Wing Commander Devendra Kumar Bhatt (13867) Administration, currently posted at HQ Central Command, IAF since Apr 97, is one of the few officers in IAF, trained in UK on photo interpretation. He has participated in evaluation of advanced photo reconnaissance systems and displayed high level of professional knowledge. His special knowledge and skills are often sought by various user agencies. He has proposed various advances and modifications on airborne recce equipment which have helped in saving costs as well as improving efficiency. During 1996-97, at HQ SWAC, he was entrusted with the responsibility of Command Photo Officer in addition to his primary duties as SO-Coord in Air Branch. During three different air exercises held during the year officer was given independent responsibility towards identifying developing and printing air recce photographs. The tasks involved analysis and selection of right frames after a photo mission, developing and printing these in extremely limited time, in field conditions. The results were seen by dignitaries such as professionals from foreign Air Forces, Ministers/Senior Govt officials and senior members from the Services. His contribution was highly appreciated.
Through relentless efforts, he helped in bringing on-line, the Real-Time Image Transreceiver System which was non-operational at a base for a length of time. This system was tested and successfully put to use in intercommand exercises. Besides these high pressure tasks, at short notice, he undertook instructional assignments on photo recce at training institutions when faced with shortage of qualified staff.
For distinguished service towards enhancing operational reconnaissance capability in combat formations and dedication in performance of his primary tasks, the President is pleased to award "Vishisht Seva Medal" to Wing Commander Devendra Kumar Bhatt.