Wing Commander Dinesh Kumar Awasthi (18079) F (P) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of Indian Air Force on 06 Dec 1985. He is a Qualified A-2 Flying Instructor with more than 3500 h of flying and alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. During the past he had held important appointments which include Flt Cdr and Instructor in Training Establishments. He was on the posted strength of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Squadron from 20 Sep 04 to 15 Oct 06 as the Commanding Officer.
Wg Cdr DK Awasthi had the distinction of forming a new UAV Squadron at Air Force Station Naliya. Sqn commenced operations with most of his officers and all technicians as ab-initio on UAVs. Extensive preparation and ground training under his leadership ensured that the Sqn became operational within 24 hours of the equipment reaching Naliya. With his dedication, commitment and focussed approach he became Mission Commander within two months and an Internal Pilot Instructor within three months. He has flown more than 375 h during this period. He enthused professionalism in a team of Operational Crew (Op Crew) from nine different branches and streams of IAF. With keen interest and personal example he ensured that all Op Crew became fully operational within a short span of fifteen months, which is commendable.
His Sqn was airlifted in the middle of night at a very short notice for locating the downed Navy Helicopter in Western Ghats. The efforts put in by Sqn were highly appreciated by Indian Navy. This was a moment of achievement for the Air force as this was the first time that a UAV Sqn became operational at such a short notice and so far away from parent base. The Sqn operated from a very diverse location and condition with very limited infrastructure and technical support. With his innovative and resource utilisation skills, Sqn flew extensively during his tenure and logged more than 1200 h of accident free flying. The Sqn achieved and maintained hundred percent serviceability for almost a month. His service paper was the genesis for formulating the categorisation policy for Op Crew of UAVs. He is a thorough professional and an asset to the UAV fleet which is gaining operational recognition rapidly.
For distinguished service of high order, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Dinesh Kumar Awasthi.