Awards for the year 2015


A total of 87 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 15 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 33 | Vishist Seva Medal : 32 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Jolly 14083 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Gill 14097 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Subramanya Sukumar 14672 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Suneel Shripad Soman 14681 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Arun Purushottam Garud 14692 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Packiniswamy Kanakaraj 15066 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa 15405 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh 15808 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Rajan Paradayil George 15751 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Chambala Karal Ranjan 16015 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Raghunath Nambiar 16378 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Vivek Ram Chaudhari 16978 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Suryakant Chintaman Chafekar 17013 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pravin Ramachandra Navalkar 17173 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Krishna Iyengar Ravi 17674 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Prashant Eknath Patange 17706 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sunil Kumar 17713 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ajay Rathore 18258 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Balakrishnan Balachandran 18561 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Surat Singh 18563 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Hardeep Bains 19180 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
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Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Sandeep Singh 25336 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 15 Announced 15 Aug 15
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Wing Commander Sandeep Singh (25336) Flying (Pilot) is posted to a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Unit as Flight Commander since 13 January 2014. He is Fully Ops holding Cat/IR A/MG, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner on Mi-17 helicopter.

On 21 November 2014 at 1610 hrs, he received a mission from Anti Naxal Task Force Commander to evacuate casualties from a forest area in Sukma district of Chattisgarh. The CRPF troops during combat ops had come under heavy fire from Naxals resulting in five serious troop casualties who needed immediate evacuation for life saving and to tilt operations in favour of own troops. Time was extremely critical and mission involved a high threat quotient. Despite the potent threat to life and tremendous risk involved, he obtained the go ahead for the mission and led the mission himself after meticulous planning. He got airborne with medical team onboard in the shortest possible time at 1635hrs.

Updates on intelligence inputs and co-ordinates of exact location of casualties were taken on R/T. Prudent, quick and considered decisions were taken in flight, to alter course and approaching the area in reciprocal direction to retain element of surprise and to ensure mission execution safely. The experience of operational experience of Wg Cdr Sandeep Singh came in handy and with precision handling he landed the helicopter next to the casualties with rotors just clear of the tree line in a clear patch in the jungle. The landing area had the limitation of a sloping surface and was prone to dust. Five extremely critical casualties were quickly taken in and helicopter with 22 souls onboard lifted off from the jungle at close to Sun set. Sensing the threat all around, he carried out a "Vertical out of Ground Take Off" in the only available direction. At this critical juncture the helicopter came under a burst of fire from automatic weapons. Undeterred and unfazed, he maintained his composure and courageously carried out evasive manoeuvres to minimize the exposure. Due to his deft handling of the situation the causalities were minimized and only one crew and one other person onboard sustained bullet hits with the aircraft remaining fly worthy. He continued leading the mission as it grew dark over the jungles of Bastar range. His exceptional courage, excellent professionalism and calm composure against odds not only saved fives lives but also altered the course of encounter for the ground troops.

For the selfless act of exceptional courage and conspicuous gallantry, Wing Commander Sandeep Singh is recommended for the award of Shaurya Chakra.

Reference: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=126100 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Maneesh Kumar Roy 22980 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Maneesh Kumar Ray (22980) Flying (Pilot) was on the posted strength of an An-32 Squadron in Jorhat from 20 Jun 11 to 30 Ju113, as the Flight Commander. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and holds Cat/lR of AMG on An-32. He has a total of more than 6000 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. On 29 May 13, Wg Cdr MK Ray was planned for an Aircraft and Engine check sortie at Jorhat. During rejoin, Wg Cdr Ray noticed that the main indicating compass was stuck on a westerly heading while the other heading indicators were functioning normally. Thereafter the co-pilot side Altimeter Failure warning came on. Subsequently the 'CHECK ELECT POWER' and "RIGHT ALTERNATOR OFF" and the "RIGHT AUTO FEATHER READY" light went OFF, indicating a problem with the electrical system. One attempt to connect the failed electrical supply was made, however it did not connect. After some time the 'Right Oil Temperature' indicator failed. On selection of flaps, the flap position indicator remained stuck at zero. The crew anticipated and prepared for multiple electrical failures. On downwind the nose wheel steering "READY TAKE OFF LAND" warning was coming on at a speed of 280 kph and bank 15 deg. The crew requested activation of crash services for a possible asymmetric withdrawal of propellers on landing that can lead to the aircraft going off the runway. As an added precaution, Wg Cdr MK Ray selected the batteries to main power line for landing. Wg Cdr MK Ray carried out a precise landing but the propellers failed to unlatch on withdrawal. Acting instinctively, Wg Cdr Ray immediately closed bath the fuel supply valves, however only the left propeller feathered causing the aircraft to veer viciously to one side. Without losing his composure and remaining calm in a difficult situation, he made a valiant attempt to maintain control of the aircraft and simultaneously tried to feather the right propeller manually by KFL button but the engine did not feather. Without giving up under the demanding circumstances, he shut down the engine using hydraulic toggles and ordered the crew for a quick exit. The multiple failure of this nature is considered extremely rare and does not find mention in any flight manuals. Considering the fact that the emergency occurred during the critical stage of landing, it called for courage of a high order under imminent danger so as to act in the best possible manner. Wg Cdr Ray, as the captain of the aircraft, lived up the demands of the situation and remained un-flinched in spite of an imminent danger to the lives of all the crew. For displaying act of exceptional courage and professional acumen in handling an unprecedented emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Maneesh Kumar Ray.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Saurabh Sharma 23209 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma (23209) Flying Pilot is on the posted strength of An-32 Squadron (Sqn) with effect from 26 Jun 11 and has been dedicatedly performing the duties of pilots training officer. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 17 Dec 94, is a Qualified Flying Instructor holding category / instrument rating NMG and has varied and extensive flying experience of over 7000 hours. On 01 Apr 14, he was detailed to undertake a Transport Support Role (TSR) sortie to Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) Kargil in support of the Border Roads Organisation. The mission involved carrying 35 passengers in addition to five crew members and was combined with pilot training. During descent towards Kargil, when the aircraft was below hill crest level 'RIGHT PROP LOCKED' annunciator came on. The Officer immediately took the decision to divert to Leh since landing at Kargil is difficult considering the length of the runway available. Further check of parameters revealed that the torque of right engine was critically low. Subsequently, RIGHT ENG BEARING TEMP and 'RIGHT ENG LOW OIL indicators also came on. The multiple emergencies, with the aircraft in hills close to the LOC, required prompt decision making and high situational awareness and diversion to Leh was ruled out. Any delay in feathering the engine would have led to engine seizure or fire with disastrous consequences. Once the engine was shut down, the aircraft could not maintain height and careful handling was required to maintain terrain clearance and executing a safe single engine landing at a high elevation ALG (Kargil). Also, the fact that the co-pilot was under training added to the adverse situation. During this operation with passengers, Wg Cdr Sharma did not have the option of ejecting the load and instead had the additional responsibility of saving the 40 lives on board. All these factors combined put the Captain of the aircraft in a very precarious situation. The emergency demanded courage in the face of heavy odds, good system knowledge, analytical ability combined with a high degree of situational awareness and area knowledge. The officer analysed the situation quickly and with his presence of mind and fortitude, managed to recover the aircraft safely. For his act of exceptional courage and bravery in saving the lives of 40 personnel on board by successfully executing a single engine landing after critical engine failure at a high altitude ALG, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Amit Jain 25110 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Amit Jain (25110) Flying (Pilot) is posted as Flight Commander of a Cheetal/Cheetah Helicopter Unit operating in the Siachen Glacier, since 08 Apr 14. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Unit Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, and has more than 3500 hours of accident/incident free flying. On 18 Ju12014, an urgent request from Leh district administration for a casualty evacuation was received. Wg Cdr A Jain was authorized to lead a two helicopter formation for the search and rescue of a critically injured mountaineer with broken ribs, shoulder, pelvic bone and spinal injuries. The mountaineer had a vertical fall of 40 feet from the Stok Kangri peak. The location of the mountaineer was ambiguous and the prevailing weather in the entire sector was marginal, which made the mission even more challenging. Despite the limited time and sketchy information available, Wg Cdr Jain along with his crew members displayed extreme swiftness and professionalism in planning the mission. Having reached the area, he quickly anlaysed the situation and marshaled the resources at hand for an efficient search. He located the casualty at an altitude of 21050 feet on a steep slope. The inhospitable terrain coupled with operations at the extremities of the helicopter flight envelope left no margin for error. He kept flying close to the casualty, and encouraged the struggling mountaineers, who were in waist deep snow, to tow the casualty towards the landing spot. Braving the inclement weather and turbulent winds, he maneuvered and attempted to land his helicopter close to the casualty on the treacherous terrain marred with loose snow and crevasses. He was able to execute a landing 50 feet from the casualty on an extremely restricted ledge protruding out of a steep slope at an altitude of 21000 feet. Assessing the small window of opportunity available in an avalanche prone area, he instructed his No 2 to carry out a landing at a lower elevation to conserve fuel He used his experience and well calculated judgment to fight against all odds to successfully save a precious life. Throughout this act of gallantry, Wg Cdr Jain led the high risk mission effectively in the face of inhospitable terrain, inclement weather and extreme aircraft limits showcasing exceptional courage, extraordinary flying skills, exemplary leadership and professionalism. For this act of exceptional courage, exemplary leadership, resolute determination and highest level of professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Amit Jain.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Anup Sharma 25310 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Anup Sharma (25310) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 1V unit since 16 Dec 2013. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor Cat 'p( holding instrument rating of Master Green and is Flight Commander of the unit. On 05 Sep 14 due to incessant rains, Jammu and adjoining areas were severely affected by floods, with water level rising above danger level in Tawi and Chenab rivers. In this grave situation, he dared the marginal weather and got airborne for the first rescue mission of Operation Megh Rahat from Chenab River. Without wasting time, he improvised and decided to launch the rescue effort for evacuation using rope ladder. There was no space to land at Patyari village as people were marooned in a small strip of land inside Chenab River with tall trees and obstructions around. He showed extreme courage and determination in flying in extremely adverse weather conditions, low clouds, reduced visibility and torrential rain. He maintained steady hover amid obstructions and adverse winds to rescue 14 people with the help of rope ladder which was the first ever rescue of its kind by the Unit. In another instance, Wg Cdr Sharma was involved in a rescue effort at Katwari border post of BSF wherein any delay in the rescue would have resulted in 23 BSF personnel being washed away across the International Border. The approach itself was restricted from one direction at this post as it was surrounded by IB on three sides, He maintained steady hover at a height of 55 feet amid tall trees for one and half hour to save all of them. The entire mission required courage, perseverance and an un-daunting spirit against heavy odds. His valiant efforts resulted in the rescue of a total of 244 marooned people from the clutches of death in similar operations and marginal weather including 158 people with the help of rope ladder from the raging rivers. For acts of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Anup Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Pankaj Sharma 25628 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Pankaj Sharma (25628) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi 17 V5 helicopter unit at Air Force Station Srinagar since 20 Apr 13. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor and is presently the Flight Commander of the unit. Jammu and Kashmir faced a natural catastrophe in the beginning of Sep 14 in the form of ravaging floods. The devastation was unprecedented, wherein the loss to life and property was unparalleled. The unit was the first to be tasked to commence rescue operations in Op Megh Rahat. Not to be daunted by the overwhelming magnitude of relief operations, he took on the responsibility of the team leader since the CO was on a fig ex for the first day, for conducting all the rescue missions. An officer with tremendous courage and initiative, he flew the first sortie under adverse weather to assess the extent of damage for commencement of rescue and relief missions were to follow. He flew extensively in the most exigent circumstances for helicopters, which included winching up of around 200 people, mass evacuation of flood affected people and dropping of relief material. On 07 Sep 14, he volunteered for the first rescue operation involving winching operations. Running against time, he rescued 25 people stranded on precarious roof tops of collapsing house in the heart of Srinagar town, who would have otherwise perished in the rising waters. On another occasion he evacuated critically ailing CRPF person from the Secretariat building amidst heavy stone pelting at the helicopter from hostile elements on ground. He showed courage, perseverance, ingenuity and dexterity in planning and executing these missions. He utilised Garuds along with their survival equipment for overcoming constraints and progressing rescue operations unhindered in an hostile environment. As the Flight commander of the unit, his dedicated involvement, crew management, conduct of briefings and intricate planning of sorties resulted in smooth conduct of rescue operations against heavy odds. The colossal task was undertaken with clockwork precision and exemplary professionalism without any incident or accident; which can be attributed to the careful planning, formulation of procedures, ardent supervision and leading by example consistently. For acts of exceptional courage and selfless commitment in saving lives during Op Megh Rahat, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Pankaj Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Mantej Singh Somal 26996 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Squadron Leader Mantej Singh Somal (26996) Flying (Pilot) is held on the posted strength of a Mi 17 VS helicopter unit as a unit supervisor with effect from 28 Jan 2013. On 07 Apr 2014, while undertaking anti Naxal operations in Jagdalpur, he received information that there was an attack by Naxalites on the CRPF camp in Chintalgufa. In the fierce gunfight with Naxalites, three CRPF personnel were critically injured and required air evacuation as a life saving measure. > He took on the onerous task of evacuating the injured amidst the ongoing fierce gun fight. The helipad of Chinatalgufa is surrounded by hills on three sides and the naxals had occupied dominating area on one side. The security forces were able to carry out sanitization in the approach funnel away from the hills, thus ensuring only unidirectional approach. Despite the fact that the landing was possible only in one direction, he decided to go in for a landing since waiting for complete area domination by security forces would have endangered the life of critically injured personnel. Sqn Ldr Mantej Singh displayed immense courage in making a precise landing on a very restricted helipad amidst the ongoing battle between naxals and security forces. Displaying an un-daunting spirit, he evacuated the injured from the battle scene, which not only resulted in saving the lives of the injured but also served as a huge morale booster to the troops on ground. Throughout the election period in the same time-frame he took part in close to twenty high risk missions, which have been instrumental in successful and peaceful conduct of general elections in the states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in 2014. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Mantej Singh Somal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Saurabh Raghuvanshi 27955 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi (27955) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in IAF on 19 Jun 2004. He was on the posted strength of Bison Squadron wef 16 Dec 2013 at Air Force Station Srinagar. He is a CAT 'B' instructor and had over 1450 hours of service flying to his credit. On 27 May 14, the officer 'was planned to fly as No.4 in a four aircraft strike mission towards Exercise Talon in WAC AOR. The mission was flown to validate the efficacy of Low Level Light Weight Radar (LLLW) air defence preparedness against enemy raids. Having flown the route through the Himalayas and the Pir Panjal valleys, the trail element, with Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi as the wingrnan, entered Srinagar valley with an aim to strike Awantipur airfield and descended to low levels. During the final run-in towards the target, a tactical action towards left was ordered approximately 10 km short of Awantipur airfield. Almost simultaneously, Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi experienced a bird hit on the front windshield of his canopy. The bird impact was so hard that it broke the windshield and impacted his face. The face injury nearly incapacitated him. In spite of the-serious injury and critical time available to him due to the extreme low altitude, he visualized the future flight path of the aircraft that would have killed numerous villagers on ground causing loss of lives and property. Without fearing for his own life, he courageously steered the aircraft away from the village and ejected in a clear area. The precious time lost in this effort of saving lives and upholding the virtues of 'service-before-self' resulted in the life saving mechanism of the ejection system not getting sufficient time to operate successfully. The brave pilot succumbed to the injuries instantaneously on impacting the ground. The officer has displayed exceptional valour, professional skills and unparalleled leadership in the face of extreme danger. He saved numerous innocent lives of his countrymen and national property by his heroic act. For this act of exceptional courage and supreme sacrifice, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kapil Kareem 29719 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Squadron Leader Kapil Kareem (29719) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mirage Sqn since 11 Jan 10. He is a fully Ops and 4 Ac leader on Mirage-2000 aircraft. He has a total of 691 Hrs of service flying of which 318 Hrs Squadron Leader Kapil Kareem was authorized to lead a 2 Vs 2 combat mission on 06 May 14. The sortie was uneventful till the second combat situation. Towards the end of the second combat situation, on commencing a right turn at 11500', 480Kts with 4.5 g, the aircraft went into server oscillations in pitch. The pitch of the aircraft varied rapidly from + 15 to -25. The failure warning on the 2W panel also came on simultaneously. The rapid oscillations exposed the pilot to large positive and negative g loads in a very short time. During oscillations, a maximum g of +7.69 g and -6.13 g were recorded (the normal human tolerance is barely -3.5g). The high rapid onset and varying g forces jolted the pilot inside the cockpit banging his head against sight camera and canopy. The violent jolting severely sprained the pilot's neck and he nearly became incapacitated. He could not move his neck to glance at the warning panel on the right side. He maintained calm and displaying courage of the highest order, skillfully controlled the aircraft by throttling back and selecting airbrakes out. Subsequently, the oscillations stopped abruptly. He called off the combat and handed over the lead of the formation to the attacker leader. Unperturbed by his incapacitation, he maintained good situational awareness and commenced recovery. Despite being unable to straighten his neck and the resultant limitation to the vision in front, he landed the aircraft safely. The response of the aircraft during the event was abnormal and recovery method from such situations demanded very high skill level on the part of the pilot. Squadron Leader K Kareem during the event was subjected to high g load factors and stress which is beyond the human tolerance levels. He despite being nearly incapacitated, went beyond the call of the duty to stay with the aircraft and recover it safely, displaying courage of the highest order. For this act of exceptional courage in ensuring safe recovery of aircraft, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Kapil Kareem.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Ravinder Kumar 781094 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : 781094 Sergeant Ravinder Kumar PJI is posted as Parachute Jump Instructor at Paratroopers Training School, Air Force Station Agra. On 08 March 2014, as a part of Exercise Shock Effect, he executed combat free fall jump along with Army jumpers from a height of 12500 feet above mean sea level over Pithoragarh region. During free fall, he noticed that one Army combat free faller (Paratrooper Rajendra Singh of 6 PARA)was struggling with his parachute opening. The trooper carried out emergency drill and operated his reserve parachute, which had jumbled lines resulting in uncontrolled vigorous spirals. Rajendra landed on a rocky slope and hit his head on the hard ground. Seeing all this, Sgt Jakhar gallantly took upon himself the risk to land next to the trooper, far away from the designated Drop Zone Area on the restricted rocky slope (of 70 degree) with complete disregard to personal safety. Noticing no sign of breathing from the injured jumper, Jakhar immediately performed CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) and revived him. He then mustered help from the nearby ITBP battalion and evacuated the unconscious jumper to Pithoragarh Military Hospital, where he was put on life support system. The timely aid and quick evacuation ensured his survival and recovery from comma the next day. Sgt Jakhar displayed exceptional courage and camaraderie in saving the life of his fellow paratrooper in the face of imminent danger to his own life. In the process of landing on a 70 degree incline rocky slope, he has not only displayed courage of high order but also professionalism of the highest order. For this act of exceptional courage, camaraderie, and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Sergeant Ravinder Kumar Jakhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Momocha Ningthoujam 918575 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : 918575 Corporal Momocha Ningthoujam Indian Air Force (Security) is posted as a Special Forces operative and responsible for operations and training in 601 Garud Flight since 02 Sep 13. Cpl Momocha was one of the IAF Special Force operatives inducted to undertake Rescue operations in the flood affected areas of J&K. On 08 Sep 14, while undertaking Rescue & Evacuation operation at Srinagar, Cpl Momocha was winched down on a conical roof top of a house. From this precocious position he started evacuating civilians. When he had hardly evacuated three to four people he noticed that the adjacent three storied building was collapsing and there were some civilians stranded in it and were desperately asking for help. He sought permission to go to the house for rescuing them which was initially dived considering the direct threat to the life of the Garud. However, after hearing the persisted pleas of Cpl Momocha, the Captain granted permission for him to move in. The brave airwarrior was immediately winched down, went inside the semi submerged house and rescued all four trapped civilians to the roof top. In this he carried one paralyzed old lady and two very small kids on his shoulder to reach the winching spot. While winching up was in progress, the house started collapsing under the force of swirling water. Disregarding the threat to his life, he manaqed to evacuate all of them from the precarious and dangerous situation. Cpl Momocha displayed courage of the highest order while rendering selfless service to the nation. For act exceptional courage and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Corporal Momocha Ningthoujam.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
LHF Ravinder Kumar 42477 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : PA No 42477 Shri Ravinder Kumar Leading Hand Fireman (LHF) was on the posted strength of 3 Base Repair Depot Chandigarh since 06 Dec 1999. On 08 Jun 14, at 1950 h, an emergency fire call was received from Civil Fire Station Sector -17 Chandigarh. Shri Ravinder Kumar, who was at home, being on off-duty, was recalled to join the firefighting team at National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELlT) in Sector 17, Chandigarh. The task was daunting as the three storey building of NIELlT was completely engulfed in fire making it increasingly difficult for the fireman to douse the raging flames. Valuable research records and costly equipment was at stake. Until, this stage, all the efforts were from outside the building and there was a general reluctance to enter the building to extinguish the fire at the core. Assessing the situation correctly and on his own initiative, Shri Ravinder Kumar in the true spirit of a firefighter, climbed on the first floor without caring for his personal safety to fight the fire from the inside. Encouraged by his courageous initiative, other fire fighters started following him to address the fire at the core. While his fire fighting efforts were paying dividends, under unfortunate circumstances a part of the building collapsed, trapping the Fireman under the debris. Shri Ravinder Kumar LH Fireman displayed courage of the highest order in his attempt to contain the fire and made the supreme sacrifice in the process. This courageous act of the young Fireman epitomises the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force - 'Service before Self'. He has displayed most conspicuous valour, courage and exemplary leadership and devotion to duty that will serve as an inspiration for generations. For this act of gallantry, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), Posthumously to Shri Ravinder Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vishnamettai Ramamurthy Vishwanathan 21229 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Vishnameitai Ramamurthy Vishwanathan (21229) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the transport stream of flying branch on 15 Jun 91. He is appointed as the Commanding Officer of the only IL-76 Squadron of the IAF since 23 Apr 12. He has held the key appointment of Flight Commander (platform) of the prestigious AWACS squadron and was instrumental in acceptance and ferry-in of all AWACS aircraft in to India from Israel. In the last two years under his able command, the IL-76 squadron has accentuated the lAF's vision of accomplishing enhanced serviceability and tasking, especially after the merger of all1L-76 assets under one roof. In 2013 the squadron was called upon to participate in two major IAF exercises i.e. Ex Iron fist and Livewire which required additional flying hrs over and above the unit's annual task of 3600 hrs. He took up this challenge head on and under his aegis the squadron not only performed exceptionally in the exercises but raised the bar on enhancement in tasking by flying 4271 hrs. At his professional best, the officer has time and again proved his leadership acumen in the air by attaining unparalleled operational achievements for the first time for the lAF. The Commanding Officer led from the front by piloting the first ever and highest recorded static line paradrop in the world at Nyoma at a height of 15,700 ft and also in carrying out the first ever successful aerial delivery trials of indigenously manufactured platform HDS-16T along with ADRDE scientists. This led to a significant and visible IAF footprint during major Army Battalion group drop exercises like Ex Prahar Shakti in May 13. His perseverance further bore fruit as another unprecedented achievement of two back to back Night Battalion group drops were carried out during Ex Shahbaaz Ajay with pinpoint accuracy in Dec 13. • The vision and foresight of the Commanding Officer has led to a multifold increase in support to the Army in maintaining the northern frontiers. He raised the bar of operational efficiency of the IAF by leading a barrage of ten IL-76 aircraft to Leh airfield in a single day airlifting 300 tons of load in Jan 13. This feat was once again enhanced by the officer by leading the squadron in achieving a new milestone of twelve IL-76 sorties in a single day to Leh in Feb 14, airlifting 364 tons. As always, his luminary leadership was aptly demonstrated by captaining the aircraft that flew the first ever Air Ambulance Mission on IL-76, and that too by night from Leh. The exceptional performance of the squadron during DASI visit only three months after taking over the command of the squadron speaks volumes about his meticulous planning, administrative acumen, and ability to take on challenges at a short notice. The expeditious training of new posted in pilots in a record time of six months, 100% upgradation of pilots in AEB visits, exceptional performance of the squadron in sports, consistent good performance in Chandigarh UT garden competition etc. can be attributed directly to his ability to inspire and motivate those placed under him. It has been due to his persevered efforts all along that the squadron was awarded trophy for the best overall performance transport squadron in HQ WAC AOR in the year 2012-13. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vishnamettai Ramamurthy Vishwanathan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Animesh Kumar Singh 21255 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Animesh Kumar Singh (21255) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the Flying branch on 30 Jun 91. Gp Capt AK Singh has an extensive flying experience and has flown over 5500 hrs on eight different types of aircrafts. He is a cat A QFI and has done instructional tenures in Air Force Academy (AFA),Flying Instructors School (FIS ) and in Botswana. He has been a Joint Director in Directorate of Plans at AirHQ (VB)and has also commanded the VIP Communication Flight at Air Force Station Yelahanka. He has undergone Higher Defence Management Course (HDMC) at College of Defence Management (CDM), Hyderabad and was a DS at CDM. Presently as the CO of the only Flight Refueller Aircraft (FRA) unit, he has ensured an exceptionally high state of op preparedness of the unit. During his tenure, the Sqn has participated in very large number of exercises, including the Ex Live-Wire in 2013, in which a record number of sorties, were flown, round the clock. The unit also participated in exercise Eastern Bridge, a joint military exercise with Royal Air Force of Oman, in which the unit enabled the ferry of six Jaguars to Oman, in Oct 2013. The officer was instrumental in the planning and execution of the first ever, air to air refueling trials of AEW&C Embraer 145 aircraft, in Agra, in May 2014. These trials brought forward new challenges which were overcome successfully through his personal involvement, professionalism and ingenuity. The officer is also the chief coordinator for Indo-French Ex Garuda-V scheduled to be held in Agra, in Jun 2014. The officer oversaw setting up of the Air Refuelling Coordination Centre (ARCC) in the Sqn premises in Mar 2013. This facility radically changed the planning process of air to air refueling in the IAF. Throughout his tenure, the Squadron has performed all tasks successfully besides maintaining a good flight safety record and high morale. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Animesh Kumar Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vipul Singh 21537 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Vipul Singh (21537) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 14 Dec 91. Since 04 Jun 12, he is serving as Chief Instructor (Flying) at a premier Flying Training Establishment. He is a Category 'Pi Qualified Flying Instructor with 4500 hours of flying. He has commanded a Fighter Squadron with credit and served ad Directing Staff at Flying Instructors School. He was a key member of the team that produced new Flying Instructors Schools books. As Joint Director at Air Headquarters, he was responsible for revision of Indian Air Publication. He is an alumni of Australian Staff College and was awarded 'Directing Staff' grading for being the top performer. He has been commended thrice by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief. He, in all probability, is the most experienced Flying Instructor in the entire Fighter Steam of Indian Air Force with 3400 hours on Kiran, Iskra and HPT aircraft. The present Flying Training Establishment, under him has flown over 16500 hours with nil accidents. He has himself flown over 750 hrs, which has been the maximum flying effort by any pilot at Flying Training Establishment over last two years. One Hundred Twenty trainees have graduated out of this Flying Training Establishment under him. During his tenure, the trainees and Instructors have achieved the best results in all the five Aircrew Examination Board visits, repeatedly outperforming other Flying Training Establishments. During his tenure, three Instructors upgraded to Category 'Pi, four cleared Test Pilot Exam, seven were selected for Staff College, ten achieved Initial Issue of 'Master Green' and over 45 Instructors upgraded to Category 'B'. This Flying Training Establishment was adjudged the 'Best Flying Training Establishment' for the last two years in running and also won the award for 'Best Flight Safety - Fixed Wing' for 2012-13. All this was achieved despite unprecedented rate of change over of Instructors at Flying Training Establishment. The officer has displayed exceptional professionalism, involvement, motivation and leadership throughout his career. He has repeatedly produced outstanding results. Through his personal example, he has taken his trainees and Instructors to a level worth emulation by others. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vipul Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Machetira Kammbaiah Praveen 22373 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Machetira Karumbaiah Praveen (22373) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an engineer in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) branch on 06 Apr 93. Since 30 Sep 13, he is Commanding No. 1 Air Force Range Unit. The unit is tasked to provide Explosive Ordnance Disposal coverage for the units in AOR of WAC. On 22 Jan 14, at Air Force Station Nal, a Jaguar aircraft had inadvertently dropped two 1000 pound RDZ bombs in a nearby village: One of the bombs had exploded after landing on ground whilst the other was buried at 2-3 meters depth. The situation was potentially dangerous since the buried bomb was in all likelihood armed and required only an impact for detonation. For eliminating the prevalent danger to the life and property of the villagers, it was obligatory to ascertain the status of the bomb through a physical inspection of the same. The officer, being fully aware of the risk to his life, volunteered to physically examine the bomb single handedly and thus circumvented tasking & risking the life of his subordinates. Having successfully ascertained the status of bomb, he correctly analysed that the stipulated procedure of disposing such a bomb could not be undertaken due to various constraints. Therefore, he employed an innovative but more dangerous method of probing/digging the bomb from the nose area to get access and successfully demolished the bomb by taping and exploding a small quantity of Plastic Explosive. These actions of the officer were instrumental in ensuring that there was no loss of life or damage to any property. In another incident earlier on 11 Dec 13, at Air Force Station Ambala, the officer with his team had successfully disposed two 1000 pound RDZ bombs that were jettisoned near the runway by an aircraft in emergency. The team led by the officer had in-situ cut the bomb by charge linear cutter (CLC) and subsequently disposed the bomb by burning The task, by the Officer, of disposing three live 1000 pound RDZ bombs was accomplished for the first time in the recent past of the Indian Air Force. Additionally, it was achieved with thorough professionalism and without any damage to man or material. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion To Duty) To Group Captain Machetira Karumbaiah Praveen.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sandeep Balyan 22699 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Sandeep Balyan (22699) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. The officer is presently commanding an Akash Missile Squadron since 30 Ju112. The Officer is an exceptional professional who works with great enthusiasm and commitment towards achievement of all tasks. The Officer has held various important assignments, like Flight Commander of Operational fighter Squadron and Operations Staff at Command Headquarters. During his tenure as the Flight Commander his contribution and professional excellence was praiseworthy and he was awarded the Commendation by Chief of Air Staff and Fleet Officer Commanding in Chief. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Instrument Rating Instructor on fighter aircraft with over 3400 hrs of flying experience. He is graduate of Defence Services Staff College with prestigious Directing Staff rating. In his present appointment as Commanding Officer of a new raising, he played crucial role in induction of the state of art indigenously developed Akash Missile System into Air Force. He displayed extraordinary involvement from its nascent stage till completion of On Site Acceptance Tests to operationalisation of all elements of the Squadron. Despite the challenges of new system, widely split locations, limited resources and time the officer managed to evolve the whole system as a potent, cohesive and an excellent combat outfit. He systematically addressed the Operations, Maintenance and Infrastructure issues. Due to his profound knowledge, involvement and zest he helped achieve formulation of the Akash User Handbook, Operational Employment Standard Operating Procedures, Categorisation and Continuation training syllabi, Maintenance SOPs and Daily Inspection procedures! Cards. These documents will serve as the bedrock for maximum operational exploitation of the system by Air Force. The entire unit being lead by him from the front displayed very high operational orientation and proactive involvement in Akash EW trials, Live firing and Air Force Exercises resulting in high quality and opportune training of the personnel. His interest, initiative, foresight and constant vigil resulted in achievement of very high standard operational facility than was originally conceived. He has also been instrumental in integration and operationalisation of the system with base Terminal Weapon Control Centre thereby boosting the Air Defence capability of the base. Overall the officer has throughout displayed outstanding Leadership qualities and exemplary dedication to service. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sandeep Balyan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Pradeep Arun Shah 22925 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Pradeep Arun Shah (22925) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He is currently commanding a Fighter Squadron equipped with Su-30 MKI aircraft since 19 Dec 11. His earlier appointment was FIt Cdr of a Mirage 2000 Sqn, He is a Qualified Flying Instructor having undergone the Pilot Instructor Training course in USAF and has also done a two year tenure in USAF as a Flying Instructor. He is also an IRIE and has been endorsed on both the Mirage 2000 and Su-30MKI. He has an impeccable flight safety record in his 3750 hrs of flying. The officer has earlier been commended by the Chief of Air Staff in the year 1999 for safely recovering an ac after its canopy flew off. The officer was entrusted with the onerous responsibility of first converting and then commanding a Su-30 MKI Sqn in Eastern Air Command, while the sqn was still in its infancy having been raised only two years prior. Despite his limited experience on type, through his diligence, intelligence and professional aptitude, the Sqn's 'Op Status and Orientation' started showing a significant improvement. His foresight, deep involvement, unwavering focus, ability to find practical solutions and managerial skills came to fore when the Sqn was preparing to participate in Ex Red Flag 13-14 and during Ex Livewire, wherein the Sqn's performance was exceptional, having flown 175 hrs from two different locations. The Sqn was given an additional 'Maritime Role, in Dec 11. Due to his unfailing efforts and dogged Perseverance the Sqn today has the best 'Op Status' vis-a-vis any other sqn having a similar role. The outstanding 'op status' of the Squadron and its consistent performance has been appreciated by all dignitaries as well. Currently, under his stewardship, the Squadron is fully geared towards taking on any task that maybe assigned to it and has been awarded the Chief of Air Staff's 'Unit Citation' for exemplary performance in its Operational role for the year 2013. This recognition of the Squadron's achievements bears testimony to his untiring efforts. While according very high priority to the task in hand, he has never lost sight of morale and welfare of Sqn personnel. He exudes zeal for modernisation and innovation and has been able to motivate all the warriors towards better work output. In short he leads from the front and he leads by example. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Pradeep Arun Shah.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vinay Pratap Singh 22951 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Vinay Pratap Singh (22951) was commissioned as a pilot in the Fighter Stream of Flying branch on 18 June 1994. He has been a staff in Flying Training Establishment and Flight Commander of the prestigious 'Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team' (SKAT).He has flown 2900 hours on various types of aircraft. He is currently the Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Squadron. While in the SKAT, he executed extremely challenging duties of 'Synchro leader' and 'Deputy Leader'. He has flown more than 100 displays in India and abroad. This includes the coveted South-East Asian tour in Thailand, Malaysia and China. During the course at DSSC, Wellington, an unfortunate accident put him medically down. Nevertheless, considering the critical extent of the injury and three operations he underwent, he regained his medical fitness in extremely short duration. While being medically down, he has held the designation of Op adjutant at Air Force Station Jodhpur. During this tenure, he made immense contribution in task of establishing Main & Standby Terminal Weapons Control Center (TWCC). The Template was utilised for implementation at other operational bases as well. While standing in for COO, he has overseen conduct of multiple exercises and Republic Day fly-past. A successful live interception of a slow moving unidentified track was executed under his control as COO from Jodhpur by a helicopter, where he displayed immense presence of mind and quick decision making. • Group Captain VP Singh is commanding a MiG-21 T-77 Sqn wef 08 Apr 2013. Under his command, the unit has flown 1700 sorties/ 900 hours of accident free Ops U/T task on MiG-21 T-77 towards the benefit of officers of 186 Pc. He has lead by example while discharging his professional duties and displays exceptional operational orientation. He has instilled a sense of belongingness in the unit personnel, enhancing their integrity, motivation and morale. With his exceptional and effective leadership he has not only ensured timely completion of course syllabus in spite of the inclement weather condition, manpower and time constraints but also insisted on quality of output at all times. The MiG 21 T-77 fleet winding down ceremony was held at Air Force Station Kalaikunda on 11 Dec 2013. The task undertaken of Parade, Photo exhibition and Fly-past was executed in an exemplary manner. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vinay Pratap Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Pankaj Mittal 23166 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Pankaj Mittal (23166) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 1994. He is Fully Operational on Jaguar, MiG-27, Bison and MiG-21 Bis ac and has a total flying experience of 2650 h. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, a Fighter Strike Defence Leader and a Pilot Attack Instructor. He has also served as a Directing Staff at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE). He was commended by AOC-in- C SWAC in 2010. He is the Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron (Sqn) since 02 Ju112. The Sqn under his command has done exceptionally well on all fronts. He has been successful in building up a highly professional team of air warriors that have been able to achieve all the tasks given to them. The Sqn has been able to maintain an aircraft availability of 10-11 ac on flight line regularly. The Sqn has flown extensively during the last two years with a major percent of flying done away from parent base. He has ensured highest levels of aerospace and maintenance safety with nil accident rate. The Sqn was adjudged Best Fighter Squadron of Central Air Command for the year 2012-13. During his command, the operational-status of the Sqn's aircrew was brought up to an enviable record wherein all of the sixteen aircrew posted to the Sqn achieved status of being operational by day and night or at least by day with only two aircrew in the latter category. The aircrew are well qualified and instrument rated on type. He was instrumental in guiding the Sqn and ensuring that the varied observations of various inspection agencies that were raised before he took over were addressed. He led the Sqn from the front in the last DASI inspection visit and was assessed as exceptional in two live bombing missions. The Sqn was assessed as average plus by DASl. He was also instrumental in planning and executing the move of the Sqn from Gorakhpur to Allahabad for runway repairs. Personal involvement by him ensured that all operational, maintenance and administrative issues were looked into and resolved in time. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble president is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Pankaj Mittal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Rajesh Varma 23190 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Rajesh Varma (23190) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 94. A Qualified Flying Instructor and Helicopter Combat Leader, he has more than 4000 hrs of accident! incident free flying to his credit. Gp Capt R Varma was appointed as Commanding Officer of the Attack Helicopter (AH) Squadron on 27 Aug 12. Leading with innovative vision and relentless drive, he successfully induced a vibrant team spirit amongst his subordinates and instituted a proactive, excellence seeking work ethos as the Squadron's identity. The Sqn has participated in inter-service command level exercises with Army and Air Force viz Ex-Livewire, Ex-Iron Fist, RD Flypast (2013) and AF Day Flypast (2012 & 2013). In the year 2013-2014, the Sqn has flown 1543 hours of accident/incident free flying, a feat which has not been achieved in the past 18 years. On the jointmanship front, integration between the sister services for a coordinated operational environment has been at the fore front of his vision. Gp Capt R Varma was personally involved in drafting of Op Instructions by the Army for conduct of AH operations and with his perseverance and determination succeeded in building a new synergised understanding of AH utilisation in support of Army formations. This is the first time that the Indian Army has drafted Op instructions wherein all the desired requirements of the AH Sqn have been accepted and documented. During the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, the Squadron under his command has been adjudged 'Above Average' in Operations and 'Average Plus' in Maintenance and Administration. The Squadron was also adjudged the 'Best Helicopter Unit' in Western Air Command for the year 2012-13. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Rajesh Varma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Ratish Kumar 23513 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Ratish Kumar (23513) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in flying branch on 17 Jun 1995. The officer is presently commanding a premier Sukhoi-30MKI Squadron since 15 October 2012. A Cat 'f! Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and an Air Force Examiner, he is fully operational on Sukhoi-30 and MiG-21 ac with over 4600 hrs of accident-free flying. He was decorated with 'Mention-in-Despatches' for flying 19 live missions (Guns! Rockets/Bombs) during the 1999 Kargil Conflict. He was commended by UN Force Commander (Sudan) in 2007 for planning and executing a rescue mission which saved lives of 367 UN Staff and Civilians. During Specialist Weapons Camp in 2010, he achieved an air-air kill by chasing and shooting down an unguided missile. On assuming command, the officer has led from the front and has displayed extraordinary initiative in standardizing and multi-tasking the training process which resulted in a qualitative and quantitative jump in the operational capability. With same resources, the Squadron has flown 4500 accident-free hours (20% monthly increase) and trained 51 pilots in the current year. Some of the initiatives as CO include planning a fine mix of AST/OST embedded with WSO syllabus (to sharpen the combat" skills of pilots), 75% increase in simulator flying, 25% increase in night flying, flying a record 436 hrs in a month, formulating Anti-SAGW Manoeuvres, CMDS SOP, etc. While according the highest priority to the operational readiness, he has been a source of inspirational leadership for elevating the morale and welfare of the airwarriors. Under his command, the Squadron was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Sqn' and won the 'Best Day and Night Bombing Team' trophies in Eklavya. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Ratish Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Kanwar 23520 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Kanwar (23520) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Jun 1995. He is commanding a front line fighter squadron since 16 April 2012. Gp Capt S Kanwar is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 4236 hours of accident free flying. He is also an experimental test pilot with over four years of test flying. During this period he has been associated with many prestigious projects, flight trails and training of other test pilots. Gp Capt S Kanwar has been in command of a Darin-Il Jaguar Squadron that has been additionally entrusted with the onerous role of type training for the Jaguar fleet. The Squadron also has the unique task of operational exploitation of the modern Reccellite pod. On an average six pilots join the Squadron every six months to complete their operational training. In the two years under this command the Squadron flew a whopping 5150 hours and graduated 16 pilots so far with another four on the verge of completing the syllabus. All this was achieved in an accident free environment. In spite of the demands of the training role, all the other staff pilots of the Squadron have achieved and maintained all operational qualifications like 4 ac lead, trainer captaincy, night strike, air to air refueling and Laser Designation Pod (LDP) / Recellite flying. The Sqn won the prestigious Eklavya trophy for exceptional gunnery / bombing skills in SWAC for two consecutive years 2012 and 2013 while winning a suite of team events." The Sqn has proved its operational edge while participating in exercises like Iron-Fist, Prashikshan, Livewire, Trishakti and many EW workshops. In April 2012, the Sqn held the unique distinction of flying with 8 x 1000 lbs on the Jaguar ac after nearly two decades. During the DASI inspection in November 2013, the Squadron performed exceeding well and was adjudged 'Average Plus' on all counts. The Sqn's training efforts were appreciated by AEB during all their inspections. All these were possible due to the untiring efforts, relentless commitment and never ending drive of Gp Capt Kanwar as the CO. Apart from imparting flying training, Gp Capt Kanwar ensured that the young pilots were groomed to be 'officers and gentlemen' while understanding and upholding the noble traditions, fine customs, and enduring values and ethos of the IAF He has also employed his skills as a test pilot while leading the team that was set up by Air HQ to study the teething problems of the Jaguar engine and suggest remedial measures. The study report is today considered a keystone document related to the engine on the Jaguar. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sanjeev Kanwar
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Tahir Hussain Abdulgani Shaikh 23527 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Tahir Hussain Abdulgani Shaikh (23527) was Commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Jun 1995. He has been Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Bison Squadron since 23 Jul 12. A Fighter Combat Leader and Directing staff at TACDE, the officer has over 2150 hours of Fighter Flying on various fighter aircraft. He has been closely associated with tactics development at TACDE. The Squadron was inspected by both DASI and AEB within four months of his assuming Command. His operational focus and personal Involvement in every sphere of Squadron activity was instrumental in achieving Average Plus grading by DASI and Above Average grading by AEB, this despite the limited availability of supervisors in the Unit. He has assiduously worked on ensuring Operational focus and synergised Op, Maint and Adm related functions to ensure quality work output coupled with vibrant Flight Safety Orientation. Few months after taking over Command he was tasked to relocate the Squadron to another base in WAC. He meticulously planned this complex exercise which involved move of almost 50 trucks and executed it with finesse. The Squadron become operational at its new location on the designated date which is a testimony of his unwavering focus, attention to detail, multitasking ability and leadership qualities. The Squadron, under his stewardship has consistently performed well. The Squadron achieved 100% serviceability soon after it was. relocated and subsequently the Squadron achieved a mission success rate of more than 98% during Ex live wire which is a measure of his Technical aptitude, involvement, Supervision and Op orientation. This achievement becomes significant in light of the fact that the Unit was operating with 21 % less manpower at that time. An impeccable Flight Safety record of the Unit while flying from varied locations like Chabua, Tezpur, Bakshi Ka Talab, Kalaikunda, Suratgarh, Jamnagar and Sirsa speaks volume of his Logistical capability and methodical approach. The officer has displayed remarkable HR management by leading human resource under extremely trying conditions of Squadron move, numerous detachments and other organisational commitments by keeping them focussed and motivated. He has always led from the front. He led two Air Force Day Flypasts in 2012 & 2013 in an exemplary fashion. The Sqn has flown 3500 sorties with him at helm of affairs. He himself has flown over 550 sorties during this period. He has also written extremely valuable service papers and led the trials on tactics development in BVR environment, currently under way at WAC. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Tahir Hussain Abdulgani Shaikh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashish Kumar 23529 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Ashish Kumar (23529) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned into fighter stream on 17 Jun 95. He has been the flight commander of a Su 30 MKI Squadron and is presently posted as the Commanding Officer of a Su 30 MKI Squadron since 03 Dec 12. He has close to 3000 hours of flying experience on MiG 21, MiG 29, Su 30K, Su 30 MKI, Hawk 132 and HPT 32 aircraft. The officer is a Category A Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (Wellington). He was part of Hawk Induction Team and was trained at British Aerospace Systems, United Kingdom. He was also part of-the initial nucleus of Hawk instructors responsible for setting up an impeccable flying training culture catering to the modernisation of Indian Air Force which has been responsible for improving the aerospace safety records of the IAF As the flight commander of the Su 30 MK[Squadron, he handled the arduous task of relocating the squadron to a frontline base for strategic considerations. It was his ability to effectively manage the operational risks that the squadron became operational at the new base within a week. In the past he has been awarded commendation by Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding -ln- Chief, Western Air Command for his professional acumen and contribution to aerospace safety. Wing Commander Ashish Kumar on assuming the command of a frontline fighter squadron in the east faced the challenge of preparing the squadron for Exercise Redflag and Exercise Livewire. It was the first time in the history of IAF that ten aircraft carried out simultaneous Air to Air refuelling during direct ferry from an IAF airfield in Assam to a fighter aircraft base in Punjab covering a distance of more than 3000 Kms. He meticulously planned and led this complex and challenging mission and successfully valillated IAF's capability of inter theatre operational deployment. It was due to his meticulous planning, dynamic leadership and eye for details that the squadron maintained more than 75 percent aircraft serviceability and flew close to 400 hours in 17 days of Ex Livewire in Mar 2013. His untiring efforts have led to a measurable increase in squadron's quantum of flying, an impeccable record of accident free flying, high quality of training and maintaining a very high level of operational readiness of the squadron. The major achievements included sustained highest aircraft serviceability amongst all the SU 30 Squadrons of IAE undertaking 11 flying detachments in an extremely professional manner and successful accomplishment of all Air Force/ Command Level tasking. Wing Commander Ashish Kumar has nurtured a feeling of pride and utmost professionalism in all the air warriors of the squadron. His efforts vis-a-vis team building and task accomplishment were par excellence which ensured smooth conduct of all the squadron operations. The dynamic leadership and undeterred resilience of Wing Commander Ashish Kumar was responsible for his squadron performing extremely well in all the spheres and the squadron was adjudged as Average Plus by the Directorate of Airstaff Inspection team. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Ashish Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Kaza Jyotir Mahendra 23762 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Kaza Jyotir Mahendra (23762) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the Flying branch on 16 Dec 1995. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a fighter squadron and has been a part of the Indian Air Force induction team of Hawk aircraft at the United Kingdom. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 2010 and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief in 1999. He has been awarded Aerospace Safety 3 stars for Superlative performance. Group Captain Kaza Jyotir Mahendra assumed command of a MiG-21 Squadron with MiG Operational Flying Training role on 27 August 12. Under his Command, the Squadron has flown a total of 5260 Sorties of accident and incident free flying. He has always lead from the front and has himself flown 697 Sorties during the tenure. Under his Command, operational upgradation of pilots has been a very high priority thereby directly increasing the operational capability of Western Air Command. A total of nine pilots have achieved Day Ops status till date out of which four have further become FullyOps. Two pilots have also achieved 2 aircraft leader status. The Instrument Rating and training status of the Squadron has been of the highest order at all times. The Squadron has consistently ensured that all heavy armament allotted has been utilized effectively for training. Aircrew Examining Board has repeatedly commended the Squadron on the quality of training during surprise audit and standardization visits. The performance of the Squadron during Exercise-Iron Fist and Exercise-Livewire has been exemplary with a 100% success rate. The Squadron has also won three team events and one individual event during Exercise-Eklavya 2013. He always leads from the front and is a source of motivation for all personnel under his command. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Kaza Jyotir Mahendra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mukesh Kothari 24047 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Mukesh Kothari (24047) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 29 Jun 96. He is a QFI with 3300 hrs of accident free flying on Mi-35, Mi-17, Mi-8 and Chetak I Cheetah helicopters. He has flown extensively in Op Vijay, Op Meghdoot, UNPKF in DRC and in Eastern sector of India. At present, he is commanding a Cheetah I Chetak helicopter unit based at Udhampur since 26 Aug 13. In the first week of Sep 2014, unprecedented rainfall in Srinagar valley led to breach in embankments of Jhelum River causing wide spread damage to life and property. Since the Kashmir valley was the worst affected, it was decided to position a three helicopter detachment at Srinagar to carry out relief operations with Wing Commander Kothari as the Detachment Commander to supervise the challenging task. During the entire operations, the officer undertook 40 missions, rescued close to 20 people from low hover and dropped four tones of rescue material. On 09 Sep 14, the Unit was tasked to answer an urgent SOS call from Karnnagar and Tengpura localities of Srinagar, wherein people were marooned on rooftops. Water level was rising continuously and there was a threat of people getting swept away, especially in the low lying areas. The officer meticulously briefed his crew and got airborne within 15 mins of reception of the message. In this mission, he rescued four people in low hover from the roof tops in two shuttles and dropped food for the survivors. He rescued another eight people the next day from low hover and dropped 1.5 tons of food in 11 shuttles displaying his professional expertise, inspiring leadership and courage. On 13 Sep 14, SKIMS (Shere Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) had to undertake a critical lifesaving surgery. The surgical equipment at the hospital was destroyed by the floods. The fastest way to deliver these lifesaving surgical stores was by a Cheetah helicopter which could land at the restricted space of SKIMS campus. The environment was inhospitable as there were instances of stone pelting at an IAF helicopter the previous day, hence landing an aircraft outside the campus was a risky task. The officer flew the mission successfully, undeterred by the situation, displaying professionalism of a high order in a hostile environment. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Mukesh Kothari.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Govind Bhikaji Patole 24211 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Govind Bhikaji Patole (24211) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 21 Dec 96. Presently he is commanding a frontline Mi-17 V5 Unit since 22 Jul 13. On 06 Sep 14 in the aftermath of heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir the Unit was tasked to immediately deploy two helicopters for flood relief operations. Wg Cdr Patole having anticipated such tasking had already prepared two ac, aircrew and ground crew teams and hence the Unit was quick to react and reached Jarmnu-by sunset in spite of inclement weather. The foresight and leadership shown by him as well as the efficiency of the men under his command ensured that the IAF could quickly augment the relief effort underway in J & K with two additional helicopters. At Jammu he was tasked to locate a land slide site north of Udhampur and insert a team of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel to assist stranded people. On locating the site inside a narrow re-entrant, Wg Cdr Patole quickly assessed the surrounding area and realised that the only place to insert the team from where they could reach the landslide spot on foot was on a steep slope. This called for the helicopter to be landed on or manoeuvred close to the steep slope in an extremely constricted area with minimal clearance from tall trees and terrain. He, thereafter, carried out a precise approach, carefully manoeuvring his helicopter to hover with only one wheel barely in contact with ground and the rotors just clear of the terrain on the upslope side. He continued to maintain a steady hover while simultaneously managing his crew resources to their best efficiency, to ensure safe insertion of the NDRF team, who subsequently cleared the land slide and provided respite to the stranded people. On being repositioned at Srinagar the next day, his team continued to operate in the valley for the next 10 days ceaselessly from sunrise to sunset exploiting their machines and crews to the fringes of their performance envelopes which enabled the rescue of 3444 survivors including 36 who were winched up from marooned roof tops. Wg Cdr Patole was himself instrumental in rescuing 1408 survivors. Being the senior most Mi-17 V5 helicopter pilot deployed in Op Megh Rahat he played a significant part in ensuring safe operations of IAF helicopters through meticulous planning, precise briefings, weather advisories for all helicopter crews operating in the valley. He continued to motivate crews from his own and other detachments to be ready to take on any mission even in hostile conditions. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is please to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Govind Bhikaji Patole.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rosha 24241 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Rosha (24241) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 21 Dec 96. He is a flying supervisor, and has flown Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-17-1V and Mi-17-V5 aircraft. He has more than 4600 hrs of operational flying to his credit including flying in Op-Triveni, Op-Meghdoot, UNPKF and in the Western, Northern and South Western sectors. He is commanding a frontline Mi-17-V5 Helicopter Unit since 01 Jul 13. During Op-Megh Rahat, on 08 Sep 14, following a catastrophic landslide at Saddal, Pinjar and Panjiara villages near Udhampur the officer was tasked to undertake a daring mission to insert NDRF personnel, their survival gear and essential medical supplies on a ledge, on a hill in an extremely restricted area, which helped provide succour to the needy. Whilst at Srinagar, he was instrumental in rescuing stranded civilians from roof tops at various locations in the city. He carried out a rescue of 150 girls of SKIMS (Shere Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences), that was planned and well executed with precision. Being the Detachment Commander, he relentlessly undertook the most difficult missions of relief supplies and medicine dropping. In addition, he tarmac management and technical support to all heptrs involved in the relief operations attached from Commands / Units outside Western Air Command AOR. During the course of operations, the officer 'successfully evacuated over 1800 people from inaccessible parts of the flooded valley and air dropped 60000 Kgs of relief material. He flew over 150 sorties not withstanding constraints of presence of anti-national elements, aircraft mobbing and high bird activity. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion To Duty) To Wing Commander Rosha.
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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