Group Captain Sudhanshu Rath (15726) F (P) was commissioned in the flying branch of the IAF on 03 Dec 79. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner (IRIE) and a graduate from Defence Service Staff College. He has over 3000 hours of fighter flying to his credit and has been flight commander of three fighter squadrons. He has been in the operational staff at a Command HQ. While working as the Command Flight Safety Officer, he developed an Operational Risk Management matrix for all types of aircraft which went a long way in enhancing flight safety. He also introduced the concept papers for Air Warrior Team and Multi-Skilling, which were further institutionalized and extended to all the Commands of the IAF.
During the last two years, he has been the Chief Operations Officer at the highest operational airfield in the world. He has worked incessantly with exceptional devotion to duty under trying circumstances and brought about significant enhancement in the operational efficiency of the base. He established a very strong bond of mutual support with the associated Army Corps, para-military forces and civil administration of Leh and Kargil and thereby became a single point contact for all these agencies in time of need. Also, he shouldered the additional responsibility of officiating as the Station Commander of the base for over six months continuously. He managed the station creditably and today all officers of the station look up to him for advice and guidance on varied matters. His personal efforts in managing with reduced strength of officers and handling of certain critical situations at the station have been highly appreciated by Command HQs and all the visiting senior officers. Apart from this, his presentations on Air Force activities and interaction with all the visiting teams from various training institutions from within the country and abroad, have been of a very high order, thus projecting a good image of the IAF. Through his personal involvement and drive, he also ensured that the air maintenance task of the base was expeditiously achieved and the highest ever tonnages were achieved for two successive years.
For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Sudhanshu Rath.