Awardee List for the 125 Sqn

A total of 6 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 2 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 4 |
Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Rajbir Singh 14287 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date 03 Nov 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajbir Singh served in the Indian Air Force element of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. On 3rd November 1987 Squadron Leader Singh was detailed to strike the militant strongholds which were impeding the advance of a para commando Regiment towards Mulai. On reaching the area he was directed to attack a stronghold which was heavily defended with heavy machine guns. In spite of heavy ground fire he carried out repeated front gun attacks with deadly accuracy. During his third attack on a machine gun nest the aircraft was hit by ground fire. After pulling out of the attack he noticed that the left engine was damaged and had heavy oil leak. He immediately switched off the left engine and established flight on single engine to avoid engine fire. Though the aircraft was heavily loaded with ammunition, he decided not to jettison the much needed armament stores. Squadron Leader Rajbir Singh realized that he was flying over a very hostile area and forced landing would result in getting captured by the militants. He kept absolutely calm and nursed the aircraft back in a very professional manner. He tried to contact base on Radio Telephony but the Radio set had also been damaged due to ground fire. In spite of heavy traffic over base, he landed the aircraft on a single engine without causing any damage to the aircraft.

Squadron Leader Rajbir Singh thus displayed conspicuous gallantry and professional competence in the face of the militant ground fire.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th April 1988 - No.37 - Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Atanu Guru 16794 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date 26 Nov 87 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru was inducted in Air Force Element of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka with the very first fleet of Akbars while he was still undergoing conversion. On 26th October 1987, Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru flew in a mission ex-Jaffna to search and destroy militants vehicles operating on the Jaffna Karaitivu causeway. Five vans were located on the causeway while attempting to flee towards Karaitivu. With extra ordinary accuracy and commendable professional calmness he destroyed these vehicles and killed all the militants personnel aboard these vehicles.

On the 3rd November 1987 Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru flew in a close air support mission for one of the Commando Battalion of the Para Regiment. The Commandos were surrounded by the militants and subjected to heavy automatic fire. He engaged the militants’ location on the Para Commando perimeter. These locations were within three hundred meters of friendly forces. The militants engaged the aircraft with automatic weapons using tracer ammunition and scored a hit. In spite of the visible stream of ground fire, Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru engaged the militants. His action forced the militants to retreat from their positions. The Para commandos won this action solely because of the Air Support provided by Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru’s determined attack on militants’ position.

On the 7th December, 1987, Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru flew in a search and destroy mission in support of one of the Commando Battalions of the Para Regiment in area Mulaitivu. The militants disembarked from a tractor and opened fire at the aircraft. In complete disregard of personal safety, Flight lieutenant Atanu Guru swiftly and accurately returned the fire and silenced the militants’ guns. Subsequent intercepts of militant radio messages showed that the devastating fire had destroyed the tractor and killed and wounded several militants.

On the 15th December 1987, while engaging a militant vehicle-carrying reinforcements against a battalion of Garhwal Rifles in Mulaitivu area the militants opened fire and the aircraft was hit on the main rotor blade. Despite this and intense enemy fire, Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru returned the fire and destroyed the van.

Flight Lieutenant Atanu Guru, thus, displayed conspicuous gallantry in a series of missions undertaken in support of IPKF ground forces.

Reference: Gazette of India , 28th April 1990 - No.33 - Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Sanjay Bishnoi 16213 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sanjay Bishnoi is posted to a Helicopter Unit and has been operating in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Jaffna.

He was detailed was co­pilot with Sqn Ldr TK Vijay Raj in helicopter on a Special Heliborne Operation on the night of 11/12 Oct 87. He was made responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at the helipad which was under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage.

Flt Lt Bishnoi contributed valuables support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his exemplary dedication to service and display of professional competence of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Sanjay Bishnoi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Davinder Singh Bindra 228616 ORUnit : 125 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

MWO Davinder Singh Bindra was on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter Units since 19 Mar 84. As one of the pioneers of the unit trained in Soviet Unit, MWO Bindra has been performing the duties of Engineer Leader in the Unit.

In Oct 87 when the Unit detachment moved for `Ops Pawan' , MWO Bindra was one of the first aircrew to land in Sri Lanka and subsequently first to undertake live mission. Since then he has been a vigorous participant in the operational area having 108 missions and 97:10 operational hours in `Ops Pawan' besides having flown 4400 hours on various types of helicopter in Indian Air force.This MWO proved his worth during Operation Checkmate. There was extensive use of Akbar helicopter in Nitikaikulan area using varying armament configurations. Realising the sensitive nature of these operations, he decided to be in the cockpit in every mission. With total disregard to his personal comforts, over a period of one month from 28 Jun 88 to 28 Jul, he flew as part of aircrew in 58 missions and 42:05 hours.

For his exemplary hard work, courageous actions and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to MWO Davinder Singh Bindra

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Pradeep Kumar Mulay 12935 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 95
Details :

Group Captain Pradeep Kumar Mulay was the Commanding Officer of a helicopter Squadron (Sqn) from February 1992 to October, 1993.

During his tenure as CO the Sqn performed exceptionally well in all the fields. The Sqn maintained high aircraft serviceability with a clean flight safety record.

Gp Capt Mulay motivated the personnel of his Sqn by working effectively and efficiently. The Sqn performed very well when inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Feb 93 by obtaining an assessment of Average Plus. Further, the Sqn achieved the distinction of winning the trophy of front gun team event in Command Gunnery Meet, 1992-93 in helicopter stream.

The Sqn carried out each and every task assigned and performed well. Forward Area Re-arming Refuelling Point trials were carried out in area of operations of an Army Corps successfully under his able guidance and professional knowledge. It was under his able Command that the Attack Helicopters carried out air to ground firing in Mahajan Range for the first time. Sqn added one more feather to its cap in Oct 93, when it was judged as the best helicopter unit in Western Air Command.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Gp Capt Pradeep Kumar Mulay.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 1995 - No.99-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1995 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Deep Raj Sirohi 19517 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 08
Details :

Wing Commander Deep Raj Sirohi (19517) F (P) has been the CO of a Mi-25/35 Sqn since 08 May 06. This is a frontline Attack Helicopter Squadron located in a border base and tasked with a very important operational role in support of the Army.

As the CO of the Sqn, he brought about significant changes in the employment philosophy of Attack Helicopter operations in support of the Army. The endeavour was to exploit the operational flexibility and enhanced capabilities of the upgraded Mi35 towards maximization of its operational potential for off base night operations. His deep involvement and dogged pursuit of the revised employment philosophy ensured quick implementation of the concept and improved understanding of the employment of Attack Helicopter in support of Army, which has been well appreciated by HQ Western Command, Army.

Presently, the Sqn he commands is the only Attack Helicopter Sqn and therefore, it has to shoulder the training and operational requirements of both the Army and the Air Force. With clever management of resources and manpower, Wg Cdr Sirohi ensured that all the assigned tasks were met - this included inter service command level exercises, national tasks like Republic Day/ Independence Day celebrations, Presidential Fleet Review and other Air Force and Army commitments. Despite shortage of aircraft and numerous Sqn commitments, he ensured unstinted support for HCL course at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) thereby enabling completion of course on schedule. TACDE has deeply appreciated his commitment. Under his leadership, the Sqn has drawn accolades from diverse quarters for a professional approach to all operational commitments.

As CO, Wg Cdr Sirohi has led from the front and induced a vibrant team spirit amongst his subordinates. He has ensured that all Sqn personnel remain highly motivated and instituted a proactive, excellence seeking work ethos as the Sqn's identity. During the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, the Sqn under his command has been adjudged 'Average Plus' in operations, maintenance and administration.

For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Deep Raj Sirohi.

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.