Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Group Captain Vivek Ahluwalia

Service No & Branch 21578 F(P)
Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 14 Dec 1991 Course: 148 Course
Service End:
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Flt Lt : 14 Dec 1996Wg Cdr : 16 Dec 2004Gp Capt : 01 Apr 2013
Training and Other Courses Attended
79 NDA (Cadet) - 01 Dec 199040 APPPA (Gp Capt) - 30 Apr 2015
Badges Qualified
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Wg Cdr
Notes:1)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 2)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 1
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg CdrVivek Ahluwalia21578 F(P)Award Date 21 May 2010Announced 15 Aug 2011
Details : Wing Commander Vivek Ahluwalia (21578) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a premiere Mi- 17 IV helicopter unit in the northern sector since 05 Oct 09. He has flown 3532 hrs of accident free flying in his 19 and 1/2 years of service. On 06 Dec 09, a Mi-17 IV helicopter Z-3352 crash landed at Chungtash helipad near Siachen Glacier at an elevation of 15080 feet. The harsh climate, inhospitable terrain and high altitude with very low levels of oxygen rendered recovery of this helicopter near impossible. A workable plan requiring test of human endurance was conceived for the recovery. The helicopter that was exposed to extremities of cold & high altitude conditions was prepared for recovery. Wg Cdr Ahluwalia was tasked with evaluation, planning and recovery of this damaged helicopter. He meticulously devised the relevant checks and procedures required to ensure airworthiness of the helicopter. For humans to work in such unforgiving and extreme climate, stage wise acclimatization is a basic requirement to overcome physiological limitations of the human body. On 21 May 10, Wg Cdr Ahluwalia reached Thoise (10066 It) for three stage acclimatization to finally reach Chungtash (15080 ft) on 01 Jun 10. He thoroughly checked the damaged helicopter and evaluated the risk factor. The helicopter had been on ground for six months with heavily damaged nose wheel assembly and tail boom and was exposed to extreme environment with temperatures below minus 25°C. This exposure could have caused metal fatigue besides damaging rubber seals and critical components. This kind of enormous and specialised evaluation and tasking is normally handled by the Original Equipment Manufacturer and test pilots. However, the operational nature of location and the task required the recovery to be handled by a pilot with enormous field experience and exceptional operational capability. Having briefed and reassured his team, he started the helicopter at the crash site and later flight tested the machine. During the flight test, the helicopter displayed random handling problems and wind shield developed crack. The situation was analysed and handled in a professional and mature manner. The helicopter was successfully recovered at Thoise on 02 Jun 10 and later was flown to Air Force Station Hindon. For this act of exceptional courage, professional competence and successful execution of this high stress and high risk mission in extremely hostile terrain and inhospitable environment, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Vivek Ahluwalia.
Unit :
Reference : Air Force Day Booklet
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