| Group Captain Sandeep Balyan (22699) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. The officer is presently commanding an Akash Missile Squadron since 30 Ju112. The Officer is an exceptional professional who works with great enthusiasm and commitment towards achievement of all tasks. The Officer has held various important assignments, like Flight Commander of Operational fighter Squadron and Operations Staff at Command Headquarters. During his tenure as the Flight Commander his contribution and professional excellence was praiseworthy and he was awarded the Commendation by Chief of Air Staff and Fleet Officer Commanding in Chief. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Instrument Rating Instructor on fighter aircraft with over 3400 hrs of flying experience. He is graduate of Defence Services Staff College with prestigious Directing Staff rating. In his present appointment as Commanding Officer of a new raising, he played crucial role in induction of the state of art indigenously developed Akash Missile System into Air Force. He displayed extraordinary involvement from its nascent stage till completion of On Site Acceptance Tests to operationalisation of all elements of the Squadron. Despite the challenges of new system, widely split locations, limited resources and time the officer managed to evolve the whole system as a potent, cohesive and an excellent combat outfit. He systematically addressed the Operations, Maintenance and Infrastructure issues. Due to his profound knowledge, involvement and zest he helped achieve formulation of the Akash User Handbook, Operational Employment Standard Operating Procedures, Categorisation and Continuation training syllabi, Maintenance SOPs and Daily Inspection procedures! Cards. These documents will serve as the bedrock for maximum operational exploitation of the system by Air Force. The entire unit being lead by him from the front displayed very high operational orientation and proactive involvement in Akash EW trials, Live firing and Air Force Exercises resulting in high quality and opportune training of the personnel. His interest, initiative, foresight and constant vigil resulted in achievement of very high standard operational facility than was originally conceived. He has also been instrumental in integration and operationalisation of the system with base Terminal Weapon Control Centre thereby boosting the Air Defence capability of the base. Overall the officer has throughout displayed outstanding Leadership qualities and exemplary dedication to service. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sandeep Balyan.