appointment of Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air HQ since 24 August 2005.

Throughout his service career and especially so when holding criteria appointments, he has been the epitome of professionalism, probity and personal integrity. As Air Attaché, he resolved vexatious issues of product support, settlement of warranty claims and on site training of personnel not only of the IAF, but also of the Army, DRDO and Defence PSUs, through forethought, effective intervention and persistent efforts. This had a significant impact on the maintenance of the operational preparedness. During his tenure as Commandant ASTE, a record number of difficult trials involving complex systems were carried out safely and effectively. Whilst being the Project Director NFTC, he was instrumental in formulating overall Flight Test Plan for the TEJAS (Light Combat Aircraft).

Appointed ACAS (Plans) at Air HQ in September 2002, he was responsible in breaking the deadlock between the Russians and Israelis in the integration of a major weapon system for the Su-30 MKI project and progressing major projects like AWACS and Hawk AJT to their logical conclusion.

During his tenure as AOP, he had been instrumental in formulation of revised abinitio and in-service training policies. He implemented AVSC Phase I report in the IAF in a record time and formulated proposals for Assured Career Progression for Airmen and AVSC Phase II for officers.

During his tenure as DCAS, he revamped the procurement process for fructification of the Annual Acquisition Plan. As a result of his effective planning, guidance and close monitoring, 100% of the allocated funds for capital acquisition were spent from the capital budget during the FY 2004 05 and 2005-06. With his close interaction with officials of Ministry of Defence, DRDO and Defence PSUs, he was instrumental in hastening important policy decisions like obtaining the warranty clause for HAL supplies, delegation of financial powers etc. Under his stewardship, 11th IAF Plan was prepared and approval obtained from MoD.

Air Marshal Arvind Kumar Nagalia AVSM VM VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional .order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Kirti Shekhar Chaturvedi 12100 AELUnit : Maintenance Command  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Marshal Kirti Shekhar Chaturvedl VSM (12100) AE (L) was commissioned on 1969 in the AE Branch of IAF. In his distinguished 37 years of service, he has served in fighter squadrons, overhaul lines of fighter and transport aircraft, commanded Base Repair Depot of front line transport aircraft and also Radar/Communication Repair Depot. He has successfully and effectively held challenging appointments of Senior Maintenance Staff Officer and also Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance. For his distinguished service he was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal in 1986 while serving in a front line fighter squadron.

He took over as AOC-in-C Maintenance Command on 16 May 2005 Immediately after taking over the command, he reviewed the availability of operational assets at operating units vis-à-vis maintenance support being provided by Base Repair Depots, Equipment Depots and also HAL. While performance of support units within its specified task appeared to be normal, results were not commensurate to achieve desired status of operational units. With his in-depth knowledge of production at BRDs, HAL and provisioning procedure at various levels, he applied conceived measure towards formulation of production task of BRDs and provisioning norms. These measures have started showing results as the production in one of the BRD, has surpassed unit demands and no demand is outstanding. The similar status is expected to be achieved by other BRDs and HAL due to reorientation of tasks.

Indigenisation of spares was another area where additional thrust was given by the officer, including new inductions In the Air Force. These measures will assure supply of critical spares to operations units in keeping high serviceability. The task of modernisation of BRDs, which was pending for a long, has been reviewed by him with more practicable and implementable scheme, which has gained momentum. Modernisation of warehousing in Air Force has been lacking. The officer with his dynamic leadership has initiated various corrective measures in this direction too. All Equipment Depots have been provided with modern packaging equipment, which is capable of packing sophisticated Air Craft spares at much lower cost, both to packaging and transportation. For better utilisation of warehousing space, a computer based “Carousel System" has been introduced in one of the Depot on experimental basis which will lead to saving of precious space as well as man power required to handle large inventories.

Air Marshal Kirti Shekhar Chaturvedl VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of most exception order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Balatikalandra Uthaiah Chengappa 12112 AELUnit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Marshal Balatikalandra Uthaiah Chengappa AVSM VSM (12112) AE(L) was commissioned on 05 January 1970 in the Engineering Branch of IAF. He is one of the lAF's most experienced engineering officer trained both on aircraft (ac) and systems. During 36 years of distinguished service, he has held several important Command and Staff appointments, and is presently Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air Headquarters,

The Air officer is Russian-trained on Mi-25 gunship and was a pioneer for its induction in the IAF, for which he was commended by the CAS. He has the rare distinction of commanding a Guided Weapon Training Institute as a Wg Cdr, a Fighter Aircraft TETTRA School as a Gp Capt and a premier Systems Base Repair Depot as an Air Cmde, all with outstanding contributions. Also, as Chief Engineering Officer at a Flying Training Establishment, he sustained the serviceability of the ageing Iskra Fleet over 90%, thus ensuring timely completion of all flying training courses during his tenure. For this distinguished service, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 96 by the President,

Air Marshal Chengappa, as Senior Maintenance Staff Officer of Central Air Co-mmand, reinforced engineering discipline and material management in the field units to increase serviceability of combat assets and support infrastructure. He ensured highest fuel and hydraulic discipline for improved flight and maintenance safety, and instilled concept of self-reliance to survive the resource crunch. For distinguished service of high order, he was aptly awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 04. Thereafter, as Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at Maintenance Command, he ensured improvement in production at Base Repair Depots, in terms of both quantity and quality, thus enhancing lAF's operational capability.

The Air Officer during his current appoint ment as Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air HQ, has brought about radical changes In the work culture. He has revitalized his techno-logistics team of officers and men to work more effectively and efficiently. His thrust on faster processing of cases for procurement of aviation stores, and for repair and overhaul of aircraft assets, particularly ex-abroad, has resulted in better availability of combat assets. He has used his high professional knowledge and vast experience to revise the existing maintenance practices across all ac and system fleets, resulting in less manpower and lesser time for higher serviceability. His art of negotiation has saved phenomenal money to the exchequer. His special interest has led to fructification of the much required IMMOLS project, the e-environment for material management in IAF, which was commissioned by the Honorable Raksha Mantri 01 09 October 2006. His personal liaison with all Govt. agencies, Defence PSUs, private sector and foreign vendors has resulted in all round synergism for making IAF a more potent force. In addition to all this, his fetish for a modern industrial environment has always generated clean, systematic and ergonomic work places - both in field units and in offices.

Air Marshal Balatikalandra Uthaiah Chengappa AVSM VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Suresh Chand Mukul 12930 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Suresh Chand Mukul VM VSM (12930) flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 22 January 1972 in the Flying Branch of the IAF. During his 34 years of service, he has held several important and challenging command and staff appointments, which include Commanding Officer of a MiG-29 Sqn, AOC of a front line station during Op Parakram, two tenures as Joint Director/Director Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters and Air Assistant to Chief of the Air Staff. For devotion to duty and distinguished services, the Air officer was awarded VM in 1992 and VSM in 1996.

The Air Officer has been working as the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) [ACAS (Ops)] at Air Headquarters since December 2004. In this highly challenging assignment, he has a demanding task, with the responsibility of planning and coordinating all air operations of the Indian Air Force. On assuming charge in his present appointment, the Air Officer was faced with the onerous task of coordinating all air activities for relief operations, when the nation was hit by Tsunami. He displayed a very high level of maturity and determination in handling the emergency situation by decisively taking control of the situation. During the Jammu & Kashmir earthquake relief operations in October 2005, he once again displayed exceptional qualities of leadership and professionalism by effectively coordinating the massive air effort towards relief operations,

As ACAS (Ops) at Air Headquarters, the Air Officer has displayed the highest level of foresight and initiative to improve operational efficiency and professionalism in the IAF. He has been instrumental in successfully plan ning the executing various international exercises with foreign air-forces in India and abroad. Among these exercise, Exercise Cope India-05 with USAF arid Exercise Garuda-II with French Air Force at Istres, France are noteworthy, as they brought a high level of respect and accolades to the Indian Air Force in the international arena. His interaction with Command Headquarters, Army and Naval counterparts, through his initiatives and coordinating ability, has been instru mental in resolving many outstanding inter-service issues amicably, thus paving the way for closer tri-service operational coordination.

Air Vice Marshal Suresh Chand Mukul VM VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Venkataraman Ramamurthy 12939 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Venkataraman Ramamurthy lyer (12939) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 22 January 1972. He has held, amongst other appointments, the important ones of Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron, Station Commander of Air Force Station Suratgarh, Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Ambala and Principal Director Personnel (Officers).

The Air Officer is currently the Commandant of College of Air Warfare (CAW). He has undergone various flying and staff courses, inclusive of the Air War College course in the USA. He also holds a double Masters degree in Defence and Strategic Studies.

The Air Officer has performed commendably during various challenging appointments he has held during his 34 years of service. Especially noteworthy were his command of AF Stn Suratgarh during Op Safed Sagar and Command of AF Stn Ambala for the entire duration of Op Parakram. He has to his credit over 3200 hrs of accident free flying on various operational and training aircraft. During his current tenure of 1 ½ years as Commandant CAW, he has incorporated significant improvements in the curriculum and conduct of courses held at CAW. The course content of Higher Air Command Course has been expanded and modified in keeping with futuristic requirements. Similarly, Joint Air Warfare Course and Weapon Employment Course have been merged by altering the conduct methodology. This has helped reduce the absence of officers from their op units from 10 weeks to 5 weeks, with no dilution of course content. Training infrastructure at the College has also been upgraded and modernized.

Air Vice Marshal Venkataraman Ramamurthy lyer has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Sundaresan Swaminathan 13044 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Sundaresan Swaminathan VSM (13044) AE (L) was commissioned on 03 January 1972 in the Engineering branch of the IAF. In 33 years of distinguished service, he has held important appointments of Senior Technical Officer of a Mirage- 2000 Squadron, Chief Engineering Officer of a Flying Station, Station Commander/Air Officer Commanding of two Air Force Stations and Principal Director AWACS at Air HQ. He was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service of high order on 26 January 1997 and commended by the Chief of Air Staff on 26 January 1993.

As the Chief Engineering Officer at Air Force Station, Bidar, he coordinated all engineering activities related to the formation of Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team. High quality maintenance practices introduced by him, with his engineering acumen and personal involvement, continue to help the Surya Kirans bring laurels to the IAF in India and abroad. As Station Commander, AF Station, Dalhousie, he personally located P-18 radar at a height of 9100 ft for the first time, which provided vital air defence coverage during Op Parakram.

In January 2002, on a specific assignment by the CAS, he designed and modified one Dornier and four Avro aircraft using ground communication systems in a specialized airborne Electronic Warfare role. Successful flight worthy modification was possible due to the high level of ingenuity, professional excellence and system integration caliber of the Air Officer. The system provided very important operational role during Op Parakram. This indigenous modification saved the exchequer a substantial amount in foreign exchange to avoid import of a similar system as also a large amount of expenditure towards modification by HAL.

As Principal Director, AWACS, Air HQ, with his excellent professional and management skills, he concluded contracts for procurement of many vital systems like Aerostat radar, AWACS aircraft and other air defence radars in a short span of 18 months. As Air Officer Commanding, AF Station, Jalahalli he instituted effective steps to provide high quality of training and also improvement of overall quality of life to the trainees. He played a pivotal rote in the introduction of 'Just-InTime Training' for all electronic trades.

In the present appointment, despite severe constrains of remote locations, adverse weather and poor connectivity, with his absolutely professional command and control over all maintenance activities of Eastern Air Command, the serviceability and reliability of various fleets of aircraft, radars and other systems have improved to high levels. This has resulted in higher operational utilisation of the assets with better maintenance safety standards. With his active supervision and involvement, two international exercises, COPE INDIA and SINDEX, were successfully conducted at Air force Station, Kalaikunda.

Air Vice Marshal Sundaresan Swaminathan VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Jagjit Singh Gandyok 13216 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Jagjit Singh Gandyok, VSM (13216) Admin was commissioned

in the Administrative branch on 30 December 72. Important appointments held by him were SATCO at AF Stn Jamnagar, Joint Director Personnel Airmen (JDPA) at Air HQ, C Adm O at AF Stn Kalaikunda, PD PP&R and PD Org at Air HQ and Senior Officer in charge Administration (SOA) at HQ EAC IAF. For his distinguished service of high order, he was awarded with VSM on 26 January 2002.

Since his commissioning, he has been demonstrating his professional approach and acumen while handling key portfolios invested to him. As JDPA he was instrumental in rationalising the manning level of airmen and Non Combatants (Enrolled) at all Air Force

units. He completed the task of identifying the AF units and determining the required manning level in remarkable time. As C Adm O of a premier flying station, the administrative support provided under his guidance enabled timely creation of Flight Safety Zone with his personnel liaison with the District Forest Officer and Defence Estate Officer, This went in a long way in providing a bird free environment for reducing aircraft accidents. As PD Org he was directly responsible in coordinating RD Parade, Independence Day Parade and other national level ceremonies. The Air Force Symphony orchestra reached its prime under his guidance. He was instrumental in getting the field dress authorised for PBOR from the Govt. All the above activities ensured that the Air Force flag flew high.

The Air Officer, having taken over the appointment of SOA visited each and every station under EAC ensuring personal interaction with all personnel. Based on their feedback, a number of works services and welfare measures could be initiated at command level to improve the working environment in the North-East. A number of innovative security measure initiated were supervised by him for safe guarding the bases against ANEs and for better utilisation of human resources. He was instrumental in conducting a number of workshops within command so as to heighten the overall administrative knowledge in various field activities which has brought about synergy at work.

Through his interactive style of functioning, the Air Officer infused a new sense of enthusiasm and work culture amongst the personnel. This channelised their collective energy into solving problems through innovation and self help. A large number of welfare activities have seen a perceptible improvement in the quality of life and consequent upliftment of morale of personnel. With sincerity and dedication, the Air Officer always led his personnel from the front by his personnel example and was able to set a very high professional standard for his subordinates.

Air Vice Marshal Jagjit Singh Gandyok has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Navin Verma 13282 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Navin Verma (13282) AE (L) in 33 years of distinguished service has held several important command and staff appointments. This includes Command Engineering Officer of Operational Command, Chief of Planning & Coordination Officer at AMSE, Chief of Planning at AF Stn Ojhar and Joint and Dy Dir Systems Application at Air HQs.

The Air Officer is a Post Graduate from IIT Kharagpur. He has been commended by the CAS in 1985 for his commendable and exceptional work in making the Radar operational that had been non-operational after its installation. During his tenure at AF Stn Ojhar he

was instrumental in accelerating the pace of indigenization of MiG-29 spares and thereby ensuring timely completion of the overhaul task.

As Senior Engineer at AMSE he established the repair facility with in the existing infrastructure for multi layered sub assemblies of French manufactured Radar. This indigenous repair facility not only saved the foreign exchange but also built up the expertise to undertake repair of state of art electronics PCB and sub-assemblies.

After taking over as AOC AF Station Kanpur, he became instrumental in providing necessary co-ordination, guidance and vision to ensure optimum utilisation of all available resources. He, with his foresight, leadership, accurate planning and guidance ensured that one of the BRD at AF Station Kanpur was adjudged the best BRD in year 2005. During year 2005 the equipment depot, under the station was also adjudged as the best ED. The Station was inspected by DMI and was awarded an overall grading of High Average and HQ MC also adjudged the station with the Best Technical Support Group. With immaculate planning and professional approach the Material Testing Laboratory is fully commissioned now to undertake the task. Under his administration AN-32 mother depot, has ensured timely procurement of indigenous ARS and mandatory spares for the fleet. This has been instrumental in improving the overall serviceability of AN-32 fleet.

Air Commodore Navin Verma has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Dinesh Chandra Kumaria 13366 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Dinesh Chandra Kumaria VM VSM (13366) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in June 1973. In his 33 years of distinguished service. He has held various important appointments including Commanding Officer of a Maritime Jaguar Squadron, which was declared the Best Operational Squadron and overall winners of the Inter Command Gunnery Meet. He also commanded an operational base which was adjudged the best Station in Operations, Flight Safety and Administration as well as won the trophy for 'Best in Air Traffic Services' in the entire Air Force. He has been a member of the Directing Staff at TACDE and founder member of Air War Strategy Cell, where he co-authored the IAF Doctrine. He has served as a Defence Attaché at the Embassy of India in Italy, and Principal Director Concept Studies at Air Headquarters. For his exceptional devotion to duty and distinguished services, he has been awarded VM in 1983 and VSM in 1996, The Air Officer has been the Air-1 at HQ WAC since 01 November 2004, where he was responsible for all facets of fighter operations of the largest Operational Command of the IAF. As Air-1, he adopted a pro-active approach and contributed immensely in dissemination of Air Combat Tactics learnt during lAF's participation in various interna tional exercises, which had a significant impact in improving the operational preparedness of this Command. By meticulous and innovative ground work, it was ensured that new concepts were proven with the least air effort, thus ensuring high productivity. The lessons from these exercises have been accepted at the highest levels of the IAF and form the basis of operational planning for the future.

The Air Officer's close interaction with his counterparts from other services resulted in a very high level of Jointmanship and Synergy. The lessons of joint exercises in the recent past have led to an all round acceptance of the lead role that would be played by the Air Force in future. As Air-1 he was also responsible for the conduct of Fly Past at the Republic Day and Air Force Day Parades for past two years. Each of these was executed with flawless precision, earning high esteem for the professionalism of the IAF. He also put into practice concepts of Host Squadron Operations and Pilot TRS which provide operational flexibility to an operational commander. The successful implementation of these concepts have fed to their introduction in other Commands subsequently.

Based on experience of HQ WAC in Disaster Management and Relief, he was tasked to compile a handbook on Disaster Management. With his usual diligence and perseverance he has written a comprehensive handbook which would serve as a guide for disaster relief operations in the future. He has also authored another book on Air Power for better comprehension of the subject by young Air Warriors. As the Air-1, Air Cmde Kumaria has been the epitome of professionalism, probity and personal integrity.

Air Commodore Dinesh Chandra Kumaria VM VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Madhusudhan Banerjee 13400 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Madhusudan Banerjee VM, VSM (13400) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 02 June 1973. He has held several important Command and Staff appointments that include Directing Staff at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment, Comm and of a fighter squadron, Command of an Air Defence Direction Centre, Command of a front line flying station and Principal Director Flight Safety at Air HQ. He is also a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Electronics Warfare expert. He was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for exceptional devotion to duty in 1999 and Vayu Sena Medal for distinguished service of a high order in 2003.

The Air Officer has been Air Officer Commanding of a premier flying Station since 11 October 2004. In this period he has exhibited exceptional leadership qualities and ensured a very high state of operational preparedness of the Station. During this period the station inducted and operationalised the SU-30 MKI Phase III aircraft in a short span of six months. The flying efforts increased substantially despite a manifold increase in civil aircraft operations on a 24 hours basis. There was a noticeable reduction in aircraft incidents, especially related to Foreign Object Damage, which contributed towards tremendous cost savings.

A striking feature of the officer's achievement has been his ability to obtain results at minimal cost through ingenious methods and innovative ideas. The Station has managed extra tasks most admirably and sustained the morale of all its personnel at a very high level through superlative welfare measure, Noteworthy has been the extensive repair and renovation of a large number of old and dilapidated buildings as Temporary Married Quarters for airmen. This led to an appreciable improvement in the overall quality of life on the Station. The Air Officer has consistently displayed extraordinary zeal, enthusiasm, leadership and vision.

Air Commodore Madhusudan Banerjee VM, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Keshav Gopal Bewoor 13570 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Keshav Gopal Bewoor VM (13570) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 22 December 1973 in the fighter stream of the flying branch of the IAF. In 33 years of distinguished service, he has held several important command and staff appointments namely the command of a Fighter Squadron, DS in DSSC, Examiner in the Air Crew Examining Board, the Defence Attaché in Israel, Air-1 of an Operational Command, and Command of the three premier bases in the IAF including the present Mirage 2000 base at Gwalior. He was awarded the Vayu Seva Medal in January 1994.

An A2 flying instructor, the Air Officer has been a founder member of the first aerobatic team of the IAF “Thunderbolts" and was also amongst the first batch of pilots to have converted onto the Mirage 2000 aircraft. As Defence Attaché in Israel the Air Officer played a pioneer role as he played a key role to enhance cooperation in the defence field between the two countries. During the firepower demonstration at Pokharan in 1998 and 1999 and the Kargil Operation in 1999, the Air officer then as Base Commander Jaisailmer had a major contribution in the success of these events/operations.

The Air officer has contributed significantly to the operational efficiency and preparedness of the Mirage-2000 fleet both as Air-1 and now as the Air Officer Commanding of the Mirage 2000 base. The shock effect exercises conceived and implemented during his tenure as Air-1 have been instrumental in determining the ops potential of the fighter Squadrons from time to time. His balanced and result oriented approach with personal involvement in every sphere of activities has been significant both in Ops planning at Command HQ as well as growth of the Air Force Base at Gwalior as a model base. Air Commodore Keshav Gopal Bewoor VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Atul Saikia 13585 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Atul Saikia VM (13585) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the fighter stream on 22 December 1973. As a young Flying Officer he was commended by CAS for his extraordinary skill and professional knowledge. He has served as ADC to the President of India, directing staff of Flying Instructor's School and as Staff Officer to AOC-in-C, EAC and SWAC. As Commanding Officer of a MiG-23 BN squadron, he was awarded Vayu Sena Medal and AOC-in-C's commendation. He also served as Chief Instructor Flying at Air Force Academy, Air-I at HQ AOC J&K and as Station Commander of premier AF Station. He was selected to undergo Systems and Safety Management Course in USA in 1990 and secured first position. He served as Principal Director Training at Air HQ. As the Flight Commander in fighter Sqn he was commended by the CAS for the second time and the Sqn was adjudged the Best Fighter Squadron for two consecutive years in WAC. The legacy further continued, as the Squadron he was commanding was once again adjudged the Best Squadron in SWAC. For his professionalism and exceptional devotion to duty, he has been awarded VM in 1996. He took command of AF Station Kalaikunda in November 2004 with base in a state of operational disuse for three years. The runway was in the process of rehabilitation and the fighter squadrons were waiting to return to home base. With remarkable expertise, he expedited the process of rehabilitation of not only the runway but the entire airfield and its operations, maintenance complexes, thus brought it back to its original status of a premier airbase in the IAF. The base was then given the mandate of hosting the joint international exercise COPE INDIA2005 in November 2005, which besides being an air exercise had ramifications on Indo-US relations as well. The base was prepared in record time, to host the exercise, against heavy odds including local political constraints. With his able guidance and operational acumen, the exercise was conducted impeccably and all objectives were fully met. Immaculate execution of the exercise enhanced the image of the IAF internationally. The base thereafter hosted the Republic of Singapore Air force for exercise SINDEX-06 in Jan 06. This exercise was conducted equally meticulously and was immensely appreciated by all including the Chief of Air Force, RSAF.

The Air Officer contributed not only for enhancing the operational setup of the base but also concentrated his zealous efforts towards improving the domestic environment the station to an international standard in a short span which would not have been possible in absence of the ceaseless effort and drive of the officer.

Air Commodore Atul Saikia VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal 13598 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal VM (13598) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 22 December 1973. He has to his credit over 5550 hours of accident free flying. A Qualified Flying Instructor on the IL-76 aircraft, he has also flown the AN-32 and HS-748 aircraft. An alumni of the National Defence College and the College of Defence Management, he took over command of AF Station Chandigarh on 03 January 2005. For his professionalism and exceptional devotion to duty, he has been awarded VM In 2000.

As the AOC of AF Station Agra from October 2002 to January 2004, the Air Officer successfully conducted a joint Indo-US para exercise; Cope India 02-01 in October-November 2002. This exercise displayed the might of the IAF in para and heavy drop and was very well received, both in the print and in the electronic media. He was also instrumental in pioneering the successful induction of IL78 MKI Flight Refueller Aircraft into AF Station, Agra. During his short span as the AOC of AF Station Chandigarh, AF, he led his team from the front to handle the after effects of three major-national calamities. Aircraft from this base flew out over 1695 passengers from the worst-ever natural disaster in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. When National Highway 1A, the only road link between the Jammu & Kashmir valley and rest of the nation was blocked, it was the aircraft under his command which flew round the clock and airlifted a record breaking 29086 passengers across the Banihal pass in a matter of just 37 days. This was an air effort that put forward the nation's capability as a potent force in front of the entire world. In the aftermath of earthquake, which struck the state of Jammu and Kashmir on 08 October 2005, transport aircraft from this base flow relentlessly, both by day and night, ferrying stores, medical aid and relief material, providing immediate succor to the affected personnel. The limited air effort placed under his command was so optimally utilized that this was achieved without sacrificing any load meant for troops in Ladakh sector, a routine activity of this station, which was executed simultaneously.

Under his dynamic leadership, the Station organized an IAF publicity awareness Campaign in March 2006. The conduct of the air show, the static display and the Air Warriors Symphony Orchestra was executed to perfection under his command. The ongoing Married Accommodation Project at AF Station Chandigarh had suffered a major setback due to a penalty of Rs. 15.2 crores levied by the UTI Administration, Chandigarh. The matter was so tactfully handled by him that a waiver was sanctioned by the Administrator, UTI for the entire amount. This has not only put the Married Accommodation Project back on line but also made it cheaper by Rs. 15.2 crores.

Air Commodore Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Rajinder Singh 13980 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Rajinder Singh VM (13980) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as fighter pilot in the IAF on 14 December 1974. He has flown over 3000 hours of accident free flying and held several key appointment, which include Commanding Officer (CO) of a MiG-21 Squadron (Sqn), Chief Operations Officer (COO) of a large fighter wing and Station Commander (Stn Cdr) of strategically vital fighter base. He has also held several Important staff assignments, both at Air HQ and Command HQ, and was also the defence attaché in Egypt. A Qualified Flying instructor and an alumni of the Defence Services Staff College, the air officer was twice commended by the CAS in 1988 and1995, respectively, and also awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1999.

During his present tenure as the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of Air Force Station Palam, the Station flew a record 11,000 hrs of accident free flying. A rare feat was achieved by the Station in which all aircraft of the Sqn were flown at the same time to attain 100% serviceability. All the VVIP/VIP movements have been handled exclusively well.

The Air Officer's drive and initiative successfully resolved the perennial water shortage at Palam by making Delhi Jal Board water available to the Station for the first time in sixty years. Under his able guidance and direction the prestigious Air Force Day Parade was meticulously planned and perfectly executed, showcasing an impressive and professional display, which was highly appreciated. During Tsunami the victims were received, fed, clothed and dropped at their homes. Prompt airlift of relief material to Jammu & Kashmir during earthquake was appreciated by even the home ministry,

Air Commodore Rajinder Singh, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pramod Kumar Roy 14100 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Pramod Kumar Roy, VM, VSM (14100), Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 11 July 1975. He is on the posted strength of Air Force Station, New Delhi since 08 March 2005, as Air Officer Commanding. The Air Officer is a qualified Flying Instructor with over 4500 hours of accident free flying to his credit. His past assignments include Command of a helicopter unit and Air Force Station Thoise as well as tenure each at Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and Embassy of India, Ukraine as Military & Air Attaché. He is also the Commodore Commandant of 107 Helicopter Unit. During both the commands, the helicopter unit as well as the Air Force Station were declared the best unit/station of the respective Commands.

A highly motivated, diligent and responsible officer, he has always been able to motivate his air warriors to a very high level of performance and has been awarded Vayu Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal in 1995 and 2000 respectively.

Air Force Station New Delhi during his stewardship has provided exceptional admin is tration, logistics and maintenance support to almost 10000 air warriors in and around Delhi, A modern Airmen Mess with automated kitchen, a model Logistics section with a unique Uniform Display Room, modernization of MT section, handing over of MT refueling to IOC, along with equipping ten UN Contingents to Congo & Sudan and their regular re-supply, are some of his major achievements. Also, the Station has undergone noticeable transformation in terms of quality of life for air warriors in respect of water, sewage, electricity, maintenance of Temporary/Service Married Quarters and the surroundings. His involvement in pursuing various works services for beautification of area, CSD shopping complex, canteen - specially the new Noida canteen, provision of RO water system, etc, is highly appreciable. As Deputy Chairman, Akash Mess he successfully executed evacuation of mess premises by unauthorised occupants, which could not be done for over a decade.

Through hard work and personal management of high order he has been able to imbibe in his subordinates a zeal for commitment to task and obtain willing support. He has recasted the local welfare ventures with the creation of facilities such as new shopping complex with self service counters, modern food court, internet facility, new parks and activation of similar market complex at Safed Sagar, Gurgaon.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Jai Prakash Shukla 737836 ORUnit : No.2217 Squadron  Award Date 23 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Sergeant Jai Praksah Shukla was on posted strength of Pechora Squadron at Air Force Station, Utterlai (Barmer). Barmer district experienced incessant rains and flash floods. On 23rd August, 2006, Sergeant Shukla along with others Air Warriors of the unit proceeded to surrounding villages to assist the families of some civilians working at the Station.

While returning, some villagers requested Air Warrior to rescue four persons perched on top and struggling for life in the flood. The task of rescuing the persons from dangerously high levels of the turbulent flood waters was extremely challenging and evidently hazardous. While other members of the team did not dare to enter torrential current of flood waters, Sergeant Shukla in true tradition of a soldier, readily volunteered to rescue these four persons. He swam in the strong current in 20 feet deep flood waters, with the single minded purpose of rescuing the helpless persons, who were under the threat of being washed away. However, after swimming for about 100 meters, he got sucked down in the swirling water and could not extricate himself. His body was recovered after two days.

Sergeant Jai Prakash Shukla displayed extraordinary courage and valour in extreme circumstances and made the supreme sacrifice while trying to save fellow citizens.

Reference: Notification No. 164-Pres/2007 dated 15th August, 2007 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 17th November, 2007. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Shivasharnappa Hanamant Patil 688505 ORUnit : 405 AFS  Award Date 31 Jul 05 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

688505 Sergeant Shivasharnappa Hanamant Patil Electrical Fitter is on the posted strength of Air Force Station, Belgaum with effect from 23 Sep 02 and performing trade duties in MTR&S Flight. By dint of his sterling qualities as a professional with a sincere, dedicated approach, he has proved to be a role model for all others to emulate in his section.

On 31 Jul 05, Air Force Station Belgaum was tasked to coordinate relief operations in the flood-ravaged areas of Northern Karnataka and adjoining areas in Kolhapur and Sangli Districts of Maharashtra. The flood situation worsened and on 01 Aug 05 a call was received from the District Administration for rescuing marooned people whose lives were threatened in the village. A volunteer was required to undertake winching operations as there was no one available though not trained in winching operations amongst the helicopter crew members familiar with the local language. As a true air warrior, Sgt Patil rose to the occasion and accepted the challenge of rescuing marooned people. Sgt Patil showed exemplary courage, innovation and grit to undertake the challenging task of going down and helping people to safety on the winch. Through his whole-hearted involvement, he was able to rescue 23 people in two consecutive days' effort i.e. on 01 and 02 Aug 05. This rescue operation was performed in the life­threatening situation, in bad weather, by rains and gushing floodwaters. Any let up in this kind of rescue operation where the flow of floodwater is enormous would have resulted in a grave situation both for the rescuer as well as local population being rescued. During one such operation the winch got struck and an iron ladder was lowered in hanging position. Sgt Patil recovered from this dangerous situation, even though in the process he hurt his hand. He then continued with the onerous task, unmindful of his safety or discomfort, displaying exemplary courage to rescue people against all odds. His courageous effort deserves special recognition as he volunteered for winch operations without being trained for the same.

Sgt Patil has displayed exemplary courage and dedication for a noble cause in true tradition of the Indian Air Force, bringing honour to himself and glory to the Service.

For this act of exceptional courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Sergeant Shivasharnappa Hanamant Patil.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Air Cmde Gurdarshan Singh Joneja 13958 MEDUnit : Army Hospital (R&R)  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Gurdarshan Singh Joneja (13958) Med was commissioned on 16 Jan 75. A graduate and a postgraduate from AFMC Pune, he is a Gynaecologist whose illustrious career has culminated in his appointment as the Consultant to the Armed Forces at the most prestigious Army Hospital (R&R).

He is an outstanding personality with a high degree of professionalism, clinical expertise and leadership qualities. Under his stewardship as Consultant to the Armed Forces, the field of Gynaecology has revolutionized to the most modern and high-tech speciality through provision of the latest medical equipments at the peripheral hospitals.

He has brought up the Dept of Gynaecology at Army Hospital (R&R) as the foremost tertiary care centre for Endoscopic Surgery, Gynaecologic Oncololgy and Infertility Management. A pioneer in the field of keyhole surgery, he has himself carried out a number of complicated endoscopic surgeries. Under his guidance, the Assisted Reproductive Centre, the only one of its kind in public sector, has attained National and International repute. His visionary approach has made Test-tube baby a reality for infertile couples thus realizing their dreams of parenthood.

His professional achievements have brought him laurels and recognition through appointments to various Expert Committees of Ministry of Health, visiting professorship and examinership of a number of Universities. His research work and various publications have been recognized in various National and International forums.

Air Commodore Gurdarshan Singh Joneja has shown foresight, perseverance and dedication of the highest order to his profession. He is a rare combination of clinician, academician and administrator.

For his extraordinary contribution to the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Air Commodore Gurdarshan Singh Joneja.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Kulkarni Raghavendra 17161 F(P)Unit : No.78 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Group Captain Kulkarni Raghavendra (17161) F (P) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 28 May 83. He has held several appointments as an Air Force Examiner, CO of the Communication Flight, HQ TC, Flight Commander and CO of IL-78 Squadron. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and is a qualified flying instructor having flown over 7000 hours of accident free flying. His sustained hard work and selfless commitment has earned him commendations by the AOC-in-C, TC in Jan 92, AOC-in-C, EAC in Aug 93 and CAS in Jan 03.

He was posted as the flight commander of the first Flight Refueller Sqn. He faced the daunting task of exacting diverse missions related to the new role of Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) operations, involving planning and coordination with a variety of agencies. His professional competence and planning abilities contributed immensely in a large number of operators of the unit gaining their operational status, and ensuring safe conduct of AAR operations in a variety of scenarios. He was instrumental in the planning and execution of two international exercises viz. Ex Cooperative Cope Thunder and Ex Golden Eagle in which the unit successfully participated earning accolades from all quarters.

The officer's contribution as flight commander of the fledgling unit was highly noteworthy. This laid a strong foundation for the unit to undertake multifarious tasks successfully, resulting in him assuming command of the Sqn. Under his stewardship, the unit has strengthened its operational capability as also other facets of operations, demonstrating its professionalism during international exercise Garuda, and also during the inspection by Directorate of Air Staff. His compassion and leadership qualities have seen all personnel of the unit trying to emulate him in the best interest of the service.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sunil Kumar Bhatia 17360 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Sunil Kumar Bhatia (17360) F (P) has been on the posted strength of Helicopter Training School since 21 Jul 04. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and an IRIE, and is posted as Chief Flying Instructor at this School.

In his spotless career spanning 23 years, he has logged a total of 5550 hrs of accident/ incident free flying, including 780 hrs by night. He holds Cat/IR AMG on Chetak/ Cheetah and Mi-8/Mi-17. He has served as Flight Commander of Helicopter Flight, Chief Operations Officer at AF Stn Mohanbari, and as Commanding Officer of Helicopter Unit. He was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 1998.

Being a QFI with rich and varied experience, he has always taken keen interest in the training aspects of the establishment. He has completed eight years in Training Command, spread over four tenures of active, accident/ incident free flying. Endorsed on HPT-32, Chetak/Cheetah and Mi-8/Mi-17 aircraft, he has accrued a total of 2355 hrs of instructional flying, including 456 hrs by night. He has been an IRIE since 1997.

In this School itself, he has been posted as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), Flight Commander, and now Chief Flying Instructor (CFI). In his current tenure, he has been the senior CFI for three terms, and at present is the only CFI for this term. He has worked consistently towards improvement of training standards. He has contributed immensely towards the standardization of procedures, phase briefs and instructional nuances. Having set high professional standards for all staff and trainees of this School, he spares no effort to ensure that these standards are met and maintained at all times. A true Air Warrior, he has always lead by personal examples, leaving a valuable imprint in the tender minds of all the trainees who have interacted with him.

For his high degree of professionalism, ability to consistently perform to the exacting standards of the Indian Air Force and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sunil Kumar Bhatia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Eslin Paul D'Couto 17863 F(P)Unit : No.3001 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Eslin Paul D'Couto (17863) F (P) was commissioned on 14 Jun 85 as a Fighter Pilot in the IAF. In 21 years of distinguished service he has held several important field and staff appointments that include Flying Instructor at Air force Academy, Flight Commander of a Fighter Squadron, and as Directing Staff at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. For his professionalism in recovering a crippled trainer aircraft, he was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff on 26 Jan 96. He took over command of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Squadron on 03 May 04. On induction of special payloads he displayed exemplary professional vision in conceptualizing the employment philosophy of these special payloads. The proposed employment has been accepted by the IAF for the entire UAV fleet. By his dedication, involvement and professional approach during every On Site Functional Acceptance Test (OSFAT) he was instrumental in identifying flaws and suggesting improvements which have been accepted by the OEM, thus preempting a subsequent upgrade. Under his guidance various innovations on the Data Acquisition System (DAS) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery interpretation station were carried out, resulting in large saving in foreign exchange. He was instrumental in formulating very exhaustive briefing guides, SOPs and syllabi for use of special payloads on UAVs which have been accepted by Air HQ (VB) for entire UAV fleet.

Under his leadership the air warriors of the Squadron are highly motivated and constantly upgrade their knowledge through interaction with the OEM and TETTRA. The OP crew of the Squadron, through a mix of many branches, always work as a cohesive team, comparable to the best of fighter Squadrons of IAF. In the last two years, the Squadron has achieved many distinctions and was judged the BEST UAV SQUADRON in WAC for 2005. It is the only UAV Squadron to be inspected by DASI with Average plus overall grading. In the last two years the squadron has flown a total of 1423 hours, the highest by any UAV squadron, without a single accident/incident on UAVs or Half Scales. It has the maximum cross trained operators, with all Fully Operational External Pilots (EP) trained as Internal Pilots (IP) and three IPs as EPs. All Internal Pilots of the Squadron have been declared as Mission Commanders and are all trained as Special Payload Operators.

For his personal involvement, dedication and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Eslin Paul D'Couto.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shiv Ratan Singh 18083 F(P)Unit : Tactics and Combat Development Establishment  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Shiv Ratan Singh (18083) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 06 Dec 85. He is the Deputy Commandant of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) since 09 Aug 04.

He is a Fighter Combat Leader (FCL) and a graduate of DSSC, Wellington. For his outstanding performance during the FCL course, he was awarded the Jam Satanic Sword of Honour and soon after the course, he was posted as Directing Staff at the Establishment from Aug 95 to Jun 2000. He was also awarded the CAS commendation in Aug 94 for his avidity and allegiance towards his duty. He has commanded a frontline fighter Squadron and under his leadership, the Squadron undertook four MOF training courses before re-equipping with Bison aircraft. He ensured incident free conversion in the shortest possible time. Under his guidance the Squadron performed exceptionally well in DASI and AEB inspections.

The officer became the Deputy Commandant at a crucial juncture where a lot of operational, developmental and training activity was being undertaken at TACDE. However, with his initiative, involvement and dedication all the assigned tasks were achieved well and in time. He undertook the induction of Bison aircraft at TACDE as a personal crusade. This involved extensive liaison with external agencies as there were many teething problems since the aircraft and allied equipment were not planned for the Establishment at that stage. He has been instrumental in the planning and conduct of the first major BVR vs BVR tactics development exercise, Ex Javelin-II. The lessons accrued from this exercise have caused a paradigm shift in the tactical doctrine of the IAF and in shaping the future of air warfare in the Air Force. He has displayed professional acumen of a very high order in the planning and conduct of international Air Force Exercise (Ex Cope India-05) with the USAF. His effort in steering the exercise towards the desired objectives has greatly enhanced the image of the IAF.

He is a perfectionist who has never allowed personal comfort to impede his work and has willingly worked beyond the normal call of duty. He has always led from the front and served as a role model to his subordinates with his tireless zeal, knowledge and maturity.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ajay Rathore 18258 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Ajay Rathore (18258) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Fighter pilot on 07 Jun 86. He has close to 4000 hrs of flying to his credit and is qualified on the Su-30 MKI, Su30K, MiG-27ML and MiG-23BN aircraft. A recipient of the Scudder Medal for standing first in the overall order of merit in the 55th Defence Services Staff Course, the officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has been commended by the Chief of the Air Staff for his dedication to duty.

The officer has ensured smooth induction and operationalisation of the latest variant of Su-30MKI aircraft into the IAF and has contributed immensely to the enhancement of work culture in his Squadron. It is due to his sheer hard work and thorough professional approach that the squadron has consistently performed well in all spheres of activity. Notwithstanding the attendant pressures of new inductions, he has flown nearly 550 hrs in the last year and half. He has shown immense courage, exceptional skill and determination to successfully undertake pioneering missions on the Su-30MKI aircraft, such as the search and successful location of the crashed naval Kamov helicopter (19-24 Aug 05), using the onboard sensors of the Su-30MKI, which led to the recovery of a survivor.

The Su-30MKI is being hailed as a 'first of its kind' project in which the best of Russian and western technologies have been synergised to produce one of the most potent fighter aircraft in the world. Utilising his exceptional knowledge of the integration aspects of the Su30MKI aircraft and analytical approach, Wing Commander Ajay Rathore has successfully spearheaded the indigenisation of the SAPFIR Mission Planning and Debrief System hardware of the aircraft, resulting in significant cost saving to the Indian Air Force (original Russian system costs US $70,000/- vis-à-vis the proposed indigenised system cost of Rs. 3.5 lakhs). Additionally, using his unparalleled knowledge of Su-30MKI operations and systems, he has also been instrumental in the development of a desktop computer based Cockpit Procedure Trainer for the Su-30MKI aircraft, further development of which has now been handed over to Software Development Institute, IAF. The officer has also been actively involved in the User Evaluation Trials of the Su-30MKI aircraft, and through his analytical ability and foresight, has been able to resolve a number of development related issues pertaining to the aircraft.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjeev Raj 18276 F(P)Unit : No.10 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Sanjeev Raj (18276) F (P) was commissioned on 07 Jun 86 in the Flying Branch of IAF as a Fighter Pilot. He has been the Flight Commander of a Mig-29 Squadron for three years and has commanded a MiG-21 Squadron at a forward Air Base. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader.

He took over command of a fighter squadron on 29 Dec 03. The role of unit is to train ab-initio pilots to become fighter pilots. Twenty five ab-initio pilots have been posted to the unit in this period and fifteen successfully graduated as fighter pilots. The Squadron flew 7984 sorties and 4818.50 hours during his command which is the maximum flying done by any MiG-21 squadron. A very keen flier, he himself has flown 961 sorties/578 hours during this tenure which reflects his active involvement and supervision. During his tenure, the Squadron did not have any CAT 1 accident.

Under his leadership, the unit maintained exceptionally high serviceability of aircraft and was able to achieve 100% serviceability on one occasion on 17 Mar 05. Inspite of significant manning and technical constraints of the MiG21 fleet, the overall output, quality of work, consistency and morale of the unit has been exceptional primarily because of his leadership and professionalism. Leading the team from the front, he delivered outstanding results across operational, maintenance and administrative fronts. The Squadron was adjudged as the 'Best Combat Squadron' of SWAC in the year 2005. The squadron's performance was well appreciated by DASI in the year 2005 with Average Plus to Above Average results.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Balkrishnan Balachandran 18561 F(P)Unit : No.108 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishnan Balachandran (18561) F (P) was commissioned on 06 Dec 86 in the Flying branch of the Indian Air Force. In 19 years of distinguished service, he has held several important appointments which include Flight Commander fighter Squadron, Chief Operations Officer (COO) AF Stn Suratgarh and Commanding Officer (CO) fighter Squadron. A Staff College Graduate, Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, he is a highly experienced fighter pilot with more than 3000 hours of accident/incident free flying which includes 1100 hours of instructional experience. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force, in 2001.

As CO of a Fighter Squadron the officer ensured high quality not only in the conduct of MiG Operational Flying Training (MOFT) in the Squadron, but also in Annual Squadron Training flying, averaging 215 hours of flying per month. During the visit by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in February 2005, apart from displaying exceptional performance in the mission led by him, the Squadron was assessed 'Average Plus' overall. The Commanding Officer single handedly progressed all the staff pilots of the Squadron in night strike syllabus which is nearing completion. He has also improved the Squadron Instrument Rating status of all eight eligible staff pilots. He ensured timely completion of MOFT of 170, 171, 172 and 173 Pilots Courses.

The officer has built an effective team with all the Squadron personnel, and with his personal involvement, maintained a high morale and motivation amongst them. He has also vastly improved the ambience of his unit's surroundings and the quality of working conditions.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju 18573 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju (18573) F (P) was commissioned on 06 December 86. The officer is a Fighter Combat Leader who was awarded the Sword of Honour in the course. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College and a Qualified Flying Instructor, fully operational on MiG-21 FL, MiG-21 Bis, MiG-29, Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI ac with over 3000 hrs of flying experience. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of 24 Squadron, Air Force since 05 July 2004.

The officer was part of the core team to be trained in Russia for induction of Su-30K aircraft in the IAF in 1997. Subsequently, he became the Flt Cdr of the first ever Su-30 MKI Sqn. With his vast experience as O i/c Air Combat Tactics Development at TACDE he was instrumental in developing the air combat tactics for the Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI. After assuming command, he operationalised the Sqn at its new location and formulated the concepts towards exploiting the op potential of the SU-30 aircraft. He upgraded the op status of 16 pilots to F/Op and 04 pilots to Op day status and trained 24 pilots in air-to-air refueling. Further, he contributed effectively in several international exercises like ExSindex with the F-16's of Singapore Air Force, Ex-Garuda-Il with the French Air Force in France and Ex-Cope India-05 with the USAF at Kalaikunda. The high mark of the officer's leadership was the unblemished induction and de-induction of the unit to France involving an inter-continental deployment of six Sukhoi30K aircraft for the first time by the IAF. In all these high level exercises with foreign air forces, the unit under his dynamic leadership truly epitomised the spirit and professional competence of the IAF. The Sqn, throughout maintained its fighting edge with 100% serviceability. In essence, the officer tested and validated the IAF's doctrinal viability of safely undertaking such strategic operations. The initiative, involvement, meticulous planning, coordination and importantly the successful execution of these exercises can singularly be attributed to the dynamism, foresight and leadership of the officer.

For his exceptional leadership, professional acumen and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashutosh Lal 18785 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Ashutosh Lal (18785) F (P) was commissioned on 13 Jun 87 in the Flying Branch of the IAF. An A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot, he has held several important operational and instructional appointments.

He was appointed as Commanding Officer of Attack Helicopter (AH) Squadron on 09 Aug 04. With astounding involvement and relentless drive he propelled the Squadron towards safe maximisation of its operational potential. Leading with innovative vision, he established the off base night operations as the core competence of the Squadron. He induced a vibrant team spirit amongst his subordinates and instituted a proactive, excellence seeking work ethos as Squadron's identity. Consequently, on several occasions the squadron simultaneously excelled in more than one important commitments. These included inter-service command level exercises, national tasks of Republic/ Independence day parades and other Air Force commitments of sensitive nature.

On the jointmanship front, the officer with his perseverance succeeded in building a new synergised understanding of AH employment by the supported Army formations. Under his leadership the Squadron has drawn accolades from several formations for its professionalism and operational approach especially while undertaking night missions.

The officer has also rallied intensely for optimisation through proactive management of resources, innovations and Information Technology applications. Some of the acclaimed innovations of the Squadron include the Night Vision Goggles, compatible helipad and tarmac lights, the Operational Risk Management matrix exclusive for helicopters and Radio Relay link for streaming the attack videos from remote locations. The Squadron has pioneered an IAF intranet based software solution automating the returns pertaining operations, flight safety, maintenance and administrative fields.

During the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, the Squadron under his command has been adjudged 'Above Average' in Operations and 'Average Plus' in Maintenance and Administration. The Squadron was adjudged 'Best Helicopter Unit' in Western Air Command for the year 2004-05.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Tejinder Singh 18806 F(P)Unit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Tejinder Singh (18806) F (P) was commissioned on 13 Jun 87 in the Fighter Stream of the Flying Branch of the 1AF. He is an A-2 category Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He stood first during Hunter Operational Flying training and was also awarded the trophy for Best in Armament. While undergoing the Qualified Flying Instructors Course, he was awarded the trophy for Best in Flying and while undergoing the Air Staff Course at Defence Services Staff College he was awarded the Scudder Medal for standing first in M Sc Studies. He has over 4300 hours of Accident/Incident free flying, including 2000 hrs on Jaguars and has been awarded a commendation by the CAS. He has been a Directing Staff at the Flying Instructors School, Flight Commander of a fighter squadron and an Air Force Examiner at Aircrew Examining Board.

He was appointed as Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron on 26 May 04 in difficult circumstances, after a tragic Double-Fatal accident and he faced the challenge of raising the morale of the Squadron and re-building the team. During the last 21 months, the Squadron carried out the maximum flying amongst fighter Squadron of Western Air Command and the same was achieved without any accident, while operating vintage Navigation Weapon Aiming Sub System Jaguars. Flying by junior pilots has almost doubled and has led to up-gradations and fast progress of syllabus. Innovations like setting up of a Test Equipment Laboratory and devising simple software at Sqn level are indicative of the high level of involvement of all personnel and have resulted in enhanced efficiency and savings in cost to the exchequer. The squadron put up a commendable performance during inspection by Directorate of Air Staff Inspections and the mission led by him was assessed as Exceptional. The Sqn won the Rocketry trophy in Exercise Ekalavya 04 and during Eklavya 05, the squadron put up a record performance winning four out of five team events and the Overall Championship. He was a member of three winning teams in these exercises. He led the fighter fly past on AF Day 04, 05 and Republic Day 06, putting up an immaculate display every time. He was also the Team Leader for induction of DARIN II Twin-Seater aircraft at base and has made an invaluable contribution to ensure a smooth transition to a new variant.

The officer, with his personal professional example, pro-active approach and leadership has provided the personnel placed below him with a new purpose and direction. This has enabled the squadron to tide over the crisis and attain exceptional standards of professionalism in all facets of its tasking.

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

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Viswajit Vasudev Dedgaonkar 18813 F(P)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Vishwajit Vasudev Dedgaonkar (18813) F (P) was commissioned on 13 Jun 1987 in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force and has been the Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron since 01 Jun 04, which is the only maritime squadron of the Indian Air Force.

The Officer has 3300 hrs accident free flying, of which nearly 2600 hrs are on operational aircraft. He took over the reins of the squadron after the sad and untimely demise of the previous Commanding Officer in an aircraft accident. In spite of the grief and loss suffered by the squadron, he raised the morale of all air warriors in the greater interest of service. Leading by personal example, Wing Commander Dedgaonkar instilled confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of professional pride in the squadron, thus binding it into a strong and potent fighting force.

The level of motivation instilled came to the fore within a month of his taking over command, when the squadron won the prestigious "Eklavya" trophy in SWAC for the best overall squadron in Air-to-Ground armament delivery. This trophy was again retained in 2005, thus ensuring that the squadron is adjudged the best in armament delivery for three consecutive years. During the DASI visit, the squadron was adjudged Average Plus in all aspects and was selected for Vayu Spardha. He was entrusted the task of inducting the latest variant of DARIN II Twin seater aircraft and converting the squadron from half squadron strength to full squadron strength. Starting with a limited number of experienced pilots, engineers and technicians, he has led his team with personal examples to operationalise the new aircraft. Despite the attendant pressures pertaining to new inductions and increase in squadron strength, he has ensured that the squadron did 4200 hrs of accident free hours during his tenure.

The officer has motivated his air warriors to a very high level of achievements. Despite constraints, he has shown immense courage, exceptional skill and determination to successfully undertake pioneering missions, which includes operating from Carnic Post Tsunami, participation in frequent inter service exercises and launch of Two Sea eagle Missiles in various modes. For exceptional devotion to duty, the

Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vishwajit Vasudev Dedgaonkar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Praveen Keshav Vohra 19162 F(P)Unit : No.47 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Praveen Keshav Vohra (19162) F (P) was commissioned in Indian Air Force on 19 Dec 87 as a pilot in the fighter stream. He has completed 18 years of service having flown 3350 hours on various aircraft without a single accident or incident. He has flown over 1000 hours on the MiG29 aircraft. During this time he has served as an operational pilot in frontline fighter Squadrons of the IAF flying the MiG-21 and MiG-29 aircraft, been a founder member of the elite 'SURYAKIRAN' Formation Aerobatic Team of the Indian Air Force, held the appointment of Flight Commander of a MiG-29 fighter Sqn and of the prestigious Flying Instructors' School. He is an A-2 flying instructor and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

During his tenure with the Suryakiran acrobatic team his excellent performance as a professional earned him a Commendation by the Chief of Air Staff in 1998. As a Flight Commander of a MiG-29 Sqn in 2002 he was once again commended by the Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Air Command IAF.

The officer was the Commanding Officer of a MiG- 29 Sqn from 19 Jul 04 to 15 May 06. He has led his Squadron from the front having set a perfect example of discipline, competence and professional standard for the rest of the air warriors to emulate. During the period of his command the Unit trained for and achieved a very high state of preparedness to undertake its operational tasks. He has raised the threshold of flying training to new levels having himself led the most demanding of the training missions. He has marshalled all the human and material resources placed under his command deftly and economically ensuring that the Squadron achieved its operational and training commitments in an exemplary and safe manner during the last two years.

He as a commander has worked relentlessly, always placing the interest of the service and air warriors above all else. This has resulted in exceptionally high morale and motivation level amongst all personnel of the squadron.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Praveen Keshav Vohra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Harpreet Singh Basra 19174 F(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Harpreet Singh Basra (19174) F (P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 19 Dec 87. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a M-2000 Squadron. The officer has almost 4000 hrs of accident/incident free flying with almost 1500 hrs on the versatile M-2000 aircraft. The Officer has performed exceptionally well during his flying career and is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor, a graduate of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment and Defence Services Staff College and has secured first position in both courses.

On taking over the Sqn, he laid special emphasis on improving the operational status of the Sqn. The Sqn has flown 2352 hrs in the last one year with the officer himself flying over 300 hrs, despite all the responsibilities of a Commanding Officer. The Sqn Ops Status has improved considerably with the junior most pilot averaging over 150 hrs in the last one year. He has been instrumental in inducting the first batch of Ex-Hawk pilots to the Mirage fleet, an event which warranted not only creating a new syllabus, but also tailoring the training pattern and learning environment to suit the requirements of the young inexperienced pilots.

The officer has consistently proved his mettle in various tasks. Under his command, his Sqn was declared the "Best Fighter Squadron of Central Air Command". Earlier, as the Flight Commander, he was instrumental in his Sqn winning the "Best Fighter Squadron of IAF 0304". The Sqn's performance during CASI, AEB and DASI inspections has been very good. Innovative and enterprising, he is constantly finding solutions and meeting the highest standards in all spheres for others to emulate. His innate ability to interact with the airmen and NCs(E) at the lowest rung has earned him the respect of his subordinates, both officers and men alike, and inculcated the spirit of unflinching loyalty towards the Sqn and kept the morale of his Sqn very high. This has manifested itself in high aircraft serviceability state of the Sqn, resulting in excellent performances of the Sqn in various exercises.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, innovation, foresight, planning abilities and professional excellence of the highest order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Harpreet Singh Basra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Jasbir Singh 22702 F(P)Unit : AFS Hakimpet  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Squadron Leader Jasbir Singh (22702) F (P) is on the posted strength of AF Station Hakimpet since 06 Dec 04 and is the Senior Flight Commander of Kiran MK I Flt.

On 23 Aug 05, he was authorised as chase for a trainee's syllabus sortie, which was uneventful till peel off for a landing. While Sqn Ldr Jasbir was turning cross at a height of approximately 1800' to 2000' AGL, he had a bird hit followed by rpm stagnation at 20-25%, which is below the idle value. He appreciated the situation in its entirety and announced his intention to force land the ac on reciprocal to the runway in use. He held his throttle in the idle position, continued his left turn maintaining glide parameters, managed the R/T with ATC and ensured landing configuration before reversing the turn in time to align and force land the ac safely. A reconstruction of the whole profile confirms the fact that the pilot barely had 10 seconds to appreciate the emergency inside his aircraft, correlate his relative to the runway and monitor the traffic situation before arriving at his decision. If that window of time was lost either due to delayed appreciation or error of judgment, such a recovery would have been impossible. Post flight inspection revealed a near intact full-grown dead eagle lodged before first stage of compressor, confirming no possibility of relight. The pilot was within his rights to eject as per all existing SOPs. But since he successfully seized the timely opportunity to factor in all relevant aspects to arrive at the decision that he did, it saved an invaluable asset for the Service.

The extreme professionalism shown by the officer in face of deteriorated air situation ensured safe recovery of the aircraft. For his professionalism and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Jasbir Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Subroto Kundu 20781 F(P)Unit : No.127 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 10 Nov 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Wing Commander Subroto Kundu (20781) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Mi-17 Unit since 26 Sep 05 and has been functioning as the Flight Commander. He has been instrumental in planning and executing some of the major exercises undertaken by the unit. It includes induction of combat troops in the hills of Walong and casualty evacuation of CRPF troops by night, using Night Vision Goggles (NVG). These operations, carried out into the hills and the dense forests of North East, have given a fillip to the op potential of the armed forces.

On the night of 10 Nov 06, he was tasked for casualty evacuation of CRPF troops of 33 CRPF Bn, who were victims of an IED blast near Tinsukia. Though the weather was extremely marginal for the night flying, he decided to undertake this task in order to save the lives of the injured troops. He landed a Mi-17 helicopter in pitch darkness at an unlit helipad in the thick jungles near Roing with the sole aim to rescue the injured troops. He accomplished the task by evacuating one dead and other critically injured troops from Roing to Mohanbari, in a most professional manner. His professional courage and timely action saved the lives of two critically injured troops. The officer landed the helicopter on unchartered and unlit territory in thick jungles on a dark night displaying extreme level of courage and professionalism. Further, this operation was the first of its kind in the history of Indian Air Force and has projected the humane face of the service. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Subroto Kundu.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Jitender Yadav 21009 F(P)Unit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 21 Jun 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Wing Commander Jitender Yadav (21009) F (P) was commissioned on 15 Dec 90 as a Helicopter Pilot in the IAF and is on the posted strength of a front line Mi-17 IV Unit since Dec 2002. The Officer has flown more than 4400 hrs of accident/ incident free flying and is a Right Hand Seat Check Pilot. He has flown more than 1400 hrs of operational flying in his present tenure which includes various relief operations, CI Ops in J&K sector and more than 500 hrs towards Op Meghdoot.

On 21 Jun 06, a major road accident occurred hear Batot in Doda district of J&K. The Unit was tasked at 1745 hrs to evacuate the casualties from the accident site and Wg Cdr Yadav volunteered to undertake the mission. The closest Mi-17 helipad from the site was more than an hour drive and as it was late in the evening, Wg Cdr Yadav suggested that the Casualty Evacuation (Cas Evac) could be undertaken from Dharmund helipad, which was smaller than required helipad but very close to the accident site. The helicopter took off within 35 min of the receipt of the message although the unit was not standing by for a Cas Evac mission. On landing at the helipad it was revealed that there were more than 40 dangerously ill casualties to be evacuated and not 10 as was the initial message. Inspite of the best efforts by the crew members only 14 lying casualties with the life support system could be loaded in the helicopter. Due to gravity of the situation, the officer decided to take permission for a second sortie even when it was required to come back to the small helipad in the hills, on a dark night. He thoroughly briefed the helipad authorities regarding the lighting arrangements required at the helipad for dark night Ops and use of flares for illumination of the helipad.

Under positive clearance from HQ AOC J&K the helicopter took off from Jammu airfield 15 min after sunset for Dharmund helipad, which is located in Chenab river valley well into the steep hills. With a definite plan in mind, a well co­ordinated landing was executed at the helipad almost 45 min after sunset in total dark conditions. A total of 19 very critically injured lying patients were taken in second shuttle. A pre-planned take off into the valley and climb above the ridge was carried out and a safe recovery executed at Jammu Airfield. His relentless effort and untiring perseverance stood tall upon the challenge of landing on a small helipad, in dark night. With unwavering determination, the officer took calculated risk and that helped to save many lives.

For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Jitender Yadav.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sartaj Bedi 21024 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 09 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Wing Commander Sartaj Bedi (21024) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 unit since 05 Jun 06, where he is functioning as the unit Flight Commander.

In Aug 06, the state of Gujarat experienced incessant rainfall leading to a deluge that left countless people marooned and bereft of any food or water. Consequently, the unit was tasked to provide four helicopters to provide succour to those affected, with Wing Commander Bedi as the Detachment Commander. The officer led his team from the front by carrying out relief operations from Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat. Braving incessant inclement weather he flew 33 hours, rescued 156 people and dropped 56 tonnes of relief material. All these survivors were rescued from their low-lying perches that were perilously surrounded by fast flowing and rising flood waters leaving them with no other means of escape. Displaying an acute sense of empathy, coupled with astute professionalism, which required hovering over the swirling flood waters, he winched up 139 persons, including 79 in a single day, on 09 Aug 06. Most of these rescues were executed in spite of the close proximity of tall obstructions and were carried out from as varied locations as vehicle tops, roof tops as well as from a collapsed building in Surat.

On 10 Aug 06, upon receiving information about the collapsed building, the officer reached the spot with all alacrity and found it to be amidst high rise buildings and other obstructions like tall trees and poles which were very close to the site. Knowing the importance of rescuing the survivors, but not being in visual contact with the survivors, Wing Commander Bedi instructed the crew of his helicopter to guide him over the spot and proceeded to winch up as many as 22 injured persons from the rubble. In spite of close obstacles and gusting wind conditions, he very ably used the crew's verbal inputs to maintain his hover position for a safe winching of the survivors. Given the marginal conditions, there was no scope of error and Wg Cdr Bedi had executed the task with unwaveri ng determination and professionalism. He further flew the survivors, some of them with serious injuries to a city hospital, a fact also commended by the local media. These singular acts of valour by the officer in the face of all possible odds, helped in the saving of more than 150 lives while also projecting a humane face of the service to the nation.

For his acts of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Sartaj Bedi.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajesh Ranwan 21812 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 23 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Wing Commander Rajesh Ranwan (21812) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Helicopter Unit since 27 Feb 06.

Barmer district of Rajasthan experienced unprecedented rainfall in the month of Aug 06. Very heavy rainfall on 21 Aug 06 resulted in flooding of Kawas, Malwa and Barkha. Wg Cdr Ranwan was the Det Cdr of the helicopter detachment that undertook the arduous task of providing succor, rescue and relief to the affected areas. Wg Cdr Ranwan, being the most qualified and experienced pilot in the detachment, flew missions in the face of the very trying weather conditions, ensuring that the marooned people were rescued and the stranded persons received food and water. On 22 Aug 06, he skillfully rescued 80 persons from Kawas and adjoining villages.

On 23 Aug 06, he was again tasked for rescuing the people marooned on roof tops of submerged huts in Malwa village. The weather, continued to pose severe limitations on the aircrew undertaking the relief operations. Flooding conditions was such that marooned people could only be rescued by a hover. Surrounding obstacles and heavy weather conditions had put severe limitations on rescue by hover. However, displaying courage, determination and professionalism, Wg Cdr Ranwan persisted with the rescue operations. Undeterred by the risks involved, he rescued 107 people, 80 of them, by low hover and 27 by winching, who, but for his brave, daring and professional flying, would have lost their lives. In similar fashion he had saved another 22 people from surrounding areas. Additionally, he also carried relief material for stranded villages in the affected areas, dropping more than 15 tonnes of food and relief material, thereby providing food and shelter to innumerable helpless citizens. The rescue missions carried out by the officer speak volumes of his courageous efforts displayed during the adverse weather and trying flying conditions, which resulted in rescuing stranded people from dangerous flood waters.

Before carrying out relief work at Barmer, Wg Cdr Ranwan was involved in relief operation in Gujarat sector wherein he rescued 63 persons and dropped over 33 tonnes of relief material. His efforts during these flood relief operations helped in rescuing 272 people who otherwise would have lost their lives. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, during her visit to Air Force Station, Uttarlai, personally commended and thanked Wg Cdr Ranwan for his bravery and valour.

For displaying exceptional courage and professionalism under adverse circumstances, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Rajesh Ranwan.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bhupender Singh Sehrawat 24203 F(P)Unit : No.105 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 15 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Squadron Leader Bhupender Singh Sehrawat (24203) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-8 Helicopter Unit since 30 Apr 03. He is a very keen and competent flier having 2604 hours of accident/ incident free flying.

On 15 Aug 06, Sqn Ldr Sehrawat, while airborne for flood relief operations, received a distress message from Nagpur ATC that a rescue boat carrying seven persons had capsized in 'Wainganga' river. Realising the gravity of the situation he immediately turned the helicopter towards the mishap area. Enroute, he carried out a meticulous in-flight planning and briefing. The weather was extremely bad with heavy downpour, strong gusty winds, low clouds and poor visibility, but he continued undeterred. After an extensive search the survivors were located, clinging onto tall trees in the swirling waters of 'Wainganga' river. Though situation was precarious, he kept his cool and decided to winch up the survivors from a high hover in between the tall trees.

Sqn Ldr Sehrawat, after coming to a high hover, descended his helicopter in between the trees with rotor tips barely clear of the branches and winched down one of his crew. Persisting on with his courageous effort he carried out a prolonged hover in an extremely restricted space, adverse weather and extreme regimes of performance. Through out he displayed selfless courage, exceptional skills, leadership and dedicated pursuance. By his timely and co-ordinated act of gallantry, he safely rescued all the seven survivors whose lives would otherwise have surely been lost.

For this act of exceptional courage, exemplary leadership and professional acumen in executing this complex mission leading to saving seven human lives, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Bhupender Singh Sehrawat.

Reference:  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Prashanta Kumar Pati 768541 ORUnit : No.105 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 15 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

768541 Corporal Prasanta Kumar Pati Engine Fitter is on the posted strength of a Mi-8 Helicopter Unit since 14 Jun 04. The state of Maharashtra was lashed with incessant rains in the month of Aug 06 resulting in floods. This led to a critical situation with lot of people stranded. He was part of the rescue operations at Nagpur.

On 15 Aug 06, Cpl Pati, an engine tradesmen was carried on a helicopter as part of crew for relief operations. While on relief Ops, the Captain of the helicopter received a distress message from Nagpur ATC that a boat carrying seven persons had capsized in 'Wainganga' river. Captain diverted the aircraft to rescue people from capsized boat. The survivors were located clinging onto tall trees in the swirling waters. The Captain then decided to winch them up from a height of 35 mtrs. Survivors were in a precarious situation and were not be able to harness themselves onto the winch. Someone from helicopter had to go down to the trees and help the survivors. Cpl Pati volunteered for this dangerous and challenging task.

In spite of the dangers and complexities associated with this task, Cpl Pati displayed courage and composure of the highest order and immediately got down into the swirling waters of the flooded 'Wainganga' river in which the survivors were holding onto their lives by clinging to the trees. He strapped up the survivors one by one from the flooded waters. By agreeing to go down in the swirling fast currents of a flooded river he displayed grit and determination of a true Air Warrior and in spite of no previous experience, handled the task professionally. By his timely act of courage he helped in saving seven lives which would have surely been lost.

For this act of exceptional courage in face of adversity while undertaking a life threatening task beyond his call of duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Corporal Prasanta Kumar Pati.

Reference:  

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kevin Fernandez 12660 MEDUnit : CHAF  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Kevin Fernandez (12660) Med has been posted as Deputy Commandant, Command Hospital (CH), Air Force Bangalore since 01 Oct 04. During has career spanning 35 years, he had held various important appointments that includes medical officer at various Units and Senior Medical officer of premier flying station.

From the day he took over as Dy Comdt, his stress was on improving clientele satisfaction, both for the ex-servicemen and serving personnel. Infrastructure of existing ECHS polydinic was improved. All ECHS OPD services were brought under one roof and waiting time was reduced. His efforts were instrumental in getting land released for permanent ECHS poly-clinic in Army land near the hospital. Thus over 35,000 ECHS beneficiaries are today happier than ever before. As Senior Executive Medical Officer, he ensured Regimental Medical Officers of surrounding Armed Forces units provided better health care services to their clientele. His liaison with the local Army, Navy and Air Force one star Commanders has helped in improvement of patient facilities in the hospital in the form of water dispensers, colour TVs, landscaping the hospital, roadside pavements for patients and creating additional parking areas. An open door policy to all patients both outdoor and indoor and their kith and kin improved clientele satisfaction to a great level.

In CH, AF Bangalore, training of postgraduates, interns, nurses and medical assistants was closely monitored by the Deputy Commandant. 100% pass in all PG exams held by Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) in April 05 and Probationary Nurses Exams in Oct 05 was achieved. Saving of Rs 1,80,000/- was achieved for the Air force by obtaining an exemption from RGUHS for Helinet - Internet connectivity through RGUHS portel to gain access to over 300 medical journals. Para Medical Training was stepped up and recognition was obtained for ten courses by paramedical board of Karnataka Govt., whereby Air Force medical assistants could now obtain diploma in various subjects unlike in other services and would have brighter rehabilitation prospects. The Air Force team was trained under the supervision of Deputy Comdt, which won the second prize at the Inter Services Nursing Competition held at AMC Centre, Lucknow in Nov 05 where seven teams participated.

His organizational ability was utilized for annual Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine conference held in Sept 05, hospital anniversary, Air Force day and AMC day. His liaison with Indian Space Research Organization went a long way in obtaining hardware gratis for the Air Force for setting up the Telemedidne hub at CH by 08 Oct 05 and completing phase-1 connectivity with remote Air force bases and CH for specialist consultancy. His untiring effort to get going the E- medical education through telemedidne is praiseworthy.

His hard work, commitment, dedication and pleasant interpersonal relationship went a long way in winning the Raksha Mantri Trophy in Nov 05 for the best CH in the country.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Kevin Fernandez.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Karunakaran Nair Velaudhan Nair 13082 ADMUnit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Karunakaran Nair Velayudhan Nair (13082) Adm was commissioned in the Administrative Branch of the Indian Air Force on 17 Jun 1972. During his career spanning 34 years, he held various important command, staff and field appointments and rendered distinguished service with selfless devotion. He is a graduate of College Of Defence Management and was commended by AOC-in-C SWAC and the Chief of Air Staff.

Early in his career, the Air officer received the Flight Safety 'Good Show' recognition for his exceptional controlling skills in safely recovering a fighter aircraft in a grave emergency operating over desserts under dark night conditions. As the CO of an Air Defence Unit, he single handedly and with commendable dispatch coordinated and streamlined the mammoth task of ensuring smooth inbound and outbound transit of personnel and military stores of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces operating in Sri Lanka. When handpicked and nominated to represent IAF in the Organizing Committees of Commonwealth and World Cup Shooting Championships, he conceptualized and meticulously executed the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of these events in most impressive manner befitting international standards. In his capacity as JD (Ceremonials) at Air HQ, he was instrumental in coordinating the first ever 'Air warrior Symphonic Concert', a musical exposition by IAF Bands which was an extravaganza widely applauded by the discerning audience for its spic and span organization.

As Chief administrative Officer of a large base, he was particularly concerned of the well being and welfare of subordinates and was instrumental in providing impetus to development projects conceived for improving quality of life of the air warriors, DSC personnel and civilians alike. When a SU-30 Squadron was to be inducted to the base, notwithstanding the very meager preparatory time available, he effectively leveraged all the facilities on base and meticulously planned and fine tuned support services in an extraordinary manner and optimized their responses to ensure smooth induction as per schedule.

The Air officer assumed charge as Provost Marshal (Air), Air HQ in Oct 04. Under his dynamic leadership, and through personal involvement, he steered and influenced the 29 provost units spread wide across the country with renewed synergy and purposeful focus in their work thus improving security practices in IAF. In recognition of his vast experience and professional knowledge in the field of security, the Air officer was nominated as an expert to represent IAF in the bilateral security talks in USA with the US Pacific Air Force. The Air Officer displayed professional wisdom and visionary zeal in conceptualizing and coordinating multifaceted commando training of Garuds to make them fit and confident to undertake lethal and precision operations in any risk prone environment. It is due to his exemplary efforts and unflinching sense of purpose that the making of Garuds into a well-knit and battle ready operational commando outfit was realised well ahead of the schedule for deployment in sensitive bases in J&K Sector and as part of the UN Peacekeeping Forces ex- India.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Karunakaran Nair Velayudhan Nair.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pankaj Mehrotra 13316 AE(M)Unit : South Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Pankaj Mehrotra (13316) AE (M) was commissioned on 01 Jan 73 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. During 33 years of distinguished service, he has held several key assignments, including Senior Technical Officer of three Fighter/Bomber Squadrons, Chief of Aircraft at Base Repair Depot (BRD), Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of an AF Station, Command Engineering Officer Headquarters South Western Air Command (HQ SWAC) IAF, Director Engg D (T) at Air HQ, Chief Training Officer at AF Station, Jalahalli and Command Engineering Officer HQ SAC. Presently, he is posted as Command Engineering Officer at HQ SWAC, IAF. Trained abroad on Mirage 2000 aircraft (ac), he commanded Technical Type Conversion Unit (Mirage 2000), which was raised by him in Oct 88. As Chief of Aircraft at one of the prestigious BRD, from Aug 95 to Dec 96, the officer successfully planned and executed the task of indigenous overhaul of the first AN-32 ac in IAF and also formulated life extension checks for AN-32 ac. He brought in significant improvement in maintenance standards at the BRD by providing distinctive thrust on selfreliance and effective management. As CEO of an important AF Station during Dec 96-Oct 98, he was instrumental in optimizing the serviceability of transport ac fleets consistently at highest levels. During May 01- Jun 04, as Director Engg D (T) at Air HQ, the Air Officer seamlessly accomplished the task of managing the complete Russian Transport ac fleet of IL-76, AN-32 and the newly acquired Air-toAir Refueller IL-78 ac with professional ability and acumen while negotiating contracts with foreign vendors. During this period, IL-76 and IL-78 ac took part in foreign expeditions in Alaska, enhancing the country's image abroad and contributing towards operational efficiency. During Jun 04 - Dec 04, as Chief of Training at training institute, he was instrumental in successful implementation of JITT (Just In Time Training) concept at airmen training institutes at Bangalore.

As Command Engineering Officer at HQ SWAC, he exhibited creativity and ingenuity of extremely high order in sustaining the serviceability and mission availability of all types of state of art fighter ac and UAVs as well as transport ac/helicopters/micro lights operated by units under SWAC. His personal involvement coupled with his vast exposure has immensely assisted SWAC operational units in enhancing maintenance discipline. His experience has facilitated in timely setting up of Second Line Servicing facilities for Su-30 MKI, MiG-27 (UPG) and MiG-21 (BISON) ac in SWAC.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Commodore Pankaj Mehrotra.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Prashid Basu 13828 AE(L)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Prashid Basu (13828) AE (L) was commissioned in the IAF on 06 Jan 75. During his career spanning 30 years, he had held important field and staff appointments which includes Engineering officer in Helicopter Unit, Directing staff at training Establishment and Commanding Officer of Signals Unit. The Air Officer is functioning as Principal Director Signals (Air) at Air HQ (VB) wef 08 Jun 05.

On assuming charge in this key appointment, he took a number of initiatives towards modernizing VHF/UHF communica tion and recording equipment, crystallizing requirements for Disaster Management Communication. He rationalized the on going projects and provided alternate solutions for special operational projects, which resulted in a saving to the exchequer of several crores of rupees. He took additional initiative to liaise with MoD and obtained clearance for a large number of projects which had been delayed for many years.

Amongst the major achievements of Air Officer has been the finalisation of deal with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, wherein he orchestrated a modus operandi to modernize and enhance the operational communication of the IAF. The entire project for the Indian Air Force is being funded by Ministry of Communication & IT at a cost of approximately Rs 650 crore. It was his special management skills which resulted in conclusion of the project to lay fibre optic cables and end equipment at 152 locations in the IAF, in return for releasing additional bandwidth for civil mobile operators. Air Commodore Basu has thus laid the foundation for an 'Information Expressway' with the state-of-the-art communication equipment, to meet the operational requirements of the IAF for the next 20 years. The Project definition includes structured cabling an optical fibre across 152 IAF locations and end-to-end secured communication solutions based on voice-data-video convergence, integrated messaging system, implementation of Data centers and high-speed backup SATCOM system.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Prashid Basu.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Asit Kumar Adhikari 13889 ADM/ATCUnit : 5 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Group Captain Asit Kumar Adhikari (13889) Adm/ATC was commissioned in the IAF on 18 Jan 75. During his tenure as an ATC officer, he attained his Cat 'A' and had been SATCO at three premiere fighter Wings of IAF. He held various important appointments such as CO, TGCA Sqn and CO Maintenance Command (Unit). At Maintenance Command (Unit), for his dedication and result oriented approach, he was awarded CAS commendation. While serving at Air HQ (VB), as DDPA-II and D Org, he contributed effectively in formulating policies related to personnel and organisation. At AF Station Srinagar, as Chief Administrative Officer (C Adm O), the officer performed commendably and was selected to visit USA for security appreciation. Subsequently, he was selected to undergo General Management Course at National Institute of Management at Kolkata, and on completion of course, was posted to a fighter Wing in Mar 2005 as C Adm O. On taking over as C Adm O of AF Station Kalaikunda in Mar 05, the officer was entrusted with execution of major works services and numerous admin related tasks that were urgently required for the smooth conduct of major international air exercises, planned to be held in this station in Nov 05 & Jan 06. The officer accepted the challenge and worked relentlessly with firm determination for successful completion of the assignment. Armed with his professional knowledge and experience, he led the Adm Support Group from front and as a result work services amounting to Rs 10.5 Crores were successfully completed in record time. However, this Herculean task did not deter him from focusing his attention to other routine administrative schedule. He worked tirelessly to ensure that all the maintenance works were executed efficiently and timely. Due to his persistent efforts and administrative acumen, the entire station was brought up to an international standard. His ceaseless involvement in procurement of quality items for various messes from public and non-public funds resulted in enhancement of the quality of life in the station which was highly appreciated by all visiting dignitaries and foreign delegates.

The officer's perseverance and strive for excellence continued even in handling security matters of the station. He was able to develop good rapport with the civil agencies in a short time. This was appreciably discernable with the kind of unconditional support extended by civil administration to tackle the protest meeting organised by local political parties, prior to commencement of Indo-US exercise. As a result of good coordination, both international exercises i.e., COPE INDIA 05 & SINDEX 06 which were held in this base, passed off without any untoward incident.

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

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ramesh Goyal 14567 F(P)Unit : Eastern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Air Commodore Ramesh Goyal (14567) F (P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 13 Jun; 76. He is a Fighter Combat Leader and Pilot Attack Instructor with over 3000 h of accident free flying. In 1988, he was commended by CAS for enhancing the operational status of a fighter squadron and displaying extra ordinary skill/professional knowledge. Besides serving as a Directing staff in TACDE, he has held key appointments of Flt Cdr in a MiG-29 Squadron, CO MOFTU, Command Air Defence Officer in HQ Western Air Command and Director Operations (Air Defence) at Air HQ.

The Air Officer is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Army War College at Mhow. During Op Prakaram, he was Chief Operations Officer of the premier fighter base. As Director, Air Defence at Air HQ in 2003-04, his contribution towards efficient management and enhancement of Op potential of entire Air Defence fleet was note worthy. He was made responsible for conduct of Indo-US international level exercise Cope India-04 and enhancement of Indo-French Cooperation. Towards this, he led the Indian delegation to France for Air Staff meeting with the French Air Force and was a member of Executive Steering group meeting at Hawai in 2003-04.

After taking over as Ops-lA of HQ Eastern Air Command (EAC) in Apr 05, he revised the EAC Op Instructions. He was the chief coordinator from HQ EAC for work up and conduct phase of Indo-US joint exercise Cope India-05, followed by the joint exercise between IAF and RSAF (Sindex-06) in Jan 06. Both exercises were conducted very effi ciently. In Feb 06, the officer was made responsible for planning and conduct of air displays at Guwahati, Shillong and Aizwal, as part of IAF awareness campaign in the North East region. All the displays were conducted in a professional and efficient manner.

On being promoted to Air Cmde, he was appointed as Air-I HQ EAC in Mar 06. He has used his operational experience and knowledge to enhance the flying effort in Combat Sqns and improve the Op potential of fighter sqns and AD units. A command level operational exercise Poorvi Abhyas was successfully conducted for the first time after a gap of seven years. The Air-I section under the Air Officer was responsible for planning and conduct of this exercise.

For distinguished service of a high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Ramesh Goyal.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Pramod Shankarrao Shinde 14784 AE(M)Unit : 32 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Group Captain Pramod Shankarrao Shinde (14784) AE (M) was commissioned in the IAF on 03 Jan 77. During the past 29 years he has held various important field and staff appointments. Presently, he is Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of Air Force Station Jodhpur since 03 Jun 04.

The officer has rich and varied experience of GW System, Helicopter and Fighter stream of the IAF. He has held many key appointments as SEO of a Fighter Squadron, SPE of MiG-23 overhaul in BRD, CEO of a MiG-21 base, Commanding Officer of a BRD and C Eng O A of HQ MC. The officer a qualified Cat 'A' Flight Engineer on Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopters with 1250 flying hours and AF Examiner in AEB. He was the member of the prestigious VIII Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in 1988-89.He has passed the Technical Staff Officers Course from IAT Pune with Directing Staff grading. He was commended twice by the CAS in 1982 and 2000 respectively and by AOC-in-C WAC in 1992.

During his tenure as CO of BRD, the depot achieved highest production ever and indigenised large number of critical items, thus achieving huge savings in foreign exchange. The depot was adjudged the Best Mini BRD for the year 2000-01 and was granted ISO-9002 certification under his dynamic leadership. The officer is presently posted as CEO of premier fighter Wing and due to his professional excellence has left an indelible mark on every field of technologists' activities of the Wing. The officer inducted upgraded MiG-21 Bison aircraft and set up Bison Tech Flight with a modern avionics lab at the wing. During his tenure as CEO he improved the serviceability and condition of Common user and Specialist vehicles. During annual Command MT inspection in 2004-05 the highest assessment during previous 6 years was achieved. The Wing was also assessed as Best Fighter Station for the year 2004-05, under HQ SWAC.

MiG-27 Squadron at the base has been designated as first MiG-27 Squadron to be upgraded with modern avionics systems. The officer with his meticulous planning, professional excellence and organizational skills has completed training of air warriors on DGM and LRMTS with proper co-ordination with OEM and successfully commissioned the testers. His valuable suggestions for the work services and judicious utilisation of existing labs for installation of I level testers for MiG27 Upgrade has earned savings of approx. Rs. 3 crores. The station has achieved approx 15000 hours of flying during his tenure without any accident and NIL incident due to Human Error (Ground Crew). Under his guidance and tutelage the base has done many innovations like fabrication of tester for HF set and Radio Compass ARK-UD for MI-17, tester for R-864 HF set, tester for KOMAR-2M emergency radio set of MiG-21/27 etc. The innovations were especially praised by the CAS during his visit to base on 24 Dec 05.

For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Pramod Shankarrao Shinde.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Jagjeet Singh 14814 AE(L)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Group Captain Jagjeet Singh (14814) AE (L) was commissioned on 03 Jan 77 in the Engineering branch of the IAF. In 29 years of distinguished service, he has held several appointments that include Senior Technical Officer of both a flying squadron as well as SAM-HI Squadron, CO of Technical Type Training School, Chief Engineering Officer of an ab-initio flying training institute and Senior Technical Instructor at Air Force Technical College. He has also been the OC of Technical Support Squadron at Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment. He holds a post-graduate degree in Engineering and Post Graduate Diploma in Material Management.

The officer was initially trained on Pechora system and after a long tenure of 14 years was brought into aircraft stream. Due to his dedication and hard work, the officer quickly adjusted to the nuances of tarmac and manmanagement and made a place for himself in Mirage fleet. As CO of Mirage Technical Type Training School in Apr 98, he was responsible for introduction of state of art training aids and conduct of environmental studies on Mirage-2000 aircraft. In Mar 02, the officer was posted to Air Force Academy (AFA) as Chief Engineering Officer, where basic flying training is imparted to the cadets. The job demanded foresightedness, sustained dedication and professional competence. His tenure at AFA was extremely successful with regard to efficient management of resources to meet time bound flying training task.

During his tenure at Air HQ as Director of Engineering Mirage since 20 Dec 04, the officer was responsible for techno-logistics maintenance of the Mirage fleet which involves import and indigenous procurement beside managing high fleet serviceability and repair and overhaul of items. Some of the major projects which were perceived during this period are induction of ten additional aircraft, ageing study on Mirage-2000 aircraft, updation of Depot Level Maintenance documentation and overhaul of Main Fuel Control Unit.

The officer has an experience of more than 10 years in the maintenance of Mirage-2000 fleet. He has an extra ordinary capacity for hard work and determination. He is a gogetter who can be trusted upon to undertake any type of task. The officer with his foresight, accurate planning and perseverance, was able to provide a new direction to the personnel of his Directorate.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Jagjeet Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Gurudev Lingayya Hiremath 14947 ADMUnit : 4 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 07 Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Group Captain Gurudev Lingayya Hiremath (14947) Adm was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 10 Jun 1977. He has held various important and sensitive posts including CO of a Liaison Unit, Chief Training Officer of a Training Establishment and Chief Adm Officer (C Adm O) of a flying training base. Due to his exceptional performance he was commended once by AOC-in-C and twice by the Chief of the Air Staff. He continues to be very enthusiastic in every task assigned to him.

Since 01 Apr 04, he has been functioning as C Adm O at Air Force Station, Agra. He has earned a reputation for providing a fair, transparent and considerate administration resulting in overall satisfaction and high morale of the personnel. He was instrumental in sorting out long outstanding land matters and successfully claimed ownership of unattended land. Encroachment clearance including demolition of unauthorised structures was executed very systematically without any adverse reaction from the civilian population. During his two year tenure as C Adm O, the Stn has been awarded with 'Pride of CAC' Trophy and 'Best in Adm' Trophy.

He is methodical in his approach towards work services. His untiring efforts have resulted in a total transformation of living conditions in the station bringing about a quantum improvement in services. Due to his close supervision and monitoring, prestigious Air Force projects like Hydrant Refuelling System and Married Accommodation Project, are progressing as per schedule with strict adherence to quality control. He incorporated several innovative modifications and improvements in the ongoing Married Accommodation Project for higher user satisfaction. He has significantly contributed in crystallisation of AWACS Induction Plan at the Air Force Station. He has successfully introduced a zero garbage scheme where the domestic waste is collected and converted into useful eco friendly manure. This scheme is an example for other stations to emulate. He efficiently organised major activities like Suryakiran aerobatic show, static displays, cultural and sports events adding colour to the life in the station. All these tasks required efforts beyond the call of duty which was cheerfully accepted compromising his personal comforts. Leading from the front and through personal example he provided an impetus to the Adm Support Group which rose to meet challenges of diverse nature with zeal and vigour.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Gurudev Lingayya Hiremath.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2007 Number: 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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