| Group Captain Mukesh Kumar Yadav (22920) Flying (Pilot) is the First Commanding Officer of a newly inducted Mi-17 V5 helicopter unit since 23 Jan 2012 and has over 5300 hours of flying experience. Gp Capt Yadav was detailed as Detachment Commander at Dharasu during Op Rahat. On reaching there. he immediately took stock of the situation and correctly ascertained that the operations would be hampered due to shortage of fuel. Based on his analysis, he along with his team worked relentlessly through the night on 21 Jun 13 to prepare the unused Advanced Landing Ground to enable the C-130J to land. His herculean efforts resulted in the ALG being declared safe for the landing of C-130J and ensured fuel supplies for helicopters without which the entire rescue operation ex-Dharasu could have come to a halt. On the night of 22 Jun 13, he was informed that there were approximately 3000 civilians at Harsil. some of whom were critically injured and required immediate evacuation. On 23 Jun 13. the weather in the Harsil sector was not conducive for any helicopter operations. Displaying exceptional innovativeness, the officer decided to utilize overflying weather recce aircraft to guide him in negotiating weather in the valley and relay radio communication to the following helicopters. In an unprecedented move. not caring for his own safety. he quickly briefed his entire team and got airborne. In an extremely courageous and calculated manner. he maneuvered the helicopter through inclement weather and in an unfamiliar narrow valley up to Harsil. This bold and considered decision of the officer allowed the rescue operations in the Harsil sector to go on inspite of the extreme limitations imposed due to the inclement weather, unfamiliarity with the terrain and extremely limited maneuvering space. His innovative approach led to the formation of a Hell-bridge between Harsil and Dharasu and resulted in 108 sorties being flown, 982 critically injured ill civilians being rescued and 11050 kgs of food and medicine being dropped for the remaining people. A total. 533 sorties were undertaken under his dynamic leadership, of which 97 sorties were piloted by him. evacuating 5488 people and airlifting 74000kgs of relief material in just six days. Despite physical hardships as a result of non-stop work round the clock for all these days, he continued to inspire all with his extraordinary courage. spirit of selfless sacrifice and exceptional flying skills. For his exceptional courage to fly the mission in extremely inclement weather conditions and innovative technique adopted to reach inaccessible areas. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Group Captain Mukesh Kumar Yadav.