Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 142 SSS Flt

A total of 5 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 5 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Paramjit Singh Sood 9719 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Sood has been commanding a Sea Search and Surveillance Flight since 17 Jan 83. He is an experienced helicopter pilot and under his command, the Flight has accomplished a high state of operational effectiveness. Substantial improvement in aircraft serviceability, accidentfree extensive flying and other operational achievements of the Flight are entirely due to his leadership, dedication to duty, determination and ability to achieve results.

In Feb 84, the unit operated a three-Chetak detachment as part of operational activation in a major exercise. During this period, the flight flew over 250 hours and maintained a 100% serviceability state. The Flight accomplished all the assigned tasks successfully. A handful of pilots and technicians made this remarkable achievement under his leadership. The task entailed flying throughout the day from different helipads over unfamiliar terrain.

For his leadership, devotion to duty, organizing ability, resourcefulness, untiring efforts and ability to produce results in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Sood.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Shailendra Sood 19181 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date 11 Nov 88 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Fg Offr Shailender Sood has been on the posted strength of 142 SSS Flight since Dec 88. He holds A 'C' White status with 250 hours on type.

He was detachment commander of a Chetak Helicopter of 142 SSS Flight at 5 Wing. On 11 Nov 88 at 2020 hrs, he was called upon to rescue a pilot who had ejected from a Hunter aircraft. He acted with methodical proficiency and getting airborne within a commendable time of 40 minutes. He was guided by Air Traffic Control to the last known position of the crashed aircraft. Though it was moonlit night, the visibility started to deteriorate. Unmindful he pressed on and spotted a cartridge fired by the ejected pilot. He carried out a reconnaissance of the area and promptly landed with precision. Thereafter he returned to the base with the injured pilot. Fg Offr Sood, in this act of singular valour, achieved the very first night pick up of any ejected aircrew in a Chetak helicopter.

For displaying extremely high sense of duty, ability to take and execute a professionally calculated decision and bravery of a very high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Fg Off Shalinder Sood.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rajeev Sharma 17004 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajeev Sharma has been on the posted strength of 142 Survival Security and Support Flight (SSS Fit) since 27 Jun 95 and has been performing the duties of Flight Commander.

On 11 Oct 95, one Cheetah Helicopter carried out a heavy landing at Green lake area near Kanchanjunga Base Camp at an altitude of 16,000 feet due to a technical defect. The engine and under-carriage system suffered damage and repairs were necessary to recover the helicopter. Sqn Ldr Sharma flew 26 sorties in six days despite marginal weather to transport the repair team upto Base Camp and also to keep them supplied with necessary spares. He stayed with the repair team at Kanchanjunga Base Camp at 16,000 feet for a period of six days, braving snow fall and extreme cold temperature of upto -22 degrees C to motivate and provide moral support to the personnel working on the helicopter. He successfully controlled and co-ordinated all operational and maintenance activities. After the repairs were completed, he flew the helicopter back to base. His contribution to the entire recovery operation was invaluable.

In Nov 95, 142 SSS Flt was tasked to rescue and evacuate 16 tourists trapped due to heavy snowfall and bad weather from Lingshi and Gasa in Bhutan. Exhibiting professional skill of a very high order and at great personal risks, Sqn Ldr Sharma carried out these rescue operations in inclement weather and difficult terrain. This was highly appreciated by Government of Bhutan.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Rajeev Sharma.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 15th March 1997 - No.19-Pres/97 dated 26th January 1997 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Prakash Eknath Patange 17706 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Prashant Eknath Patange YSM (17706) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 20 Apr 98 and is presently its Flight Commander.

On 22 Oct 99, the unit was tasked to evacuate 16 mountaineers (Foreign nationals) from Linghsi Makan in Bhutan, trapped at an altitude of nearly 15,000 feet due to heavy snowfall. They were suffering from high altitude sickness and were desperately short of food and supplies. The marginal weather and the forbidding snow bound mountainous terrain made the task of rescue extremely difficult and daunting. To get to the trapped group, a pass at 17500 feet had to be negotiated. This required skillful handling of the helicopter since the machine would be close to its operational limits.

After meticulously planning the entire operation Sqn Ldr Patange took-off for the location in a very short time. On locating the survivors he realised that the only option was to land on a small makeshift clearing, located on an exposed ridge, which itself was under more than four feet of snow. Such landing would demand exceptional flying skills and extra ordinary courage, since even a slight mishandling could lead to a catastrophic accident. Unmindful of personal danger he landed at the makeshift site not once but eight times to evacuate all the mountaineers to safety. His efforts saved 16 lives on that day. In executing the mission Sqn Ldr Patange ignored the grave danger to his life and lived up to the true traditions of the IAF.

Sqn Ldr Patange was involved in a similar rescue of two Dutch mountaineers suffering from severe high altitude sickness in Bhutan Himalayas on 08 Oct 99. His bold and courageous actions on both occasions have brought accolades and praise for the country and the Indian Air Force from the Royal Govt of Bhutan and heartfelt gratitude from evacuated foreign nationals.

For his act of courage and professionalism, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Prashant Eknath Patange.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th December 2000 - No.150-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sharad Tewari 16616 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Sharad Tewari (16616) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981. He has over 5000 h of accident/incident free flying to his credit, which includes over 1500 h of instructional flying. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit. During his tenure as Flight Commander, the unit was adjudged the best helicopter unit in Western Air Command. He has been the Chief Operations Officer of a flying Station. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a Chetak/Cheetah flight since 17 Aug 2001.

Ever since taking over of the command, Wg Cdr Tewari has strived hard to bring about an all-round improvement in the functioning of the unit. As a result of his dedicated efforts, meticulous planning and personal involvement, the unit achieved 100% serviceability of Cheetah helicopters for over 280 days and of Chetak helicopters for over 75 days. In this period the unit flew over 3000 h without any accident/incident. The unit successfully undertook two mercy missions at a short notice in the high mountainous regions of Bhutan in marginal weather conditions and evacuated three American nationals to safety. Also, in Jul 2002 the unit undertook flood relief with two helicopters ex-Bhita in Bihar. These acts brought laurels not only to the unit but also to the IAF. During surprise inspection by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) in Apr-May 2002, the unit was assessed 'high average' in all three disciplines of operations, maintenance and administration. During the Aircrew Examining Board visit in Oct 2002, six out of ten pilots, who appeared, upgraded their flying category/instrument rating. The unit achieved over 90% categorisation status.For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sharad Tewari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.