Awards for the year 2009


A total of 74 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Shaurya Chakra : 4 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 24 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Verma 11638 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Kanwar Dalinderjit Singh 12403 F(P)Unit : South Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sadasivan Radhakrishnan 12408 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Shiv Kumar Bhan 12510 F(P)Unit : Eastern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Suresh Chand Mukul 12930 F(P)Unit : Integrated Defence Staff  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar 13024 AEMUnit : Maintenance Command  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Shyam Bihari Bajpayee 13531 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Sapan Kumar Karmaker 13379 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Muthumanickam Matheswaran 14104 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Jasbir Singh Panesar 13370 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Belligund Krishnamurthy Murali 13728 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Baldev Singh 13683 ACCTSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Arup Raha 13910 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Vinod Kumar Narang 14326 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Suneel Shripad Soman 14681 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Rao Biradavolu Keshav 14450 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Paramjit Singh Gill 14097 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Gudipudi Rajendra Prasad 13236 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Shaurya Chakra
Gp Capt Suryakant Chintamn Chafekar 17013 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Commanding Officer of No.48 Squadron. Planned and Executed the An-32 landing at Daulet Beg Oldi
Reference:  

Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Tarun Kumar Chaudhri 25871 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Nov 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : Pilot of an Mi-8 whose flight gunner was killed in Maoists firing on the Helicopter at a polling station
Reference:  

Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Harikirat Singh 26696 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 15 Aug 09
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Mustafa Ali 776951 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Nov 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : Flight Engineer of an Mi-8 who was killed in Maoists firing on the Helicopter at a polling station
Reference:  

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Amitabh Sharma 21015 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Amitabh Sharma VM (21015) Flying (Pilot) is Commanding a MI-17 IV unit in the South Western sector since 03 Mar 2008. On 26 Nov 2008, a series of ten coordinated terrorist attacks across Mumbai city exposed India to the first ever urban war like situation. By midnight the terrorist captured many places including "Narirnan House". On 27 Nov 2008 at 2130 h, he was informed of an early take off the next day for slithering operation over Nariman House. The mission involved slithering down 30 NSG commandos on the terrace of Nariman House inside which terrorists were holding Israeli nationals as hostages. He immediately got in touch with leader of NSG commandos and there after meticulously planned the mission for early morning drop on 28 Nov 2008. On reaching the launch pad at the ship, fresh inputs on the situation were taken from NSG commandos on the spot. With helicopter in start-up condition he quickly carried out mission briefing clearly spelling out each crew duties and contingencies. He along with NSG team leader then climbed up on top of ATC to identify the exact location of Nariman House. After identifying the same, he quickly took off for the mission and followed tactical routing to mislead the terrorist as well as media. On reaching Nariman house a quick air assessment was made. The roof top was a small area of 15 feet x 15 feet and was surrounded by obstructions like high voltage cables, water tanks, dish antenna, tin shades etc. Continuous firing and explosions of grenades could be heard amidst the helicopter noise. The hover was required to be done in such a way that the nose of the helicopter was outside the rooftop to ensure safe slithering. A total of 30 troops were slithered down in three quick sorties. The mission displayed highest level of synergy between air and ground forces. The route and hover direction were varied each time to maintain element of surprise. Wg Cdr Sharma displayed highest standards of bravery, professionalism and exceptional leadership in air in the face of serious and extreme threat. This daring operation projects the jointmanship of our service and enhanced the image of IAF yet again to touch the sky with glory. For this act of exceptional courage in the face of hostile environment, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Amitabh Sharma VM.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Prashant Mohan 20160 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Prashant Mohan (20160) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MiG-21 M Squadron of the Indian Air Force with effect from 03 Jul 2006 and is performing the duties of Commanding Officer since then. On 05 Feb 2008, the officer was authorized to fly a Low Flying chase sortie on a Mig-21 (Type-96). During a turn at low level he heard a thud. He found his aircraft pitching up viciously and rolling to the right at rates exceeding 50 - 60 degrees per second. Correctly analyzing the situation at that very instant, as a bird hit, most probably on his starboard aileron, his actions of controlling the aircraft were extremely prompt. Realising that he was losing control of the aircraft, as he had reached the limits of the stabiliser and aileron deflection and an ejection was imminent but he took a deliberate decision and throttled back during the climb. With this action he reduced the speed to 400 Kmph. At this speed he found that the situation had improved but it required a great deal of physical strength to pilot the aircraft. On putting the Aileron Booster off, the situation worsened. He looked right and found that the right aileron was totally ineffective which restricted him to execute only left-hand turn. With this restriction, and that of the right-hand circuit pattern operational at the base, due to the close proximity of the town he skillfully maneuvered the aircraft to carry out a left-hand circuit pattern but stayed clear of the populated area. Though the aircraft was grievously damaged and the situation warranted him to eject, but the officer displaying will power, tenacity and professional courage of the highest order elected not to eject and decided to bring back the aircraft so that vital clues regarding the incident could be available after landing. Pilot's dexterous maneuvering of the aircraft with onboard limitations even at the cost of endangering his own life which ensured that the aircraft was kept clear of populated area is in the highest traditions of the service. Post flight inspection revealed a dent of size 20" x 5" on the leading edge of the starboard wing root. Inside the damaged area, the aileron control rod was found broken into two parts causing the starboard aileron to become totally ineffective. The superior flying skills, vast experience and grit exhibited by the officer in recovering the aircraft are extremely commendable. For displaying exceptional courage in handling an aircraft emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Prashant Mohan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Deepak Kumar Vats 22545 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Deepak Kumar Vats (22545) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a MI 17-IV Helicopter unit since 07 Jul 2008 and is performing the duties of unit Pilot. On 26 Nov 2008 Mumbai was shaken by the worst terror attack the country had ever witnessed. The situation was nothing less than an all-out urban war. On 28 Nov 2008 the unit was tasked to slither down a team of NSG commandos on the terrace of Nariman house where Israeli nationals were taken hostages by the terrorists. Wg Cdr Vats was detailed as co-pilot for the mission. He displayed exemplary courage and leadership while flying into the line of fire as the co-pilot of the mission. The slithering spot was surrounded by obstructions like wires, water tanks of adjoining buildings, dish antennas and tin shades on the adjacent roof. It was an extremely challenging task for the co-pilot to monitor the clearance from the obstructions on the approach and the slithering site. The role of co-pilot in such high risk and high-profile mission was handled in the most professional manner. The sound of continuous firing and explosions of grenades was clearly heard inside the helicopter. This however did not deter him from keeping a sharp lookout for obstructions and retaliatory fire from the terrorists. Maintaining his composure, he provided invaluable inputs and assistance to his Captain during the successful slithering of 30 NSG commandos in three quick sorties over Nariman house. The courage and determination displayed by Wg Cdr Vats in handling an unprecedented and unfamiliar situation made the crucial difference between disaster and glory for the IAF. The professionalism displayed by Wg Cdr Vats in preparation, planning and execution of the mission is worthy of emulation by all air warriors. His effort has gone a long way in the intoning and protecting the highest traditions and glory of the Indian Air Force. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Deepak Kumar Vats.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Prem Singh Rajput 658793 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : 658793 Warrant Officer Prem Singh Rajput, Flight Gunner has been on the posted strength of a MI17-IV Helicopter unit since 05 Sep 2006. On 28 Nov 2008 the unit was tasked to slither down a team of NSG commandos on the terrace of Nariman house where the terrorists had taken some Israeli nationals as hostages. WO Rajput personally supervised the preparation of the helicopter. His professional acumen, maturity and situational awareness were abundantly displayed when the helicopter was configured with slithering frames and armour plating in a record minimum time. He rightly advised the Captain on sortie configuration and limitations of hover at such a height. His professional briefing and the importance to slither in shortest possible time for NSG commandos added to the success of the mission. It was an extremely challenging task for the Flight Gunner to guide the helicopter to the centre of the roof keeping clear of the obstructions around. He appreciated the gravity of situation and accordingly ensured 30 NSG commandos slithered in the shortest possible time in three sorties. In spite of the heavy background noise of rotors and engines, the sound of continuous firing and explosions of grenades was being heard by all the crew members. This however did not deter him and disregarding his personal safety, continued his task in an utmost professional manner. WO Rajput's professionalism in the preparation, planning and execution of the mission is worthy of emulation by all air warriors. His effort has certainly gone a long way in maintaining the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Warrant Officer Prem Singh Rajput.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
JWO Jawed Hussain Siddiqi 729086 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : 729086 Junior Warrant Officer Jawed Hussain Siddiqi, Flight Engineer is on the posted strength of a MI17-1V Helicopter unit since 28 Nov 2005 and has been performing the duties of Flight Engineer supervisor. On 26 Nov 2008 Mumbai city was struck by the worst terror attack the country had ever witnessed. The situation was nothing less than an all-out urban war. The terrorists captured many places including 'Nariman House' building with Israeli Nationals as hostages. On 27 Nov 2008 at 2200 h, he was informed of an early take off the next day for slithering operation over Nariman house. From that moment onwards till mission completion he undertook. host of activities restlessly to ensure helicopter is fully serviceable and prepared for the Mission. His zeal, enthusiasm and determination towards task achievement were praise worthy. JWO Siddiqi used his invaluable expertise and experience by helping the Captain in planning the mission. The roof of the building had a very small area and there were high rise buildings, wires, cables, dish Antenna etc. all around the building. The experienced JWO Siddiqi assisted captain by continuously calling out height, monitoring engine and transmission parameters meticulously. He also cautioned the Captain about all obstructions around the slithering site. In spite of the sound of bullets and grenades being heard, JWO Siddiqi maintained composure and concentrated on completing the assigned mission. He performed his duty exceptionally well in the face of heavy firing by terrorists and displayed total crew co-ordination in the cockpit for mission accomplishment. For this act of exceptional courage in the face of serious threat and challenging situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Junior Warrant Officer Jawed Hussain Siddiqi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Shishir Yashwant Koshe 16400 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Group Captain Shishir Yashwant Koshe (16400) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned in Indian Air Force as a Pilot in the Transport stream on 11 Jun 1981. He has been Directing Staff at the College of Air Warfare and has undergone Higher Defence Management Course at College of Defence Management. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 7000 hours of flying. Since 28 Apr 2006, Gp Capt Koshe has been Commanding an An-32 Squadron (Sqn). In order to manage the ageing An-32s which were affected by shortage of spares, he applied technical knowledge and data analysis capability to improve the serviceability. He identified key parameters related to critical components (Starter Generators, Hydraulic Pumps and Radio Sets) that were prone to failing. Having identified those parameters, he devised and implemented the methods to monitor, record, analyse and forecast an impending failure. By this method the reliability of Andaman and Nicobar Courier flights increased from 85 to 96 percent, reducing the losses due to cancellation of such flights. Gp Capt Koshe ensured training to the aircrew for complex missions enhancing the operational status of the Sqn. As a direct offshoot of such a measure, the Sqn could get accurate results in Tri-Services exercise 'DHOOM-3' that involved Paratroopers Drop by night. Aircrew are now achieving initial category within six months after the ab-initio training as against twelve months earlier. With optimum utilisation of available resources and accurate planning, Sqn now is achieving over 400 hours of flying every month. Gp Capt Koshe promotes sportsmanship and fitness amongst all the personnel of this Sqn. Despite undertaking operational commitments round the clock, the Sqn won the Sports Trophy at Station level. Weekly interactions between the personnel regardless of the rank structure have contributed to camaraderie and synergy at work place. Due to his immense interest in the upkeep of the Sqn premises, newly developed garden and well-maintained buildings are sources of attraction to all the visitors at Air Force Station Sulur. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Shishir Yashwant Koshe.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Kapoor 18089 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Kapoor (18089) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 06 Dec 1985. In 23 years of distinguished service he has held several important appointments as Flight Commander (Fit Cdr) of a Training Squadron at Air Force Academy and at Yelahanka, Fit Cdr and CO of IL-78 MKI aircraft Squadron (Sqn). He is a graduate of DSSC and is a qualified flying instructor having flown over 7300 hours of accident /incident free flying. He has been commended for his sustained hard work and selfless devotion to duty by the CAS in 2004. He was posted as the second Fit Cdr of the first flight refueling Sqn. He faced the daunting task of streamlining and executing task of mission accomplishment of relatively new role of Air to Air Refueling (AAR) operations. His professional competence and planning abilities contributed immensely in large number of aircrew of the unit gaining and improving on operational status. He had been involved in planning, coordination and execution of various long-range strike missions, Andaman Islands operations by fighters, AAR compatibility and trials of Sea Harriers of Indian Navy. He was the first pilot who was inducted during Tsunami relief operations during Dec 2004 in which the Sqn's contribution was immensely appreciated both by the service and national media. He was instrumental in planning and execution of two international exercises with Su 30s, Jaguars and Mirage 2000 aircraft viz Ex Gauda II at France and Ex Sindex 06 at Singapore. Ex Garuda 1I holds two records for the IAF, namely longest single haul by any fighter or transport aircraft of nearly 5000 Kms and for the first aerial refueling of a NATO fighter aircraft by any non-NATO country refueller. In both the above-mentioned feats he was the leader of the formation. He has also led the Republic Day flypast with Su 30s with utmost precision over Rajpath, New Delhi for three consecutive years from 2005-2007. The officer's contribution as Fit Cdr of this fledgling unit was highly noteworthy. The strong foundation he laid helped the unit to undertake multifarious tasks successfully, resulting in him assuming command of this strategic force multiplier Sqn. His operational capabilities and professionalism have been highly appreciated by Directorate of Air Staff Inspections, Command Air Staff Inspections and by Aircrew Examining Board. Under his stewardship, the unit has shifted and set up the state of art Sqn complex with hydrant refuelling, which is only one of its kind in the IAF. The sprawling Sqn premises thus created in a span of less than a year is extremely praise worthy and worth emulating. As President Mess Committee Officers Mess at Agra, he brought about noticeable and admirable changes. The Mess is fully geared to host any large event. The infrastructure added in the Offrs' Mess now caters to large number of dignitaries both national and international, visiting the airbase. His compassion and leadership qualities have led personnel of the unit trying to emulate him in the interest of the service. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Sanjeev Kapoor.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Alok Sharma 18811 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Alok Sharma (18811) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Transport Pilot on 13 Jun 1987. Since then he has flown HPT-32, AN-32, DO-228 and Embraer-135 BJ. He is an able Qualified Flying Instructor with more than 2500 hours of instructional flying to his credit. Wg Cdr Alok Sharma has flown over 8700 accident free hours in his career. These include Air Maintenance in Eastern and Northern sector, Para Trooping formation, Battalion level drops and WIP communication duties. He achieved the exceptional category of A 'Master Green' on two different types of aircraft. He underwent the Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner course conducted at Aircrew Examining Board and is presently the Type Examiner on Embraer aircraft. Embraer aircraft were inducted into the unit in Sep 2005. Wg Cdr Sharma was totally involved in the preliminary planning and technical procurement stages of this aircraft. His boundless enthusiasm, self-drive and futuristic vision was instrumental in effective liaison with Air HQ to iron out grey areas and strike a worthwhile deal with manufacturers. On confirmation of the induction, he once again took initiative and volunteered to ferry-in the aircraft from Brazil, ensuring that the equipment and VIP fitments met the befitting WIP standards. Upon arrival of the aircraft he took on the responsibility to fly extensively and categories the pilots at the earliest. With Embraer tasking increasing exponentially, his astute management skills and thorough planning came to fore and ensured that all commitments were met with commendable standards. This has been appreciated time and again by the dignitaries. He has brilliantly dovetailed his administrative and flying duties to achieve all tasks assigned to him and the Embraer flight. Wg Cdr Sharma has always led by example in every sphere and has been a source of inspiration both to his colleagues and subordinates. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Alok Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rohit Mahajan 19187 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Rohit Mahajan (19187) Flying (pilot) was commissioned as a Helicopter Pilot on 19 Dec 1987. He is a Helicopter Combat Leader and Right-Hand Seat Check Pilot. A Graduate of Defence Services Staff College, he had been in Command of an Operational Mi-17 unit from 10 Oct 2005 to 17 Feb 2008. He had also been a part of UN Peace Keeping Contingent to Congo. In his tenure as CO, the officer has brought to bear his vast and valuable operational experience in honing as well as enhancing the operational capability of his unit. This has singularly contributed 10 the unit achieving a record of 4300 hours of accident/incident (human error) free flying with he himself flying 1100 hours during his tenure. A dedicated and committed supervisor, he was instrumental in the unit's substantial jump in the operational and combat orientation. Starting with two aircraft and 80 hours / month, the unit averaged 175 hours / month with a quantum rise in operational role training by six times, night effort four times and Night Vision Goggles (NVG) training tenfold during his tenure. He always led from the front in all the diverse Operational roles as well as important operations, be it Air Maintenance or NVG, his involvement in planning and executing these missions had been exemplary and noteworthy. High altitude operations Ex-Tawang including Small Team Insertion and Exertion Operations undertaken by him were first of their kind. In spite of the unit being tasked heavily with numerous operational commitments in one of the most crucial. sectors, his ability to marshal his men and resources under challenging circumstances led to the best aircraft serviceability of MI-17 fleet in Eastern Air Command (EAC). The unit was also adjudged the best helicopter unit in EAC during Ex-Vajra Spardha. All this wouldn't have been possible but for foresight of a high order and exceptional leadership displayed by Wg Cdr Mahajan. Sensitive and considerate to welfare of his subordinates, he had always worked hard towards all round improvement in the working environment. Despite his involvement in other activities of the station, he always ensured that the unit maintained a very high level of operational readiness, backed by efficient maintenance and proactive administration. His dynamic leadership, personal example and lively enthusiasm ensured a well-knit fighting team for undertaking any commitment. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Rohit Mahajan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sameer Mehra 19524 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Sameer Mehra (19524) Flying (pilot) was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Branch on 11 Jun 1988. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a Mig-27 squadron and guided the Squadron (Sqn) at various International and Air Force exercises. As Senior Flight Safety and Inspection Officer of Air Force Station Halwara he introduced a number of innovations which significantly reduced the accidents I incidents. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has a grand total of 3197 hrs of flying. Wg Cdr Mehra is a dynamic officer with exceptional professional knowledge achieved "through hard work and perseverance. He has exhibited exemplary competence and dedication in leading the Sqn from the front. When tasked for the Maritime Strike Role the Sqn achieved Maritime Strike status expeditiously with exceptional armament scores and has since carried out productive interaction with the Indian Navy. He guided the Sqn in achieving high standards and better Operational and Instrument Rating status. He ensured a very high standard of training for the conversion of three Sri Lankan Air Force pilots on to Mig-27 aircraft. Under his leadership, the Sqn maintained an average serviceability of more than 75% in the last one year and achieved 100% serviceability on three occasions, a rare feat by any Mig-27 Sqn. His excellent supervision and management have ensured accident free flying. While officiating as Chief Operations Officer in Jul 2007, Wg Cdr Mehra displayed foresight and worked tirelessly to ensure timely relief to the flood "affected areas in West Bengal and Orrisa. He was felicitated for his concern and speedy response by the Chief Minister of Orrisa, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, at a state level function in Bhubaneshwar. He is a keen sportsman and has motivated the Sqn personnel to perform well in the intra wing and inter wing sports meet. Wg Cdr Mehra was appointed the Joint Director for a bilateral defence exercise SINDEX III at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in Dec 07, involving fighter aircraft from both the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the IAF. He was entrusted with the planning and safe execution of the exercise. His professionalism coupled with active participation at each stage ensured safe and fruitful conduct of the exercise and immense learning value for both the Air Forces. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sameer Mehra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjay Dhankhar 19865 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Sanjay Dhankhar (19865) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 17 Dec 1988. Presently, he is the CO of a Bison Squadron (Sqn). The officer has more than 3500 hours of accident free flying with more than 2000 hours on MiG-29 aircraft (ac). He has completed Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) and is a Qualified Flying Instructor. At Flying Instructors' School, he was awarded the best in aerobatics trophy and passed out from DSSC with Directing Staff grading. As the flight commander of a MiG-21 Sqn, he had ensured conversion of the unit on the Bison ac in an efficient and praiseworthy manner and was corn mended by the CAS in 2005 for his professional competence and exemplary conduct. As the CO, he has led the Sqn from the front by ensuring sagacious planning, foresight and the enviable status of best ac serviceability state in the entire Bison Fleet. The Sqn has flown more than 4500 sorties / 3000 hours of accident free flying during his tenure and achieved Above Average standards in the Aircrew Examining Board inspection. In the Annual Gunnery Meet the Sqn won three team event trophies and also the best in maintenance trophy. The Sqn put up a record performance of achieving Direct Hits by all the four formation members in the multimode bombing mission flown for the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. During the entire inspection, the Sqn had 11 fighters available and flew 56 sorties with not a single ac unserviceable. The Sqn also achieved Direct Hits in the Fire Power Demonstration held in Dec 2007 as well as in Mar 2008 and was corn mended for the same by Command and Air HQ. Besides his primary duty as CO, his coordinating and control capabilities were evident in the floods of 2006, wherein he took on the additional responsibility of Chief Operations Officer of the base and also Task Force Commander for Flood rescue and Relief Operations. He accomplished this task by working relentlessly on all holidays thereby devoting his time beyond the call of duty for the safety of ac, equipment and welfare of the station as well as the civilian populace. During this period, 33 Missions were flown, in which 256 lives were saved and 34,600 Kg of relief material and food was delivered. He has worked long hours in a selfless manner with true dedication and perseverance of an exemplary standards. The officer with his professionalism, pro-active approach, dynamic leadership has provided his personnel a renewed sense of direction and enthused them towards impeccable performance. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sanjay Dhankhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Venigalla Srinivas Choudary 19869 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Venigalla Srinivas Choudary (19869) Flying (pilot) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot on 17 Dec 1988. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, a Combat Strike Leader and a graduate of DSSC. He was awarded commendation by the AOC-in-C, South Western Air Command for devotion to duty and exemplary service in the year 1995. He has held the appointment of directing staff in Tactics and Combat Development Establishment during which he published a "Handbook on UAVs" for reference by the staff at Command and Air HQs. He is presently the CO of a MiG-27 Squadron (Sqn) since May 2006. With his exceptional instructional ability and professional involvement, he successfully undertook the training of seven pilots of 'Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). The effort put in by him was appreciated and favourably commented upon by the leader of the SLAF contingent. With his innovativeness and initiative, he was instrumental in development of a cover for the lights in the blast pens, modification of the 'Bheema Trolley', inhibition/de-inhibition of drop tanks made easier, parking shed for aircraft, a carrier bomb light stores trolley and laser sight for INSAS rifle. Under his inspiring leadership and guidance, the Sqn participated in numerous domestic and international exercises in which the Sqn performance was par excellence. This was amply demonstrated by the record time in which the photograph of the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri was presented to him during Fire Power Demonstration - 07 which was highly appreciated by the RM himself. He used his experience and expertise to improve the training standards of the Sqn. He laid greater emphasis on up-gradations and safety consciousness. He increased the quantum of training for fighter reconnaissance, which is the primary role of the Sqn to 25%. He ensured nearly 3600 hours of accident free flying without sacrificing the quality of training. His professional attitude, exceptional standards in weapon delivery and air combat skills have motivated the Sqn pilots to maximize their potential. He has taken keen interest in all maintenance related activities, maintaining the cohesiveness so essential in a combat unit. This resulted in improvement in the serviceability state of the squadron to above 70% in 2007, which was instrumental in the increment of the average flying task achieved per month from 98 hours in 2005-2006 to 148 hours in 2007-08. With his meticulous planning and resolute commitment, he ensured exemplary quality of upgraded aircraft and their efficient induction. He initiated various welfare schemes and work services to the tune of Rs. 20 lakhs for improvement of quality of life of all air warriors and modernization of operational assets. This has significantly improved the work environment and the moral of the Sqn personnel. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Venigalla Srinivas Choudary.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Pawan Kumar 20111 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Pawan Kumar (20111) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Pilot in the Flying Branch on 14 Jun 1989. He has been the Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron (Sqn) since 19 Jun 06 which is the only maritime strike Sqn of the Indian Air Force. The Officer has 2955 hours of accident free flying of which nearly 2700 hours are on operational aircraft. On assuming the command, he was entrusted with the task of conducting international exercise 'Exercise SINDEX' in Singapore in Dec 2006. Starting. with a limited number of experienced pilots, engineers and technicians, he led his team with personal example and the Sqn performed exceptionally well, in the said exercise winning appreciations from the Republic of Singapore Air Force. He was also entrusted the task of operationalisation of Airborne Fire Control Radar on Maritime Jaguars. Successful completion of this task enabled the Sqn to take part in another international exercise 'Exercise Malabar' in September 2007 again winning praise and honours for the Indian Air Force. The officer with his clear and objective thought process as well as meticulous planning ensured that the Sqn builds up on its operational status. This enabled the Sqn to win appreciation from all quarters. The Sqn was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Sqn of HQ South Western Air Command (SWAC)for 2007 -2008'. Also, due to his thorough involvement, Sqn was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Sqn in Exercise Eklavaya in SWAC for 2007-2008'. The Sqn was tasked to move, permanently from Air Force Station Pune to Air Force Station Jamnagar. Under his able guidance, the Sqn having operated continuously for 56 years at Pune, this move was completed successfully and the Sqn became operational at its new location within a month. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Pawan Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Nirmalendu Nath Sinha 20157 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Nirmalendu Nath Sinha (20157) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 14 Jun 1989. He is a Pilot Attack Instructor and an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College and is fully operational on MiG-21 Bis, M-2000, Su-30K and Su-30MKI aircraft with over 3000 hrs of flying experience. He is a display supervisor having enthralled spectators with innumerable low-level aerobatics display on the Su-30MKI aircraft since 2004. Presently, he is the CO of a Su-30 MKI Squadron (Sqn) since 03 Jul 2006. On assuming command, he was tasked to convert the Sqn from Su-30K to Su-30MKI aircraft. After induction of the aircraft, he with his foresight and meticulous planning ensured smooth and speedy operationalisation of the squadron at Bareilly. During the process, the entire exploitation of warranty on HAL aircraft was achieved with each aircraft flying more than 240 hrs during the warranty period of one year, which had never been achieved before. His timely intervention on critical issues ensured the serviceability state was maintained at more than 70%. The flying done was gainfully utilized with effective planning that resulted in 23 aircrew achieving 'fully operational' status, 15 becoming 2/4 aircraft leaders, 19 being qualified to undertake air-to-air refueling, and 15 trained for specialist weapon delivery, all in a span of only one and a half years with an average strength of only 10 aircraft. The professional competence of the Sqn was put to test during various Air Force exercises and commitments. He was also instrumental in ensuring that a large number of new technicians who were posted to the squadron after undergoing just-in-time (JIT) training, were effectively brought up to a minimum acceptable standard in a short period of time. This was achieved through dedicated classroom lectures and practical training. This paid rich dividends and was evident during the recent Directorate of Air Staff Inspection when the Sqn was graded 'Average- Plus' in maintenance and administration despite having more than 80% technicians with less than one-year work experience on the aircraft, of which, 60% were JIT trained technicians. All efforts put in by the Sqn under his dynamic and able leadership resulted in the Sqn being adjudged the 'Best Fighter Squadron' in Central Air Command for the year 2007. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Nirmalendu Nath Sinha.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Pushpendra Singh Nara 20478 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Pushpendra Singh Nara (20478) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Branch on 16 Dec 1989. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a Bison Squadron (Sqn) at frontline Air Base since 24 Jul 2006. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of the Bison Flight along with Su-30 aircraft (ac) and done tenure as Directing Staff at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He has participated in various national and international exercises and has been instrumental in developing Beyond Visual Range Combat tactics for the Bison ac. Wg Cdr Nara is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader (FCL+) and stood first in the FCL course. He did Sqn Officers' Course in Malaysia where he was awarded with first position in academics. He was selected to judge the suitability of Algerian fighter pilots for FCL course. He is a highly experienced pilot with more than 2500 hours of accident! incident free flying on MiG-29, MiG-21 BIS, Bison and Trainer ac. He is also an alumnus of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College. As the CO, he has ensured that all pilots of the unit hold qualifications and ratings commensurate' with their experience and seniority. With his exemplary leadership qualities, he is able to strike a perfect balance between task accomplishment, flight safety and welfare. The unit was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and his perseverance, ardor and exceptional leadership helped achieve the 'Average Plus' assessment for the Sqn in every field. The unit's above average performance in Aircrew Examining Board is also a testimony of his professional attitude. His achievements as a CO can be summed up by the fact that under his guidance the unit won the most coveted trophy of the 'Best Fighter Sqn in Western Air Command' for the year 2007. Wg Cdr Nara's decision-making abilities, level of staff work, command and control are of exceptional order. Despite his demanding appointment as a CO of a Fighter Sqn, he is ever willing to take on any additional service commitment and accomplish it with enthusiasm. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Pushpendra Singh Nara.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Jasvir Singh Mann 20491 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Jasvir Singh Mann (20491) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 16 Dec 1989 into the fighter stream and is a Pilot Attack Instructor (PAl)with OS grading. In 18 years of dedicated service, the officer has held many important field appointments like Unit PAl, Flight Commander (FIt Cdr) of an Amphibious Special Forces Squadron (ASF Sqn) and CO of a MiG-21 Bis Sqn. He is also a graduate of the OSSC from where he passed out with an outstanding Grading. He was commended by the AOC-in-C, Western Air Command (WAC) in 2003. As FIt Cdr of an ASF Sqn, he exercised minute control over the Sqn operations, which was visible in the professional prowess of the squadron in all areas. This was possible only because of his dedication to Service, excellent leadership and talents in man-management, based on sound and thorough professional ability. As a result, the Sqn was adjudged the best fighter Sqn in WAC twice (consecutively) during his tenure as the Senior FIt Cdr. He took over Command of a MiG-21 Bis T-75 Sqn on 12 Jun 2006. As the CO, he exercised complete command and control over every aspect of Sqn activity, whether it was leading an eight aircraft mission, or playing evening games with the Air Warriors or conducting a social event at the Officers Mess, he was always seen leading from the front. Through his tireless efforts backed by years of experience as a Fit Cdr, he ensured that the level of training in his Sqn remained optimally high at all times and insisted on a high level of professionalism in all areas of work. He was tireless in his quest for perfection in his subordinates and succeeded in instilling the same enthusiasm for operations into the officers and airmen under his command. Despite the aging MiG-21 Bis fleet with the inevitable adverse effect on aircraft serviceability, he was able to motivate his officers and men to very high levels of effort that resulted in optimum utilisation of scarce resources against a backdrop of stepped up accident-free operations during his tenure. This motivation resulted in enhanced flying due to which all pilots of the unit achieved fully Ops status. The degree of professionalism Wg Cdr Mann managed to instill in his personnel went beyond mere flying operations, it underscored the best traditions of Service values and ethos, resulting in all-round development of the personnel under him. His Sqn consistently achieved all tasks given to it, even though the circumstances were often trying. His unit was graded Average Plus' during the last major operational inspection. In addition, his unit has done very well in Aircrew Examining Board inspections. The unit has consistently won awards during the Command level Exercise Eklavya in the last two years. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Jasvir Singh Mann.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Vikram Pathak 20971 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Wing Commander Vikram Pathak (20971) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 15 Dec 1990 and presently is the CO of a Mirage -2000 Squadron (Sqn). The officer has more than 4150 hrs of accident/incident free flying with more than 1500 hrs on the multi-role Mirage-2000 aircraft. The officer has performed exceptionally well throughout his flying career. He is Category A2 Qualified Flying Instructor, an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, and a DSSC graduate. He has secured first position in all the professional courses that he has undergone till date. He bagged two out of the three medals while in Staff College, including the Lentaigne Medal for standing first in ·the overall order of merit during the DSSC course in 2007. He has also been a Directing Staff at Flying Instructors School for more than four years. Wg Cdr Pathak has consistently proved his mettle in various tasks assigned to him. On taking over the Sqn, he laid special emphasis on improving the Ops Status of the Sqn. The Sqn has flown 2350 hrs in the last one year, without any accident, with the officer himself flying over 300 hrs, despite all the responsibilities of a CO. The Sqn's Ops Status has improved considerably with the junior most pilot averaging over 170 hrs in the last one year. Under his command, the Sqn performed exceptionally well during the DASI Inspection and various exercises. He also led his Sqn to win the Eklavya Trophy for Best in Bombing in Central Air Command. Earlier, as the Fit Cdr, he was the driving force behind his Sqn winning the "Best Fighter Squadron of IAF 2003-04". Wg Cdr Pathak has also been instrumental in training the Low-Level Aerobatics team on the Mirage-2000, as the Display Supervisor. The Sqn's performance in Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, Command Air Staff Inspection and Aircrew Examining Board have been commendable. Innovative and enterprising, he is constantly finding solutions and meeting the highest standard 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, 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 thereby resulting in excellent performances of the Sqn in various exercises. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vikram Pathak.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Nitin Khanna 25617 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Squadron Leader Nitin Khanna (25617) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)Squadron (Sqn) since 03 Sep 2007. On 14 May 2008, Sqn Ldr Khanna was authorised to fly as External Pilot on Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). After an uneventful launch at a distance of 42 Kms from base, at the height of 12,000 feet, the UAV developed an emergency with engine oil system. Realizing the gravity of the emergency and engine seizure being an imminent possibility, he discussed with the crew all the possible height-distance combination and hence it's positioning on finals or that phase of circuit which would provide the best force landing scenario. While rejoining the UAV's engine seized, at a distance of 5 km from base at an altitude of 3800 feet. Sqn Ldr Khanna promptly guided the Internal Pilot for appropriate positioning of the UAV for quick visual sighting. On sighting the UAV, he promptly took over control of the UAV, after quickly resolving the situation he maneuvered the UAV dexterously and executed a safe recovery. Sqn Ldr Khanna displayed exemplary professionalism in an unprecedented emergency. It was because of his calm composure, exceptional flying skills, flawless appreciation in resolving the situation, above par situational awareness and executing the most important phase of the emergency (force landing) with utmost finesse that an UAV with a dead engine was recovered safely which is first of its kind in the IAF For exceptional devotion to duty and displaying professionalism of the highest order in handling an emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Nitin Khanna.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Samrath Dhankhar 26513 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Squadron Leader Samrath Dhankhar (26513) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MiG 21 Bis Squadron (Sqn) since 01 Jan 2007 and has been performing the primary duties of a Sqn Pilot. A smart officer with an impressive military demeanor, he possesses excellent professional knowledge and a contagious 'can do' attitude. On 24 Mar 2008, Sqn Ldr Dhankhar, was authorised for a bomb dummy sortie. After an uneventful sortie while coming for landing he experienced a bird hit followed by engine flame out at short finals and the hitherto routine sortie converted to a very critical phase of flight. The pilot exhibited extraordinary presence of mind and exemplary situational awareness in analyzing this critical emergency and co-relating it with the current phase of flight and the aircraft energy state. He showed tremendous decision-making ability by taking timely and correct actions against all odds to execute a dead stick landing. He handled the aircraft with a dead engine with a high degree of competence and successfully force landed the aircraft just short of the runway. Needless to mention that an incorrect and incompetent aircraft handling at this stage could have resulted in fatal injuries to the pilot and also loss of the aircraft. Sqn Ldr Dhankhar displayed exemplary courage and a high degree of professionalism in successfully handling the grave emergency thereby recovering the aircraft which otherwise could have resulted in immense monetary loss to the state. His timely response and corrective action have been recorded and verified from Radio transcription recorded by aircraft Video Recording System. The officer exhibited tremendous professional acumen coupled with distinctive decision-making ability and commendable situational awareness, a hallmark of a pilot. He not only endeavored to save the aircraft but also ensured that the civilian population is saved from a potential fatality. For exceptional devotion to duty and displaying professionalism in handling an aircraft emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Samrath Dhankhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajan Puri 21846 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : Wing Commander Rajan Puri (21846) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit, since 01 May 2006. On 31 Aug 2008 an SOS call was received from Government of Assam, that river Puthimari had breached its embankment causing flash floods, a few villagers were stranded on rooftops and the deteriorating situation demanded a swift rescue operation. Wg Cdr Puri was tasked for the mission. Wg Cdr Puri along with his team got airborne within shortest possible time for the rescue. In spite of adverse weather coupled with low clouds and strong winds, he quickly identified one isolated building that had four survivors, including a 10 year old child, stranded on the wooden support structure of a rooftop under construction. The current flow was strong and the water levels were rising very rapidly and any further delay would have resulted in the people getting washed away. Realising the gravity of the situation, Wg Cdr Puri established hover over the restricted area and winched down his experienced Flight Gunner for helping the survivors get into the helicopter. Inspite of limited visual references, adverse weather conditions and high obstructions, the whole operation was accomplished with precise accuracy; the officer very gallantly, rescued all four survivors. Wg Cdr Puri displayed exceptional courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force. The accomplishment of the mission won accolades from the State Government as well as from the media for the Indian Air Force. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Rajan Puri.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Yogindra Singh Tomar 28497 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : Flight Lieutenant Yogindra Singh Tomar (28497) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MI-8 Helicopter Unit with effect from 26 Dec 2006. On 14 Nov 2008, he was the Co-Pilot in the helicopter for picking up three Border Security Force (BSF) casualties, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)and election commission officials. Despite reports of anti-national activities in the area, he greatly contributed in the planning and execution of a successful landing at the helipad. After picking up the personnel and equipment, during take-off, the helicopter came under heavy small arms and light machine gun fire. Even after the Flight Engineer, Sergeant Mustafa Ali was fatally injured and the helicopter sustaining heavy damage to main rotor blades, fuel tank and tail boom, he displayed courage and composure under fire. The loss of the Flight Engineer other than being an important personal loss is a great setback in flying the helicopter even in normal circumstances. With the helicopter badly damaged, the loss of the Flight Engineer is accentuated as it is he, who monitors the health of the helicopter and operates levers and switches not directly related to flying. Normally the Co-Pilot is given the responsibility of navigation. Fit Lt Tomar displayed courage and composure in overcoming grief and shock and assisted the Captain in safely flying the helicopter by taking on the added duties of the Flight Engineer and simultaneously carrying out accurate navigation by dusk and night to get the aircraft back to safety at Jagdalpur. This act of courage and valour has been valuable in saving fifteen other lives in the helicopter, the helicopter and the EVMs, which are government property and obviating adverse propaganda material for the anti-national element's cause. A sincere, hardworking and courageous Pilot of the unit, he has 622 hrs of flying to his credit. Fit Lt YS Tomar was the Co Pilot of the helicopter which successfully carried out the election duties at Chhatisgarh from 08 Nov 08. For his courage under fire from anti national elements and composure under adverse situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Flight Lieutenant Yogindra Singh Tomar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
JWO Rajhans Thapliyal 679560 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : 679560 Junior Warrant Officer Rajhans Thapliyal, Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 18 Mar 2007. On 31 Aug 2008, an SOS was received from the Government of Assam, that river Puthimari has breached its embankment causing flash floods, a few villagers were stranded on rooftops and the deteriorating situation demanded a swift rescue operation. JWO Thapliyal was tasked to be the Flight Gunner for the mission. The crew got airborne within the shortest possible time. In spite of adverse weather coupled with low clouds and strong winds, they identified four survivors including a ten year old child stranded on the wooden support structure of a rooftop under construction. The current flow was strong and the water level was rising very rapidly. Any further delay would have resulted in the people getting washed away by the strong current. Realising the gravity of the situation, JWO Thapliyal volunteered to be winched down to help the survivors to get into the helicopter. He very gallantly stood over the loose and unbalanced wooden support for over ten minutes amidst the swirl of strong current and heavy rotor downwash. He rescued the four survivors one by one. He was the last one to be winched up with a ten year old child in his arms. He proved his mettle by not only handling the duties of Flight Gunner efficiently but also endangering his life when the situation demanded to do so. JWO Thapliyal displayed outstanding valour and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force. The accomplishment of the mission won accolades from state government as well as from media for the Indian Air Force. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Junior Warrant Officer Rajhans Thapliyal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Bipin Kumar 766557 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : 766557 Sergeant Bipin Kumar Flight Engineer is on the posted strength of an An-32 Squadron since 10 Jul 2006. He has over 2000 hours of flying experience on An-32 aircraft. On 06 Nov 2008, he was detailed for a Transport Support Role mission to airlift 38 passengers along with full load to Leh. On reaching 25,000 feet at 80 nautical miles from Chandigarh, "CHECK DOORS" caution flashed in the cockpit accompanied with a loud bang. Sgt Bipin Kumar sensed imminent danger and proceeded immediately to check the cargo door where he noticed abnormal indications. With his experience and appreciation of the situation, he realised that this could result in cargo door opening in air. Putting his life to grave risk and displaying indomitable courage, he remained at the rear of the cargo compartment as he took prompt emergency actions in a rare display of exemplary courage. He advised the captain to turn back towards base, ensured that all passengers moved to the front and only then did he move to safety. Immediately soon after, another loud bang was heard along with misting in the aircraft. The cargo door had opened in air and was hanging precariously from one side, aircraft tail support and cushions were sucked out and the entire cargo cabin was exposed to freezing conditions at 25,000 feet. He remained calm and avoided panic amongst the passengers by guiding them to take required precautionary measures and assuring them safety. Sgt Bipin Kumar displayed exemplary courage, dogged determination and devotion to duty even putting his life in danger while dealing with an unprecedented emergency. His prompt actions conspicuous bravery and presence of mind saved the life of 38 passengers in the aircraft. He also played a stellar role in the safe recovery of the badly damaged aircraft as it flew across treacherous terrain and landed back at base. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Sergeant Bipin Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
L Nk Amrik Singh 9083049 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : 9083049 Lance Naik Amrik Singh was on the posted strength of a Defence Security Corps Platoon attached to Air Force Technical College (AFTC)since 17 Aug 2008 till he died on 07 Jan 09. He had been performing the duties as guard at AFTC. On 17 Dec 2008, Late UNk Amrik Singh while on guard duty, single handedly foiled an attempt of theft in AFTC camp by five masked intruders, who had entered the camp by scaling the boundary wall. Though, the intruders were in possession of sharp edged weapons, he challenged them to surrender. The intruders retaliated by pelting stones at him. As he was continuously attacked he fired three rounds in the air from his service rifle. The intruders did not heed to the warning shots and continued pelting stones. Unmindful of his own safety he fired fourth round on the thigh of one intruder who was incapacitated and apprehended by him. The other four intruders managed to escape. This prompt and gallant act by UNk Amrik Singh despite serious threat to his own life ensured safety of life and government property of the prestigious college. The incident made headlines in major News Dailies and was well appreciated by Civil and defence security forces. Late UNk Amrik Singh was an outstanding soldier whose conduct and sense of duty was exemplary and worthy of emulation by the DSC cadre. He was a highly motivated soldier with exceptional sincerity, commitment and dedication to service. On some earlier occasions too, he had displayed exemplary courage in thwarting trespasses in the Camp by undesirable elements. The UNk succumbed to a massive heart attack on 07 Jan 09. For displaying exceptional courage and bravery in the face of intruders, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Lance Naik Amrik Singh (Posthumously).
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Naseem Akhtar 14279 F(P)Unit : AFS Hakimpet  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Air Commodore Naseem Akhtar, SC (14279) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 23 Jan 1976 in the Flying Branch of the IAF In a career spanning over 32 years, the officer has held several important command and staff appointments that include Chief Flying Instructor at a Flying Training Establishment, Chief Operations Officer of a frontline Fighter Base, Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron and Station Commander of an Air Defence base providing Air Defence cover to the National capital and area around. The officer was also on deputation abroad as the Team Leader of a strategic and prestigious project of international importance in Tajikistan, besides serving as the Deputy Assistant Chief in the Defence Intelligence Agency. For his act of gallantry in flying, he was awarded the Shaurya Chakra by the President of India in 1987. Air Cmde Akhtar was appointed the Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Hakimpet on 02 Apr 2007. Immediately on taking over, he was nominated as the Chairman of the Parachuting Event, a part of the Military World Games, which was to be held at Air Force Station Hakimpet from 14 to 21 Oct 2007. He studied the scope of the task and comprehended the requirements exceptionally well. He conceived and meticulously planned a host of activities, which would form the basis of creation of the necessary infrastructure for the Mega event being held in India for the first time. Using the tenets of financial propriety, he ensured judicious expenditure of Public and Non-Public funds to the tune of Rs 1.84 crores towards the preparations and the conduct in a flawless manner. Despite the constraints of a busy flying station, he enthusiastically rallied all the available, albeit meagre resources, and synergised them for an extremely effective output. The professionalism and the qualitative fervour with which this grand event was conducted was not only appreciated but also commented upon as unprecedented in the history of the Military World Games by the officials. The same was highlighted in the media and by other visiting dignitaries as well. The task, in all its splendor, was achieved within the station resources and without any additional manpower or other resources. With his leadership, foresight, accurate planning and drive, Air Cmde Akhtar was able to provide the necessary direction to the personnel of his Station, who rose to the occasion in achieving the daunting and challenging task of conducting such an event of international significance in an exemplary fashion, thus providing a boost to the image of the service and the country. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Naseem Akhtar SC.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Arun Kumar Singh 14616 AE(L)Unit : BRD  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Air Commodore Arun Kumar Singh (14616) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics), commissioned in the IAF on 15 Jul 1976, has contributed through several key assignments during his distinguished service spanning 32 yrs. The highlights of contribution have been as Director Signals (Air), Commanding Officer of a Communications Hub and the command of a Type Training School. Currently, the Air Officer Commands one of the biggest Base Repair Depots for major repairs and overhaul of all Ground based Air Defence Weapon Systems. In his early years, having undergone training abroad on Radars, the officer was instrumental. in inducting and networking the first set of these Radars into the IAF Air Defence set up. Never looking back from then on, through sincere work and zeal for excellence, the officer has made his place in IAF as Radar and Communication Specialist. Worthy of recognition, the officer has been commended four times, once by the CAS and thrice by the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief. On taking over the Base Repair Depot on 01 Feb 2007, he was confronted with the constraints of spares shortage and repeated failures due to vintage technology. The officer took up the challenge. His innovative revamping of the resource management process, extensive & involved market surveys and purposeful thrust in motivating the staff brought about a virtual turn around resulting in production and supply of more than 14 Power Plants to the field units, maintenance of adequate backup and Task Achievement Figure of more than one. The same spirit was again in the forefront to ensure an uninterrupted and unhindered spares and product support for sustained operations of INDRA Radars during operational deployment last year. Recently, the officer undertook the most daunting task to manufacture the "TABLEAU" representing the glory of the IAF in its Platinum Jubilee Year. From idea generation to visualization, from design conceptualization to vendor identification, from funds/ resource mobilization to team motivation, it was an unenviable challenge. The task execution truly represented his clarity of purpose, commitment and problem-solving leadership non-peril. For his professional competence and distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Arun Kumar Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Naginder Mohan Vaishnavi 14822 AE(L)Unit : Software Development Institute  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Air Commodore Naginder Mohan Vaishnavi (14822) Aeronautical Engineer (Electronics) was commissioned in the IAF on 04 Jan 1977. In 31 years of distinguished service, he has held several important appointments, such as Commandant Software Development Institute, Stn Cdr, Command Signals Officer of an operational command, Senior Engineering Officer (Electronics) of a front-line fighter base as well as Project Engineer of INAS Integration Organization (nO) and RCPO. He is an Engg Graduate with Masters Degree in Engg from Indian Institute of Science. As Project Engineer in no, his innovative design capability was optimally exploited, resulting in successful integration of Head up Display, Weapon Aiming Computer and FUR pod on the Jaguar aircraft. While at Radar Communication and Project Office, the officer was involved in design of various subsystems such as Digital Data Acquisition System, Fault Alarm Transmission System and Signal Switching System meant for enhancing capability of communication performance monitoring system. With a natural acumen and flair for electronic fault analysis, while posted at AF Station Gwalior, the officer set up a repair lab and successfully rectified several complex electronic PCBs and Test Stations which otherwise had to be sent abroad for repair, thus contributing to huge savings in foreign exchange, apart from enhancing the operational efficiency of the aircraft fleet. As Station Commander of a Signal Unit, he brought about a marked improvement in communication facilities apart from enhancing the living conditions for all personnel of the station. His excellent co-ordination with civil authorities resulted in improvement of power supply to the station which resulted in avoidance of numerous works services, saving almost Rs. 27 lakhs. For overall improvements, both in technical and administrative functioning, the station was awarded the "Best Tropo Unit" trophy for year 2006 during his command. As Commandant Software Development Institute, through his professionalism, dedication, perseverance and optimal utilization of software resources, the institute was able to successfully implement several software projects. Successful completion of these projects has resulted in increased operational efficiency, as well as, saving of considerable amount of foreign exchange. The officer's innovative ideas, finding intelligent and cost-effective software solutions, selecting carefully weighed options and guiding the entire team of software engineers in a focused manner, have resulted in high quality output for every task executed. For his professional competence, dedication and devotion to service and distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Naginder Mohan Vaishnavi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Packiriswamy Kanakaraj 15066 AE(M)Unit : Air Armament Inspection Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details : Air Commodore Packiriswamy Kanakaraj (15066) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was commissioned in Ju11977. During his 31 years of distinguished service he has held many important appointments in IAF, Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance and Defence Research and Development Organization. He was the Senior Engineering Officer of a MiG-21 Squadron, Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of Air Force Station, Jodhpur, Commanding Officer of Air Armaments Inspection Wing (AAIW), Khamaria and is presently the Principal Director Engineering A at Air HQ. He is a Post Graduate in Propulsion Engineering from IIT Madras and has undergone Long Defence Management Course at CDM Secunderabad. The officer's in-depth knowledge and expertise on aero engine was of immense help in establishing the cause of a number of MiG aircraft accidents. His contribution to Life extension and Reliability studies has enabled the IAF to exploit the ageing Russian aero engines. As CEO at Air Force Station, Jodhpur, during Op Parakaram, modification of MiG-27 aircraft and MI-8 helicopter with Electronic Warfare system was successfully undertaken by him. As CO, AAIW, he was instrumental in providing the required impetus to production of the 100-120 kg bombs, thus saving valuable foreign exchange. In his present appointment as, Principal Director Engineering he handles a wide variety of Russian fighter aircrafts, he has been responsible for planning and execution of SU-30 upgrade and various other upgrade programmes. His proactive interaction with HAL on various technical and supplies related issues have resulted in overall improvement in serviceability of Russian Fighter fleet. He has skillfully negotiated a number of contracts for supply of spares with various foreign vendors and was able to obtain appreciable discount. His analytic mind and ability to anticipate likely grey area for remedial measures are his strength. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Packiriswamy Kanakaraj.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

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.
Pages 1 2