Awards for the year 2014


A total of 87 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Kirti Chakra : 1 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 13 | Shaurya Chakra : 4 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 32 | Vishist Seva Medal : 31 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Dhananjay Parashuram Joshi 13905 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Priya Ranjan Sharma 13927 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Jasvinder Chauhan 14079 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Ravi Kant Sharma 14088 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Pramod Kumar Roy 14100 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Daljit Singh 14553 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Darryl Castelino 25107 F(P)Unit : No.157 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 25 Jun 13 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details :

Wing Commander Darryl Castelino was detailed as the Captain of the Mi-17 V5 helicopter in the disaster relief operations being undertaken by the Indian Air Force in the hilly terrain of Uttarakhand.

A large number of pilgrims had been stranded in the narrow valleys of Kedarnath, for over five days without food and water. Despite being inducted with very little warning from a different operating area, Wg Cdr Castelino in the spirit of a true air warrior, rose to the occasion and promptly commenced undertaking rescue operations from 21 Jun 2013 onwards. In spite of marginal weather, and lack of experience in the area, within a short span of just four days, the officer flew over 22 critical rescue missions, resulting in saving more than 190 pilgrims who were stranded in the worst affected areas of the Kedarnath valley. The officer’s sense of Zeal and enthusiastic commitment to the noble cause of saving as many lives as possible, motivated his comrades to rise to the requirement of the occasion.

On 25 Jun 2013, Wing Commander Darryl Castelino was tasked to move essential supplies and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams to Kedarnath, located at an elevation of over 11000 feet and rescue stranded pilgrims from Kedarnath during the return sorties. On that day Wg Cdr Castelino carried out three sorties which were undertaken under deteriorating weather conditions. During these three sorties, he was successful in saving of 80 precious lives. Even though weather conditions continued to deteriorate progressively, making flying extremely hazardous, disregarding his personal safety, Wg Cdr Castelino decided to continue with his mission as he realised that every additional shuttle executed would help in saving more lives. Under rapidly darkening skies, the determined officer pressed on with a single minded focus of saving precious lives. During the return leg form Kedarnath to Guptkashi his helicopter impacted on the steep slopes of valley resulting in the office making the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

Wing Commander Darryl Castelino displayed acts of conspicuous courage, professional competence and valour for undertaking high risk of mission to save precious lives in hostile weather conditions.

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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Devinder Singh Khajuria 15073 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Mahesh Kumar Malik 15743 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Hemant Sharma 15941 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Nalin Kumar Tandon 16030 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Raj Karan Singh Shera 16315 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Pandurang Narayan Pradhan 16403 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kuldeep Sharma 16541 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Navkaranjit Singh Dhillon 16580 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Rajiv Dayal Mathur 16772 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Rajesh Isser 16968 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sujeet Pushpakar Dharkar 17841 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pankaj Mohan Sinha 17842 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sanjeev Kapoor 18089 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Aditya Prakash Singh 23172 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Nikhil Naidu 23986 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Shaurya Chakra
Flt Lt Krishnamoorthy Praveen 30394 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
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Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Huvey Upadhyaya 25850 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 14 Announced 15 Aug 14
Details :

On 01 March 2014, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya while on an air maintenance sortie in Siachen region received an urgency message from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) stating that an Army ALH helicopter had not returned to Base Camp and was not contactable. Wg Cdr Upadhyaya displayed courage, initiative and high situational awareness in reacting to the prevalent situation. He offloaded his helicopter at the helipad and set course in search & rescue of the overdue Army helicopter. Undeterred by the fast deteriorating weather and discounting his personal safety, he continued searching for the helicopter. He located the wreckage of the crashed helicopter at an altitude of 17, 600 feet. The terrain of the crash site was undulating, mired by deep crevasses covered with soft snow and had a high slope gradient. The strong winds prevalent at that time made landing the helicopter in the area an extremely difficult task. Even a delay of five minutes would have led to closure of the weather window and the rescue opportunity would have been lost. This would have led to certain death of the pilots of the crashed helicopter due to extreme cold, high altitude, shock and injuries. Exhibiting utmost courage and exceptional flying skills, Wg Cdr Huvey Upadhhyaya landed his helicopter in between the crevasses near the crash site. While on partial power, he hovered his helicopter ensuring that edge of the helicopter ski was in light contact with the soft snow and rescued the injured pilots. Throughout this operation, he was under constant threat of enemy observation. Even a slight mishandling of helicopter controls during the operation would have led to a catastrophic accident. Through his valiant act under trying and near impossible conditions, he saved the lives of two army pilots and accentuated the spirit of jointmanship.

For his act of exceptional courage, resolute determination and extraordinary flying skills, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya was awarded of SHAURYA CHAKRA.

Reference: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=108769 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ravi Chandrashekhar Pathak 23746 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Ravi Chandrashekhar Pathak, VM (23746) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 16 Dec 95 and is Commanding the Sarang Display Team at Air Force Station Sulur with effect from 07 May 12. He is an Experimental Test Pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor. He has flown over 4100 h on 21 different types of aircraft. On 20 Jun 2013. Wg Cdr RC Pathak was tasked to undertake Disaster Relief Operations (Op Rahat) in Uttarakhand as the Detachment Commander at Gauchar. He carried out an aerial reconnaissance to assess the unique requirements to undertake this complicated task and realized that there were thousands of sick and injured people stranded in the valley and only quick air evacuation could save their lives. Moreover these missions had to be undertaken in hostile weather conditions, from makeshift landing areas at high altitudes, requiring the helicopter to be flown on the fringes of its flight envelope. Realizing the enormity of the task in hand. Wg Cdr RC Pathak volunteered for the first mission and landed at Gaurikund, Junglechatti. Garudchatti and Kedarnath. These evacuations were carried out in a short time frame from highly restricted areas bounded by obstructions which included trees, wires and rocky outcrops with no ground assistance. Despite being involved in planning and supervision of both flying and ground activities and coordination of rescue effort, Wg Cdr RC Pathak flew 41 critical missions. including winching down of Garud commandoes at 9000 feet and evacuated 111 personnel. Wg Cdr RC Pathak had the challenging task of planning and executing Disaster Relief Operations in the backdrop of a huge natural calamity, from a makeshift base at a short notice with severe constraints in terms of fuel, administrative and logistics support. Through sustained intense operations under his command, the detachment airlifted 2700 personnel and inducted 20 tons of relief material. By leading from the front, in the service of the nation, Wg Cdr RC Pathak has displayed exceptional valour, professionalism and operational leadership. For the act of exceptional courage displayed in evacuating stranded personnel from Kedarnath valley during 'Op Rahat' Hon'ble President is pleased to award Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Ravi Chandrashekhar Pathak, VM.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Mukesh Kumar Yadav 22920 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Mukesh Kumar Yadav (22920) Flying (Pilot) is the First Commanding Officer of a newly inducted Mi-17 V5 helicopter unit since 23 Jan 2012 and has over 5300 hours of flying experience. Gp Capt Yadav was detailed as Detachment Commander at Dharasu during Op Rahat. On reaching there. he immediately took stock of the situation and correctly ascertained that the operations would be hampered due to shortage of fuel. Based on his analysis, he along with his team worked relentlessly through the night on 21 Jun 13 to prepare the unused Advanced Landing Ground to enable the C-130J to land. His herculean efforts resulted in the ALG being declared safe for the landing of C-130J and ensured fuel supplies for helicopters without which the entire rescue operation ex-Dharasu could have come to a halt. On the night of 22 Jun 13, he was informed that there were approximately 3000 civilians at Harsil. some of whom were critically injured and required immediate evacuation. On 23 Jun 13. the weather in the Harsil sector was not conducive for any helicopter operations. Displaying exceptional innovativeness, the officer decided to utilize overflying weather recce aircraft to guide him in negotiating weather in the valley and relay radio communication to the following helicopters. In an unprecedented move. not caring for his own safety. he quickly briefed his entire team and got airborne. In an extremely courageous and calculated manner. he maneuvered the helicopter through inclement weather and in an unfamiliar narrow valley up to Harsil. This bold and considered decision of the officer allowed the rescue operations in the Harsil sector to go on inspite of the extreme limitations imposed due to the inclement weather, unfamiliarity with the terrain and extremely limited maneuvering space. His innovative approach led to the formation of a Hell-bridge between Harsil and Dharasu and resulted in 108 sorties being flown, 982 critically injured ill civilians being rescued and 11050 kgs of food and medicine being dropped for the remaining people. A total. 533 sorties were undertaken under his dynamic leadership, of which 97 sorties were piloted by him. evacuating 5488 people and airlifting 74000kgs of relief material in just six days. Despite physical hardships as a result of non-stop work round the clock for all these days, he continued to inspire all with his extraordinary courage. spirit of selfless sacrifice and exceptional flying skills. For his exceptional courage to fly the mission in extremely inclement weather conditions and innovative technique adopted to reach inaccessible areas. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Group Captain Mukesh Kumar Yadav.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Vijay Yadav 22909 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Vijay Yadav (22909) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 05 Mar 94. He took over command of an Advanced Light Helicopter unit on 01 Aug 11. At a time when the unit was undergoing induction of ALH MK-III and with shortage of experienced aircrew for the new aircraft, he led by example and was one of the first to fly the new machine in the treacherous operating conditions of Operation Rahat. He flew extensively in the flood hit area in Kedarnath valley and rescued numerous stranded pilgrims while operating from Gauchar, Guptkashi and Joshimath helipads. On 01 July 2013, he was tasked with the mission of evacuating casualties from the Badrinath. He successfully negotiated the inclement weather and carried out shuttles to rescue stranded and sick pilgrims. All of these missions were carried out in marginal weather where the aircraft was operating at the limits of its capabilities. With inclement weather hampering operations also in Kedarnath valley for almost a week, he displayed highest standards of courage, leadership and maturity and planned and executed missions in the limited window of clear weather to drop relief materials, Doctors and NDRF personnel. As Detachment Commander at Gaucher, he exhibited exemplary maturity and skills in ensuring mission accomplishment in the most professional manner. During the entire operation he was inspiration for the unit pilots to emulate and evacuated more than 200 stranded pilgrims himself. It was only due to his meticulous planning that availability of ALH MK-1 and ALH MK-III helicopters was ensured for uninterrupted relief operations. Under his exemplary command and guidance, the unit flew more than 260 hrs, 600 sorties, evacuated more than 1900 stranded pilgrims, tourists and foreign national and dropped more than 60 tons of relief materials in the inhospitable terrain of the flood affected areas of Uttarakhand. For this act of exceptional courage. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Vijay Yadav.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Abhay Satish Parandekar 23567 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Abhay Satish Parandekar (23567) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Helicopter Stream of the Indian Air Force on 17 June 1995. He is a Category 'A Qualified Flying Instructor and a Helicopter Combat Leader. He is presently posted as Commanding Officer of a Mi-17 V5 helicopter unit at Air Force Station Phalodi. On 23 Jun 13, he was informed about a group of foreign nationals stranded in the middle of gushing Bhagirathi river near Harsil, which had already crossed the danger mark. The river was swelling by the hour and any delay could have cost precious lives. On receipt of this information, he took on the onerous job of rescuing these people. On arrival at the spot, he saw that the river was in full spate and there was no place except a small patch of land surrounded by water left for landing the helicopter. Additionally, there were high tension wires running along the river valley. Further, the weather was deteriorating. Correctly analysing the situation, he decided to attempt a landing on a small patch of land which was slowly getting submerged with rising water level. With utmost precision and dexterity, he manoeuvred the helicopter so as to affect hover with one wheel in light contact with ground. All 17 foreign nationals and three Indians stranded were rescued safely. Wg Cdr AS Parandekar displayed exceptional courage in effecting a successful rescue despite extremely challenging conditions. Thereafter, as the Detachment Commander at Joshimath and Pithoragarh, he continued the flood relief operations for next one month during which he flew 255 sorties which in effect saved 2344 lives and led to the induction of 78.6 tonnes of relief load. This was the most by any pilot operating in the area of operations. Under his guidance, 158 HU flew a total of 287:05 hrs while rescuing 4443 people for Op Rahat which is the highest among all the participating units. For his act of exceptional courage, dedication to duty, unflinching determination beyond call of duty and display of valour to save people and give them succour, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Abhay Satish Parandekar .
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Felix Patrick Pinto 23569 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Felix Patrick Pinto, SC (23569) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mil7 helicopter Unit and in command of the unit since 15 Apr 13. On 18 Jun 13, in the aftermath of the disastrous floods at Uttarakhand, the entire nation witnessed a turmoil in which thousands were swept away. The civil administration was desperate to have the correct evaluation of the damage. Wg Cdr FP Pinto with three helicopters of his unit was tasked to undertake the rescue mission. He being the most experienced and senior-most pilot of the detachment immediately took charge of the situation and after detailed planning and coordination with civil administration, led the first IAF mission into the Kedarnath valley. Despite the inclement weather in the treacherous valley, he flew the first recce sortie carrying the representatives of state administration. On seeing the stranded people in the Kedarnath bowl, he took a quick decision to land on the unprepared surface at an altitude of 11000 ft. closest to the temple and established that ground for IAF operations. He thereafter took off with several stranded survivors and carried out numerous shuttles for a safe evacuation of 76 survivors on the first day. He continued with the gallant act thereafter and was instrumental in saving 892 survivors in the subsequent sorties. His exceptional professional acumen and meticulous planning led to valiant execution of challenging missions for evacuation of pilgrims at Kedarnath. Regardless of personal comfort and safety. he flew tirelessly throughout the Op Rahat in the challenging environment under hostile weather conditions and landed at hazardous sites. He also carried out drops of 24 tons of ration and medicines. To exploit the limited window of weather and to increase the load carrying capability, he modified his helicopter to carry out a free drop of wood for the mass cremation at Kedarnath bowl. His gallant and selfless efforts during the initial phase of Op-Rahat paved the way for launch of one of the greatest rescue operations by helicopter in history. For this display of extraordinary leadership and exceptional courage under adverse operational circumstances, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Felix Patrick Pinto. SC.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Syed Muzaffar Yunus 23781 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Syed Muzaffer Yunus (23781) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Unit at Air Force Station Sarsawa with effect from 11 Jun 12. On 17 Jun 2013, the unit was tasked for 'Operation Rahat' in Uttarakhand. He was the captain of first rescue mission by a Mi-17 V5 helicopter to rescue distressed and injured pilgrims from an unprepared and restricted landing site adjacent to Kedarnath temple at an elevation of approximately 11200 feet. The inclement weather and hilly terrain, made flying the mission an extremely challenging and daunting task. He displayed unparallel professionalism and courage by landing at an unprepared and restricted site close to the standard pilgrims. He was quick enough to pick up the distressed pilgrims including 15 old women and exhausted men, in shortest possible time. catering for inclement weather. Throughout that day, he braved and battled against the weather and executed daring landings at untried and unprepared sites rescuing more than 100 persons. On 21 Jun 2013, once again, Wing Commander Yunus was part of the first Rescue mission at Badrinath, where thousands of pilgrims were standard, at an elevation of 10,300 feet. He displayed fearless determination and evacuated more than 350 pilgrims in one single day to Joshimath involving eighteen sorties. Wing Commander Yunus, with an irrepressible enthusiasm to save the distressed people, used his professional skill, knowledge and determination for successful evacuation for precious lives. During these operations, he flew a total of 96 sorties in 46:00 hours and rescued more than one thousand stranded pilgrims. For this act of exceptional courage and fearless determination, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Syed Muzaffar Yunus.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Kondam Munisubrayachetty Raghuraman 24038 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Kondam Munisubrayachetty Raghuraman (24038) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an ALH Mk III Helicopter Unit and has been performing the duties of the Flight Commander since 01 Aug 11. A Qualified Flying Instructor with vast instructional experience, he has been involved in training and bringing up the operational status of the Unit right from the induction of ALH Mk III. On 17 Jun 13. the Unit was tasked to position three helicopters at Dehradun to undertake relief operations towards Op Rahat. The dedicated officer, although being on leave at this stage. willingly surrendered his leave and rejoined to perform the duties of the Detachment Commander of ALH Mk III at Dehradun. Meticulous planning for crew combination, selection of helicopters and requirements for establishing a three heptr detachment was carried out overnight and all helicopters were launched at first light on 18 Jun 13. Wg Cdr KM Raghuraman. after deploying at Dehradun and assessing the criticality of the calamity, immediately swung into action with his team. For maximising rescue effort, in consultation with the Task Force Commander, he repositioned the detachment at Gauchar ALG. Leading by example and utilising his entire experience of the hills, he carried out a recce of the affected area and nominated the rescue zones. The nominated areas, Gaurikund and Jungle Chatti had restricted space for landing due to heavy landslides and very little margin for any error. A detailed coordination meeting was held with the Civil Administration at Gauchar and the entire rescue team was thoroughly briefed by Wg Cdr Raghuraman. During the ensuing days, negotiating unpredictable weather and the treacherous terrain, Wg Cdr Raghuraman, along with his team carried out numerous landings at unprepared surfaces in the affected areas to rescue the stranded populace. With a dedicated aim in mind, he and his team flew vigorously in the flood hit areas, averaging 15 sorties per day and rescued 490 stranded pilgrims/locals in addition to dropping over 50 tons of relief material in the Kedarnath Valley without an accident/incident. For his meticulous planning and execution of rescue and relief operations and exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Kondam Munisubrayachetty Raghuraman.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Vinod Negi 24938 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Vinod Negi (24938) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Sarang Helicopter Display Team at Air Force Station Sulur with effect from 19 Jul 10 and performing the duty of Unit Flight Commander. On 21 Jun 2013, Wg Cdr Vinod Negi was tasked to evacuate stranded pilgrims from Kedarnath valley. Having flown several rescue missions over the previous day, he realized that thousands of people were stranded at Jungle Chatti which is at an elevation of 7500 feet and their only hope of survival was through air evacuation. He assessed that unlike other makeshift helipads. Jungle Chatti was extremely restricted owing to presence of trees, wires and other vertical obstructions such as cliff face. He volunteered for the mission and was one of the first pilots to identify and land on a ledge which was extremely tricky and challenging. even for an Alouette class of helicopter. This landing served as a reference for others and based on his invaluable inputs, subsequent landings were carried out by other operators. During entire Op Rahat. he displayed exceptional courage, flew 102 sorties, rescued 584 personnel and inducted eight tons of relief material. He was a positive influence on the unit personnel and guided relatively inexperienced crew in extracting performance beyond expectations. As the Flt Cdr. he ensured effective Crew Resources Management and displayed effective Operational Resources Management towards safe accomplishment of critical missions in challenging environment. Under his guidance. the unit flew a total of 177 sorties, evacuated 917 personnel and inducted twelve tons of load during 'Op Rahat'. With his meticulous planning and leadership, Wg Cdr Vinod Negi ensured time critical mission accomplishment against all odds and proved to be a role model for both his peers and juniors to emulate. For his act of exceptional courage in evacuating stranded personnel from Jungle Chatti during 'Op Rahat', Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Vinod Negi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sachin Gupta 25854 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Sachin Gupta (25854) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an Advanced Light Helicopter unit since 28 Jan 13. On 18 Jun 13, at 0530h, he was tasked to proceed to Phata helipad in Kedarnath valley for evacuation of stranded pilgrims. Assessing the weather, he took off immediately and reached Phata. Without switching off. he picked up relief packets and got airborne for Kedarnath valley. He was the first one to commence relief operation in the Kedarnath valley. Within the valley. due to the marginal weather, tall trees and narrow width of the valley, the maneuvering space was extremely limited posing a danger to the helicopter and its occupants. Despite these restrictions. the officer displaying courage and utilizing his exceptional piloting skill carried out safe drop of ration and supplies at various places. Spotting a clear patch near Rambada, with just enough space for rotor clearance and with only adequate space for one skid on ground. he boldly carried out a low hover to pick up old and injured pilgrims. He ensured quick turnaround and carried out continuous shuttles to rescue 45 civilians and drop 900 Kgs of ration on the first day. Subsequently. he rescued pilgrims in treacherous areas like Gaurikund, Kedarnath and Garud Chatti. He was also instrumental in spotting the crash site of the ill fated Mi-17 V5 helicopter in the Kedarnath valley. Having located the crash site and selecting the most appropriate site for winching down Garud commandos. he took adequate precautions and carried out the winching down of the Commandos. Considering the hostile nature of the operating area, and difficulty of carrying out winch operations at the elevation of 2.9 Km, even a small error could have had disastrous consequences. During Op Rahat, he flew 200 sorties 70 hrs and rescued 237 casualties. All of these missions required exceptional courage and professionalism for safe execution. For his exceptional courage, focused and dedicated service, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Sachin Gupta.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vipin Takawale 26320 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Squadron Leader Vipin Vilas Takawale (26320) Flying (Pilot) is a Chetak, Cheetah type instructor and is posted in an operational helicopter unit since May 2012. The flash floods in Uttarakhand had taken the entire nation by surprise and rescue of stranded civilians was of paramount importance. Sqn Ldr Takawale was detailed as Detachment Commander of a two helicopter Cheetah detachment at Gauchar. On 21 Jun 13. the detachment was tasked to drop food packets in the Kedarnath valley. Sqn Ldr Takawale got airborne within minutes of getting SOS call and commenced his food dropping mission. While dropping relief material, he heard a distress call from a civil helicopter which had crashed and was on fire in the treacherous terrain of Jungle Chatti. Despite not being prepared for a casualty evacuation mission, the officer on receiving a SOS call displayed good leadership qualities and took a courageous decision to proceed to crash site. Though this was his first sortie in the area, he was quick to correlate the map and displayed exceptional navigations skills in locating the crash site within 10 minutes of the crash. He noticed that the crashed helicopter was at a site which posed many dangers like dense HT and LT cables, electrical poles, narrow valley, thick vegetation and absolutely no place to land. The inhospitable terrain coupled with adverse wind conditions left him with no margins for error: however, he remained undeterred and after a quick in-flight briefing decided to winch up the casualty. He used all his experience and skill to manoeuvre the helicopter in and extremely restricted area to position it over the crash site while at the same time keeping adequate safe distance from the HT and LT cables. Since the length of winch cable was not enough, he decided to take a well calculated risk of lowering the hover height with further reduced his margin of error and demanded that the helicopter be flown with precision. This herculean courageous effort of the officer resulted in the casualty being rescued safely. The devastation caused during the Uttarakhand disaster was extremely unnerving, however Sqn Ldr Takawale maintained his composure and displayed qualities of courage. decision making and ability to react to a situation. He did all this with extreme confidence and without compromising flight safety. This mission definitely enhanced IAF s image as being ever ready to provide succour to the affected. For his exceptional courage, in the face of adverse conditions, and unparalleled dedication to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Vipin Vilas Takawale.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Anupam Dey 26325 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Squadron Leader Anupam Dey (26325) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Chetak Helicopter unit since 04 Jun 12 and has been performing the duties of a Fully Operational Pilot. On 26 Mar 13, he was authorized to ferry a Chetak Helicopter Z-422 from Pune to Jamnagar. During hover for take off, at a height of approximately 5-6 feet above ground level, due to failure of the rudder control linkages, total directional control over the helicopter was lost. Due to the loss of directional control, the aircraft started yawing viciously to the left with increasing amplitude and at such a low altitude above ground level spun for four 360 degree rotations. Displaying exemplary presence of mind, nerves of steel and exceptionally high situational awareness. Sqn Ldr Dey correctly analysed the situation and initially controlled the helicopter to prevent it from crashing. Maintaining his orientation in the spinning helicopter and utilizing all his professional experience, he took a took a courageous and bold decision to initiate forward flight of the helicopter. This action of his resulted in the helicopter regaining extremely limited directional stability. He then managed to land the helicopter safely with a forward speed of 30 Knots as compared to the normal landing speed of 3-5 knots without any rudder control being available to him. After landing by judicious use of brakes and lowering of collective, he successfully managed to stop the helicopter without any damage. His prompt decision making and correct analysis of the emergency coupled with ability to maintain his composure in such an uncontrolled state of flight of the helicopter led to the safe recovery of the helicopter, passengers and service equipment. For this act of exceptional courage and professional handling of aircraft under difficult circumstances, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Anupam Dey.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vinay Bhal 28789 ACCTSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Squadron Leader Vinay Bhal (28789) Accounts/ Garud is the Commanding Officer of an Indian Air Force Garud Unit since 04 Jun 2012. The IAF was called to the aid of civil power to undertake rescue and evacuation operations during OP RAHAT after a massive cloud burst resulted in extensive flooding accompanied by landslides in the state of Uttarakhand. One squad of IAF Special Force Garuds, led by Sqn Ldr Vinay Bhal were inducted to undertake search and rescue operation in the affected area. On 25 Jun 13, while on deployment a Gauchar, Uttarakhand he led a team of IAF Special Forces Garuds to locate the crash site of a MI-17 V5 helicopter. While on board the search and rescue aircraft he assisted in sighting the crash site in densely forested hilly terrain. With no landing ground. he led from the front and lowered himself close to the crash site using a cable wire. The team was then lowered after him. On reaching the crash site, he led the team to extricate the mortal remains of personnel on board the ill fated helicopter from the still smoldering site and recovered 18 bodies. Once retrieved, he supervised packing the mortal remains and transported them to winching area, using innovative methods. The entire operation lasted for three days and two nights during the course of which he operated in inhospitable terrain. inclement weather and on top of a forested hill with at a steep gradient. He led the team in an exemplary manner and maintained the team's morale and accomplished the extremely demanding mission with peril to his life. He displayed astute professionalism, dedication and bravery. For his professional competency, excellent leadership qualities, exceptional courage and selfless devotion to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Vinay Bhal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Tapan Kapoor 31602 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Flight Lieutenant Tapan Kapoor (31602) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was on the posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter unit since 07 Jan 2013. On 25 Jun 2013. Flight Lieutenant Tapan Kapoor volunteered to proceed on Relief Rescue Operations towards Kedarnath to rescue stranded civilians from Kedarnath as a part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Missions that were undertaken in the aftermath of the disaster which occurred in Uttarakhand. The task involved moving Relief Teams of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) from Guptkashi to Kedarnath. The presence of inclement weather and poor light conditions in the tricky hill terrain of the valley made the task extremely demanding and was delaying the operations. He knew fully well that the helicopter would be operating at the limits of its capabilities. Rather than abandoning the mission. Flight Lieutenant Tapan motivated all the team members and kept them primed for the task at hand. He realized that the small window of opportunity provided by the adverse weather would keep the crew tied to the helicopter which would require a close coordination with the Relief Teams. Rising to the occasion, he ensured that the required close coordination between the crew members and Relief Teams was effectively maintained, which in turn synergized the relief efforts. The Relief Teams were then safely transported to Kedarnath. The helicopter took off from Kedarnath with the Relief Teams. ready to make another shuttle at the earliest. However, the weather conditions on the return leg deteriorated at a rapid rate and the aircraft crashed killing all its occupants. With an indomitable spirit and disregard for personal safety, Flight Lieutenant Tapan displayed grit and determination of a true Air Warrior. In spite of no previous experience. he handled the task with utmost professionalism and courage. In carrying out these high risk missions in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force of leading from the front, Flight Lieutenant Tapan displayed exceptional courage and valour. For this act of exceptional bravery and valour which finally lead to the supreme sacrifice. lion'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Flight Lieutenant Tapan Kapoor.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
JWO Akhilesh Kumar Singh  771580 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : 775180 Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh Flight Engineer was on the posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter unit since 23 Jul 12. On 25 Jun 2013. Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh was tasked to move essential supplies and rescue stranded civilians from Kedarnath as a part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Missions that were undertaken in the aftermath of the disaster which occurred recently in Uttarakhand. As a motivated aircrew who had been extensively involved in Relief Operations in the sector since 21 Jun 13, he carefully went about planning for the Mission. The task involved moving relief Teams of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) from Guptkashi to Kedarnath. The presence of inclement weather and poor light conditions in the tricky hill terrain of the valley made the task extremely demanding and was delaying the operations. Knowing fully well that the helicopter would be operating at the limits of its capabilities. rather than abandoning the mission, he assessed the degree of difficulty of landing at high altitude and evacuation from inhospitable terrain and accepted the challenges of the Mission. He gainfully utilized the delay caused by bad weather conditions to carefully plan the Mission. Having assessed all the factors and the restrictions imposed by the adverse weather, he provided all possible assistance as a team member. With his timely assistance the crew was able to take off at the first available opportunity and land at Guptkashi displaying high degree of determination and skill. The Relief Teams were then safely transported to Kedarnath. The helicopter took off from Kedarnath with the Relief Teams. ready to make another shuttle at the earliest. However, the weather conditions on the return leg deteriorated at a rapid rate and the aircraft crashed killing all its occupants. This selfless act of courage of flying the helicopter through extremely hostile terrain in marginal weather conditions provided much awaited succour to the affected civilians at Kedarnath. Flying these high risk missions in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, Junior Warrant Officer AK Singh supported the decisions of his captain, displaying exceptional courage. professionalism and unwavering devotion to duty. For this act of exceptional bravery and pre-eminent valour which finally led to the supreme sacrifice. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Sudhakar Yadav Flight Gunner 775698 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : 775698 Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav Flight Gunner was on the posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter unit since 14 Jan 13. On 25 Jun 2013. Sergeant Sudhakar was tasked to move essential supplies and rescue stranded civilians from Kedarnath as a part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Missions that were undertaken in the aftermath of the disaster which occurred recently in Uttarakhand. As a motivated aircrew, who had been extensively involved in Relief Operations in the sector since 21 Jun 13, he carefully went about planning for the mission. The task involved moving Relief Teams of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Relief Force from Guptkashi to Kedarnath. The presence of inclement weather and poor light conditions in the tricky hill terrain of the valley made the task extremely demanding. Knowing full well the helicopter would be operating at the limits of its capabilities, he analysed the degree of difficulty of landing at high altitude and evacuation from inhospitable terrain. He maintained a high degree of coordination between the crew members and effectively synergized the relief efforts. While maintaining his composure, he ensured availability of all equipment on board thus accepting the challenges of the mission. Having assessed all the adversities and the restrictions imposed by the prevalent weather. he provided all possible assistance as a team member. With his timely efforts, the crew were able to take off at the first available opportunity and land at Guptkashi displaying high degree of determination and skill. The Relief Teams were then safely transported to Kedarnath. The helicopter took off from Kedarnath with the Relief Teams and was ready to make another shuttle at the earliest. However. the weather conditions on the return leg deteriorated at a rapid rate and the aircraft crashed killing all its occupants. The selfless act of courage of flying the helicopter through extremely hostile terrain in marginal weather conditions provided much awaited succour to the affected people at Kedarnath. Flying these missions in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, Sergeant Sudhakar supported the decisions of his captain displaying exceptional courage and professionalism. For this act of exceptional bravery and pre-eminent valour which finally led to the supreme sacrifice. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Satish Chandra Gulati 19179 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Satish Chandra Gulati (19179) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the flying branch on 19 Dec 87. He is Qualified Flying Instructor on Boeing Business Jet (BBJ). Dornier 228, Avro and HPT-32 aircraft and has flown over 7600 hours including 2000 instructional hours. He holds A/Master Green on BBJ and Embraer 135 aircraft. He took over Command of one of the most prestigious Transport Squadron on 31 Oct 11. He was among the pioneer pilots on the BBJ aircraft who formulated the Standard Operating Procedures, training pattern and carried out extensive flying prior to undertaking VVIP commitments. As Officer in charge Project Management Group for Infrastructure works for the BBJ hangars, he ensured that the works services were carried out strictly in accordance with the contract and in a record time. During his tenure. he prepared a roadmap for aircrew postings, clearances & categorization schedule and operationalisation plan for the AW-101 helicopter. He was the leader of the Joint Receipt Inspection (JRI) team responsible for accepting the AW 101 helicopter. During the initial phase of the pilots' conversion, he inspired the Air Warriors to toil and gain the desired flying experience within the stipulated time to facilitate their initial categorisation. With his tireless zeal. initiative and involvement, he ensured that all works services related to the construction of the hangars to house the AW-101 helicopters were completed prior on schedule. As Commanding Officer of a Squadron with four different types of aircraft and over 500 personnel. he has ensured a professional approach for timely execution of all assigned tasks. Gp Capt SC Gulati has always led by example in every sphere and has been a source of inspiration to his colleagues and subordinates. Under his command, the Squadron has set impeccable standards for task achievement and has achieved many firsts including the first landings of a BBJ class of aircraft at Jalgaon and Hubli airfields. He has ensured excellent working environment of the unit and instituted various welfare measures to enhance the morale and bring out the best in Air Warriors of the unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, exemplary work ethos, initiative and personal drive, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Satish Chandra Gulati.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Arun Saklani 19549 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Arun Saklani (19549) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the flying branch on 11 Jun 88. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He was awarded an Air Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation on 26 Jan 2000. As the Commanding Officer of 49 Squadron, Gp Capt Saklani spearheaded trials for landing at Vijaynagar Advance Landing Ground (ALG 79). and accomplished the first ever landing at the renovated ALG. He was instrumental in carrying out trials for supply drop at Alinye (DZ 64). which culminated in the first ever drop at the Drop zone by a transport aircraft. Under his guidance. five sets of aircrew were cleared for the bombing role within a short duration of being allotted this additional task. His proactive approach and drive ensured that operations in North Sikkim could be resumed. resulting in supply drops at Drop Zone Muguthang being carried out for Army and Para Military forces. thereby enhancing the operational preparedness of the nation. Trials for operations to Drop Zone Chuna in Tawang sector were undertaken by him in the month of Oct 12. These extensive trials culminated in a successful drop at Chuna, located at an altitude of 13500 feet where man and machine operate at extremes of their operating envelope. The achievement was appreciated by the Indian Army, as it had a huge bearing on the morale of the troops operating in that sector. After the successful drop, Gp Capt Saklani was instrumental in clearing of other aircrew for the sector. Gp Capt Saklani with his high degree of professionalism, vision, skill and leadership qualities has enhanced the operational capabilities of the IAF. He has not only demonstrated an exceptional degree of excellence, but has also paid attention to detail. He has always accomplished assigned tasks with elan while adhering to safe flying procedures For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Arun Saklani.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Palaparthy Venkat Shivanand 19901 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Palaparthy Venkat Shivanand (19901) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 88. He is a qualified Pilot Attack Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader with more than 2700 hours of accident free flying on all MiG-21 variants. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and was a member of the core team for MiG-21 Bison induction into the IAF. He has commanded a Mig-21 Bison Squadron (Sqn) with distinction and was the first Director of the newly raised Directorate of Airborne Sensors and Networking at Air HQ. dealing with Air Borne Warning and Control System (AWACS) induction and Network Centric Warfare (NCW) issues. He took over command of the prestigious AWACS Sqn of IAF on 18 Apr 11. As the CO of this newly acquired strategic 'Force Multiplier' Sqn. Gp Capt PV Shivanand was entrusted with the daunting task of operational consolidation. formalization of AWACS Concept of Operations (Conops) and enhancing NCW aspects of RE Under his leadership. all three AWACS have smoothly transitioned to the 'Final Operational Configuration' while simultaneously increasing mission availability with a nearly 100% increase in annual and monthly AWACS availability and flying effort. His relentless zeal and deep level of involvement has ensured total Mission Accomplishment and Flight Safety. He was instrumental in formalizing AWACS Concept of Operations and dovetailed these Conops into the concept of the 'Op Training Day' for each Command. His constant endeavor to enhance the NCW domain has resulted in successful Operationalisation of six geographically diverse 'Ground Exploitation Stations' and seamless AWACS integration into the IACCS system. The successful conduct of the first ever. six month long detachment at 40 Wg for a strategic asset of this class bears testimony to his inspiring leadership and effective Command and Control. In this period. over 400 hours of incident free flying effort covering over ten major Command level Exercises and numerous 'Off base' operations were executed flawlessly enabling the formalization of 'Off base' operations for AWACS. By mustering the technical management skills under his command the Squadron was able to undertake the AWACS Dome change operation and the first ever 900 hours servicing activity on AWACS in-house. His dynamic leadership and involvement is evident in the numerous SOPs and AWACS compendiums that were generated and ratified. the upgradation in professional categories of AWACS crew and in the technical innovations like the indigenous APU trolley and mobile CSM and ECM analysis tool. Due to his exceptional leadership and personal example. AWACS exploitation in the first major IAF level Ex Live Wire was a major success. wherein over 40 Missions were flown in a span of two weeks with near 100% mission success rate. The pro-active and decisive steps taken by him have ensured optimal exploitation of a scarce national asset and would significantly strengthen current and future IAF Op potential. For exceptional devotion to duty. Horible President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Palaparthy Venkat Shivanand.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vembu Satyamurthy 20511 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Vembu Satyamurthy (20511) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 89. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 4500 hours of accident free hours. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff on 26 Jan 98. Presently. he is the Commanding officer of an AN-32 Squadron wef 30 Nov 11. During his tenure as Station Flight Safety & Inspection Officer of 44 Wg. the documentation of Flight Safety Section was graded 'Exceptional' by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. He was the Chief Flying Instructor of HS-748 ac at Fixed Wing Training Flight and later commanded the Communication Flight of HQ Training Command. As Joint Director Operations (Transport) at Air HQ. he revised the Air Staff Orders for the Transport fleet and drew out a detailed plan for training on transport aircraft. As Commanding Officer of Air Force Institute of Nuclear Biological Chemical Protection, he pioneered the revision of the 'Chemical, Biological. Radiological and Nuclear Defence Doctrine of the IAF. Gp Capt Satyamurthy's supervision in achieving and maintaining highest safety standards has enabled the Sqn to effectively execute all the Op tasks given by the HQ South Western Air Command Air HQ. His meticulous planning and utilization of resources is evident by the fact that the Sqn achieved a record flying of 383 hours in Feb 13 during Ex-Iron Fist. Also, under his command, the unit created history by achieving 100% serviceability on an ageing fleet like HS-748 on 20 Mar 13. 11 Sqn was re- designated as the Type Training Sqn for HS-748 in 2011 Rising to the occasion, he diligently planned and marshalled the available resources to conduct conversion courses while simultaneously ensuring op role training of the unit aircrew. His foresight. innovativeness and the ability to direct while leading from the front, has ensured that the courses were completed well ahead of schedule. His ability to motivate individuals to perform optimally has resulted in an improved categorisation status of the Sqn aircrew. During one of the training sorties with an ab-initio pilot. he experienced an engine failure during a roller take off. With his keen sense of observation, situational awareness and clarity in handling this emergency during a critical phase of flight, he was able to take all actions correctly and bring the aircraft to a stop without any damage. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vembu Satyamurthy.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan 22136 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan (22316) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 19 Dec 92. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has approx 3150 hrs of total service flying. He has held the appointments of Senior Aero Space Safety and Inspection Officer at two fighter Bases and Flight Commander at a Flying Training Establishment. He is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. Gp Capt Taliyan took over command of 22 Squadron on 04 Oct 10 and led the Squadron exemplarily until he relinquished command on 06 Jan 13. When he took over the Squadron, the MiG 27 fleet was going through a difficult phase due to a spate of accidents and persistent maintenance issues. Despite tremendous pressure due to low serviceability and reliability of the aircraft. he led the unit effectively through personal example and ensured that the aircrew and ground crew regained confidence in the aircraft. During his tenure the Squadron won the Eastern Air Command Eklavya Championship in 2012. He personally won three trophies for individual LDA bombing and team events in conventional bomb and LDA bombing. Because of his meticulous planning and foresight, the Squadron relocated smoothly from Hasimara to Kalaikunda without any incident / accident and commenced flying operations at its new base within a few days of arrival. Due to the move of the unit, he anticipated the problem of low availability of personnel at the new base and instituted measures to ensure that the Sqn could achieve its assigned tasks at all times without compromising of aerospace safety. His effective liaison and personal interest resulted in the unit maintaining a high serviceability ever since it shifted to Kalaikunda. All aspects related to the settling down of the unit were completed in a professional manner due to his supervision and guidance. Additionally, he was assigned the task of completing the Board of Officers for induction of Hawks at Kalaikunda in two weeks. The task involved conceptualization of the entire project to preparation of AEs from scratch. Gp Capt Taliyan led the team by involving himself in all the aspects of planning and completed the entire task in less than two weeks while still undertaking flying activity. He has consistently achieved all organizational objectives and accomplished all assigned tasks going well beyond the call of duty. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sharad Aneja 22677 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Sharad Aneja (22677) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93 and since Dec 11. he is commanding a Su-30 MKI squadron. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot. He has varied experience of operational flying on the Mirage 2000, MiG 21 (T-75 & T-77) and Su-30 MKI aircraft. He has flown over 3000 hours on various fighters, trainers and transport aircraft of Indian Air Force. The Group Captain was tasked to raise the first Su-30 MKI of Western Air Command. The resurrection of the unit in all aspects of operations, maintenance and administration was an arduous task which he astutely surmounted utilising his resourcefulness and operational background. With his unrelenting effort, loyalty, initiative and perseverance he ensured that the unit gained the required operational status in a very short time. He has innovatively utilised his technical acumen and operational capability to ensure a high availability of aircraft and equipment along with a professional combat orientation of the squadron. In doing so he has displayed tremendous commitment, commendable performance, admirable knowledge and creditable operational orientation keeping up with the finest traditions of military service and this reflects credit upon himself and the Indian Air Force. Gp Capt Aneja's outstanding initiative, leadership and logistic abilities introduced best tools and equipment in the unit which has been emulated by many other units. With his meticulous planning. optimal utilisation of manpower, aircraft and equipment, ability to adapt quickly to ever changing requirements and commitments of the squadron. he ensured regular flying operations with maximum utilisation of available resources. During his tenure, he has marshalled his resources admirably to achieve a good safety record, high morale and operational readiness of the unit. This is evident from the performance of the unit during various visits, inspections and exercises including Ex-Livewire. He has singularly focused on progressively increasing the quantum of flying and achieving full operational capability. He has displayed great mission focus in which he personally led from the front. achieving all tasks allotted to the squadron. This was evident in the Republic Day Flypast of 2013 in which he participated and his performance was appreciated by all. He gainfully utilised his test pilot and operational knowledge to operationalise maximum aircrew in operating from Leh. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sharad Aneja.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sarabinder Singh Atwal 22693 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Sarabinder Singh Atwal (22693) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and an Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner with more than 3200 hours of accident free flying. He is also one of the most experienced pilots on Bison in the Indian Air Force with more than 1400 hours to his credit. He has been awarded with a Commendation by the Chief of Air Staff on 08 Oct 2006 and Air Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation twice. He was the Commanding Officer of 21 Squadron Air Force from 07 Jun 10 to 22 Jul 12. The officer is qualified on MiG-21, Mig-21 Bison and MiG-29 aircraft and flew extensively during Op Safed Sagar. During the induction of MiG-21 Bison in the Indian Air Force, he was instrumental in converting various squadrons to the new aircraft where in he immaculately planned the operations, maintenance and administrative activities which resulted in quick operationalisation of these units. During his tenure as the Flight Commander. 23 Squadron won various trophies in the Western Air Command (WAC) Gunnery Meet. During his command of 21 Squadron, he made valuable additions to the squadron on all fronts. The squadron performed exceedingly well during all command exercises especially during Ex-Gauntlet wherein the squadron flew all assigned missions by day and by night. In 2010, he was specially selected to undertake Medium Altitude Level Release (MALR) trials on the Bison and was the first to drop bombs in this mode. During his tenure, the squadron won various Gunnery meet trophies and he also led the winning S-24 formation in 2012. During Air Force Day 2010 and 2011 he led the Bison formation with perfection. He enforced strict anti-FOD measures in the Squadron. His personal involvement helped in attaining objectives set in a qualitative manner without any incident or accident. His personal involvement and guidance ensured high serviceability of aircraft and ground equipment. Under his command various welfare activities were undertaken in the squadron such as felicitation to wards of Air Warriors and NCs (E) who had excelled in academics or sports. Due to his personal liaison, he was able to ensure that the works services released for the unit were completed on time. As President Mess Committee of the Officers' Mess, his personal supervision resulted in various functions being conducted in a befitting manner. His tenure has as Commanding Officer epitomizes his exceptional leadership and outstanding professional competence. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sarabinder Singh Atwal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Abhijit Tokekar 22696 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Abhijit Tokekar (22696) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. He is presently commanding a MiG-21 M Squadron. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 500 hours of instructional flying. He has a total service flying of 2800 Hours. He has been awarded a Commendation by the Chief of Air Staff on 08 Oct 2006. He has been the Flight Commander of a MiG 21(T-96) Squadron undertaking MiG Operational Flying Training. During his tenure as a Flight Commander. the squadron was adjudged as the Best Fighter Squadron in the Command. He has also served as the Chief Operations Officer of a fighter base and Chief Flying Instructor at Air Force Station Hakimpet. He assumed Command of the Fighter Squadron which imparts MiG Operational Flying Training to newly commissioned fighter pilots on 19 Oct 2011. Prior to his assuming command of the Squadron. the Sqn had witnessed three serious accidents in quick succession related to flying capability of young aircrew. With his vast instructional experience he took active control of the situation and improved the standards of training in the Squadron thereby resulting in Nil Human Error (Aircrew) incidents or accidents since then. His personal attention to detail, close monitoring of the briefings and debriefs and also a regular introspection of the performance of the aircrew has resulted in the Sqn aircrew being assessed as Average Plus to Above Average during four inspections by the Aircrew Examination Board (AEB). He also standardized the patter to be called out for instructional flying on the critical circuit approach and landing phase on the MiG-21 which was subsequently ratified by AEB. With his excellent management skills, he has maintained a good liaison with the other agencies of the base which has resulted in a productive and safe flying environment. He has always led from the front and served as a role model to his subordinates. His involvement in welfare related activities of the unit has been exemplary. This has ensured a feel good factor and upswing in the morale of the unit personnel. While displaying managerial abilities of the highest order. he has never allowed personal comforts to impede his work and has willingly contributed beyond the normal call of duty. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Abhijit Tokekar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Subramanian Krishnan 22922 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Subramanian Krishnan (22922) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. The officer has 3085 hours of flying experience of which 780 hours are on Mirage- 2000 aircraft. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and a Qualified Flying Instructor with 900 hours of instructional flying. The officer was the Flight Commander of Hawk Operational Training Squadron Bravo. Presently. he is commanding a Mirage-2000 Squadron. As the Commanding Officer, he has focused on improving the operational capability of the Squadron by emphasizing on effective training of aircrew and engineering officers and increased serviceability of aircraft and systems. Despite the limited flying effort available in the fleet, his op focus is evident by the fact that all ops pilots are qualified on Valley flying, Litening and Air to Air Refuelling. Under his command, the Squadron has flown a total of 1023 hours in the last one year with the officer having flown 144 hours. His zeal for mission accomplishment is highlighted by the 100% mission success that the unit achieved in the various air force and command level exercises which include Ex Shock Effect, Jack Hammer, Crystal Maze Live Firing, Magic missile firing, Air Force Day fly-past 12, No 1 Composite Graduate Course and Ex Livewire. His pursuit for excellence is reflected in the Average Plus' performance of the aircrew during the inspection by Aircrew Examining Board. Gp Capt Krishnan has displayed exceptional leadership abilities in leading the unit. While his primary focus has been to improve operational capability of the unit, he has also been compassionate in ensuring welfare of the personnel placed below him. He has displayed extraordinary qualities of maturity, initiative and excellence, and has set high standards for all the officers in the squadron to emulate. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Subramanian Krishnan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manu Midha 22940 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Manu Midha (22940) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 1994. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner and has flown over 3100 hours. He has also served as a Directing Staff at Flying Instructors' School and as an Air Force Examiner with Aircrew Examining Board. He has been awarded a Chief of Air staff Commendation on 08 Oct2008. He commanded 51 Squadron from 20 Jun 11 to 16 Jun 13. Under his command, the Squadron flew over 4350 sorties without any Human Error accident or incident. He led from the front and himself flew 430 sorties. Due to his immaculate planning and continued operational focus, the squadron aircrew maintained their currency on all operational roles at all times. Due to his personal involvement. a high serviceability of aircraft and mission critical systems was maintained. Under his command, the Squadron performed well during the inspection visits by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and Aircrew Examining Board and also during the various exercises. He himself ensured that at all times operations were conducted with high regard to aerospace safety. He followed an interactive style of leadership and encouraged his people to find solutions to issues through innovative thinking and improvisation. His unconditional involvement, devotion to duty. leadership qualities and the highest norms of interpersonal relations ensured a positive and professional work environment. Through his operational focus and responsive administration, he kept the Sqn operationally prepared while keeping the morale extremely high despite trying circumstances. Gp Capt Midha has displayed exceptional motivation, professional skills and unparalleled leadership in discharging his duties. He has always placed Service-before-self and relentlessly strived for organisational growth. These qualities reflected in the performance of the Squadron and it was adjudged the Best Fighter Sqn for 2012-2013 in Western Air Command. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Manu Midha.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Bhasker Satish 22948 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Bhasker Satish (22948) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He is commanding a Su-30 MKI squadron since 26 Jul 11.The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot and has flown over 3300 hours. He was decorated with `Mention-in-Despatches' for being the junior most officer (Flt Lt) to undauntedly lead the highest number of strike missions in the face of enemy fire during the Kargil conflict. His unparalleled devotion to duty, demonstrated performance and single handed contribution to the induction of the Su-30 MKI into the IAF during his tenure as a test pilot at ASTE have also been appreciated. His meticulous planning and exceptional personal involvement as a detachment commander of an Air Force level Special Weapon Camp resulted in maximum number of aircrew and ground crew getting qualified in employment of specialist weapons on the Su-30 MKI. His pro-active approach, meticulous study and the zeal to undertake the arduous task of employing a Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) from a hitherto unexplored altitude realm has given the IAF the ability to safely execute precision strikes from altitudes well beyond the manufacturer certified envelope. Wg Cdr Satish has displayed uncommon initiative in improving the combat capability and survivability of the Su-30 MKI in several path-breaking ways. Mapping of friendly aircraft through Non Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) techniques on the Su-30 MKI conceptualized and operationalised by him would be a game changer in avoiding fratricide in the modern day scenario. His innovative approach to problem solving has improved the Electronic Warfare capability of the Su-30 MKI. Under his command, the unit authored several critical Standard Operating Procedures for the Laser Guided Bomb, NCTR and the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) that have set new benchmarks and have found wide appreciation from across the IAF. Under his command, the Sqn achieved and sustained a very high serviceability and combat readiness with an immaculate aerospace safety record. The Sqn under his command has also achieved the unique distinction of being the first squadron in the history of the IAF to be affiliated to a warship of the Indian Navy. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Wing Commander Bhasker Satish.
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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