Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the MOFTU

A total of 7 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 7 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Kalathil Payan Sreekanth 10508 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt Kalathi Payyan Sreekanth took over the Command of the Prestigious MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) in Nov 88, after having successfully commanded a frontline MiG-21 Sqn.

Under his dynamic leadership, the Unit has logged over 13000 sorties of which Gp Capt Sreekanth has personally flown nearly 700 accident-free sorties. Because of his meticulous planning and continuous prolonged involvement with the task in hand, the Unit has been able to pass out MOFTU courses in time, thereby contributing immensely to the overall Op potential of the Indian Air Force. The above noteworthy achievements were possible mainly due Gp Capt Sreekanth's personal example and his great enthusiasm for flying.

Under his professional guidance, the Unit, while successfully fulfilling its training commitments, also ensure Op continuity training of its staff pilots as a result the Unit is now fully geared to meet its wartime role with the same degree of confidence.

The Unit was adjudged as the 'Overall Champion' for two years. It also bagged F/G and Bombing trophies (1989) and the level R/P trophy (1990) besides number of individual events.

For his dynamic leadership, unflinching and exceptional devotion to duty, meticulous planning and very high professional standards, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt KP Sreekanth.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Diwakar Dattatreya Kulkarni 15041 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date 17 Jan 90 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Sqn Ldr Diwakar Dattatraya Kulkarni is on the posted strength of MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) since 22 Jun 87.

On 17 Jan 90, he was leading a four aircraft low level strike in a Type-77 aircraft. Approximately 75 Kilometers from base, he ordered a controlled scatter manoeuvre. For this, the formation engaged reheat and turned 30°, accelerating to 1000 IAS. At 1000 IAS Sqn Ldr Kulkarni switched off reheat and noticed his fire warning light on. He immediately gave a call and eased up in a climbing turn towards base. As his speed dropped to 500 IAS Sqn Ldr Kulkarni operated the fire extinguisher but the fire warning light continued to illuminate. He climbed to three kilometers to level out below cloud. In the climb, he also noticed his main hydraulic warning light coming on and pressure reading 50 Kg/cm2. As a precaution, he switched off his aileron booster and auto pilot and noticed that his JPT/rpm were normal indicating that the jet nozzle had closed. Approaching overhead base, at height, he lowered his undercarriage on emergency. The cone did not retract and remained at 95%. He attempted to retract the cone manually but was unsuccessful as the main hydraulic pressure was now 30 Kg/cm2. Sqn Ldr Kulakarni then correctly elected to carry out a descending circuit. He made a flapless approach, landed safely and switched off on landing.

For his cool professionalism and undaunted courage in the face of a serious and complex emergency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Kulkarni.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Chow Ongpee Maunglang 17441 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date 03 Jun 92 Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Chow Ongpee Maunglang was posted to MiG Operational Flying Training Unit with effect from 09 Sep 91 from a Type 75 Squadron. From his arrival, he applied himself with determination and zeal to promote flying in this unit. Despite his youthful years, he displayed a rare maturity of purpose and design.

On 03 Jun 92, while rejoining after a PI sortie, his canopy exploded in the air. Silvers of perspex cut his face and shattered his cheek-bones, causing excessive bleeding. Despite the pain and shock, the officer retained his presence of mind and initiated an ejection. Though the ejection was successful, the canopy minus the perspex bubble did not separate cleanly. Grievously injured and tumbling down through the air, Flt Lt Maunglang did not panic but decided to fight on. He operated the manual separation lever and decided to eject through the broken canopy perspex. He achieved this and then also opened manual D ring to ensure that his parachute would deploy. Unfortunately, exiting through the canopy, he was hit on the head by the solid frame, causing fatal injuries. The officer fought to the very last breath.

For his acts of courage and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal (Posthumously) to Flt Lt Chow Ongpee Maunglang.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Arun Gurunandan Katre 11852 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain Katre assumed Command of MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) on 09 November 1992. Immediately, he set about improving training standards by streamlining Operational, Maintenance and Administrate functions with emphasis on Flight Safety. MOFTU is a training institution with the time bound task of converting young fighter pilot onto front line jet aircraft. Despite the constraints of bad weather, the limited experience of the young fighter pilot trainees and the use of aging MiG-21 aircraft, Gp Capt Katre carried out his task with flair and determination. He not only set the finest example himself but was able to motivate his personnel to achieve the very highest standards of efficiency. Under his command, the unit flew over 14,000 sorties and completed all the tasks set before it. Gp Capt Katre himself flew 600 accident free sorties in addition to all this manifold duties and responsibilities. He thus exhibited exemplary qualities of leadership. On many occasions the officer was assigned additional responsibilities which he discharged with verve, alacrity and diligence.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain AG Katre.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.23 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Nirdosh Vatsayan Tyagi 12765 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Nirdosh Vatsyayan Tyagi VSM (12765) Flying (Pilot) has been commanding MiG Operational Flying Training Unit since 19 Jun 95. He was commissioned on 12th Jun 71. While serving in Operational Conversion Unit, he performed creditably and was awarded VSM in 1987.

He has held various important command and staff appointments during his distinguished service career. He is a Category A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor. He has also served as a Directing Staff at Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. Earlier, he successfully commanded a MiG-21 BIS Squadron. This is his second tenure in command of a fighter unit.

MOFTU AF is a premier establishment, which is equivalent to two squadrons in terms of resources and task.

Group Captain NV Tyagi's performance in command of this unit for the last two years, has been noteworthy. At the time of his assuming command, the operational training task was behind schedule by over a month. Despite resource constraints and various setbacks, such as grounding of the fleet for a month, he ensured that all subsequent courses have passed out on schedule.

The unit has flown over 10,000 hours during the last two years under his stewardship. During this period, there were four accidents in the unit due to technical malfunction on the aircraft of old vintage and relative inexperience of the junior pilots. During such moments of crisis, he ensured that normalcy of operations was restored in the shortest possible time and the morale of the personnel was kept high. The unit has continued to perform well in all spheres of activity, including sports. Aircraft serviceability has been kept high and the unit has been very well administered.

For distinguished service of exceptional order, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain N V Tyagi.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Nuthalapati Koteswara Rao 15413 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details : Wing Commander NK Rao (15413) F(P) was on posted strength of MOFTU AF from 12 June 1995 till his demise on 4 April 1996. He functioned as the Flight Commander of 'B' Squadron. During this period, Wg Cdr NK Rao flew 235 sorties / 126.15 hrs. He was an above average pilot, who was willing to undertake any mission with whole hearted enthusiasm. His personal involvement in the flying training contributed directly to the timely completion of the flying task of the squadron. Wg Cdr NK Rao was fatally injured in an air accident on 4 April 1996. He experienced engine failure oin a low level mission on MiG-21FL aircraft. He attempted relight, which was unsucessful. Subsequently, the ejection seat also malfunctioned, fatally injuring the pilot. Wg Cdr Rao made all attempts to save the aircraft. Despite his correct and prompt actions, his life was lost. For his distinguished service, devotion to duty and professional competance, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Rao Posthumously.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rajiva Ranjan 18810 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 08
Details :

Wing Commander Rajiva Ranjan (18810) F (P) was commissioned in the Flying Branch on 13 Jun 87. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and a graduate of the DSSC. He has flown various variants of MiG21 and Mirage 2000 aircraft amassing a grand total of 3600 h of flying, which very few in his seniority bracket achieve. The officer has been commended by CAS in 1998 & 2003. He took over as CO of MOFTU 'A' on 06 Jun 05.

Wg Cdr Ranjan is a dynamic officer with exceptional professional knowledge and skills which he has achieved through hard work and perseverance. During his tenure as CO, he has led the unit from the front, individually flying more than 1050 sorties in less than two years. During the same period, the Sqn has flown a total of 6500 sorties, a feat very few fighter Sqns can be proud of. To achieve this feat, the Sqn maintained an average serviceability close to 85% on the ageing MiG-21 fleet and put a feather in its cap by achieving 100% serviceability for 26 days. He was also instrumental in carrying out the highest number of innovations by any Sqn in EAC. In addition to completing all the training tasks ahead of time, the Sqn also took part in a number of exercises at the Command level and played a vital role in the Jorhat and Guwahati fly pasts, as a part of the IAF awareness campaign. While achieving all this, the Sqn's track record of quality training and accident free flying stood testimony to his excellent supervision and management.

While according very high priority to quality training and operational preparedness of the Sqn, he never lost sight of the morale and welfare of his personnel. His concern, zeal and enthusiasm served as a great motivator to all air warriors. His regular involvement with all ranks also resulted in the Sqn reaching a very high degree of satisfaction level, in turn, leading to the Sqn being declared as the best fighter Sqn in EAC in 2005-06. Thus, this indefatigable and self-motivated officer has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to lead his men to better productivity under demanding and stressful conditions.

For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Rajiva Ranjan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 10th November 2008. No. 34-Pres/2008 dated 26th January 2008 

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.