Awards for the year 2013


A total of 68 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 22 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Anil Chopra 13368 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman 13606 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Satish Pal Singh 13770 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Arup Raha 13910 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Rajinder Singh 13980 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Jagdish Chandra 14613 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Herikudru Babu Rajaram 14939 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Dattatray Keshao Pande 15081 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Narendra Bahadur Singh 15635 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Bipin Bihari Prasad Sinha 15748 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria 16026 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Sardar Harpal Singh 16071 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ashwani Kumar Nabh 16608 Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Suresh Singh 16941 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Manavendra Singh 16983 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sandeep Singh 17312 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Rajendra Nalsinghrao Gaekwad 17845 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Radhakrishnan Radhish 17853 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
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Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Gurkirat Singh Sohal 24181 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Gurkirat Singh Sohal (24181) Flying (pilot) is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI squadron since 22 Jun 09. On 13 Dec 11, Wg Cdr Sohal was detailed to fly an Airframe and Engine Check sortie in Su- 30 MKI aircraft. The sortie was uneventful until the aircraft got airborne. Just after getting airborne, the aircraft yawed and rolled viciously to the right and this was noticed by the Air Traffic Controller as well. Wg Cdr Sohal immediately initiated the recovery action and continued to climb to safer heights. The oscillations continued to be violent and dangerous. However, Wg Cdr Sohal quickly decided to ascertain the cause and dared to fly the misbehaving aircraft. He overlooked his personal safety in a desperate attempt to try and get the aircraft under control to effect a safe recovery. Since there were no system failure indications, he applied his logic and knowledge to systematically isolate the systems, which could have caused such a condition of flight. A visual inspection by another aircraft revealed that the aircraft was oscillating viciously and the rudders were fluttering from end to end. During this whole process, Wg Cdr Sohal managed to somehow keep the aircraft pointing away from a populated village, so as to reduce the risk of damage to life and property on ground in case of an ejection . When Wg Cdr Sohal reduced speed to lower the undercarriage, the oscillations increased and the aircraft went out of control. As the aircraft was no longer controllable, ejection was the only option available with the pilots, and after a 22 minutes long ordeal, Wg Cdr Sohal initiated ejection, but not before he had ensured that the aircraft was directed away from the populated village. His presence of mind, when faced with a life threatening situation, helped in preventing loss of many innocent lives on ground. During the post accident analysis, the OEM's mathematical model for such an emergency had indicated loss of controllability of the aircraft beyond first few minutes. The sheer courage displayed by Wg Cdr Sohal for the attempted recovery from such an unprecedented emergency was unparalleled and earned praises from the OEM. The courageous actions of Wg Cdr Sohal to explore all possibilities of recovering the crippled aircraft and to prevent any loss of lives on the ground in spite of an imminent threat to his life were most commendable and exemplary. For his exceptional courage and flying skills in the face of a life threatening situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Gurkirat Singh Sohal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Chickmandya Girish Deepak 24487 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Chickmandya Girish Deepak (24487) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of flying Instructors School at Air Force Station Tambaram as a Directing Staff since 10 Nov 08. On 31 Jan 2012, he was tasked to fly an instructional sortie on Kiran Mk II aircraft with Squadron Leader K P Singh as the trainee pilot. While coming in to land, he experienced an engine flame out below the minimum height for attempting an engine relight. After an unsuccessful attempt to jettison the canopy, he ordered his co-pilot to eject through the canopy. As the co-pilot ejected, he noticed that the aircraft was approaching over a populated area. Even as the speed of the ac was reducing rapidly, endangering his own safety, he steered the aircraft clear of the populated area below. Once sure that the trajectory of the ac was in a safe direction, he carried out an ejection. His extremely prompt re-action resulted in successful ejection by both pilots as well as the aircraft crashing into a safe area. Post ejection, Wg Cdr CG Deepak maneuvered his parachute skillfully to avoid obstructions and landed safely. Unperturbed by his own injuries, he located the co-pilot, ensured his safety and initiated measures to contact' Air Force officials at the base. In the meanwhile, a large number of people had started gathering around, he controlled the crowd to prevent any further damage to the accident site. With his ingenuity, by taking help from the crowd he facilitated the spotting of the accident site for the search and rescue operation by a helicopter. Knowing fully well about the risks of ejecting through an aircraft canopy and availability of critical time, Wg Cdr Deepak went well beyond the call of duty to ensure that the crippled aircraft was turned away from populated area, which prevented any collateral loss of life and damage to civil property. He displayed exceptional nerve and professional courage in the face of imminent danger to his life. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Chickmandya Girish Deepak.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Siddharth Chopra 29487 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Flight Lieutenant Siddharth Chopra (29487) flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a An-32 Squadron in Eastern Sector since 09 Jan 12. He is holding CAT(IR 'C/Green' with 630 hours as captain on type. Fit Lt S Chopra was tasked with a Free-fall Para drop sortie for the Akash Ganga Skydiving Team over Royal Calcutta Turf Club on 24 & 25 Feb 2012, with several dignitaries in attendance including Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command and extensive media coverage. While he was on downwind for a dummy circuit at 8000 feet on 24 Feb 12, one pressure door bracket was found broken after opening the ramp. With the ramp already open, he decided to complete the Para drop and thereafter recover the aircraft with the ramp open to prevent any further damage. Keeping in mind the next day's final mission and aircraft servicing requirement Fit Lt S Chopra decided to carry out a landing with the cargo door in the opened position at Air Force Station Barrackpore. While approaching Air Force Station Barrackpore for a landing, the prevalent strong wind and turbulent conditions added to the control difficulties faced by the pilot. Any harsh manoeuvres would have severely endangered the safety of the aircraft and the lives of the personnel on board. Giving utmost priority to the safety of the aircraft and the personnel on board, Fit Lt S Chopra maintained precise flying parameters to prevent any further damage to the delicate ramp suspension. Before the landing was carried out, he executed a precautionary overshoot to assess the winds and turbulence conditions. Due to the delicate condition of the aircraft and the necessity to land with the ramp in the opened position, which was further compounded by existence of tall trees on short finals and the shorter runway, Flt Lt S Chopra was compelled to land the aircraft with a steeper approach perspective with 38 degree flaps which is not normally practiced. Using all his piloting skills, professionalism and courage, he executed a flawless approach and carried out the stipulated three-pointer landing without any further damage to the ramp. His act of safe recovery of the aircraft ensured that the aircraft snag was rectified and the aircraft was available for the next day's successful drop that was well appreciated and may not have happened otherwise. Flt Lt S Chopra displayed exemplary courage and decision making ability by recovering the aircraft safely from a critical emergency situation and also by saving the precious lives of all its occupants with his commendable flying skills at the time of need. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Siddharth Chopra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Air Cmde Mulpuru Venkat Rama Rao 18115 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Mulpuru Venkat Rama Rao (18115) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 06 Dec 85. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and College of Air Warfare. He has more than 8150 hrs of accident free flying including 2900 hrs of instructional flying to his credit. His past assignments include Chief Flying Instructor at Fixed Wing Training Faculty, Station Flight Safety & Inspection Officer and Chief Operations Officer of premier transport bases. Gp Capt MV Rama Rao took over command. of a Transport Squadron on 26 Apr 10. In his relatively short period as CO the Squadron has flown a total of over 6500 hrs including 2000 hrs on HS- 748 aircraft. Under his professional leadership, able guidance and supervision, the squadron attained very high standards of professionalism and operational excellence. The squadron achieved an enviable target of 100% categorization of pilots in Sep 11. A bold and dynamic leader who leads from the front, he personally undertook the challenging task of the first ever para drop at Haa Valley (Bhutan) from a height of 15000 feet by a Dornier-228 aircraft. His leadership synergised the entire squadron as a team and many initiatives emerged to optimize the available resources. Drawing upon his experience of functioning in important operational appointments and through demand of exacting standards from all, Gp Capt MV Rama Rao has been instrumental in planning and execution of infrastructure development in the squadron. It is largely because of his vision and initiative that the squadron is today equipped with state of the 'art briefing hall with modern training aids, a Tarmac Monitoring Section, an AirWarrior Cafeteria, a parking shed for Aircraft Support Vehicles, PU flooring for the hangar and a new Flight Line Mechanic (FLM) training section. The new FLM training section was declared a 'Centre of Excellence' for FLM training by Western Air Command (WAC). Significant infrastructure development in a very short period with critical attention to detail has led to enhancing the quality of life of the personnel and actively contributing towards raising their morale. A true professional who constantly strives for progress, he has led the squadron to achieve excellence in Operational, Maintenance and Administrative spheres. This has resulted in achieving a very high degree of motivation and professional pride amongst the personnel of the squadron. As a result of his sustained and dedicated efforts, the squadron was adjudged the 'Best Transport Squadron' of WAC for the year 2010-11. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Air Commodore Mulpuru Venkat Rama Rao.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Air Cmde Bakul Vaikunthrai Upadhyay 18281 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Bakul Vaikunthrai Upadhyay (18281) Flying (Pilot) Air Commodore Bakul Vaikunthrai Upadhyay (18281) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 07 Jun 86. A Right Hand Seat Check Pilot he has flown An-32 and IL-76 aircraft and has logged 6,900 hrs of incident free flying. He was held numerous important appointments like Flight Commander of a transport squadron, Chief Operation Officer of a transport base, Command Flight Safety and Inspection Officer at HQ Maintenance Command and Operations 11 A at HQ WAC. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College from France and was commended by Chief of the Air Staff in 1998. He assumed the command of Paratroopers Training School (PTS) on 21 Jun 10. Under his command the unit flew 5961 hrs against the allotted task of 5670 hrs and participated in all the major exercises of Central Air Command, Western Air Command and South Western Air Command. His nurturing of younger aircrew operationally resulted in 35 aircrew upgrading their Category / Instrument Rating. During his tenure, the unit had maintained one of the highest average serviceability in the in An-32 fleet. Laying special emphasis on improving the working conditions of airmen he created a ground crew rest room, provided coffee making machine, recreational facilities including dish TV and provided many other amenities. PTS has one of the oldest infrastructures, which was in urgent need of repair/replacement. He pushed for and got approved a new Parachute Packing Repair and an aircraft Servicing hangar, a new Daily Servicing Section, renovation of Ground Training Faculty hangar, frequented by foreign military dignitaries, and a servicing hangar. Due to this a positive environment was generated in the unit reflected by the unit being adjudged as 'Average Plus' by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in 2010 and winning the 'Best Transport and Helicopter Unit' of CAC in 2010-11. He encouraged conceptual thinking for Special Operations by Transport Combat leader course. Combat Free Fall operations in mountainous terrain as part of Exercise Shock Effect were planned and executed for the first time ever. The long pending affiliation of PTS with Para Regiment to commemorate the famous Tangail Drop' materialised primarily due to his initiative. As President Mess Committee Officers' Mess he led his team to transform the environment and ambience of the Officers' Mess. The same was acknowledged by all senior officers who attended Aerospace Safety Meet and Air Defence Seminar of HQ CAC. Setting a fine example and leading from the front in Nov 2011 he successfully completed a highly challenging and physically demanding Para Basic Course on the eve of Silver Jubilee celebration of IAF Sky diving team 'Akashganga' which is placed under him. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Air Commodore Bakul Vaikunthrai Upadhyay.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Dhananjay Vasant Khot 19516 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Dhananjay Vasant Khot (19516) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 11 Jun 88. A Cat '1 Qualified Flying Instructor, he is fully operational on three different fighters and has flown over 3000 accident free hours. Graduating from flying training with the Sword of Honour, Group Captain Khot performed at exceptional level in all inspections, Exercises and Gunnery Meets in squadron service. Completing Instructor Training in the US with the top grading, he was the first lAF pilot selected as a flying instructor with the United States Air Force. As flight Commander of a MiG-23 BN and a MiG-27 MLsquadron, his initiatives resulted in high operational preparedness during 'Op Parakram', and exceptional performance in Ex-Vayu Spardha 2004. He commanded a special role MiG-23 BN squadron which won three Gunnery Meet trophies and participated in two Air Force Day Fly-Pests, He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff in 1995, and the AOC-in-C Training Command in 1998. As the Joint Director Personnel Officers (Courses) at Air HQ handling professional general courses for more than 9000 officers, he revamped the process to make it participative and responsive to field units. As Director of Personnel (Policy), he was responsible for initiating many Human Resource Policies which were appreciated for farsighted policy development, and path breaking initiatives enabling higher promotion rates to Group Captain rank and evolving a model for re-employment of retired officers. He conceptualised and published the 'Blue Baatcheet' journal in three months, and provided policy support to many landmark legal cases. As Commanding Officer of the Aircrew Examination Board (AEB), he undertook multiple initiatives on the operational and administrative fronts. His review of the testing philosophy and pattern resulted in, comprehensive Orders bringing unprecedented clarity and operational focus in the testing process. Combined with 72 additional/unscheduled visits undertaken by AEB in this period, this rapidly improved the qualification state of lAF aircrew. The observations! recommendations of AEB after three special visits launched in the aftermath of accidents were implemented in full by Air HQ, resulting in a steep drop in accidents. He redesigned the curriculum for the Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiners (IRIE) Course and implemented it through personal effort and participation. During his tenure, the AEB's lAF-wide audit on Simulators fructified into guidelines for Air HQ to issue relevant orders. He has led the unit with strong military orientation and by personal example, instituting a culture of sports, physical fitness and discipline. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Dhananjay Vasant Khot.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Milind Kumar 20479 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Milind Kumar (20479) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 89. He is a Cat '1'Qualified Flying Instructor (QR) with 8300 brs of accident free flying on various transport and training aircraft (with 4000 hrs on IL-761IL-78ac). He has been an Air Force examiner, Flying Instructors School alumni and has had a tenure abroad as an Instructor and Team Leader of the IAF training team at Botswana. He was part of the pioneering team of professionals involved in initial Right Refueling Aircraft(FRA) induction from Tashkent He was commended by C/>S in 2004, has been the Right Commander and is now commanding the only aerial refueling squadron of the IAE As the Commanding Officer, his synergetic coordination with fighter squadrons innovative dovetailing of multiple missions has led to improved tanker utilisation, with significant improvement of receiver rate/hour from 4.16 to 5.006, leading to a 20% and 25% increase in the number of contacts and fuel transferred. He has operationalised the international concept of 'Connect/disconnect during a turn' with receivers & consolidated the multi tanker concept, thereby paving the way for maximizing the tanker utilisation in a restricted geographical area enhancing sub-conventional capability of IAE Under his aegis, the third centerline pod on the FRA has being revived after many years, which enhances refueling redundancy in critical missions. The squadron performed admirably during the last visit of Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and was adjudged a rare 'Above Average' in operations. He led the prestigious' Big Boy' Republic Day formation 2012 with immaculate precision. His close liaisoning with Software Development Institute completed the Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) planning software which was operationalised and validated in exercise Tropex-12. With his constant perusal of issues the fourth FRA was brought online. The AAR pod serviceability went up from 8 to 13 and flightline serviceability a very impressive 93.31% despite a six month detachment. Under his dynamic leadership, the full squadron successfully completed a first ever six month long detachment in the IL-761IL-78fleet. With his constant vigil, over two hundred personnel, four FRAs and many specialist vehicles flawlessly conducted 850 hrs of accident free IAF operations sharing operational area with fighters. His long tireless involvement at detachment location assisted in overcoming the administrative and mammoth maintenance challenges like Engine changes, Oleo change, pod changes etc. which needed meticulous coordination with the parent base. The squadron successfully anchored many exercises like Ex-Gauntlet, Ex-Dakshin Prahar, Ex-Tropex etc. including Omani Air Force, from multiple bases. His professional encouragement and guidance to juniors resulted in innovation of an indigenous Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS), at fraction of its cost in civil. Its installation at Air Force Station Agra is the first in Central Air Command and IAE Cross flying of FRA crew in fighter and vice-versa was envisaged and accomplished. He encouraged and facilitated the first ever Test Pilot from transport fleet for ASTE. He also planned and enabled the first in-land ferry of Sea Harriers of Indian Navy and completed the AWACS refuelling ground trial His compassion and concern for subordinates resulted in expeditious settlement of welfare issues of the families of the air warriors. His participative leadership displayed by personnel example inspired the squadron personnel and their families to actively participate in various sports and cultural activities. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Milind Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Neeraj Kumar 21257 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Neeraj Kumar (21257) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 15 Jun 91. He was the Commanding Officer of a frontline Helicopter Unit from 15 Dec 08 to 28 Nov 10. Gp Capt Neeraj Kumar has been the key person behind successful conduct of 'Op Triveni' the anti-naxal missions in the 'Red-Corridor'. He has been the pioneer in formulating and streamlining the tactics, techniques and procedures in the mission area which extends across eight states including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Gp Capt Neeraj Kumar through his professional knowledge and competence has led the way by example. He undertook extensive reconnaissance and surveillance missions to study the terrain and select area for landing zones. He was instrumental in formulation of flying tactics, techniques and procedures for safe operations in an extremely hostile terrain. He carried out in-depth analysis of various challenges in setting up detachments at non-IAF bases in Chhattisgarh, maintained a good liaison with his civil and paramilitary counterparts and despite numerous constraints he established two detachments at Raipur and Jagadalpur in a record time. In fact he undertook this task to such a perfection that the unit today boasts of over 2024 sorties, clocking more than 1500 flying hours, airlifting more than 230 tonnes of load, 15,120 troops and 126 martyrs. Additionally, the unit has conducted training in slithering operations for 763 personnel of the Para-military forces. Based on his threat analysis and analysis area of operation he formulated SOPs for anti-naxal ops. These SOPs are non-conventional in nature but has achieved a very high level of success despite numerous difficulties, which is evident from the fact that under his command unit flew more than 1500 accident free hours towards 'Op Triveni'. At the same time performance of the unit at base was highly praiseworthy. Unit took numerous tasks in its AOR including J&K sector. Also Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and Aircrew Examination Board reviews of the unit were extremely good and unit was declared best in gunnery. He always led from front and undertook calculated risk and displayed exceptional awareness and courage. He led many crucial and difficult missions including the operations post Dantewada massacre in which 76 CRPF personnel were killed by naxals on 16 Apr 10 and extraction/insertion of troops for numerous operations undertaken by the Chhattisgarh police and Para-military forces. Under his leadership, the detachments responded aptly. He has been a major motivating force for all aircrew of the unit to fly fearlessly in one of the most hostile and difficult terrains as on date. The very fact the unit personnel have manned four helicopter detachments for more than 15 months without any break most willingly and professionally, proves the leadership displayed by Group Captain Neeraj Kumar. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, the unit has excelled each day. This would not have been possible without an exceptional leadership, outstanding professional competence and self-belief. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Neeraj Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sampuran Singh Gahlaut 21503 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Sampuran Singh Gahlaut (21503) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 14 Dec 91. He is a Cat A 'Qualified Flying Instructor' (QFI), and an alumni of the Defence Services Staff College. He has 3500 hrs of accident / incident free flying, including 2000 hrs of instructional flying experience on numerous aircraft. His instructional flying experience includes two years tenure as a member of Indian Air Force Training Team at Botswana in addition to two tenures at the prestigious Flying Instructors' School (F[S) The officer has held the appointment of the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI), F1S since 26 Apr 10. The last two years have been a phase of uncertainty and transformation for flying training in IAF in general and FIS in particular. The stoppage of flying on HPT-32 aircraft resulted in the transfer of Kiran Mk [ aircraft and other assets from Air Force Station Tambaram to Air Force Academy (AFA).This had a cascading effect and consequently, QFI training had to be conducted simultaneously on different aircraft at two geographically dispersed locations, namely Tambaram and AFA. During this time, the officer displayed exceptional leadership skills and supervision of the highest order to ensure efficiency and safety of operations. This demanded speedy implementation of plans with dynamic decision-making ability. Subsequently, Kiran Mk II aircraft and the Cheetah helicopter were inducted at FIS for QFI training. This transition of training on to a new type of aircraft demanded revision and restructuring of entire' training syllabi, Standard Operating Procedures, Airborne Instructional Techniques and Briefing Guides. Using exceptional professional acumen, vision and vast instructional experience, Wg Cdr Gahlaut led his team of carefully chosen officers and accomplished this transition seamlessly. Addressing the specific causes of landing accidents in the [AF, the officer has played a pivotal role in devising effective changes in the QFI training. The FIS is presently conducting the largest QFI course ever in its history. Despite limited availability of critical resources, the officer with his characteristic initiative and drive has marshalled his resources effectively and harmonised Operational, Maintenance and Administrative activities to ensure smooth progress of training. The office is an epitome of personal integrity and moral uprightness. His immense contribution in steering the operations of Flying Instructors School efficiently and safely through an extremely turbulent phase is indeed exemplary. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Sampuran Singh Gahlaut.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Vashishth 21818 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Vashishth (21818) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 13 Jun 92. He is commanding a Mi-17 I V unit since 29 Nov 10. A Helicopter Combat Leader, he has more than 3000 hours of accident and incident free flying to this credit. Gp Capt Vashishth with his vast operational experience and astute leadership led the unit to unprecedented heights in 'Operation Triveni' during 2010-2011. The unit operated four helicopters, 1000 kilometers away from the parent base against the naxal threat in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and six other states. His relentless pursuit of objectives resulted in 2566 sorties and 1746 hours of flying in support of Para-military forces. He adapted intelligently to each emerging threat scenario and brought about continuous and ingenious changes in flying tactics to muster an accident free record in one of the most hostile peace time terrains. As a result, 'Op Triveni' brought a drastic reduction in the attrition rate of the ground forces and boosted their morale. The contribution was of national significance and was appreciated by one and all. Gp Capt Vashishth was nominated as Commander for conducting a first ever Special Heliborne Operations (SHBO) Training camp in Sep 2011 for aircrew of all Mi-17 I V units in Western Air Command (WAC). He rose to the expectations and conceptualised and executed a brilliant operational plan employing multiple assets in near realistic scenario. Within a fortnight, 15 pilots achieved fully operational status, thus enhancing the operational potential of Mi-17 I V fleet of HQ WAC significantly. Gp Capt Vashishth has several accomplishments to his credit during his command. The unit has been put up for Chief of Air Staff citation for its role in 'Operation Triveni'. It has undertaken more than ten successful joint exercises with Indian Army and friendly foreign forces of Seychelles, France and USA. Weapon delivery results have improved significantly and the unit has won 'Best in Rocketry' and 'Runners up in Gunnery' awards during Exercise Chakravyuh 2011. The unit has won six CAS commendations and seven AOC-in-C commendations. It has reversed the trend of accidents and incidents in the fleet, achieving 3400 sorties and 2200 hours of accident free flying. HQ WAC has recognised the facts and chosen it as the 'Best Helicopter Unit' of WAC in 2011. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sanjeev Vashishth.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Ran Singh 22110 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Ran Singh (22110) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 19 Dec 92. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) with total flying experience of close to 3000 hours. He has vast experience in ab-initio and MiG Operational Flying Training (MOFT). He has held several key appointments including that of a QFI, Station Aerospace Safety and Investigation Officer (SASIO) of an operational base and Flight Commander of a MiG- 21 squadron. As a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College he holds an MSc degree from Madras University. Presently he is commanding a MiG-21(Type -96) squadron. As a Qualified Flying Instructor the officer displayed exceptional instructional abilities and good understanding of ab-initio flying requirements. Towards this he was commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the 2003. As the SASIO of a front line fighter base his initiatives in controlling vegetation and bird menace within the airfield and its periphery were highly effective, thus ensuring a safe flying environment. His proactive contribution was appreciated and commended by the Chief of the Air Staff in 2008. Whilst being the flight commander of a fighter squadron he performed creditably and ensured high operational capability of the squadron while attaining the objectives set in a qualitative manner, without any accident or major incident. He assumed the command of a MiG-21(Type-96) squadron in May 2010. The unit has been entrusted with the onerous responsibility of undertaking MOFT of young pilots, graduating from various flying training institutions. Through his dynamic and effective leadership, the officer has ensured timely completion of various courses, while ensuring a very high quality of training. The unit also performed well all inspection visits by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and Aircrew Inspection Board. The instructional video presentation prepared by the squadron on the approach and landing of MiG-21 ac was of a very high order and has been disseminated to other units undertaking MOFT, as a model to follow in training the young aircrew. Under his command, the squadron has flown over 6300 sorties in nearly two years, despite the vintage of the aircraft and stringent requirements of MOFT flying. The officer's zeal, meticulous planning, effective supervision and leadership directly contributed in maintaining a high degree of professionalism and operational preparedness in the unit. For its outstanding achievements, the unit was also was adjudged as the 'Best Fighter Squadron' in Western Air Command in the year 2010. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Ran Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sucharu Rai 22119 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Sucharu Rai (22119) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 19 Dec 92. He is a Pilot Attack Instructor (PAl) and Qualified Flying Instructor. He had earlier held the key appointment of flight commander of a MiG Operational Flying Training (MOFT) squadron, which was adjudged the best fighter squadron in Western Air Command. . Gp Capt Sucharu Rai took over the command of a MOFT squadron on 26 Apr 10. He has led his unit from the front as by flying nearly 500 sorties during his tenure. He led special emphasis on improving the overall operational capability of the unit, be it in its war or peacetime role. As a result, he clearly spelt out his key result areas and went about his primary task with utmost diligence and dedication. Towards this, when there was shortage of supervisors, he even elected to stay in the unit when he was specially selected for a trip abroad, disregarding his personal gains. This commitment ensured that during his tenure, the unit achieved 6000 sorties, with an average of 800 sorties every quarter. This quantum of flying was among highest (sortie-wise) than any other fighter squadron in the IAF He also ensured that the severe backlog in training was not only cleared but the unit came in synchrony with the intake schedule of the trainees of IAF Apart from the increased quantum of flying, he also ensured that the quality of training and safety were paramount. This was evident when most courses passed out without a single accident or incident. Gp Capt Sucharu Rai has displayed total dedication and professionalism of a high order. He has led the squadron by his personal example. The officer consistently adopts a very systematic, fair and humane approach, which has improved manifold the working culture, environment and morale of the unit. In keeping with the highest tradition of the Indian Air Force, humble and enterprising, he is constantly finding solutions and achieving high standard in all sphere for others to emulate. His innate ability to interact with all officers of all branches, airmen and Non-Combatants (Enrolled) has earned him respect across the board, which has helped his squadron earn a very healthy reputation and appreciation from all levels. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sucharu Rai.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Hirendra Assudani 22137 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Hirendra Assudani (22137) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 19 Dec 92. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Pilot Attack Instructor. He is fully operational on MiG-21 Bis, Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI aircraft with more than 3500 hrs of flying experience. The officer is presently commanding a premier Su-30 MKI squadron since 28 Jun 10. As the Commanding Officer, the officer has led from the front and optimised the resources to achieve multiple tasks that include Strategic Photo Reconnaissance and special roles. He led the squadron to execute the longest ever Reconnaissance mission undertaken by the IAF, covering over 6500 kms. The squadron has achieved hundred percent of assigned task and exceptional results from all the reconnaissance missions undertaken have been of immense operational value for the Indian Air Force. The squadron was tasked to suggest a template for the Establishment Review for the entire Su-30 MKI fleet. The officer took on this additional responsibility upon him and assiduously made a convincing case for review of Su-30 MKI squadron establishment before the Air Force Standing Establishment Committee, formulating a template for all Su-30 MKIsquadrons. Gp Capt Assudani is a qualified low level aerobatics display pilot. He has participated in the Air Force Day and Republic Day Fly-pests of 2010, 2011 and 2012 wherein the exceptional standards displayed by him won many accolades for the Indian Air Force. As a display supervisor of low level aerobatics on Su-30 MKI ac, he has trained & supervised many aircrew. In Mar 2012, his squadron was awarded the coveted Presidential Standard. His flawless planning, efficient execution and ability to motivate fellow air warriors to work as a team resulted in immaculate conduct of the event. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Hirendra Assudani.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashish Srivastava 22523 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Ashish Srivastava (22523) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 21 Jun 93. The officer is a Cat 'Pi Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot. He has over 4700 hours of accident free flying on 13 different aircraft and has flown 2700 hours on all the version of the Jaguar aircraft. Wg Cdr A Srivastava was the Commanding Officer of a premier maritime strike Jaguar squadron from 24 May 10 to 18 Mar 12. As Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr A Srivastava with his professionalism and perseverance ensured that all the pilots in the squadron were able to achieve operational role qualifications in record time. In a short time frame of six months he ensured that the maritime dark night qualification in the squadron was enhanced from two to eight. The maritime !asking of the squadron has been done exceptionally well, wherein all the operational requirements were met both qualitatively and quantitatively. During his tenure the squadron planned and conducted International Level exercise 'Eastern Bridge-ll' with Royal Air Force of Oman at Jamnagar and performed exceedingly well. Under his able guidance the squadron did 21 exercises and 4300 hours of quality flying with a clean Aerospace Safety Record. For the operational preparedness of the squadron and the effective achievement of given task in most professional manner, the squadron was adjudged the Best Fighter Squadron of South Western Air Command for 2010. With the same professional vision, the squadron also won the coveted inter squadron Gunnery Meet, 'Ex Eklavya 2010' winning four out of eight events and he personally led two events. The all excellence of the squadron under his command was endorsed by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection wherein the squadron was assessed as 'Average Plus' in all the attributes of Operations, Maintenance and Administration. He also planned and executed the first ever Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) release on the maritime target by W ai/craft both in 2010 and 2011. The squadron under his guidance released 14 LGBs and all on targets. Under his command, the squadron also planned and executed the nonstop direct ferry of six fighters from Carnicobar to Jamnagar. On the maintenance side, he has used his expertise as a test pilot to study complex snags and suggest methods for effective technical management. This resulted in enhanced serviceability of the aircraft, Fire Control Radar and other operational system. With his all-round leadership, foresight, professional planning and positive attitude, he was able to provide a new purpose and direction to the air warriors in the squadron, who were motivated to achieve higher standards all the time. On the administration front also, he provided healthy and user-friendly environment to all the air warriors under his command and upgraded the squadron infrastructure as one of the best in the IAF.A disciplined officer who in unmindful of his personal comforts, he willingly undertakes prolonged hours of work and has been instrumental in bringing about professionalism amongst his squadron and his vision has made the squadron an epitome of hard work and harmony. The overall command and control exercised by his has produced a cohesive and professional squadron. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Ashish Srivastava.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sundaramani Krishnan 22933 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Sundaramani Krishnan (22933) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. The Officer is a Category 'Pi Qualified Flying Instructor. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College with "Directing Staff" grading and an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. He has held important assignments which include Directing Staff at the prestigious Flying Instructor School and Flight Commander of a fighter squadron. He is fully operational on MiG-21 BIS, Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI aircraft with over 3800 hours of accident free flying to his credit. The officer is presently commanding a SU-30 MKI squadron. Wg Cdr Sundaramani Krishnan, on assuming command, was tasked to resurrect the squadron with Su-30 MKI aircraft. He, with all honesty of purpose and sincerity of effort, operationalised the Su-30 MKI Squadron and formulated the concepts towards exploiting the operational potential of the aircraft. His timely intervention on critical issues ensured that the serviceability state was maintained as per operational requirement. The effective planning in flying effort resulted in all the under training aircrew posted to the squadron achieving 'fully operational' status. The squadron was also ready to undertake any operational commitment within a short period of resurrection. The first successful armament detachment was conducted within a period of six months of induction of the aircraft. The working ethos and a conducive atmosphere in the unit has enabled exceptional performance by the squadron in all exercises it had been tasked during the period. The squadron performed with flying colours during the recently concluded Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) and Aircrew Examination Board visits. The overall squadron performance was adjudged as "Average Plus" during the DASI visit and his effort in setting up of a model Su-30 MKI squadron was appreciated by all. He took active interest in ensuring that a large number of new technicians posted in squadron after Just-in-Time' training pattern, were effectively brought up to acceptable standards in a short period of time. The various welfare measures adopted by the officer ensured cohesiveness and a sense of belongingness among the personnel in the squadron. The initiative, involvement, meticulous planning, coordination and the successful execution of all tasks assigned can singularly be attributed to the dynamism, foresight and leadership of the officer. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Sundaramani Krishnan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sagar Madhukar Paranjpe 22945 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Sagar Madhukar Paranjpe (22945) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He has been staff at the Flying Instructor School and Hight Commander of a MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU). He has flown 2700 hours on various types of aircraft and is a Category 'PI. Qualified flying Instructor, UAV External Pilot trained in Israel and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. Wg Cdr Sagar Madhukar Paranjpe is the Commanding 'Officer of a MOFT Unit since 31 May 11. Under his leadership, the unit has flown 1683 sorties/865 hrs of accident free MOFT under training flying in nine months. He is a dynamic officer with exceptional professional knowledge and extremely analytical approach to all problems. He has implemented a unique model of time audit for officers as well as the airmen to instill a sense of time management, which was commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command and the inspection team from Directorate of Aerospace Safety. He is instrumental in innovating a unique audio-visual alarm system on a tractor that prevents accidents while towing aircraft, a unique and user friendly ground layout plan for role equipment and Ground Servicing Equipment, a towing line to help the tractor driver tow without turning his head back, and a camera-based flight debrief tool for under training pilots for solo sorties. He has implemented a procedure called 'Lakshman Rekha', for 100% tool check before signing of the aircraft servicing form by technicians. This is meant to prevent accidents/incidents due to missing tools. This procedure has been emulated by various other squadrons. With a view to enhancing knowledge on aircraft performance characteristics and prevent accidents, he has authored a booklet on the aerodynamics of MiG-21 aircraft which has been distributed by Air HQ to all the MiG-21 operating units. He has created a working environment in the unit that encourages professionalism and innovation. This has proven itself in five instances of safe recovery of aircraft by under training pilots with critical emergencies on MiG-21 aircraft, and no accidents or incidents. He has implemented a number of innovative computer based training tools to enhance the efficiency and quality of flying training. Mid-phase review of training implemented by him to help refine instructional techniques was appreciated by Aircrew Examination Board during their inspection. The confidence of under training pilots in the ageing MiG-21 T 77 ac has increased significantly due to his close supervision, high safety standards and exemplary instructional techniques. This has resulted in pilots opting to stay back in the squadron rather than get posted out after MOH For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Sagar Madhukar Paranjpe.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Kuntal Brata Bandhyopadhyay 22952 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Wing Commander Kuntal Brata Bandhyopadhyay (22952) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He has been posted as a Commanding Officer of MiG-21 T-96 squadron since 13 Jun 11. The officer is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Fighter Strike Leader, Pilot Attack Instructor and Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. As a Commanding Officer, he has displayed exceptional professionalism, ensured very high degree of operational preparedness and enhanced the combat potential of the squadron significantly. The squadron achieved a distinction of having all pilots upgraded to either 'Day Ops' or 'Fully Ops' status. With his exemplary forethought, meticulous planning and flawless execution, the squadron has not only been able to achieve all its assigned roles and tasks but also has been adjudged as the 'Best Fighter Squadron' of Central Air Command (CAC) for the year 2011-12. The officer has enhanced the knowledge level and flying skills of squadron aircrew to a very high level. The performance of the squadron in last Aircrew Examination Board visit was 'Above Average' in both Flying and Ground subjects. Due to bad weather and other constraints, the squadron undertook Heavy Armament detachment after a gap of ten months. In spite of the long break in armament training, the performance of all the aircrew in the Heavy Armament detachment was 'Above Average' to 'Exceptional' because of his able guidance and supervision. The squadron was also adjudged as 'Best in Armament' in CAC and won a total of eight Trophies in Individual and Team Events which is a testimony of his capability. Various initiatives and innovations have been undertaken under his guidance. Integrated Carrier Bomb Light Stores Tester developed and fabricated at unit level was adjudged as the 'Best Innovation' in CAC and received a Cash Award in the Chief Engineering Officer / Senior Logistics Officer Conference of CAC. Other initiatives undertaken by him namely, thorough implementation of Right Line Mechanic concept with 90 to 100 % achievement of training status, Quality Circle/Quality Inspection Concept, Tool Crib Management Study and development of e-library Software have been highly appreciated by Air Officer Commanding-in- Chief, CAC and Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, HQ CAC. His administrative acumen has resulted in exceptional administrative practices, face lift of the entire squadron complex and initiation of Work Services for improvement of squadron infrastructure. Apart from being an exemplary professional, he is an epitome of organisational capability. He possesses excellent leadership qualities and has been a good motivator to all air warriors. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Kuntal Brata Bandyopadhyay.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Umesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria 22906 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 19 Aug 12 Announced 15 Aug 13
Details : Wing Commander Umesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria (22906) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Cheetah Cheetal Helicopter Unit at one of the Northern most bases of the Indian Air Force since 04 Jul 11. On 19 Aug 12, Wg Cdr UKS Bhadauria was authorised to lead a two helicopter formation to search and rescue a critically injured German national, who was part of a joint German-Italian team of mountaineers which was climbing up Nun peak. The team was hit by an avalanche in which one German national sustained severe injury while two porters were missing. The expedition requested for an air rescue through their organising agency and the embassy in India. Despite the very limited time and sketchy information available. Wg Cdr UKS Bhadauria along with his crew members displayed extreme swiftness and professionalism in planning the mission which included the route and fuel planning. power margins and a plan to execute the search and rescue. After carrying out a detailed analysis and assessment of the situation, he ensured that the formation was airborne in the shortest possible time. Using his judgment and navigation skills, he reached the avalanche site just a few hundred feet below the Nun peak even though the co-ordinates provided were way out. He started a search pattern at 23000 feet which is the service ceiling of the helicopter. He quickly spotted the foot tracks coming down from the avalanche site and followed it to spot the casualty. He found that the camp site was at 19000 feet. Also. the site was located in a place with very little manoeuvring space. Despite the deteriorating weather. he reattempted a landing to pick up the critically injured casualty. The inhospitable terrain coupled with negligible reserve of power and turbulence in the area made the task extremely challenging. However, he remained undeterred and used his experience and well calculated judgment to execute an extremely difficult approach to land on an unprepared surface in a very restricted space. The casualty was taken on board without wasting any time and the rescue team landed back at Leh within three hours. This act of valour by Wg Cdr UKS Bhadauria, wherein he led the mission efficiently in the face of inhospitable terrain and extremely demanding conditions, showcases the highest level of leadership. professionalism and exceptional courage. This daring rescue from the dizzying heights of the Himalayas was widely reported by media and has enhanced the glory of the Indian Air Force well beyond national boundaries. For the act of exceptional courage, professional competence and successful execution of the rescue mission in the face of the inhospitable terrain and extremely demanding conditions, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Umesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav 22976 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 28 May 12 Announced 15 Aug 13
Details : Wing Commander Alok Kumar Yadav (22976) Flying (Pilot) is posted as the Commanding Officer of a frontline operational Mi-17 helicopter unit in the North-Eastern sector since 19 Mar 12. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Helicopter Combat Leader and has been a Directing Staff at the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He has flown over 4000 hours on various helicopters. On 28 May 12. Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav was authorised to fly an NVG (Night Vision Goggle) conversion instructional sortie. On take off leg his trainee pilot experienced a yaw to the starboard side and the crew monitored 'Engine High Vibration' light on. At the same moment Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav saw a ball of fire erupting from the starboard engine. He immediately took over controls. appreciated the situation and announced his decision to force land the helicopter on a clear field in the reciprocal direction of take off. During the reciprocal turn he ordered his Flight Engineer to switch of the enflamed engine and operate the fire extinguishers, but the fire continued to blaze. Considering there were already other helicopters on NVG in the circuit, he promptly gave an RT call informing the other helicopters. He carried out a safe landing on the selected field in a truly professional manner. After landing he immediately. along with his crew, vacated the helicopter and directed the fire fighters to the spot. A reconstruction of the entire profile confirms that he had barely 10 seconds to appreciate the emergency. correlate his position relative to the runway and monitor the traffic before taking a decision. If that window of time was lost either due to delayed appreciation or lack of judgment, it would have proved catastrophic as it would have caused a major fire related explosion in the air and recovery would have been impossible. Added to the difficulty level was the fact that he was on NVGs with limited field of view and vision. He quickly assessed that if he continued on the take off leg he would not be able to clear the habited surroundings, which would have proven catastrophic, hence he decided to land in the reciprocal direction on a clear field despite being low in height. In doing so he displayed, exemplary courage. thereby living up to the gallant tradition of the Indian Air Force. Post flight inspection revealed that the starboard engine of the helicopter had caught fire and parts of the engine had melted due to its raging intensity. Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav, thus, displayed extreme professionalism and bravery in the face of a deteriorating air situation and an impending danger to the life of personnel on board. His gallant act ensured safe recovery of the entire crew and the helicopter. For his act of courage in the face of a grave emergency and display of absolute resolve to handle the regressing situation which resulted in saving service assets, lives on ground and on board the helicopter, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Alok Kumar Yadav.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Gaurav Bikram Singh Chauhan 26106 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 19 Feb 13 Announced 15 Aug 13
Details : Squadron Leader Gaurav Bikram Singh Chauhan (26106) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI squadron since 10 Oct 11. On 19 Feb 13. Sqn Ldr Chauhan was tasked to fly an Air to Ground strike mission over Pokhran range. He was authorised to fly as a Weapon System Operator (WSO) onboard a Su-30 MKI aircraft laden with 18 x100 kg bombs. The objective of the mission was to showcase the immense fire power and accuracy in weapon delivery of the Su-30 MKI in 'Ex Iron Fist'. The mission which was undertaken by night from Air Force Station Jodhpur was a part of the full dress rehearsal for the final event. The mission was executed by Sqn Ldr Chauhan. wherein he as the WSO, assisted his pilot in carrying out a flawless strike and made good the Time on Target' to employ his formidable weapon load. Subsequent to the trigger press by the front pilot. a sortie that was uneventful, rapidly unfolded into one of the most dramatic chain of events witnessed in recent aviation history. The release of bombs from the aircraft was almost instantaneously accompanied with a loud explosion in the vicinity of the right wing. This was followed by the aircraft being engulfed in a large ball of fire and breaking up into several parts in mid-air. The explosion on the right wing caused it to be ripped off at the root and the aircraft viciously spiraled downwards in an uncontrolled trajectory with a very high rate of descent. Sqn Ldr Chauhan was hit in the face by shards of the canopy that shattered with the first explosion. This caused him to sustain several lacerations and wind blast injuries. The spiraling and tumbling motion of the cockpit caused him to be subjected to severe lateral and negative gravitational forces causing an uncontrollable flailing of his limbs thus preventing him from reaching the ejection handle. Despite negligible vision in the darkness of the desert sky which was further obscured by facial bleeding caused by his injuries, he made a superhuman effort to push himself against the burning railing of the cockpit, accessed the ejection handle and successfully operated it. This resulted in both the pilots ejecting safely. Eye witness accounts and video footage of the incident indicate the undeniable presence of a large explosion near the wing. This resulted in a bomb exploding in the proximity of the aircraft followed by sympathetic explosion of several bombs whilst still under slung on the aircraft. The situation thus presented before Sqn Ldr Chauhan undoubtedly qualifies as one of the rarest occasions in which an aircrew's honed instincts as a professional are put to the ultimate test. In the face of such an unprecedented situation wherein the aircraft burst into flames with no warning of an impending failure, Sqn Ldr Chauhan displayed exceptional courage, situational awareness and uncommon reflexes in extricating himself and his crew member from a distressed aircraft. His act of bravery truly exemplifies the heroic and camaraderie that exists amongst the aircrew that operate in such a fragile and unforgiving environment. For his act of exceptional courage and presence of mind in the face of a potentially catastrophic and life threatening situation. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Gaurav Bikram Singh Chauhan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Omar Browne 29006 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 25 Sep 12 Announced 15 Aug 13
Details : Squadron Leader Omar Browne (29006) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Su-30 MKI squadron since 04 Jun 12. On 25 Sep 12. Squadron Leader Omar Browne was authorized to fly a 2 Vs 1 training mission as the Captain on Su-30 MKI aircraft along with a Under Training Operations Weapon System Operator. Flying Officer Shobhit Mishra (31485) Flying (Pilot). Thirty minutes after takeoff, while engaged in the second air combat situation at an altitude of 4.2 km and speed 790 KMPH, the pilot experienced severe restriction in the forward movement of the control stick in his cockpit. This prevented the aircraft from achieving normal rate descent to lower altitudes. Retaining his composure during this unusual emergency, the pilot called off the combat and analysed the situation with remarkable professionalism. He checked all cockpit indications meticulously, cross checked controllability of the aircraft from the rear cockpit and assessed the feasibility of executing a landing with limited Rate of Descend (ROD) using full nose down longitudinal trim and maximum forward pressure on the control column. This was further aggravated when on lowering the undercarriage the aircraft nose started pitching up and control stick jammed in the neutral position with no forward movement at all. As a result the longitudinal control was possible only with limited longitudinal trim available. Demonstrating exceptional skill and composure under high stress. the pilot could achieve a max ROD of 3-5 m's only with trimmers at a speed of 430-410 KMPH in landing configuration. Without any panic the pilot took a calculated risk and decided to attempt a landing after deliberation on the possibility to climb up and abandon the aircraft in case unable to land. Squadron Leader Omar Browne regulated fuel to make the aircraft light and executed a long and shallow approach with 2-3 m, s ROD using only the trimmer till flare out. Even after touchdown the pilot could not lower the aircraft nose wheel with stick force and had to resort to the use of forward trim. Finally the pilot was able to execute a safe landing from this grave situation. Post flight analysis by the court of inquiry revealed that the control stick was not moving ahead of the neutral position due to mechanical blockage of the control run by a loose metallic strip getting stuck at the lower portion of control column. The pilot has demonstrated immense courage, highest level of professionalism, superlative decision making backed by knowledge and exceptional flying skills to recover the aircraft from an otherwise inevitable accident. For his exceptional display of courage and flying skills in the face of a life threatening situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Omar Brown.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Shivkumar Nilkanthrao Pohare 29184 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 23 Aug 12 Announced 15 Aug 13
Details : Flight Lieutenant Shivkumar Nilkanthrao Pohare (29184) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MiG-29 Squadron since 15 Jun 09 and has been performing the duties of Squadron pilot. On 23 Aug 12. Flt Lt SN Pohare was authorized to lead a two aircraft Combat Air Patrol (CAP) versus Strike plus Escorts mission as CAP leader in a MiG-29 aircraft. After getting airborne, while proceeding to the exercise area, at a distance of 38 km from base. altitude of 5.1 km and speed of 600 KMPH, the canopy perspex of the aircraft shattered. This resulted in explosive decompression and perspex shards hitting the pilot on his left shoulder. The helmet visor also broke due to the effect of wind blast. He immediately realised the gravity of the situation and initiated recovery maintaining control of the aircraft which had nearly full fuel in a calm and composed manner. He also realised that the aircraft compass had become unserviceable and the Hand Held Global Positioning System had stopped indicating as its antenna had been damaged due to the perspex flying off. At this stage, the weather in exercise area was overcast with cloud base at 1.2 KM and thick layer of clouds up to 3.3 KM. There were also several rain patches in the area, making it even more challenging to recover the aircraft, Flt Lt SN Pohare, with exceptional presence of mind and courage. skirted the oil installations and populated area in vicinity of the airfield and positioned north of base for a slow speed check. Braving personal discomfort due to injuries and deteriorating weather situation. the pilot carried out a slow speed check to ascertain the handling characteristics whilst being monitored by another formation member who had joined up with him for providing assistance. Notwithstanding the reduced frontal visibility, very high cockpit noise level and high aircraft weight. he skillfully positioned himself for an emergency landing with radar assistance and executed the same in a flawless manner, without any further damage to the aircraft. Throughout the emergency handling. Flt Lt SN Pohare maintained utmost calm and composure, displayed exceptional courage and presence of mind and thorough professionalism in keeping with the highest traditions of Indian Air Force. His actions in handling such an unforeseen critical emergency, which is not documented for MiG-29 aircraft, not only saved him and the aircraft, but also prevented possible catastrophic damage to neighboring strategically important and vital Petro-chemical installations and populated areas. For this act of exceptional courage, very high standards of professionalism and contribution to aerospace safety Flight. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Lieutenant Shivkumar Nilkanthrao Pohare.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kacheri Madathil Sivarama Menon Pradeep 15818 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Kacheri Madathil Sivarama Menon Pradeep (15818) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an engineer in the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) Branch on 02 Jul 79. The officer has held several field and staff appointments during his service career. He has been a Specialist Radar Officer and Senior Technical Officer at various Guided Weapon squadrons, Commanding Officer of Electronics Standards Calibration Team (ESCT) and the Station Commander of a Signals Unit. He has also held staff appointments as Command Signal Officer (Air) at Southern Air Command and Director Radar (Non-ADGES) at Air Headquarters. In recognition of the highly challenging and responsible nature of duties performed by him as part of the Combat crew in Surface-to-Air Guided Weapons (SAGW) Squadron, he has been awarded the coveted SAGW badge. During his tenure as the Commanding Officer of ESCT, he was instrumental in revamping calibration procedures for SAGW test equipment, identification of indigenous substitutes to test equipment to counter their non-availability from OEMs and indigenisation of microwave devices that were resulting in unserviceability’s to test stations. It was during his tenure as the Commanding Officer of a Signals Unit that the first Network Operations Centre cum Data Centre of the IAF was set up. In recognition of his distinguished service and devotion to duty, he was awarded the Commendation by Chief of the Air Staff on 26 Jan 04. Air Cmde KMS Pradeep is presently the Principal Director Guided Weapons Maintenance at Air Headquarters. As part of the modernisation plan of AD weapon assets of IAF, a large number of SAGW systems are under various stages of induction. There is an in-depth involvement of the officer at every stage in each of these projects based on his first hand working experience on erstwhile SAGW systems. This is bound to ensure that the systems under induction would continue to meet the operational requirements of IAF with an appropriately tuned maintenance philosophy for years to come. His proactive approach in reviving the operational potential of the existing ageing GW fleet through overhaul of OSA Combat vehicles, revision of maintenance philosophy of Pechora system so as to conserve their operational life and refurbishment/life extension of Pechora, OSA and IGLA missiles are bound to pay rich dividends in ensuring that optimal op capability of SAGW systems is maintained until induction of new systems. His liaison with High Explosive Materials Research Laboratory for stretching the life of Pechora missiles beyond their extended life would result in 60% additional availability of missiles while refurbishment has been delayed due to production constraints at Ordnance Factory Board. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Commodore Kacheri Madathil Sivarama Menon Pradeep.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sunil Jayant Nanodkar 16555 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Sunil Jayant Nanodkar VM was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 11 Dec 81. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 3900 hrs of accident free flying. He is an a1umnus of the Defence Services Staff College, the College of Combat and the National Defence College. In his 30 years of distinguished service, he has held several field and staff appointments. These include Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron, a Directing Staff at two premier institutes of the IAF- the flying Instructors School and the Defence Services Staff College. He was Director Tactical Operations at Air HQ, during this tenure he planned and led the first overseas major Air Force Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder-04 in Alaska. He has commanded two frontline major air bases of the IAF as a Station Commander and Air Officer Commanding. He is currently the Principal Director Aircraft (Operations Tactical) since 29 Nov 10. His professional expertise, dynamism and inspiring leadership have given the directorate a team that is efficient, motivated and thus highly productive. His initiative, foresight and intelligence has contributed immensely towards the meticulous analysis of the weak areas having direct implication on the overall offensive capability of the IAF. Many issues related to weapons and offensive platforms have been streamlined because of his personal involvement. His persistent endeavour, drive and insistent interaction with various agencies in the IAF, Ordnance Factory Board, DRDO and the academia have resulted in increased availability of weapons and more importantly a clarity in the way forward. Additionally due to his endeavour a comprehensive fuzing policy and weapon assessment criteria review have been done. The directorate has been able to boast of having reviewed all the Standard Operating Procedures as well as the Orders and Instructions related to all the platforms and weapon systems due to his initiative. For the distinguished service of a high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Commodore Sunil Jayant Nanodkar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Mysore Ananthapadmanabhasharma Sridhar 17027 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Mysore Ananthapadmanabhasharma Sridhar (17027) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an air traffic controller in the administrative branch on 29 Dec 82. During his service, he has held important appoints of Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at Air Force Station Agra, Air Force ATC Examiner and Joint Director Air Staff Inspection at Air HQ, Station Information Technology Officer & Senior Instructor (Adm) at Air Force Administrative College and Chief Administrative Officer of a major flying station. He is presently posted as Command Works Officer at Headquarters Training Command since 26 Apr 11. He has successfully completed the 52 Air Staff course at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington in 1997. Gp Capt MA Sridhar is an intelligent, sincere and diligent officer. He has the ability to conceptualize and plan improvements in his sphere of influence. With his experience during inspections, he has shown remarkable application in taking a holistic view of the tasks in identifying the limitations of existing systems. With his dedication, meticulous approach and concerted efforts he has been instrumental in laying the foundation of e-learning process of the Distance Education element for the courses conducted at Air Force Administrative College. During his tenure as the Chief Administrative Officer of Air Force Station Bidar, he has been responsible for the infrastructural development post induction of the Hawk Mk 132 aircraft. Due to his concerted efforts, a 28 aircraft hangar has been approved for the station. Due to his perseverance, he has also been successful in the release of 373 Prefabricated Dwelling Units for airmen married accommodation as a Special Project. Within one year post induction of Hawk aircraft, the revision of policy page for the Station as well as two Hawk Training squadrons and consequently the revised Establishments for these units were approved in 2011. As Command Works Officer, he has streamlined the functioning and introduced innovative methods for faster processing of Works Services. During the year 2011- 12, despite the delays in approval of list, the works services released for Training Command exceeded the designated ceiling. Additionally, planning and execution of Runway Resurfacing (Special Projects) at Bidar and Tambaram were diligently undertaken without disrupting the flying training. Further, the budgetary expenditure by stations under Training Command was very well managed as per the targets. Gp Capt MA Sridhar has demonstrated extraordinary ability to be team leader and produce results with speed and accuracy. Besides setting a personal example, he has an ability to muster unflinching support of his subordinates to form a highly motivated and dynamic team with a purpose to enhance effectiveness. He has displayed a deep sense of responsibility, unflinching devotion to duty and total dedication to the service. His eagerness to anticipate, innovate, and enthuse have been motivational factors for his subordinates. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Sew Medal to Group Captain Mysore Ananthapadmanabhasharma Sridhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Soumitra Kumar Dey 17030 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Soumitra Kumar Dey (17030) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the administrative branch on 29 Dec 82. In his 29 years of distinguished service, he has held many important appointments including Chief Administrative Officer (CAdm 0) of a flying station, Assistant Provost Marshal, Deputy Provost Marshal (Air), SO to the VCAS and JD Works at Air HQ etc. At present the officer is posted as Principal Director Org (Ceremonials) at Air HQ An alumnus of DSSC, Air Cmde SK Dey has been commended by the CAS, AOC-in-C and GOC-in-C. The officer with his strive for excellence and ability to conceptualize out of box solutions has contributed immensely towards organizational objective. Inception of Air Force Dog Training School at 56 ASP as Dy PM (Air), meticulous planning, coordination and timely completion of works services of HQ WAC as JD Works, completion of many projects to improve the quality of life of air warriors as C Adm 0 are indications of his professional acumen. The officer as the leader of the Indian Project Management Team for resurfacing of runway at Jaffna, continued to persist with the pace of work despite severe adverse conditions and artillery attacks on the airfield on regular basis. In his present appointment he has ensured setting up of very high standards for ceremonial events, Air Force Band, Air Warrior Drill Team, Ceremonial Contingent, successful conduct of National, Service and Air Force level ceremonies including six President's standard presentation ceremony in last three years is testimony of his perseverance and indefatigable drive. His foresight, hard work and dedication greatly contributed in Air Force winning the Best Marching Contingent award in RD Parade consecutively for two years in 2011 and 2012, a feat never achieved before by any of the Armed Forces contingents. Cases of appointment of Commodore Commandants, regulating expenditure on ceremonial parades from Public Fund to save welfare fund, work related to new lAF on dresses have been pursued with due diligence and in short despite various constraints. The Air Officer also discharged the additional responsibility of PD Org (Adm) for almost a year, as PD Org (Adm) his main contribution has been towards ensuring 100% modernization of office equipment at all AF Stns/Units, providing vision to the planning and execution of the VRF air conditioning work, upgradation of electrical infrastructure and complete renovation of main foyer at Vayu Bhavan. For his distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Commodore Soumitra Kumar Dey.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Neeraj Srivastava 17787 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Gp Capt Neeraj Srivastava (17787) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in logistics branch on 21 Dec 84. He is a mix of a Logistician and an IT professional and has held appointments of Asst Dir (Comp Cat) at Logistics Information System at Air HQ, Systems Manager at 25 EO, Deputy Chief Logistics Officer at 26 EO, Director Management Information System at Air HQ and Senior Logistics Officer ( S Lgs 0 ) at a premier flying station. He has also been on deputation to Govt of Botswana as Air Logistics Advisor to Botswana Defence Force. He has an illustrious career and has always displayed high professional competence during each of his assignments. At 25 EO Devlali he was a key developer of Depot Logistics Management System where he migrated from Mainframe COBOL environment to Unix/Oracle System. During the Y2K crisis his ingenious solution saved the system from becoming nonfunctional, besides saving huge amount of time and resources. He is the creator of AOM Net Web site at Air HQ where he provided Web based access to Logistics Information System data and successfully digitised the voluminous regulations viz lAP 1501, lAP 1542 and Logistics Air Force Orders which are now very widely used in the IAF His performance as S Lgs 0 at AF Stn Adampur was exceptional and he provided an efficient Logistics Support to the operations and users and created self-service clothing store which was later emulated in many stations. As Director Integrated Materials Management Online Systems he undertook the development of now widely used Dashboards and also provided global stock visibility using innovative technique avoiding voluminous replication of data. He also implemented system and code optimisation that resulted in achieving drastic reduction in application response time. He has been awarded CAS Commendation in the years 1997 and 2000 for his distinguished service. Gp Capt Neeraj Srivastava is presently commanding 27 EO. He has undertaken the assigned tasks with great zeal and enthusiasm. During his short stay he has flawlessly handled the commitment of providing trailers for tableaux for RO Parade 2012. He has also achieved good progress in receiving, accounting and distribution of items repatriated from UN Missions. With no clear guidelines available for disbursement of the items, he undertook disbursement by displaying the items on the Web. This resulted in high movement of items and within eight months 60 percent items have been disbursed. Five aircraft loads and 4 container loads were also dispatched for IAF contingent in Raipur. In case of UN repatriated common user and specialist vehicles 76 out of 105 have already been distributed in this short span. He has displayed high degree of commitment and leadership in undertaking and achieving assigned tasks while maintaining high morale of the personnel of the depot. For his distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Neeraj Srivastava.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Prashant Mukund Vithalkar 17855 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Prashant Mukund Vithalkar, VM (17855) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 14 Jun 85. During the past 27 years of his distinguished service, he has held several important appointments including Commanding Officer of a Mi-8 helicopter unit, Team Leader of a Helicopter Project Monitoring Team and Station Commander of a frontline flying base. He has over 5300 h of flying to his credit on various helicopters in the lAF He was appointed as Air-Il at HQ Western Air Command on 01 Feb 11. He has ensured achievement of air maintenance task for two consecutive years despite of constraints pertaining to reduced availability of aircraft resources. Due to his proactive approach, the helicopter and transport fleet operations have been accident free. This was made possible by maintaining continuous channel of communication with Commanders in the field and passing on of Aviation Safety advisories on regular basis. Air Cmde Vithalkar has consistently worked towards enhancing operational status of the squadrons! units in the Area of Responsibility (AOR) despite reduced availability of flying effort for training. Special Heli Borne Operations and armament camps were organised by pooling-in of scarce resources in a realistic Air Defence! Attack Helicopter threat environment. The successful participation by the lAF aircraft in the Air Force Day, Republic Day Flypasts has been appreciated by all dignitaries and audience alike. The setting up of helicopter patrol for Delhi Integrated Air Defence Centre (DlADC) during many of the National occasions has contributed towards the Air Defence of national capital. As Air ll, his ability to plan, organise and conduct smooth operations has been on display in many of the bi-annual Command level Exercises and Indian Army Commands Exercise with Troops (EWTs). He has been responsible for induction of C-130 J aircraft (ac) and Mi-17 V5 helicopters in the AOR which involved overseeing readiness of infrastructure for induction as well as training programme for safe and early operationalisation of the new raisings. A close monitoring of projects by him has paved way for future inductions of ac in the. AOR like WIP helicopter and C-17 Globemaster ac. In addition, smooth merger of IL-76 Sqns and operationalisation of IL-78 ac from two different bases in the AOR has been noteworthy. The transport and helicopter assets have been effectively utilised for the move of fighter squadrons, air armament, Air Defence assets as well as maintenance support for operations. A fortnightly maintenance courier services to Base Repair! Equipment Depots have been instituted which shall help in upgrading the serviceability status of all the fleets in the AOR. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde Prashant Mukund Vithalkar, VM.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Nrip Kumar Mehta 17886 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Nrip Kumar Mehta (17886) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the Administration branch on 14 Jun 85. Gp Capt NK Mehta has been Adjutant, Security Officer and Works Officer at various major operational bases. He has also been Instructor at Air Force Academy and Chief Admin Officer at premier operational Air Force Station. He has the unique distinction of being Command Works Officer to two frontline operational commands. He has been posted as Command Works Officer at HQ South Western Air Command (SWAC) since 14 Nov 2011. He has been commended twice by AOC-in-C in 1993 & 1997 and twice by the CAS in 2000 & 2002. As manager of Air Force Aquatic Team, the only time the team won the overall Services Championship and he represented Services in National Games in 1997. During 27 years’ service Group Captain Mehta has executed works services at five major bases and two of the largest operational commands with far reaching and enabling impact on the operational preparedness and quality of life in IAF Working from grass root levels to conceptual level of compiling lAP 2501, the bible for Works Services and Married Accommodation in the IAF This was mammoth task of combining 13 Air Force Orders and tempering it with practical project management principles with stress on maximising time, quality and cost in works services. Using innovative ways in energy saving, he has substantially saved electricity tariff in a number of bases. He has painstakingly consolidated land records where none existed and evicted encroachments. Keeping in with the pace of expansion of lAF,23 land acquisition cases are progressed with efficient liaison with civil authorities. Synchronising operational infrastructure with new induction in his forte without neglecting married accommodation, messes, billets, sports and medical infrastructure. At a premier air force base, he successfully inducted a frontline transport aircraft and conducted two Air Force Parades in 2010 & 2011. As Command Works Officer at HQ SWAC, Gp Capt NK Mehta is constantly in touch with the field units and Military Engineering Services to ensure meticulous planning, expeditious processing, efficient execution, close supervision and timely maintenance. Works Services worth Rs. 280 crores have been released and Rs. 600 crores is ongoing towards expeditious completion. His proactive approach backed by deep knowledge of works procedures has ensured no delays in induction of new weapon systems and timely completion of Runway Resurfacing. He is instrumental in completion of major projects of Chiloda and Phalodi with quality and cost consciousness. In the years to come, the operational and infrastructural robustness of SWAC would bear testimony to the meticulous planning, astute fund management and efficient project management of Gp Capt NK Mehta. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Nrip Kumar Mehta.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Savinder Pal Singh 18116 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Air Commodore Savinder Pal Singh (18116) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 06 Dec 85. He has commanded a fighter squadron and has served as Chief Operational Officer of two premier fighter bases of Western Air Command. During all these tenures, there were no incidents! accidents. He has also functioned as Director Strategic Intelligence in Strategic Force Command. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He has undergone Higher Command Course at MHOW, where he was awarded the Commander's medal for research work on nuclear capabilities in the region. He has attained first division in both MPhil and MSc (Defence studies) degrees. He has been commended twice by the Chief of Air Staff and awarded three stars of flight safety. In his previous appointment as Commanding Officer, of one of the Tactical Air Centre (TAC), he earned the admiration from commanders at all levels of South Western Command (Army), for his initiative in conducting training seminars and joint operational exercises up to Brigade level in the concerned Corps zone. The unit also conducted the highest number of Counter Surface Force missions in Exercise Gauntlet- III and IV Under his leadership, the unit was adjudged as the 'Best TAC' for the year 2011. He is presently Air Officer Commanding of a frontline Air Force base since 04 Jul 11. During his command he has made number of value additions in the base on all fronts. The base has always performed exceptionally well in all exercises including Gauntlet V and VI. Under his guidance, the base undertook seamless induction and sustained operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft unit for five months that culminated in their successful operational employment in Ex-Gauntlet VI. He, with his extraordinary acumen, clarity of thought and perseverance, was able to get the work services for initial induction of Su-30 released in the record shortest possible time. Professionalism with involvement and commitment has been the core values with which he has completed every task assigned to him. He not only focussed on operational orientation but also ensured welfare and created opportunities for overall development of his subordinates and their families, with special emphasis on education for children. He, with his extraordinary leadership qualities and compassion has created a highly motivated team which is regarded with professional admiration in Western Air Command. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Commodore Savinder Pal Singh ,
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sadhana Saxena Nair 18197 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Sadhana Saxena Nair (18197) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the medical branch on 03 Dec 85. The officer has been Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of three different stations including AF Sin Pune. In all her tenures the officer has distinguished herself with her professionalism and commitment to task. The officer was commended by AOC·in·C, WAC in 2001 whilst she was SMO at Air Force Station Arjangarh and by CAS in 2006 while serving as SMO, 13 Base Repair Depot. The SMCs that she headed have been adjudged 'Best SMC' of Command on several occasions. All through her service, she has placed a premium on staying updated with the latest in her profession. Towards this, she completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Maternal & Child Health in 2001 and a two year course in Medical Informatics from AIIMS, New Delhi in 2008. She has authored two studies, one on 'Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in School Going Children in an Air Force Camp in New Delhi' in 2005 and the other on 'Response of Patients and OPD Registration Staff of a Multispecialty Government Hospital to computerisation of OPD Registration' in 2007. The officer also submitted a project on 'Software Requirement Specifications for Computerisation of Station Medicare Centres of the IAF' to Air HQ in 2008. On assuming charge as Deputy Principal Medical Officer (DPMO) in Mar 10, the officer leveraged her considerable experience and newly acquired computer skills to improve efficiency at Command level bringing about significant improvements in spheres such as Patient Care, Local Purchase Procedures and Medical Boards. The officer single handedly designed and developed the Southern Air Command (SAC) Medical Web Site which contains the latest and extremely useful information for all the medical officers in the periphery. She has excelled on the professional front too. Despite having no hospital under this command, she organised a Continuing Medical Education seminar on 'Medicare in Field Units' at HQ SAC - the first of its kind since the inception of SAC. Camps for 'Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and Awareness', 'Bone Density Screening and Awareness' and Diabetic Biothesiometry Screening and Awareness' were organised by her during her present appointment and received excellent response. In keeping with the operational role of Southern Air Command, she organised a seminar on 'Aeromedical Aspects of Maritime Air Ops and Long duration fighter flying· another first of its kind. The seminar won all round accolades. The officer shouldered additional responsibility of being an executive committee member of AFWWA (R) at HQ SAC and has displayed commendable work towards smooth conduct of welfare activities without at any stage compromising performance of her primary duty. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Sadhana Saxena Nair.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vijay Kumar Garg 18493 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 13 Announced 26 Jan 13
Details : Group Captain Vijay Kumar Garg (18493) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an engineer in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) branch on 19 Aug 86, He has been on the posted strength of the Directorate of Engineering Transport (Western) since 30 May 11 and has been functioning as the Director. Gp Capt VK Garg has professional approach and positive attitude and has experience on various fleets viz Jaguar, IL-76 and C-130, He excelled as a Cat 'Pi Flight Engineer on IL-76 aircraft and was instrumental in finalisation of a number of SOPs for operations from high altitude and short runways, As the Commanding Officer of No 2 Balloon Barrage Unit, he ensured effective deployment of unit during 'Op Safed Sagar' on a forward base, During his tenure at one of the fighter air base, the officer single handedly and successfully extended maintenance support to two Jaguar squadrons deployed at their Op locations during 'Op Parakram'. Gp Capt Garg was also responsible for successful implementation of 'Just in Time Training' concept while posted at Directorate of Training at Air HQ. Gp Capt VK Garg was the Chief Engineering Officer of Air Force Station, Yelahanka, a premier flying training establishment. He successfully steered the limited resources at his disposal, to ensure time bound completion of enhanced training task, amounting to annual flying task of approximately 20000 hours on five different types of aircraft and helicopters, as well as all maintenance requirements during Aero India -2011. Through his active involvement, hard work, and effective and close supervision, the officer ensured completion of such enormous task without a single incident attributable to Human Error (Servicing). In his present appointment as Director Engineering Transport (Western), the officer is responsible for seven different types of aircraft, from oldest operating transport aircraft, Avro to latest inductions C-130J-30 (Super Hercules), C-17 (Globe Master-lII) and the WIPNIP fleet BBJ, Embraer and Dornier. Monitoring and controlling maintenance of such large varied inventory of aircraft pose multitude of challenges and call for involvement, dedication, detailed planning and multitasking, which Gp Capt VK Garg has successfully achieved. His active interaction with HAL ensured high availability of ageing Avro fleet. By regular interaction with various national and international agencies and meticulous planning the officer ensured successful induction of C-130J-30 aircraft in the IAF His professional approach, resolved many maintenance issues with the manufacturers to ensure trouble free operation of aircraft in the long term. The officer is effectively utilising his professional acumen in planning and designing the maintenance system for C-17 aircraft, to ensure successful induction of this fleet. His active follow up has ensured progress of modification and repair task by M's Boeing on BBJ aircraft well ahead of schedule. For distinguished service of a high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Vijay Kumar Garg.
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.
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