Awardee List for the AFS Thoise

A total of 5 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) : 1 | Vishist Seva Medal : 4 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sher Singh 15718 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Sher Singh (15718) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Air Force Station, Thoise since 26 February 96 as Chief Operations Officer.

He took over as Chief Operations Officer in the "OP Meghdoot" sector under hostile conditions. In the war scenario of Op Meghdoot, he has shown exceptional courage and leadership by leading the team of pilots to do yeoman service in air maintaining all Siachen posts. On 26 August 96, when one of our helicopters crashed due to enemy action, he participated actively in recovering the bodies of his comrades from the crash site at Hoshiyar, braving an umbrella of enemy artillery and surface to air missile fire. Since then he has formulated Standard Operating Procedures in all threatened helipads by personally flying under exposed areas to get a first hand threat assessment.

By closely monitoring flying from dawnto-dusk, gathering intelligence reports, coordinating with Army for all the support servi ces round the clock, he has considerably contributed to the increase in tonnage achieved, as also a reduction in flying related incidents to a bare minimum in "OP Meghdoot" operations. The shifting of helicopter detachments from Thoise, which resulted in saving lakhs of rupees daily and the construction of a new runway at Base Camp are both his ideas.

For distinguished service of high order in this low intensity war zone of "OP Meghdoot", the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sher Singh.

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

Bar to Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Suresh Chandra Malhan 11579 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date 26 Jan 94 Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Gp Capt SC Malhan, VM VSM was commissioned on 18 May 68. A helicopter pilot par-excellence, he was specially selected to go to erstwhile USSR for training on Mi-25 attack helicopters. As Commanding Officer of the Mi-25 Squadron, he participated in the Sri Lanka operations and was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry in the face of the enemy on 13 Apr 88. He was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service in 1991.

Gp Capt Malhan was appointed as base commander of a newly raised air base at 10060 ft AMSL near Siachen Glacier in Apr 91. He ensured that the air operations in the defence on Siachen Glacier went on flawlessly and simultaneously built an Air Force Base in the most pristine surroundings. Gp Capt Malhan displayed remarkable resourcefulness in construction of rooms, bunkers and MT sheds with material salvaged from con demned vehicles and unusable packing material through 'SHRAMDAN' to tide over the pressing requirements. He could make this possible by coordinating machinery and resources between the MES, GREF, Field Engineers and the contractors. He was able to set up various sections, including a well stocked logistic section in a very short period. No body could have delivered so much in such a short time against overwhelming odds.

For distinguished service of high order, the President is pleased to award Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal to GP Capt Malhan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1994 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Pramod Kumar Roy 14100 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date 26 Jan 00 Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

For his contribution to studies related to low intensity conflict and for his writing on Role of Air Power in low intensity conflict, Gp Capt PK Roy became the first Service officer to receive the prestigious 'Om Satya Mehra Award'. He took over the command of an FBSU in Northern sector on 16 Jun 97. In pursuance of the task of air maintenance assigned to the FBSU, the officer has been instrumental in motivating and training young pilots to continue their hard work in most inclement weather. Under his able guidance, for the first time six barrels of 105-mm field guns were successfully paradropped on the Siachen glacier from a Mi-17 helicopter.

Utilizing his profound ingenuity and tenacity of purpose he was instrumental in fabricating, modifying and improvising various equipment. Some of his improvisations include loading trolley for Mi-17 helicopter, windsock from scrap and steering arm for Mi-17 helicopter. In running the station, Gp Capt PK Roy left no stone unturned in improving welfare of his personnel. He set up a model airmen institute, bakery, poultry, vegetable farm, cinema and a computer literacy center at the unit. He has been able to maintain the high morale of his men despite the difficult terrain and in unfriendly weather. The NPFs have shown considerable growth under his supervision. During his command, the station was declared best FBSU an achievement that can truly be attributed to his unrelenting efforts. By dint of his hard work, he maintained his station in a high state of operational preparedness.

Gp Capt PK Roy has displayed a high degree of maturity, dynamism and initiative throughout his service career. For his devotion to duty and exemplary hard work, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Gp Capt PK Roy.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2000 Number: 

Bar to Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema 14292 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Group Captain Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema (14292) F (P) has been Base Commander of the forward most Air Base of the Air Force since Sep 99.

Gp Capt Cheema has been one of the pioneers of Mi-8/Mi-17 operations in "Op Meghdoot" Sector. He has the unique distinction of carrying out the first night landing at Thoise in order to evacuate casualties from Nubra Valley during 1984. He has wide experience in counter insurgency operations in Northeast, J&K, Light Intensity Conflict in Op Meghdoot and Op Pawan (Sri Lanka). He has been the author of Offensive Armament Action Utilising Mi-17s during Op Pawan.

On assuming the command of the this important base which is directly supporting Air Maintenance of the troops in Siachen Glacier, critically and systematically analysed the various aspects that needed enhanced performance. He led by example through exhibition of professional competence and flying Mi-17s, both by day and night, to improve the operational status of aircrew. Despite numerous constraints he ensured that night landing facilities for fixed wing aircraft of the category of IL-76 was provided at Thoise during moon phase. He worked with zeal and enthusiasm to ensure no stone is left unturned to provide requisite facilities for air operations.

Gp Capt Cheema not only has a distinction of having logged more than 500 hrs of accident free flying but also the distinction of providing a safe environment at the airfield. Living conditions provided under extreme weather conditions to the personnel of the Station is note-worthy. The morale of personnel remained very high during his tenure in this difficult Sector.

For professionalism, dedication and leadership qualities of the highest order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Bar to 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Gurwinder Jeet Singh Cheema.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2002 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Vidhya Sagar Bharti 16611 F(P)Unit : AFS Thoise  Award Date 26 Jan 05 Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :

Group Captain Vidya Sagar Bharti YSM VM (16611) Flying (pilot) was commissioned on 11 Dec 1981 in the Flying branch of the IAF. During his 23 years of distinguished service he has held important instructional, command and staff appointments that include Commanding Officer of a helicopter unit and Staff Officer at Air HQ and MoD. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor. He is a graduate of both DSSC and College of Naval Warfare. He has been awarded YSM in 1989 and VM in 2000 for his distinguished services. Presently, he is in command of a Forward Base in Northern Sector since 19 Jun 2003.

Gp Capt Bharti is a highly motivated and dynamic Air Warrior who has brought major improvements in every sphere of activity in the Northern Most Air Base of the IAF. In the year 2003, the air maintenance task of the "Op Meghdoot" sector was achieved and exceeded for the first time after many years, despite runway resurfacing work, which was completed without loss of a single day's flying.

He has encouraged a culture of self help among men. He has motivated his men to construct a 'Small Arms Range' cutting rocks and boulders all by themselves thus, saving about Rs. 60 lacs to the exchequer. In addition, to overcome the problem of water shortage in the station, located in the Highest Desert of the World a 'Dam' and a 'Pond' was cons tructed by Air Force personnel themselves. A major boost was also provided to improve the quality of life of men living in the harsh and isolated environs of Thoise through use of local resources.

Superior Leadership qualities and organising ability of Gp Capt Bharti came to the fore when he successfully conducted the first ever visit of The Honourable President of India to the station. Despite severe winter and very short notice the entire station was brought up to Presidential standards. The President himself was highly appreciative of the way the station looked and commended its Flight Safety record.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Vidya Sagar Bharti YSM VM.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2005 Number: 

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.