| Wing Commander Govind Bhikaji Patole (24211) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 21 Dec 96. Presently he is commanding a frontline Mi-17 V5 Unit since 22 Jul 13. On 06 Sep 14 in the aftermath of heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir the Unit was tasked to immediately deploy two helicopters for flood relief operations. Wg Cdr Patole having anticipated such tasking had already prepared two ac, aircrew and ground crew teams and hence the Unit was quick to react and reached Jarmnu-by sunset in spite of inclement weather. The foresight and leadership shown by him as well as the efficiency of the men under his command ensured that the IAF could quickly augment the relief effort underway in J & K with two additional helicopters. At Jammu he was tasked to locate a land slide site north of Udhampur and insert a team of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel to assist stranded people. On locating the site inside a narrow re-entrant, Wg Cdr Patole quickly assessed the surrounding area and realised that the only place to insert the team from where they could reach the landslide spot on foot was on a steep slope. This called for the helicopter to be landed on or manoeuvred close to the steep slope in an extremely constricted area with minimal clearance from tall trees and terrain. He, thereafter, carried out a precise approach, carefully manoeuvring his helicopter to hover with only one wheel barely in contact with ground and the rotors just clear of the terrain on the upslope side. He continued to maintain a steady hover while simultaneously managing his crew resources to their best efficiency, to ensure safe insertion of the NDRF team, who subsequently cleared the land slide and provided respite to the stranded people. On being repositioned at Srinagar the next day, his team continued to operate in the valley for the next 10 days ceaselessly from sunrise to sunset exploiting their machines and crews to the fringes of their performance envelopes which enabled the rescue of 3444 survivors including 36 who were winched up from marooned roof tops. Wg Cdr Patole was himself instrumental in rescuing 1408 survivors. Being the senior most Mi-17 V5 helicopter pilot deployed in Op Megh Rahat he played a significant part in ensuring safe operations of IAF helicopters through meticulous planning, precise briefings, weather advisories for all helicopter crews operating in the valley. He continued to motivate crews from his own and other detachments to be ready to take on any mission even in hostile conditions. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is please to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Govind Bhikaji Patole.