Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 24 Sqn

A total of 7 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 7 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bir Inder Singh 5040 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 77
Details :

Wing Commander Bir Inder Singh took over command of a fighter squadron in July 1974. He has flown over 4000 hours and has participated, with distinction, In the IndoPak Conflicts of 1965 and 1971. Due to his personal attention Wing Commander Bir Inder Singh has maintained an excellent flight safety record over the past two years. During the Inter-Squadron Gunnery Meet, 1975, his Squadron was the best Squadron in front­gun firing and bombing. When the squadron was required to operate a detachment of aircraft from a transport base, Wing Commander Bir Inder Singh undertook and executed this task effectively. Wing Commander Bir Inder Singh has displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 27th May 1978 - No.29- Pres/78 dated 26th January 1977 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Balkrishna Rahane 14096 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Balakrishna Rahane (14096) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 07 Jun 75. He is a Fighter Combat Leader and during the course, he won all the three important trophies; best pilot in Air Combat, best pilot in Ground Attack and best overall Fighter Combat Leader. During his career, Group Captain Rahane has flown over 2500 hours, out of which more than 2250 hours are on the MiG-21 and MiG-23 MF aircraft.

Group Captain Rahane assumed Command of 24 Squadron on 24 Apr 95. At the time of taking over, non availability of adequate number of supervisors, serviceability was 52% and large number of Ex MOFTU U/T pilots had been posted in. He set out to improve the supervisory and operational status of the pilots. During his tenure, eight pilots gained operational status, three pilots were made two aircraft leaders, five pilots became four aircraft leaders and six were made trainer captains; all eligible pilots acquired instrument ratings. Today, out of 20 pilots on strength, 16 are operational.

Group Captain Rahane also ensured very high operational status of the Squadron. He carried out extensive role oriented training flying and integrated training with Jaguars and Mirages. The Squadron was awarded Best Overall in Western Air Command Gunnery Meet in 1995-96.

In the year 1996, the Squadron undertook major detachments. Despite restraints of detachment, large number of U/T pilots and poor serviceability, the Sqn flew 4684 sorties (3060 hours) accident free. This was a remarkable achievement.

Group Captain Rahane's professional competence, sound leadership, devotion to duty and sustained hard work has substantially contributed towards enhancement of Flight Safety and operational status in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For setting an example worthy of emulation, zeal and distinguished services of high order, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group CaptainA B Rahane.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Girish Saini 15886 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Girish Saini (15886) Flying (Pilot) is a pilot from the fighter stream and has over 3000 hours of total flying experience to his credit. He is a qualified flying instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

Wing Commander Girish Saini was appointed Commanding Officer of IAF's latest acquisition the prestigious SU-30 multi role Squadron in October 97. Soon after assuming command of the Squadron, Wing Commander Saini settled down to the task of building up his Squadron into an efficient and effective fighting unit. With his dynamic leadership qualities and a high degree of professionalism he has successfully guided his team of officers and men in fully exploring a new aircraft in an entirely new role. He has been intimately involved in flying missions on the SU-30 in order to explore the areas of air combat and air-to-ground armament delivery. Under his leadership, the Squadron has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of this potent weapon platform in various air shows across the country, including Vayu Shakti-98 where the fire power and pin point accuracy of armament delivery was witnessed by a large audience.

Wing Commander Girish Saini has led his Squadron with personal example of professionalism, devotion and dedication to duty in the highest tradition of Indian Air Force.

For his singular contribution in building a nascent Squadron equipped with the SU-30 aircraft into a strong operational unit and for demonstrating inspiring leadership qualities, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Girish Saini.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Nirmal Singh Jamwal 17156 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Nirmal Singh Jamwal (17156) Flying (Pilot), from the fighter stream has over 3000 hours of flying to his credit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and has also qualified as an Experimental Test Pilot.

Squadron Leader NS Jamwal was selected for conversion on to the prestigious SU-30 multi role aircraft and underwent training in Russia. His test pilot background and the experience gained as a Qualified Flying Instructor enabled him to master the formidable SU-30 aircraft with professional ease. His delicate handling of such a large and heavy aircraft and manoeuvring with clockwork precision in a limited airspace speaks volumes of his professional ability. His deft handling of the aircraft and professional knowledge of the intricate flying characteristics of the SU-30 led to his being nominated as an aerobatic display pilot. He has successfully demonstrated the exceptional manoeuvrability of the SU-30 aircraft during various low level aerobatics displays on occasions of national importance including Republic/Independence Day, Vayu Shakti 98, Air Force Day and the Mumbai Air Show.

Squadron Leader Jamwal is a soft spoken individual who had always aimed for perfection and precision display with professional pride. With such an attitude and approach to the intricate task of aerobatic flying, he has been a source of inspiration to everyone.

For his dedication, devotion to duty and high degree of professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Nirmal Singh Jamwal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shreesh Mohan 16966 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 03
Details :

Wing Commander Shreesh Mohan (16966) F (P) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 29 Dec 1982. He has over 3400 hours of flying experience to his credit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, and an Instrument Rating Instructor cum Examiner. He was also part of the initial core group pilots who were trained in Russia on the Sukhoi-30 in 1997. He has been the Commanding Officer of the premier front line Sukhoi-30 Fighter Sqn since 15 May 2000. Having taken over this prestigious Su30 Squadron, Wg Cdr Mohan has led the Sqn from strength to strength with great enthusiasm, selfless motivation and a very professional approach. With his personal example, dedication, passion for excellence and concern for his men, he has consistently inspired the unit to perform exceptionally well. Under his dynamic leadership, the Sqn was adjudged the Best Fighter Sqn in SWAC for the year 2000 and participated in the Best Fighter Sqn competition for the Air Force in 2001. The Sqn has been involved in various operational trials, tactics development, equipment validation and was the forerunner for special missions during the period of 'Op Parakaram' activation in Dec 2001. Through his meticulous and professional approach he has endured that all the tasks assigned to the unit were performed in an unprecedented manner and in keeping with the finest traditions of the IAF.

With his expertise and previous experience, Wg Cdr Mohan has been instrumental in forming a three aircraft formation aerobatic team on the Su-30, leading once again from the front as the leader of the formation, it was for the first time that such a dedicated team was formed on a large and heavy aircraft of a frontline Sqn. He has also led the Sqn for numerous aerobatic and fly-past displays with clockwork precision, on events of national and international importance including Republic Day, International Fleet Review and Air Force Day. His able leadership, professional guidance and emphatic approach have created a very congenial environment, which has helped in instilling strong professional pride and a sense of belonging to the unit. He has ensured a very high standard of overall performance and the Sqn achieved an average plus grading in all fields from DASI in Dec 2001.

For his distinguished service and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Shreesh Mohan

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd March 2003 - No.43-Pres/2003 dated 26th January 2003 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Umesh Rakhra 18071 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 05
Details : Wing Commander Umesh Rakhra (18071) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 06 Dec 1985. He has a total flying experience of 1700 hr on type and a cumulative flying experience of 3760 hr. He has been and Commanding Officer of a frontline fighter Squadron since Sep 2002.As Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr Rakhra dedicated himself in achieving high operational status of the squadron. He was trained on type aircraft in Russia in 1997. He has been personally involved in conducting the training of more than 70 pilots of this type. As a lowï·“level aerobatics display supervisor, he had flown more than 225 lowï·“level aerobatics display sorties and trained three pilots in this role. He was the member of close formation aerobatics team on type in 2001. He is also the instrument rating examiner on type.During "Op Parakrarn" Wg Cdr Rakhra ensured high state of Op capability of the Sqn and the Sqn was the forerunner in execution of special missions related to the "Op Parakrarn". He produced Ops aircrew. on time to meet the requirements of the fleet. Under his command the Sqn has been the steppingï·“stone for induction and has performed exceptionally well inspite of manpower constraints created due to routing of aircrew and ground crew to other Sqns. The Sqn has gone on to fly 12500 accident free hours in the period under consideration. He put in concerted efforts in maintaining the equipment deployed at Op locations at all times and the Sqn still continues to be on 12h standby since Op Parakram.Under his able guidance and leadership the Squadron has moved to a new location at a short notice, which required considerable coordination and planning.For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Umesh Rakhra.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 9th April 2005 - No.28-Pres/2005 dated 26th January 2005 & AFD2005 Investiture  

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju 18573 F(P)Unit : No.24 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju (18573) F (P) was commissioned on 06 December 86. The officer is a Fighter Combat Leader who was awarded the Sword of Honour in the course. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College and a Qualified Flying Instructor, fully operational on MiG-21 FL, MiG-21 Bis, MiG-29, Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI ac with over 3000 hrs of flying experience. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of 24 Squadron, Air Force since 05 July 2004.

The officer was part of the core team to be trained in Russia for induction of Su-30K aircraft in the IAF in 1997. Subsequently, he became the Flt Cdr of the first ever Su-30 MKI Sqn. With his vast experience as O i/c Air Combat Tactics Development at TACDE he was instrumental in developing the air combat tactics for the Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI. After assuming command, he operationalised the Sqn at its new location and formulated the concepts towards exploiting the op potential of the SU-30 aircraft. He upgraded the op status of 16 pilots to F/Op and 04 pilots to Op day status and trained 24 pilots in air-to-air refueling. Further, he contributed effectively in several international exercises like ExSindex with the F-16's of Singapore Air Force, Ex-Garuda-Il with the French Air Force in France and Ex-Cope India-05 with the USAF at Kalaikunda. The high mark of the officer's leadership was the unblemished induction and de-induction of the unit to France involving an inter-continental deployment of six Sukhoi30K aircraft for the first time by the IAF. In all these high level exercises with foreign air forces, the unit under his dynamic leadership truly epitomised the spirit and professional competence of the IAF. The Sqn, throughout maintained its fighting edge with 100% serviceability. In essence, the officer tested and validated the IAF's doctrinal viability of safely undertaking such strategic operations. The initiative, involvement, meticulous planning, coordination and importantly the successful execution of these exercises can singularly be attributed to the dynamism, foresight and leadership of the officer.

For his exceptional leadership, professional acumen and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

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.