| Group Captain Nikhil Ramesh Chitnis (17826) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was commissioned in the IAF in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) Branch on 25 Feb 85. Since his induction, he has held various field appointments for 15 yrs and staff appointment for nine yrs on the MiG-21 fleet. He was initiated into the squadron as the Senior Engineering Officer (SEO) at the rank of Flying Officer. For his achievement during this tenure, he was commended by the AOC-in-C SWAC. Since then he has assumed responsibilities of SEO, OIC Tech Flight, Senior Engineer (aircraft) [SE(ac)]and Chief Engineering Officer(CEO) of a Base. He was the OIC Tech Flight at one of the largest tech flight in the IAF, during which, he ushered in the concepts of Quality Assurance team and Material Management group at the field level. He also held appointment of Senior Instructor T-75 and Training Co-ord Officer at the MiG-21 TETIRA School where, he conceptualised the modular system approach of training. He also made video films of aircraft servicing activities for the first time in the IAF, for which, he was commended by the Chief of Air Staff. As the SE (ac) of the largest base in IAF, he ensured a maintenance culture and ethos of the highest standard which resulted in accident free flying during his tenure. As the CEO of a training base, he overhauled the maintenance setup to facilitate increase of flight line availability from 06-07 aircraft to 20-21 aircraft. This put an end to the accidents, due to reduction in pilot and engineer/ technician fatigue. During his staff appointment at Air HQ, he was instrumental in re-engaging and procurement of R-13 engines for the entire T-96 fleet, because of which, this fleet maintains the highest serviceability amongst the MiG-2l fleet till date. In his current tenure as the C Eng A, he has ably and effectively managed affairs of the MiG-21 fleet in the Western Air Command AOR. As the OIC CMCC (Command Maintenance Control Center) he has exercised all units in the WAC AOR for the various Contingencies expected in real time Ops. He has undergone Quality Assurance Course with DGQA, and Technical Staff Course, and was awarded DS grading for his excellent performance. For distinguished service of high order, Hon 'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Nikhil Ramesh Chitnis.