Flying Officer Ajay Massand has been on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter units of Air Force with effect from 09 Dec 85. He has been participating in OPS MEGHDOOT for the past two years.
Flying Officer Massand has a total of 1320 hours of service flying to his credit. He has flown 720 sorties towards Ops Meghdoot in a relatively short span of one year and ten months in the unit. During one month, he did 104 hours of operational flying over the glacier.
On 23 Sep 87 when Flying Officer Massand was called upon to perform duty at the base Camp for an immediate requirement at one of the posts at a towards area which was under heavy enemy fire, he immediately took the decision of flying his unarmed machine to this heavy fire prone area and provide all possible support to our affected soldiers at the post. His task included troop induction, supply of ammunitions and ration to brave soldiers at the post which was at an elevation of 19,250 feet and an average surface temperature of -12Ã‚ÂºC to -15Ã‚ÂºC. During his relentless participation in operation 'VAJRA SHAKTI' which lasted for six continuous days, the pilot undertook 48 sorties to this particular helipad which was under heavy enemy shelling. On these days he flew from sunrise to sunset oblivious of his own fatigue and completed whatever task was assigned to him in an exemplary manner. In this limited area of operation where at least eight helicopters were operating at a time, the pilot maintained his presence of mind and undertook the mission with exemplary leader ship and courage. Neither the artillery shelling from enemy nor flying fatigue or high altitude or sub-zero temperatures could deter him from achieving the assigned mission.
For his exceptional devotion to duty and exemplary leadership and courage in the face of enemy artillery fire, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva Medal to Flying Officer Ajay Massand.