Wing Commander Sunil Kashinath Vidhate (18825) F (P) was commissioned in the Flying Branch on 13 Jun 87. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a frontl ine Fighter Sqn since Mar 05.
Wg Cdr SK Vidhate has been a Joint Director in the Directorate of Personnel at Air HQ and a directing staff at the prestigious Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He is a 'Pilot Attack Instructor', 'Fighter Strike Leader' and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College with Instructor grading. He was commended by AOC-in-C in 2001 for his immense contribution towards enhancement of squadron's war fighting ability. As 'Second in Command' of a MiG27 Sqn he was instrumental in earning his unit a rare distinction of 'Above the Average' grading in operational competence during the inspection by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team in 2003.
This is the first MiG-27 Sqn selected to undergo indigenous avionics upgrade. Wg Cdr Vidhate, with his meticulous planning and resolute commitment, left no stone unturned in ensuring exemplary quality of upgraded aircraft and their efficient induction into Air Force while operating from Ozar, with stretched out resources. Successful induction of MiG-27 upgrade aircraft marks substantial increase in the war waging potential of IAF. Within two months of new induction he through his diligent efforts trained the Sqn pilots on upgrade aircraft and participated in the 'Air armament firing Competition' held in January 2007. In its first ever field trials, the Sqn achieved exceptional results in air to ground firing and was adjudged the best overall squadron in marksmanship while competing with other modern fleets of IAF. This remarkable achievement which boosts the offensive punch of IAF, would not have been possible without the outstanding leadership and professionalism of Wg Cdr Vidhate.
For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sunil Kashinath Vidhate.