Awards for the year 2018


A total of 70 Awards are listed.
Ashok Chakra : 1 | Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Shaurya Chakra : 3 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 20 | Vishist Seva Medal : 28 |
Ashok Chakra
Cpl Jyoti Prakash Nirala 918203 ORUnit : 13 Rashtriya Rifles  Award Date 18 Nov 17 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details :

Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala was a specialist weapon operator in the IAF Special Forces Detachment. He was attached with 13 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, under the aegis of 'Op Rakshak' in Jammu & Kashmir for active counter insurgency operations. On 18 Nov 17, based on specific tech intelligence, an offensive was launched jointly by the Garud detachment and 13 RR in Chanderger village of Bandipora district in J&K. The Garud detachment covertly approached the target house where the suspected terrorists were hiding and laid a close quarter ambush. Cpl Nirala, displaying exceptional battle craft, positioned himself close to the approach of the hideout, thus cutting off all possibilities of an escape by the insurgents. Laying this ambush itself at such close quarters demanded a very high degree of courage and professional acumen.

While the detachment laid in wait, six terrorists hiding in the house, rushed out, shooting and lobbing grenades at the Garuds. Cpl Nirala, disregarding personal safety and displaying indomitable courage, retaliated with effective lethal fire and gunned down a category 'A' terrorist named Ubaid Alias Osama Jungi (nephew of LeT commander Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi). Readjusting his position to protect his colleagues and preventing other terrorists from escaping, Cpl Nirala killed one more category `A+' terrorist, named Mehmud Bhai (LeT North Kashmir commander) and injured two others. In this violent exchange of fire, Cpl Nirala was hit by a volley of small arms fire. Despite being critically injured, the Corporal continued retaliatory fire. Subsequently, he succumbed to fatal gunshot wounds received in the fierce encounter, which resulted in the killing of alI six dreaded terrorists.

For this act of most conspicuous bravery, pre-eminent valour and supreme sacrifice, Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala has been awarded Ashok Chakra (Posthumous).

Reference: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=175890 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Anil Khosla 15871 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar 15881 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria 16026 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Shyam Bihari Prasad Sinha 16053 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Mahesh Kumar Malik 15743 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Pankaj 15975 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Pawan Kapoor 35311 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Marshal Om Prakash Tiwari 16678 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Marshal Atul Kumar Singh 17041 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Marshal Mahender Kumar Guleria 17130 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Marshal Diptendu Choudhary 17335 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Surendar Kumar Indoria 18296 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Rakesh Sinha 18797 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Inderpal Singh Walia 19518 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kartikeya Kale 19883 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Tejbir Singh 19958 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Harinder Jeet Walia 16418 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Sunil Jayant Nanodkar 16555 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Nilesh Kumar Nayan 905119 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Khairnar Milind Kishor 903038 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Devendra Mehta 924566 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
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Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rajiv Chauhan 29086 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Squadron Leader Rajiv Chauhan (29086-K) Adm/Garud is on the posted strength of 617 Garud Flight, Air Force as Commanding Officer with effect from 27 Feb 17. He was assigned the responsibility of Garud Detachment Commander while on deployment in Op Rakshak with 13th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles, with effect from 23 Aug 17. He demonstrated indomitable courage and admirable leadership in exhibiting exceptional situational awareness in guiding his team during the encounter on 11 Oct 17 at Boon Mohalla of village Rakh Hajin, district Bandipora, resulting in shooting down of two category 'A' terrorists, Abu Bakar (alias Ali Bhai) and Nassuralla Mir (alias Anna). On 18 Nov 17, on receipt of specific intelligence, an operation was launched jointly by Garud team and 13 RR in village Chanderger, District Bandipora in Jammu & Kashmir. Squadron Leader Rajiv Chauhan, while leading the Garud team exhibiting exceptional situational awareness and courage, covertly deployed the Garud team in cordon at the target house wherein suspected terrorists were hiding, and cut off all possible escape routes. While the detachment laid in wait, six terrorists hiding in the house, rushed out, shooting and lobbing grenades at the Garuds. Sensing the intentions of fleeing terrorists, Squadron Leader Chauhan demonstrated indomitable courage, control and admirable leadership in exercising effective and accurate fire by his team on the fleeing terrorists, thereby resulting in shooting down of one category 'A+' and five category 'A' terrorists of LeT. The officer was directly responsible for killing of one category 'A' terrorist named Abu Zurgam (LeT front man in North Kashmir). Disregarding personal safety, he ensured speedy evacuation of the injured men under his command and exhibited admirable leadership in the intensely fought close quarter battle. For his act of courage, professionalism, leadership and distinguished service of a high order in a hostile situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Rajiv Chauhan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kamal Sharma 29680 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Squadron Leader Kamal Sharma (29680) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17V5 Helicopter Unit since 02 March 2015. The unit mans the detachments for Operation Triveni as part of Anti Naxal Task Force (ANTF) at Raipur and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. In Jun 2017, the Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF had launched "Operation Prahar", a major joint operation against Naxalites in Sukma district. ANTF was involved in large scale troop induction missions and was on hot stand-by at Sukma and Jagdalpur. On 24 Jun 17, a heavy exchange of fire took place between CRPF and the Naxals at Tondamarka located 20 km south of Chintagufa in Sukma, in which five jawans of the Special Task Force (STF) of Chhattisgarh Police were critically injured. Since it was impossible to move the casualties to any nearby helipad, the IAF agreed to evacuate the casualties from the encounter area itself. The Task Force Commander (TFC) of ANTF had detailed Sqn Ldr Kamal Sharma, an experienced Helicopter Combat Leader, to proceed immediately to Sukma. Sqn Ldr Sharma assessed the complete situation and took an operational update from SP Sukma. On receiving the go ahead from Task Force Commander, he immediately proceeded to the dangerous conflict zone to land at a designated unprepared landing zone as captain of the lead aircraft, with another helicopter providing overhead escort protection. The weather was inclement and the encounter zone was in thick jungles in an unfamiliar area where the security forces had never ventured earlier. Judiciously avoiding known threat zones and in a display of courage, he safely landed in a small clearing in the encounter zone in the thick jungle and picked up the five casualties. While taking off, the helicopter was fired upon by the Naxatities. There were bullet hits in the cargo compartment and a rotor blade. Notwithstanding the firing on the helicopter, he remained undeterred. He displayed exceptional courage and situational awareness, in maneuvering the helicopter from the firing zone as the safety of the casualties, his crew and the aircraft was paramount in his mind. After ascertaining the aircraft's airworthiness by getting it visually inspected by the escort helicopter, he carried out a safe landing at Sukma. He further ensured that the casualties were promptly moved in the other helicopter to Raipur. By willingly accepting and executing a very high risk mission, saving precious lives and the helicopter, Sqn Ldr Sharma displayed exceptional courage which has special significance not only for the IAF but also for the troops involved in these operations. For his act of exceptional courage and fortitude in the conduct of a daring mission in Operation Triveni Hon'ble President is pleased to award, Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Kamal Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Anshul Saxena 26118 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Wing Commander Anshul Saxena (26118) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Cheetah! Cheetal Unit that operates in Siachen Glacier, as Flight Commander since 13 Ju115. He has more than 4400 hours of accident/incident free flying over varied and extremely challenging terrain. On Saturday, 11 Mar 17 at 0630 h the Unit was tasked for a casualty evacuation of an ITBP personnel from Zursar post, situated at a height of 17,000 feet on the Indo-China border. The patient had suffered a major heart attack and needed immediate evacuation to survive. Wg Cdr Saxena took stock of the situation and immediately activated the necessary services for launching the rescue effort. On the day of the planned evacuation the weather in the sector was marginal with poor visibility, strong winds and clouding which added to the extreme challenges of high altitude faced by the pilots, Wg Cdr Saxena took the responsibility to lead a two helicopter formation himself for the rescue in the marginal weather. Quick reaction and exemplary planning by him ensured that the mission was underway in the shortest possible time. The risk and challenges faced in such a high altitude evacuation whilst negotiating poor visibility and heavy turbulence are of a very high order. Another risk faced by the officer was the proximity of the rescue site to the International border with China and obstructions near the helipad which demanded extremely skillful handling of the helicopter at the limits of flight envelope. While approaching the helipad at an altitude of more than 17,000 feet, the weather deteriorated further and visibility dropped to barely 500m. Wg Cdr Saxena quickly and correctly assessed the situation. He had the option to tum back as a slight misjudgment could have resulted in an adverse situation. He displayed exceptional courage and took a conscious decision to evacuate the seriously ill ITBP personnel. He advised the other member of the formation to hold clear in the valley while he landed to pick up the casualty. While on short finals to land at the unprepared (kutcha) helipad, there was very limited oxygen, varying winds, turbulence and snow bowl which grossly increased the danger of landing in a high altitude helipad. Displaying courage and superior flying skills in the face of adversity, Wg Cdr Saxena executed a safe landing. After picking up the casualty, he again successfully negotiated marginal weather en-route to land at Loma, where he personally undertook a quick turn-around servicing of the aircraft to continue further flight to Leh. He landed safely at the 153 General Hospital at Leh with the casualty on board. He therefore, kept the highest traditions of IAF and set an example for his subordinates by saving the life of the ill personnel. For this courageous act of professionalism and undeterred valour in which a precious life was saved by timely evacuation of a combatant from an extremely challenging helipad, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Anshul Saxena.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Bhuvan Mathur 22971 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Bhuvan Mathur (22971-H) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying branch of the Indian Air Force on 18 Jun 94. He is a highly experienced and qualified pilot with more than 7000 hrs of accident free flying on various platforms such a An-32, Emb-135 and BBJ aircraft (ac). He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Type Examiner on Emb-135 and holds 'AMG' on both Embraer and BBJ ac. Gp Capt Mathur had displayed outstanding professionalism in every aspect of his work over the last two decades. Having mastered the An-32 ac in the initial years of service and being qualified on every role the platform could offer, Gp Capt Mathur was chosen to be one of the pioneers for induction and operationalization of Embraer fleet into the IAF. Since then he has continued to strengthen multifaceted operations of the fleet. He has over 2800 hrs on the Emb-135, which is second to none and was appointed as Flight Commander on 31 Ju112. He took over command of the prestigious Air Headquarters Communication Squadron on 08 Ju114. His perseverance, commitment to service, zeal to excel and transformational leadership continued to guarantee many firsts to his credit. As Commanding Officer AHCS, the unit achieved numerous feats that included the first Cat 11landing of the BBJ ac, VVIP operations at night by helicopters during Ex Iron Fist, night recovery of Mi-17 VS at Delhi under IFR conditions and operationalization of low Visibility Takeoffs (LVTO) for the BBJ and Emb-135 fleet. His involvement and inspirational leadership are evident from the fact the he captained the first LVTO in the EMB-135 (RVR 125m). He also executed the trial landing of Emb-135 for the very first time at Jagdalpur and Rourkela for PM of India. It is therefore no surprise that with his fervor to achieve operational excellence and his exceptional leadership skills, his team remained steadfast to the Squadron Motto of 'Seva aur Suraksha' and achieved an unprecedented 16500 hours of accident! incident free flying operating across all parts of the world during his tenure as Commanding Officer. As Commanding Officer of a Squadron operating four different types of aircraft, he ensured his men were equipped with adequate training and knowledge to undertake the highly challenging operational tasks. He worked tirelessly to ensure that all maintenance and administrative aspects of the Squadron were undertaken meticulously, the most critical of these being the smooth transition from Mi-8 heptrs. His foresight, remarkable eye for details and innovative approach ensured that the 96 months servicing of the Emb-135, the 72 month servicing of BBj ac, VIP modification of the Mi-17 VS heptrs and completion of Integrated Squadron Headquarters were executed flawlessly with strict adherence to all provisions of the contract. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Bhuvan Mathur.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Tarun Hindwan 23167 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Tarun Hindwan (23167-R) was commissioned in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 17 Dec 94. He is on the posted strength of Air Force Station Bidar since 03 Apr 16 and working as Chief Instructor. He is a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor with a flying experience of nearly 4,000 hrs. He is a graduate from Air Command and Staff College, USA and Higher Air Command Course (HAeC) at College of Air Warfare. He was the first IAF officer to be awarded Gen Lansdale Award for his thesis during staff course abroad. He was also awarded the Commandants trophy during HACC. He has served as a Directing Staff in the prestigious Flying Instructors' School and as an Air Force Examiner in Aircrew Examining Board (AEB). In his present appointment, the officer has achieved multiple crucial milestones. At the time of his appointment the course flying was behind schedule by two months. With his exceptional ability to plan and execute tasks, the Hawk units flew more than 8,000 accident free hours in the last 10 months to regain scheduled timelines. His intense focus on quality was visible in AEB visits where the result of general subjects exams was 100% for the first time. He also ensured that operational and armament qualification status of the aircrew in both Hawk units improved from a mere eight to 32 aircrew within five months of his assuming charge. Due to this operational orientation, the Hawk units were appreciated and adjudged 'Above Average' in operational missions by the inspecting team from Directorate of Air Staff inspection (DASI) in Dec 16, who also appreciated his sustained drive towards conduct of simulator training and adjudged the same also as 'Above Average'. The unrelenting pursuit for excellence and professionalism in training resulted in AFS Bidar being awarded the best Flying Training Establishment (FTE) and the Hawk units being awarded the best Aerospace Unit trophies in Training Command for 2016. The comprehensive Hawk ac Operator Manual was compiled by the officer during initial induction of Hawk ac. He again undertook revision of operator manual with amalgamation of all pilot orders to create a complete manual. He has also effectively shouldered additional duty as officiating Station Commander on multiple occasions. He is a highly motivated officer who displays exceptional leadership, exemplary initiative and thorough involvement in professional activities making him a role model for other officers in the station. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Tarun Hindwan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Tulasi Rukmini Ravi 23724 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Tulasi Rukmini Ravi (23724-G) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a transport pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 16 Dec 95. In his 21 years of service, he has flown 7650 hours. He is a Category 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor on HPT-32, HJT-16 and Category 'A' / Master Green in An-32, IL-76 and C-17. During his service, the officer has held the appointment of Training Officer of an IL-76 Squadron (Sqn), instructor at the prestigious Flying Instructors' School and has been an Air Force Examiner. As the first Flight Commander of the C-17 Squadron, he was instrumental in drafting the Standard Operating Procedures for ope rationalization of the C-17 fleet in IAF. He planned the first ever C-17 landing at Kathmandu which was during Operation (Op) Maitri for Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Relief (HAlDR). The fact that it was carried out in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake on a runway with cracks and amidst Air Traffic Control breakdowns, chaotic tarmac control and high frequency of unscheduled traffic is a testimony to the officer's planning ability and professionalism. He was also involved in formulating procedures for formation flypast of C-17 with Su-30 aircraft, which has since been flown in all air displays. He also formulated procedures for C-17 operations at Thoise for regular air maintenance. In his present appointment as Commanding Officer, he undertook the trials for Counter Measure Dispensing System on C-17. The officer planned and executed the first landing by C-17 at the advance landing ground at Mechuka, which was a milestone in the IAF's forward area strategic airlift capability. He undertook the first air drop mission in Exercise Iron Fist, and also the first high altitude low opening airdrop. He spearheaded the HAlDR mission to South Sudan, piloting the first aircraft to evacuate the Indian diaspora out of the afflicted warzone. The mission was flown with Minister of State for External Affairs, General VK Singh (retd) and his team, in a nonstop 36 hours duty cycle. During Op Neer, he landed C-17 at Male for the first time. He has flown in all critical ops like Op Hudhud (AP cyclone), Op Meghrahat (J&K Flood), Op Madad (Chennai flood relief), ops during Gujarat Patidar agitation, airlift of CRPF during Srinagar agitation, Tamil Nadu relief ops and demonetization relief ops. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Tulasi Rukmini Ravi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Surender Malik 24490 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Surender Malik (24490-S) F(P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on 21 Jun 97. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) with over 3430 hours of flying experience. He has been Flight Commander of an M-2000 Squadron, Station Aerospace Safety & Inspection Officer (SASIO) of a Wing and is an alumnus of Defence Services Command and Staff College, Bangladesh. He successfully commanded a Mirage Squadron. As Commanding Officer, he maintained high operational readiness of Sqn and with special emphasis on role oriented training by night. He ensured that required standards are achieved by all concemed. The Sqn under his command flew 3220 accident free hours and 34% of which was flown by night. He ensured optimum utilization of limited flying hours in M-2000 Sqn to maintain high Operations status. The Sqn participated in 17 flying detachments and 37 exercises. He ensured 76 aircrew role upgradations and 191R upgradations. The Sqn was graded 'AV Plus' in Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) all aspects. The Sqn won the team event for Night MAR in Exercise Eklavya. The Sqn effectively reduced the sortie durations and enhanced multi tasking to maintain more that 70% of aircrew at Fully Operations status. He effectively supervised the recommencement of air to air gun firing in M-2000. During his tenure, HUD recoding on M-2000 was enabled at Sqn level and was operationalised towards better training value. The Sqn undertook three detachments from Saifai airfield and prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) towards operations from civil satellite airfields. He was leader for three aircraft highway landing at Agra-Lucknow expressway in 2016. The Sqn participated in Exercise Iron Fist 2016 in two events and he was leader for 5 x 250 kg CDA event. During his tenure, the Sqn focused on the effective Operational utilization of standoff precession weapons like Crystal Maze/ Spice-2000 against HQ-9/Spada SAM systems and submitted papers on their Operational employability. The Sqn met all its operational commitments and achieved good upgradation of Operational status of all aircrew. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Surender Malik .
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Devashish Kukreti 24519 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Devashish Kukreti (24519-N) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of IAF on 21 Jun 97. He is commanding a frontline Jaguar Squadron since 13 Apr 15.The officer is a Fighter Strike Leader (FSL) as well as an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner (IRIE). He stood first in overall order of merit in the 56 FSL course at TACDE and in Air Wing at DSCSC, Sri Lanka. Prior to this tenure, he was Flight Commander of a frontline Jaguar Sqn and later Command Staff at HQ WAC. The officer also achieved the distinction of completing 3000 hours of accident! incident free flying on Jaguar aircraft. A highly motivated and dynamic officer, he possesses excellent professional acumen and is an inspiring leader. Under his able stewardship, the Squadron has flown extensively and ensured that all aircrew upgrade their qualifications as per seniority and experience. For his meticulous planning, foresight and eye for detail, the officer was selected to lead Jaguar contingent in 'Ex Red Flag' at Alaska from 03 Apr to 24 May 16. As Detachment Commander for the exercise, his immaculate leadership and personal involvement in training and administrative issues, ensured successful execution of the detachment with 100 percent serviceability, exceptional weapon scores and nil accident! incident. The effort of the Sqn was well appreciated in Indian as well as abroad. His tremendous ability and leadership skills are evident as the squadron extensively flew Operational Recce lite missions post Uri attack, participated in Exercise Livewire and Operational Capability Demonstration Exercise 4-8-9, bagged Overall Runner Up in Spot Eklavya, performed exceptionally well in AEB and DASI inspections, indicating sound operational preparedness and relentless training. The officer led the Jaguar formation in Republic Day Fly Past in a most professional manner, inspite of extremely adverse weather. Under his constant guidance, there has been a consistent improvement in discipline, decorum and turnout standards in the Sqn. He has also made rapid strides towards sustained improvement in the quality of life of his work force by creating a congenial and healthy working atmosphere in the unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Devashish Kukreti.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manish Sharma 25040 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Manish Sharma (25040-K) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force on 27 Dec 97. He is a FCL with over 2100 hrs of flying experience. He has been a Flight Commander of a Bison Squadron, Directing Staff at Tactics and Combat Development & Establishment (TACDE) and is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington. He has also served as Sector Air Operations Officer on deputation to United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) for one year. He successfully commanded a Mirage squadron and is presently selected to undergo Air War course USA. He shouldered the responsibility as Commanding Officer with dedication and ensured highest level of operational status of the Squadron (Sqn). Under his effective supervision, the Sqn participated in 19 flying detachments, 35 exercises and achieved 2900 hours of accident free fighter operations. He ensured 56 aircrew role upgradations, 32 IR upgradations with special emphasis on night missions amounting to 34% of task. His leadership has resulted in Sqn being awarded Exercise (Ex) Eklavya trophy for two years in a row. The Sqn was adjudged as the Best Fighter Squadron of Central Air Command (CAC) for the year 2016. The major achievements of the Sqn during his command included first highway landing by fighter aircraft (ac), first time operations from civil airfields of Saifai and Varanasi, cold weather high altitude Leh trials of upgrade ac, first time live firing of Spice-2000 PGM and first live firing of Mica missile. The officer himself undertook the responsibility and challenge of dropping the first field level live drop of the Spice-2000 weapon by night. His focused approach towards operations resulted in redrafting of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and briefing guides for Spice-2000 along with submission of paper on Operational utilization of Spice-2000. He was chosen to conduct the very first and only Real Time Kill Removal (RTKR) Workshop for CAC which involved formulation and drafting of detailed SOPs. During his tenure, he ensured smooth and seamless induction of the upgrade aircraft in the Sqn and ensured quick and effective up gradation of aircrew and ground crew so as to build up the operational capability of the unit and IAF. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Manish Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vikassheel Singh Saini 25060 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Vikassheel Singh Saini (25060-A) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 20 Jun 98. He has successfully completed his tenure as the Commanding Officer of a MiG-29 Upgrade squadron on 29 May 17. The officer is qualified on Mig-29 Upgrade, MiG-29 and MiG-21 (T-77). He has more than 2100 hours of flying experience and is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI). The officer has been a part of the prestigious Suryakiran Aerobatic team of the Indian Air Force. He was the Flight Commander of a MiG-29 Upgrade Squadron before tenanting his current appointment. As Flight Commander the officer showed professional acumen and leadership of a high order, and ensured that all aircrew gained their operational qualifications in the shortest possible timeframe. As Commanding Officer the officer has displayed exemplary professionalism, leadership, foresight and risk taking ability. Under his command, despite limitations of weapon testers not being available, the Squadron successfully carried out first time firing of aircraft guns and all classes of Beyond Visual Range missiles on the MiG-29 Upgrade. The Squadron completed the second phase of training with the Russian aircrew and carried out Air to Air refueling on the MiG-29 Upgrade for the first time in the Indian Air Force (IAF), thereby achieving full operationalization of the newly inducted aircraft. The Squadron carried out night flying from Udhampur airfield, becoming the first fighter unit of the IAF to do so. The squadron also carried out successful operations from Leh for the first time since upgrade. The Squadron successfully participated in Exercise 'Iron Fist' and achieved a direct hit on target on all days. It also participated in the Republic Day in 2017, and carried out an immaculate flypast despite extremely inclement weather on the final day. Under his guidance the Squadron actively participated in various trials with Russian specialists, and ensured achievement of upgrade tasks. He is an Aerospace Safety conscious officer, with an operational attitude. Under his command, the squadron also participated in various exercises, maintained high availability of aircraft, and achieved all operational tasks allotted to it in an extremely professional manner. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Vikassheel Singh Saini.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Brijesh Paul 25078 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Brijesh Paul (25078-R) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 20 Jun 98 as a fighter pilot in the Flying Branch of IAF. Since 08 Jun 15, he has been Commanding a front line Fighter Squadron of IAF flying the Air Superiority Fighter. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and was chosen to induct PC-7 MK 11 aircraft as Flight Commander. He has been part of the prestigious Suryakiran Aerobatic Team which took part in 2008 Zuhair Air China Show and 2011 Aero India Show, Recently, as Exercise Director he was instrumental in successful conduct of Indo- Oman Air Exercise Easter Bridge IV. After assuming Command of MiG 29 Squadron, Gp Capt Paul set out to achieve the targets set by Air Force. He build up an effective liaison with Technical Flight and other support services of the Station which resulted in efficient planning, execution of flying and maintenance activities which resulted in overall increase in aircraft serviceability and the flying hours available for the Squadron. During his tenure there was an increase of 20% in total flying and an increase of 80% in night flying content. This resulted in reducing the training period and hence contributed in enhancing the combat potential of Squadron. His impetus on role oriented training ensured enhanced Ops capability in Sea Flying, Low Level and Supersonic intercepts. Through his effective supervision and involvement, he ensured very high standards of operational readiness and training with exceptional Flight Safety record. Under his leadership Squadron performed exceptionally well during inspection visits by Air Crew Examination Board and all the exercises conducted by IAF which included activation of Mumbai International Airfield on two occasions. The confidence and professional work culture infused by him led to achievement of 18 commendations/ awards by his Squadron air-warriors. While demanding professional excellence Group Captain Paul always took out time to solve problems affecting people below him. His personal touch made him approachable and motivated air-warriors to work harder to achieve Air Force tasks. In Jan 2017, Indian Air Force planned an Air Exercise with Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) for which Group Captain Paul was appointed as the Exercise Director. Through his diligent planning, eye for detail, professional acumen and ability to form a effective team, he successfully conducted the Air Exercise. The efforts put in by Group Captain Paul in providing facilities to RAFO contingent and professional approach for the conduct of Exercise were specially praised by the Commander of RAFO during his visit. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Brijesh Paul.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Rohit Kapil 25081 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Rohit Kapil (25081-R) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of IAF on 20 Jun 98. He is presently posted as the Commanding Officer of an operational frontline Squadron since 14 Mar 16. He has 3500 hours of operational flying experience on a variety of aircraft on IAF's inventory. He has been Flight Commander of a premier operational squadron. He is a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor and has undergone Advance Command and Staff Course in UK. The officer on assuming the command of a premier fighter squadron, was faced with the challenge of completing the induction of eighteen aircraft and operationalizing a newly resurrected squadron. Notwithstanding the limited resources, he decided to form two separate teams to HAL for acceptance of aircraft. This decision resulted in speedier acceptance of aircraft and operationalization of the squadron. Owing to his foresight, dynamic leadership and eye for detail, the squadron has been able to maintain highest aircraft serviceability in the entire fleet. His operational orientation and focus has ensured high quality of training, a quantum increase in unit's war-fighting capability and operational readiness. The unit's exemplary performance during the various exercises is a testimony of his exceptional leadership skills. As the team leader for the joint Military Training with Republic of Singapore Air Force, he led the IAF contingent from the front to ensure professional conduct during this prestigious international exercise, wherein the prowess of the IAF was showcased at an international level bringing accolades to the nation. He has been instrumental in planning and execution of safe air operations from a remote civil airfield in the eastern theatre close to the lB. The officer has nurtured a feeling of pride and utmost professionalism in all personnel of the sqn. His efforts vis-a-vis team building has ensured smooth and efficient conduct of all tasks assigned to the unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Rohit Kapil.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Jitendra Dinkar Masurkar 25082 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Jitendra Dinkar Masurkar (25082- T) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 20 June 98. A category 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), he has over 2600 hours of accident free flying on different types of Fighters. Group Captain Masurkar has been commanding a MiG-21 Squadron since 15 June 2015. The officer was not experienced on the aircraft when he took over Command, notwithstanding that, he not only has flown extensively during his command but has led the Squadron from the front on all aspects. Under his leadership, the Squadron won four trophies in the Command Air to Ground gunnery competition, which was the maximum by anyone squadron. Here also, the officer himself was part of two of the winning teams. Achieving this feat on a legacy platform, while competing with highly advanced aircraft, with state of art avionic and systems, is no mean achievement. The officer's active involvement, constant guidance and motivational leadership ensured that the squadron excelled in all its tasking and inspections, doing well in both Aircrew Examining Board (AEB) and Director of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) inspections. During his tenure, the fleet went through a major challenge due non-availability of aeroengines that resulted in a significant backlog of large number of engine and fuel pump changes. All this had an adverse effect on platform availability. However, the officer motivated his team and through exhaustive planning and dedicated effort, not only was the serviceability addressed in a sustainable way but during the entire period, the squadron met all its operational tasking including status upgradation of the aircrew. He is an ardent sportsman who was instrumental in the formation of a cycling club in the Station. The air warriors of the club, led by the officer undertook over 360 km cycling expedition. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Jitendra Dinkar Masurkar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Chelikani Upendra Venkat Rao 25087 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Chelikani Upendra Venkat Rao (25087) F(P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 20 Jun 98. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), and Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner (IRIE) and an alumnus of the prestigious Defense Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington. He has successfully completed tenures as a Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of Su-30MKI fighter squadrons with over 3300 hours of flying experience. He is one of the few pilots in Indian Air Force who is qualified on all possible roles including the Low Level Aerobatics display on Su-30MKI aircraft, and has show cased his ability in two occasions of the prestigious air show - 'Aero India', in 2015 and 2017. Wing Commander Rao was tasked to take over the Command of a Su-30MKI squadron at a very short notice and under trying circumstances. Against many odds, the officer took over the task diligently and, with his dynamic leadership, changed the environment and brought up the morale of the unit to new heights. His foresight and pragmatic approach raised the squadron's performance to very high standards. The Unit was chosen to participate in Ex-Red Flag Alaska 16-1 in USA, and Ex-Desert Eagle" in UAE. The Sqn achieved 100% mission accomplishment in Ex-Red Flag and performed exceptionally well in both Within Visual Range (WVR) and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. As Commanding officer he has ensured good work ethos and conducive atmosphere. This enabled the squadron to produce outstanding results. High Altitude Operations from Leh, trials to validate the feasibility of attacks over High Altitude Range at Pang, Low Visibility Operations and Single Cockpit Operations are a few notable examples. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Chelikani Upendra Venkat Rao.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Abhay Arun Phansalkar 25114 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Abhay Arun Phansalkar (25114) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 20 Jun 98. He has been the Commanding Officer of a frontline Su-30 MKI fighter squadron since 17 Aug 2015. He has over 3200 hours of flying experience with more than 2000 hours on type. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. As CO, he has dedicated himself in achieving high operational status of the squadron and consistently displayed a penchant for leading from the front. The squadron has since flown more than 4300 hours of which 1250 hours have been flown by night which is the highest in the history of the squadron. The squadron's track record of zero HE(A) or HE(S) incident/accident is a testimony to his untiring efforts, zeal sheer hard work and enthusiasm. The squadron participated in numerous international and domestic flying exercises pan India which also involved the Indian Navy. With his professional efficiency, ability to handle men and above all dedicated sense of duty, he has been great inspiration to all around him. The squadron has undertaken numerous detachments at multiple locations and responded in an exemplary manner to any operational task keeping aerospace safety uppermost, under his command. The Squadron performed exceptionally well in the Indo-Oman bilateral exercise in January 2017 involving F-16 aircraft as well as exercise Tropex conducted in 2016 involving Indian Navy fighters. The squadron was decorated with the President's Standards recently and due to his exemplary leadership, the events were successfully undertaken at a distant base along with operations. His dedication and immaculate planning ensured that all the events were conducted in a befitting manner as per the traditions of IAF. The coordinated efforts were appreciated by all the veterans and serving officers alike. He greatly improved the working conditions for squadron personnel with several pioneering initiatives. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Abhay Arun Phansalkar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Suseem Siwach 25323 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Wing Commander Suseem Siwach (25323-L) Flying (Pilot) was Commissioned as a helicopter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force (IAF) on 19 Dec 1998. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor as well as an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. He is a graduate of the prestigious Defense Services Staff College. He has flown extensively in North Eastern sector bordering China and in Drass and Kargil sectors. He has also been an instructor at the Helicopter Training School and Chief Flying Instructor at twin engine helicopter training establishment. He was also on deputation to Congo where he actively participated in numerous flying operations in the war torn nation. In recognition of his devotion to duty and professional excellence he was awarded with Chief of Air Staff commendation in Oct 2007. The officer is currently commanding an operational MI-17 V5 helicopter unit. Under his command, the unit has successfully undertaken the conversion from vintage MI-8 Helicopters to the state of art MI-17 V5 helicopters, a task which demanded meticulous planning, careful execution and close monitoring. Dueto his exceptional leadership and professional approach the unit pilots were trained on the new helicopter, attaining Fully Operational status, in record time. He undertook Armament delivery trials in dark night on Night Vision Goggles, a first in the IAF, to exploit the operational capabilities of MI-17 V5 by carrying out bombing and GSH Gun firing. Due to his unflinching efforts to improve Air to Ground firing training, his unit was adjudged 'Best Helicopter unit in Armament delivery' during Exercise Eklavya. Under tiis able leadership the unit was also adjudged the 'Best Helicopter Unit' in SWAC forthe year2015-16. His unit was also awarded the prestigious 'President's Standard' in recognition of the exceptional service rendered to the Nation. He worked tirelessly and contributed immensely towards the successful conduct of the mega event. The officer's unflinching commitment to the Nation and the service has come to the fore on numerous occasions. He has actively taken part in number of operational missions like Op- Fort William which was a joint operation of Indian Army, Bhutan army and IAF against ULFA in Assam in 2003 and more recently, in March 2016, he was instrumental in inducting NSG commandos at Dwarka, Somnath and Akshardham at Ahmedabad after receiving Intelligence inputs about the sub conventional threat to the state of Gujarat. During his service career spanning 19 years he has been a part of number of HADR missions which include the Tsunami in 2004 and 'Flash floods in Madhya Pradesh (2007) and Kedarnath (June 2013). Recently, in Mar 2017, he was involved in fire fighting operations in Eklingarh Cantonment, Udaipur wherein 32000 liters of water was sprayed in record time from his helicopter to douse the fire thus saving National assets of strategic importance. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Wing Commander Suseem Siwach.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Raj Kumar Sharma 25343 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Wg Cdr Raj Kumar Sharma (25343-B) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a helicopter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 19 Dec 98. He is Commanding Officer of 112 HU, AF wef 03 Aug 15. He is fully Ops on ChetaklCheetah, Mi-8/Mi-17 and has a total 4350 hrs of accident free flying. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, IRIE and holds present Cat IR AMG on both Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters. In the recent past, Wg Cdr RK Sharma displayed exemplary courage in a Casevac mission post naxal attack Ex Jagdalpur at mid night and another Casevac Mission post mine blast Ex Tuensang for Indian Army troops in inclement weather. He also displayed exemplary situational awareness in handling of critical emergencies of engine failure during day and engine surge during night at critical stages of flight during his tenure at 128 HU. Wg Cdr Sharma took over the command of 112 HU at a stage when there was lack of flying efforts due to Mi-8 helicopters employed in completing TCl. Utilizing his professional acumen, he along with his team worked out the requirements and convincingly projected these requirements at various levels for induction of Mi-17s as alternate. He meticulously worked out the modalities and ensured induction and operationalisation of Mi-17s in a record time. He also ensured merger of Tech Fit and ensured efficient functioning of both Mi-8 & Mi-17 technical setups. With his close supervision and guidance, the unit has the rare distinction of flying 4000 hrs accident free flying every year, the highest by a Helicopter unit with simultaneous training on both Mi-8 & Mi-17s. With his extremely professional outlook, he ensured professional growth of unit officers, high training standards, 100% categorization of pilots and appreciable standards during AEB, CASI and DAS visits. He willingly volunteered for operations with NSGs, Ex Yojna for Army troops and even led Ensign Formation despite involvement as OIC Access Control during Aero India 2017. He displayed good resourcefulness in timely completion of training courses and conduct of valedictory ceremonies befitting to service customs. With his professional leadership, he ensured good working environment and high morale in unit personnel. With his personal involvement the units won inter unit sports championship in consecutive year and unit air warriors participated in inter/ intra command sports championship. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Wing Commander Raj Kumar Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Shashidhar P Prasad ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 10 Oct 17 Announced 15 Aug 18
Details : Sergeant Shashidhar P Prasad Indian Air Force (Garud) was deployed in Op Rakshak. On receipt of specific intelligence at 1600 h on 10 Oct 17, about presence of terrorists hiding in a house, an operation was launched jointly by Garud team and Army Units in Boon Mohalla of village Rakh Hajin, district Bandipora in Jammu & Kashmir. Garud team was assigned the responsibility to establish innermost cordon around the target house to prevent escape of terrorists. Sgt Shashidhar demonstrated exceptional situational awareness and team work in establishing a cordon that blocked the likely escape route of terrorists. At 0440 h on 11 Oct 17, with the intention to break the cordon and escape, six to seven terrorists came out of the house firing Under Barrel Grenade Launcher, throwing hand grenades and firing bullets indiscriminately on the cordon laid by Garud team. Having sensed the intentions of fleeing terrorists, Sgt Shashidhar demonstrated indomitable courage and high degree of expertise in weapon skills by exercising effective and accurate fire on the terrorists thereby, resulting in shooting down of two category A terrorists. Sgt Shashidhar disregarded his personal safety, exhibited admirable team work and ensured speedy evacuation of the injured men in the intensely fought close quarter battle. For this act of exceptional courage, Sgt Shashidhar P Prasad is awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).
Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 01 Jan 1970 Number:ase 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vernon Desmond Keane 31215 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 16 Nov 17 Announced 15 Aug 18
Details : On 16 Nov 17, Squadron Leader VD Keane was authorised to lead a 4 Vs 2 air combat mission. During route out towards the sector, "Engine 2 Reheat Zone Fire Warning Light" came ON. He took prompt and correct emergency actions and decided to switch off the engine to contain the spread of fire. Thereafter, he astutely assessed his position, aircraft configuration and wind conditions and decided to head for opposite runway for fastest recovery. A single engine recovery on a Jaguar aircraft is known to be critical and challenging for landing. Showing presence of mind in a dangerous situation, he took correct cockpit actions including jettisoning fuel towards single engine recovery. While positioning for a landing, the "Fire Warning" also came on for the second engine. Already on a single engine, which was now on fire too, he was faced with the prospect of landing with a grave aircraft emergency or taking a decision of abandoning the aircraft by ejection. Showing great presence of mind and fearlessness, he decided to go in for a landing, fully knowing the dangers to his life. He landed the aircraft safely and carried an emergency exit after stopping the aircraft. Post flight inspection revealed prominent signs of fire on keel surface of both engines. Sqn Ldr VD Keane, despite being a young fighter pilot with limited experience was under immense pressure to handle a grave aircraft emergency of both engines on fire. He showed exceptional courage, resolve and excellent professionalism in carrying out a safe and expeditious recovery of the aircraft in a dynamic situation. Any delay or incorrect action in the critical stage of flying could have aggravated the situation rapidly and resulted in loss of the Jaguar aircraft. Further, had the aircraft been abandoned it could have led to extensive collateral damage on the ground to civilians and property. For this act of exceptional courage in handling a grave aircraft emergency, Squadron Leader Vernon Desmond Keane is awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).
Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 01 Jan 1970 Number:ase 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Abhishek Sharma 26291 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 01 Jul 17 Announced 15 Aug 18
Details : On 08 Jul 17, Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Abhishek Sharma was authorised to fly an Instrument Flying sortie as captain from rearseat in a MiG-29 trainer aircraft along with Flight Lieutenant Arjun Anthony Rebello. On engaging the autopilot level mode, the aircraft viciously rolled to the right and became inverted. With great difficulty the pilots disengaged level mode and brought the aircraft to normal upright flight. Excessive control pressure in both longitudinal and lateral channel was experienced. Wg Cdr A Sharma continued to fly the aircraft with great difficulty as excessive forces were required in both roll and pitch to maintain controlled flight. Secondary controls such as trimmers were also not functioning. The emergency was extremely dangerous wherein the aircraft was barely controllable. The captain had the option to take a decision to abandon aircraft by ejecting from it. Abandoning the aircraft could have resulted in loss of an aircraft. It could have also resulted in serious collateral damage on ground to citizens and property. Despite the difficult and critical in flight situation, he decided to carry out a landing. Throughout the recovery, the aircraft displayed oscillations with excessive stick forces to the right which he had to control using both hands to apply extreme force. The approach was precarious with severe problems in alignment and maintenance of flight path. By his act of exceptional courage, he recovered the aircraft safely from a situation which could have otherwise resulted in loss of a valuable asset of the IAF. After landing both ailerons were found at max deflection and control stick was almost to fully right position, which were a testimony to the seriousness of the aircraft emergency. For this act of exceptional courage in recovering a stricken aircraft and displaying very high standards of professionalism, Wing Commander (Now Group Captain) Abhishek Sharma is awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).
Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 01 Jan 1970 Number:ase 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Anuj Aggrawal 18015 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Air Commodore Anuj Aggrawal (18015) AE(L) was commissioned in the technical branch of Indian Air Force on 19 Aug 1985. The officer is presently posted in Headquarters South Western Air Command (SWAC) and working as Command Engineering Officer since 02 Mar 15. The officer, in his 32 years of illustrious career, has held important multidisciplinary appointments which include Senior Engineer (Aircraft) and Chief Engineering Officer of SU-30 bases, Director of MiG-29 Weapon Cell and Joint Director Air Staff Inspection. The multifarious experience acquired by the officer in his distinguished career has been singularly responsible for the exemplary manner in which he has handled the challenging task of Command Engineering Officer for the last two years. The aircraft serviceability in SWAC AOR has enhanced significantly during his tenure and was maximum in 2016-17 as compared to the previous five year period. The availability of the aircrafts during Air Force and Command level exercise Ex - LIVE WIRE in Oct 2015 and Ex- MAHAGUJRAT in Nov 2016 was more than 95%. The conduct of the signature event of Fire Power Display at Jaisalmer in March 2016 created a history wherein the entire exercise involving participation of a large number of aircrafts was conducted without any incident. His leadership quality and involvement ensured desired operational preparedness on armament front during contingency post URI attack. His methodical approach and efforts towards coordination, monitoring and follow up for achieving the above feat were found to be exceptional in order and highly praiseworthy. His knowledge on Russian fighters has immensely helped in resolving a rnultitude of pending problems on SU-30 MKI and Bison aircraft. The recovery of 88-115 at a premier base after prolonged AOG period of approximately six years and SK Rig at another fighter base after more than three years is testimony of his perseverance and management skills. In addition, build-up of eight long AOG Jaguar aircraft in the last one year has been undertaken under his guidance. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde Anuj Aggrawal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Gummadi Sahed Phani Nandiswara Chowdary 18521 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Air Commodore Gummadi Sahed Phani Nandiswara Chowdary (18521-R) AE(L) was commissioned in the technical branch of Indian Air Force on 29 Aug 86. He has held the appointments of Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of a Flying Training Establishment Chief of Production of a Base Repair Depot, Senior Engineer (Electronics), Instructor at Air Force Technical College and staff at Command and Air HQ. The officer has been trained abroad on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle based weapon system and the Basic Trainer Aircraft PC-7 Mk-II. He was deeply involved in their initial induction and played a significant role in establishing Maintenance Philosophy of both the fleet. As CEO of a Flying Training Base during the era of severe resource crunch of Aero engines and safety issues in the Kiran fleet, he marshalled all the available resources with outstanding efficiency and ensured high serviceability and safe conduct of training flying operations. His other significant contributions include first ever installation of Precision Approach Path Indicator at an high Altitude Air Base, major transformation in the Landline Communication setup at an Air Base in North East Setting up the repair lines for IGLA missile system and Radar Data Processors of ST-68 (UM) radars at 7 Base Repair Depot. The officer is a post graduate in Computer Science and Gold Medallist in Electronics and Communication Engineering. He has been assessed exceptional in all the service courses undergone. As AOC, of 5 Base Repair Depot, he has ensured that all tasks pertaining to Aircraft and Testers calibration and repair are carried out within the laid down timeframes. He successfully initiated and steered a number of pro-active measures to ensure that the vintage Avro aircraft is maintained airworthy despite several obsolescence issues. One of the notable achievements was the replacement of Mechanical Gyro in Autopilot of Avro aircraft with the more reliable Fibre Optical Gyro which was also appreciated by the Prime Minister of India. Several upgrade projects were initiated by him to develop the Depot as a Centre of Excellence in the area of Aircraft Testers repair and calibration. He also ensured that the Technical Infrastructure including hangars, hangar attached bays and storage areas of the entire Depot is modernised catering to the futuristic needs. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde Gummadi Sahed Phani Nandiswara Chowdary.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ajay Kumar Arora 18539 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Air Commodore Ajay Kumar Arora (18539) AE(L) was commissioned in the technical branch of Indian Air Force on 16 Aug 86. He has held the important appointments of Director Maintenance Plans (DMP) at Air HQ from 09 Jun 2009 to 08 Nov 10, CEO of a Su 30 and ALH base from 09 Nov 10 to 16 May 12, DS at the College for Defence Management (CDM) from 28 May 13 to 30 Nov 15, before taking over as AOC of 9 BRD on 01 Dec 15. Due to his dynamism, intelligence, clarity of perception and vision as DMP, he was able to suggest solutions for many diverse and intricate policy matters such as FOL discipline, entrance exam for Masters' degree, new inductions and servicing schedules, which are in vogue even today. As CEO, he undertook the challenging tasks of AOG build of four aircraft on AOG for a long time, streamlining labs for EW, Recce and In- Flight Refueling pods, Simulator for Su 30 and setting up Tech Fit with associated labs in the new hangar. He contributed immensely and selflessly in conduct of Colour Presentation held at the Station. As DS at CDM, he also took over the additional charge of DS Coordinator concurrently and contributed in formulation of long term roll on plan of CDM, comprehensive review and update of College SOPs, review of precis and introduction of various new exercises. He is highly qualified and has done exceedingly well in most of the courses. He has Masters' Degrees to his credit from HT Kharagpur, Air University Montgomery, Alabama, USA, Madras University and Osmania University respectively. As AOC, he has undertaken various challenging projects such as repair of Su 30 EW pods, critical components of radars and various other avionic systems. With his foresight, immaculate planning, vigour and zeal, he has commenced repair line for new equipment such as FAC kit, Radio sets of different radars, Radio Interface Unit and various other communication equipments. Under his incisive leadership, the innovative work done by the Depot has been acknowledged by HQ MC and Depot has been awarded best Systems' BRD for the year 2016. The Depot was also judged "Average Plus" by DMI during the same year. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde Ajay Kumar Arora.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Vangal Krishnaswamy Sashindran 18695 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Air Commodore Vangal Krishnaswamy Sashindran (18695-R) Med was commissioned in the Medical Branch in Dec 86. He is presently serving as Professor and Head of Department, geriatric Medicine at Armed Force College (AFMC) since 14 Ju12014. He contributed immensely and single handedly in setting up the new speciality. He has specialized in the field of Infectious diseases and was awarded the Fogarty International Fellowship of AIDS research in 2004. Air Commodore Sashindran has earlier served as Staff surgeon to the Chief of Air-Staff and as Senior Advisor Medicine at Air Force Central Medical Establishment where he set up the Lifestyle Diseases Research Centre. An intrepid mountaineer, he has led several expeditions in uncharted regions in the Karakorams and Arunachal Pradesh for the Air Force Adventure Cell. At AFMC, he has initiated many innovative teaching practices in Medical Education to develop compassion and a caring attitude among students. He has instituted integrated teaching across disciplines. The multi-disciplinary Infectious Diseases round is a case in point. He guides the activities of the Students' Scientific Society and is the driving force behind Undergraduate Medical Research in AFMC. His hard work has led to him winning many accolades and publications. He goes beyond the call of duty to ensure that his students excel in their field and was voted as the best teacher for six years in succession. His passion for teaching remains undiminished. He is the epitome of compassion and professionalism making him a role model for aspiring physicians and officers. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde VangaJ Krishnaswamy Sashindran.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Devesh Vatsa 18751 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Air Cmde Devesh Vatsa (18751-G) AE(L) was commissioned on 15 Feb 1988 in the Technical branch of Indian Air Force. He is presently serving as Principle Director Signals (Air) since Jan 2017. During the past twenty nine years of meritorious service he has held various important field and Staff appointments. He commanded operational Signal Units and also commanded Communication System Installation Units (CSIUs). The Officer displayed exemplary professionalism and astuteness while commissioning critical SATCOM links, Optical Fiber link and Digital Static Tropo links. While working as Director Operation Centre (NOC), during implementation of Project AFNET, his indomitable spirit and innovativeness towards problem solving was noteworthy. As the Station Commander of a critical operational Communication Center, he brought about qualitative improvement in both environment and infrastructure. Through concerted efforts he was able to establish a new site for installation of Radar at a forward location. This required persuasion and liaison at the highest level in the Government of Himachal Pradesh. His inspirational leadership was a catalyst for the Station personnel, as the team of the Station won the Best Overall Performance Trophy in WAC. As Director Ops (IW) he has been instrumental in enhancing operational capabilities of IAF in the Cyber Domain. Improvement in Cyber Security posture was achieved through extensive Cyber Awareness Campaigns, IW Audits, celebration of "IW Awareness Week" and institutionalization of an award for best IW complaint station. He ardently pursued Operationalisation of Cyber Operation Centre (COC)needed for developing defensive and deterrent cyber capability of IAF. During his assignment as PD Sigs (Air) the contract for Tropo upgrade was inked, comprehensive AMC for Mobile communication Terminals (MCTs) was fructified, the case for three years AMC for AFNET was brought to logical conclusion, and training for MBTS and DMRR/MCs was organized to enhance net centric capabilities of IAF. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde Devesh Vatsa.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Kirti Khajuria 19538 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Air Cmde Kirti Khajuria (19538-R) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 11 Jun 88. He took over command of a premier base of Air Force on 21 Dec 15. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and Defence Service Staff College. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader and has flown nearly 2,700 h on various fighter and trainer aircraft. He has commanded a MiG-23MF Squadron and commissioned and commanded the first Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) Node of the IAF. He has also held the staff appointments of Joint Director (Training) and Director Weapons at Air Headquarters and was involved in major weapons procurement during the period 2012 - 2015. Within two days of his assumption of command of the Air Force Station, the Deputy Commissioner had illegally used Section 133 of Cr PC to enter into Air Force Land. With his decisive and prompt handling of this sensitive situation, he displayed his crisis handling capability and exceptional decision making under stress. He briefed the media and the local population adequately and diffused a potential civil-military confrontation in an admirable manner. As Air Officer Commanding, he ensured that all aspects of Operations, Maintenance and Administration were supervised effectively, all the while allowing various station appointments a free hand and giving necessary advice and course correction, when required. His awareness and knowledge of all activities being undertaken by the Station has been comprehensive and incisive. His constant guidance and effective leadership ensured that the station always achieved its tasks well ahead of time and the performance of his team can be gauged from the fact that under his command, the Station was awarded the trophies for Best Flying Training Establishment, Best Aerospace Safety Unit and Best MT Section for the year 2016. He regularly flies with the Hawk squadron pilots and the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) and gives necessary guidance for conduct of operations and training. His guidance and involvement with upgradation of SKAT has ensured that the team successfully upgraded itself to a six aircraft display team and is now in the process of upgrading to a nine aircraft aerobatic display team. His attention to detail and sterling leadership prior to and during the DASI inspection in December 2016 ensured that the Station performed very well in all spheres. With his strict emphasis on discipline, probity and integrity while leading the way with personal example, he has ensured that Air Force Station Bidar performs all its tasks effectively and efficiently. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Air Cmde Kirti Khajuria.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sanjay Kant 18012 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Sanjay Kant (18012-S) AE(L) was commissioned in the technical branch of Indian Air Force on 19 Aug 85. He is an alumnus of National Defence College. In his 32 years of service, the officer has held several important Command and Staff appointments which includes Commanding officer (CO) of Communication Training Institute (CTI), Chief Engineering Officer of a Fighter Base, CO of Su-30 MKI Tettra School, Director (MiG-21 Weapon Cell) at Air HQ and Senior Engineering Officer (SEO) of a Fighter Squadron. The officer is presently deployed as Command Engineering B at HQ WAC. In his present appointment, the officer is responsible for maintenance of Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, Jaguar Fighters and RPA operating in WAC AoR. He has been instrumental in concept evolution, planning and execution of high intensity Fighters Operation Exercises for Su-30 MKI and Jaguar fleets. He also spearheaded customization of Ground Handling Equipment for efficient handling of Armaments from Storage Point to Aircraft and facilitated Indigenization of Bomb Loading Trolley and other support equipment. These efforts greatly enhanced the Sortie Generation rates of the fighter ac, thereby, enhancing Op Potential in IAF> He also played a key role in implementing On Line Command Maint Control Centre (CMCC) Software, for optimization of aircraft maintenance activities. This CMCC Software was later adopted for PAN_IAF applications. He has worked as Senior Engineering Officer in three MiG-21 T-75 Squadrons for nine years, wherein his units were adjudged best in maintenance. He is one of the few select, who was trained abroad on Su-30 MKI aircraft (at France I Israel and Russia). After induction of Su-30 MKI fleet, the officer commanded Su-30 MKI Tettra School and trained air warriors required to operationalise first two units. He immensely contributed in initial setup and formulation of Maintenance Schedules of '0' and 'I' levels of Su-30 MKI fleet. As Director of MiG-21 fleet at Air HQ, he played a vital role in analyzing and resolving issues of Aero Engineers' corrosion and Hydraulic System failures in MiG-21 ac in IAF. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Sanjay Kant.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Venugoplan Vijayan Menon 18527 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Venugopalan Vijayan Menon (18527-S) AE(M) was commissioned in the technical branch of Indian Air Force on 17 Aug 86. He is presently posted as Commanding Officer of Maintenance Officers' Categorisation Board (MOCB). Gp Capt Menon has held appointments of Senior Engineer (Mechinical), staff at Air HO, Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) of two premier bases and Leadership Trainer at Centre for Leadership training and Behavioural Science (C-LABS)'. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He has been Cat A' Flight Engineer on An-32 and IL-76 aircraft. He was also an Examiner in the Aircrew Examining Board. As Joint Director at Air HO, he was instrumental in extending the Total Technical Life of MiG-21 M fleet, from 3000 to 3400 hours, enabling fleet sustenance for four more years. As CEO utilizing his analytical skills, he resolved the issue of hydraulic pump failure on MiG-21 aircraft, by modifying the maintenance procedures. During this tenure, the base was conferred with 'Best in Maintenance" trophy and this also contributed in the base being adjudged as the best fighter base by the Inspection directorate. During his second CEO tenure, he ensured high serviceability of the ageing Mi 25/35 heptr fleet. His ability to communicate and motivate enabled him to standardize and stabilize the Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Capsules. As CO, MOCB, he seamlessly merged the Categorisation of Logistics Officers. His relentless efforts enabled MOCB conduct 331 Maintenance Cat Boards in which 1767 officers were categorised. Under his guidance, Standardisation of ab-initio Aeronautical Engineer courses was formalized. Towards centralizing the resources of Inspection Branch, he led his team to relocate MOCB from Bangalore to Hindon in a seamless manner with minimal disturbance to the Categorisation process. Revision of AFO governing categorization of maintenance officers was finalized in record time. His tireless, continual and unflinching effort ensured that the task of populating the Unit Establishment was achieved and Revision of Unit Policy Page has been progressed up to MoD. For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Venugopalan Vijayan Menon.
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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