Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa (15038) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 10 Jun 1977. He took over command of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron on 16 Aug 2001. The task of the Squadron (Sqn) is to convey the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister within India and sometimes ex-India. The Sqn is also tasked to convey foreign Heads of States and other VIPs within India. The nature of the task demands perfection and a very high degree of professionalism.
On taking over the Sqn, Gp Capt Cariapa initiated measures to enhance professional standards and optimise resources. Using a systems approach, he restructured the B-737 flying training and reduced the conversion time of B-737 aircrew from eighteen months to seven months. His foresight and involvement has resulted in the B-737 flight having as many as 10 Cat 'A' aircrew which is a rare achievement in the history of the Sqn. Similarly, flying training and night flying targets of Avro and MI-8 flight have doubled in a short period through innovative planning.
As the Commanding Officer of a unit that is a 'flag bearer' of Indian Air Force both within India and abroad, the officer has ensured successful execution of more than 2000 VVIP/VIP sorties. Last year, the Prime Minister complemented the Sqn for the flawless execution of his election tour. During the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister to France and Thailand, the Sqn was commended for projecting a high image of the nation. Further, there has been an increase in VVIP/VIP task since September 2002 by as much as 250%. This enhanced task has been achieved successfully primarily due to the professionalism, hard work and meticulous planning of Gp Capt Cariapa.
For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa.