Air Commodore Malvinder Singh Ahluwalia (13809) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 01 June 74. In his 30 years of distinguished service, he has held important command and staff appointments that include command of two missile squadrons, a Tactical Air Centre, a forward Air Base, Ops-l A at HQ Central Air Command and instructor at National Defence Academy. A Qualified Flying Instructor, an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and Army War College, he is presently Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of AF Station Tambaram since 16 November 04.
As Station Cdr of a forward Air Base, the Officer was actively involved in Op Vijay and Kargil Operations. As Ops-IA at HQ Central Air Command, he was responsible for planning, supervising and coordinating the activities relating to 'Op Parakram', conduct of Indo-French AF Exercise (Ex-Garuda) in February 03, and the Indo-US AF Exercise (Ex Cope India) in March 04. On induction of IL78 Flight Refueling Aircraft (FRA) In IAF, he was involved fn smooth induction and training of aircrew. In all the activities, the officer had displayed true professionalism and foresight to ensure maximum organisational benefits.
On 26 December 2004, a massive earthquake followed by Tsunami waves struck the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Air Force Station Tambaram, which Air Cmde Ahluwalia was Commanding, was made the main support and launch base for rescue and relief operations, both for Andaman & Nicobar as well as for Tamil Nadu. Thus, the entire planning and execution of the rescue and relief operations for this vast area became his responsibility. Within two hours he marshalled all resources under his command and ensured that the Operations, Maintenance and Administrative Control Centres were established, which remained the nerve centre of all relief operations. Despite total communication failure and against heavy odds, the station was able to launch the first aircraft within four hours on the SOS relayed by Carnicobar air base through a civil aircraft. Requests from Tamil Nadu Govt for launching search and rescue operations of coastal areas and Island administration for despatch of immediate relief like food and water intensified the complexity of the situation. Handling the situation on a war footing, he coordinated all the rescue and relief operations with the State Govt, and island administration very efficiently, while maintaining constant liaison with service/command HQ and a large number of philanthropic organizations. Massive relief, rescue operations were launched from two bases - Tambaram and Meenambakkam airport to despatch the relief materials and reception of about 1400 service personnel and their families besides over 5000 civilian victims of the islands. Hospitality being the adjunct in such a situation, he ensured that all the facilities available at Tambaram airfield were utilised for the benefit of the affected personnel, who were comfortably placed and counseled by a team of clinical psychologists to overcome the trauma. Leading by example, he motivated the entire stn to provide smooth and efficient relief operations under extreme daunting conditions.
Air Commodore Malvinder Singh Ahluwalia has thus rendered distinguished service of exceptional order.