Wing Commander Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu (17714) Flying (Pilot) was commis sioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 21 Dec 1984 as a Helicopter Pilot. He has over 5000 h accident/incident free flying in a variety of roles, which include high altitude, instructional and off shore roles. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner on MI-8 and Chetak helicopters. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. During 18 years of distinguished service, he has held important appointments such as Flight Commander of a Mi-8 Unit and a Chetak Flight in United Nation Peace Keeping Mission in Sierra Leone and Commanding Officer (CO) of Chetak/Cheetah Unit. Presently he is CO of a Helicopter Unit since 13 Aug 2001.
Under the command and supervision of Wg Cdr Babu, the unit performed exceptionally well in all spheres of activities. Operationally, the unit flew over 4334 h, averaging 216 h a month, even when the aircraft strength was reduced to only seven helicopters for some time. Initiation of young pilots into operational role has been his strong point. The young officers were encouraged to shoulder the responsibility in operational matters thereby enhancing their confidence and self-esteem. The level of motivation is evident from the fact that 14 upgradations of professional rating were achieved by young officers within a short period of 18 months. To achieve a high operational efficiency, Wg Cdr Babu rationalised and standardised the techniques and tactics for op role pertaining to the terrain and trained all pilots accordingly. He displayed an exceptionally high degree of foresight, planning and motivational skills to obtain maximum efficiency from his men. He led from the front whenever his unit was assigned an important task. He fostered and nurtured an exceptional espirit-de-corps amongst all the ranks, thus bringing out an excellent teamwork to achieve desired objectives.
For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu.