Awardee List for the SAC

A total of 8 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 4 | Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) : 1 | Vishist Seva Medal : 3 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon 6756 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 02 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details :

Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon VrC SC VM (6756) F (P) was commissioned in the IAF on 10 Nov 1962. Through out his long and distinguished career, the Air Officer has held a variety of Command and Staff appointments, with remarkable success, aplomb and ease. He has flown many types of fighters, transport and helicopters.

During 1962 operations, he participated in casualty evacuation and supplying of stores. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry for helicopter operations during 196367 in Nagaland, Mizo hills, NEFA, 1965 war and for evacuating more than 4000 casualities from remote areas. He was commended by the CAS in 970 for saving a helicopter with engine malfunction, and carrying out 5 aircraft dead stick landings during 1968-70.

During 1971 War, as a Flight Lieutenant, he commanded 121 Vampire Squadron at Srinagar. For his conspicuous gallant contributions during the war, he was awarded Vir Chakra on 24 Dec 1971. He raised and commanded a Helicopter Unit for 2 ½ years. For a gallant search and rescue operation by helicopter at night, in which, beyond the normal call of duty on 25 Feb 1975, he saved two fighter pilots, he was awarded Shaurya Chakra for gallantry.

As Flight Commander of 37 Squadron, 47 Squadron and Chief Operations Officer of a Fighter Station he contributed significantly and achieved zero aircraft accident rate. He commanded a MiG 21 Squadron for 2 ½ years and achieved remarkable results. As Chief instructor at Air Force Academy, under his dynamic leadership, the Academy achieved a record flying of over 19050 hours in a year, without any accident.

As a Group Captain, he commanded Air Force Station Awantipur for 3 years and made significant contributions to operations, armament storage, work services, and improved the security facilities. This made Awantipur the best fortified Air Force Station of Indian Air Force.

When he was Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Bidar for 2 ½ years, his Station flew more than 30400 hrs on jet aircraft with no accidents. His station was adjudged the best in Flight Safety, Operations, Maintenance and Administration for 3 years consecutively. He also personally formed the Formation Aerobatics Team on Kiran aircraft at Bidar.

The Air Marshal is an alumnus of National Defence College. While holding various staff appointments at Air HQ, he made meaningful contributions in Operations, Flight Safety, Training, Induction of Women officers in the Indian Air Force, and in various other operational fields.

As Air Defence Commander and Officiating Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO), South Western Air Command (SWAC), he made commendable contributions in re-organising and relocating units, Radars etc., Flight Safety, in concepts of Control and Reporting Centre, Mobile Pulse Doppler Radar busting, Special Heliborne Operations and Photo Reconnaissance, These contributions greatly improved the Air Defence and overall operational environment of SWAC.

As Air Officer Commanding Jammu & Kashmir, he once again brought about significant improvements in the operational environment, Air Defence set up and Air Maintenance doctrines in J&K to the entire satisfaction of Army and Air Force.

As SASO HQ Eastern Air Command, IAF, and later as SASO HQ Western Air Command, IAF he improved the overall operational, Flight Safety and Air Defence environment of the area. All air maintenance tasks, flood relief, casualty evacuation, counter insurgency operations and tasks given by Air HQ were achieved in the most professional manner. His services were also utilised during 1999 Kargil War. The Air Marshal has more than 8170 hrs of accident free flying on 46 types of aircraft.

As Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command, IAF he has brought about remarkable improvements in the fields of Operations, Maintenance and Administration, and succeeded in achieving some of the tasks pending for more than 10 years. His Air Command has maintained zero accident rates. He is always willing to shoulder heavy responsibilities and additional tasks.

Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon VrC SC VM has rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

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

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sharad Yeshwant Savur 10525 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 06 Announced 26 Jan 06
Details :

Air Marshal Sharad Yeshwant Savur AVSM (10525) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 29 October 66 in the transport stream. In the 1971 war he was a Forward Air Controller with the battalion that captured two PAF pilots who had been shot down by IAF Gnat aircraft. In 39 years of very distinguished service, he has flown more than 7500 hrs of accident/incident free flying on various aircraft types over the inhospitable terrain of the northeast, Ladakh and JAMMU & KASHMIR as well as on VVIP and VIP flights duties. He has also been an Air Force Examiner. He has commanded Air HQ Communication Squadron and three different Air Force Stations. He has held staff appointments at Air HQ as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel-Airmen and Civilians), Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence) and at operational Command HQ as Senior Air Staff Officer. He is a graduate of Higher Command Course, Senior Defence Management Course and an alumnus of the National Defence College. As Station Commander of AF Station, Sulur, the officer had co-authored the Standard Operating Procedure for air-sea rescue by helicopters. As Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Agra, he ensured the highest standards of operational flying and training by setting a personal example in undergoing conversion on the IL-76. As Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Palam, he coordinated the airlift of relief materials for Bhuj Earthquake relief as well as for operations in the Kargil sector. As ACAS (PA&C) he instituted procedures that speeded up the issue of Pay Pension Orders, a new format for appraisals of airmen and co-ordinated the mobilization for Op Parakram.

As Senior Air Staff Officer in Eastern Air Command, he planned and positioned helicopters and transport aircraft at strategic places, oversaw the training and executed airlift and heli-lift to assist the Royal Bhutanese Army in driving out Anti-National Elements.

Most recently, as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command, he was responsible for execution of air operations for post Tsunami relief and rescue. He ensured that transport aircraft and helicopters of the IAF reached Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sri Lanka respectively for relief operations within hours of the catastrophe. Under his guidance the IAF contingent during Op Seawave in Sri Lanka achieved a mammoth task of airlifting 2, 35, 000 Kg and 673 people, flying a total of 422 sorties/270 hours without any accident/incident. In addition the units deployed in after-math of Tsunami at Carnic also achieved exemplary standards in carrying out the rescue and relief operations for the IAF personnel, their families and for the civilian population too. This task of rescuing, air lifting of personnel and also providing the much needed relief materials was executed under adverse conditions under his able leadership.

Air Marshal Sharad Yeshwant Savur AVSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2006 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Yeshwant Rao Rane 12210 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 08 Announced 26 Jan 08
Details :

Air Marshal Yeshwant Rao Rane AVSM VM (12210) F (P) was commissioned a fighter pilot in the IAF on 20 Dec 69. In his distinguished career spanning four decade the Air Mshl has flown 4600 h on various fighter, bomber and trainer aircraft. He has had varied experience covering a gamut of operational, staff and instructional tenures. He is a Cat A2 qualified flying instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader. He has held various challenging field and staff appointments which include Command of two frontline fighter Squadrons, Command of the only Mirage airbase of the IAF and Principal Director in Operational branch at Air HQ. He has also been the Commandant of Air Force Academy (AFA) and has held the post of Air Officer in charge Personnel (AOP) at Air HQ prior to his taking over as AOC-in-C, SAC since 01 Feb 07. He is a graduate of CDM and an alumnus of the NDC. For his operational and distinguished service of exceptional order, he has been awarded VM in 1990 and AVSM in 2002.

Through out his service career and especially so when holding criteria appointments, he has been the epitome of professionalism, probity and personal integrity. While holding the appointment of Commandant AFA, he was instrumental introducing new pattern of ab-initio flying and ground training which enhanced the quality of output and optimised scarce training resources. While holding the appointment of AOP, he was instrumental in implementing Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) within the shortest time frame and formulating the process of AVSC-II report in the IAF. He initiated schemes for Assured Career Progression for PBORs, Second Career option and placement for both Officers and Airmen besides ensuring smooth implementation of 'Just in time training' for airmen and 'Distance Education' scheme for formulation of service courses for officers. He was also instrumental in initiating the case for Short Service Commission in flying branch and introducing Fast Track Selection System for induction of officers in IAF.

As Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Air Command, the Air Mshl has used his vast experience to make significant administrative improvements in the working environment, culture and improved the qu-ality of life of all personnel. His vision of futuristic and strategic importance of the Southern Peninsula has led to the thrust given to the development of infrastructure in the various bases situated in the South. Under his professional guidance, the concept of “Flexi-Air Space" in the Southern Peninsula has been implemented with integration of civil and military radars. Various Air Defence sensors and resources have been effectively mobilized and coordinated for providing effective Air Defence surveillance and coverage of the Sri Lankan and coastal air space in anticipation of the threat perspective for the Southern Peninsula. His guidance and leadership has enabled the forces under his Command to successfully undertake operations in aid of the civil administration while carrying out relief and rescue mission during flash floods, heavy rains and natural calamities on various occasions in the recent adverse conditions.

Air Marshal Yeshwant Rao Rane AVSM VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2008 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Sadasivan Radhakrishnan 12408 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 09 Announced 26 Jan 09
Details :
Citation Not Available

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rakesh Anand 15873 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 02
Details : Wing Commander Rakesh Anand (15873) F (P) was commissioned on 19 Dee 79 in the Hying Branch of the Indian Air Force. He is currently posted at Southern Air Command where he has worked with single-minded devotion to prepare Carnicobar airfield for fighter operations. He has been closely supervising all sea flying activities during the Air Force- Naval exercises which has resulted in successful culmination of these exercises without a single accident/incident. He has commanded a Jaguar Squadron and has flown more than 5,000 hrs in his flying career spanning 20 years. He also has the distinguished achievement of having flown 2,000 hrs on the Jaguar aircraft. He is an A2 Instructor and has trained a large number of flying branch officers who in turn have displayed impeccable Flight Safety record. Wg Cdr Anand's personal Involvement and untiring devotion had enabled the squadron to achieve a very high degree of professional excellence. During his tenure, the squadron successfully undertook Op validation trials of the Griffin Laser Guided Bomb and the Jupiter Long Delay Fuse. Various other novel concepts such as Blind Bombing by night and weapon delivery under flare lit conditions were also validated. He led the squadron from the front during various exercises like Vayushakti, Akraman, Gujra) and so also during Op Sated Sagar. Further, while faced with a grave in-flight emergency resulting in one engine flame out and extensive airframe damage he displayed exceptional presence of mind and flying skill by recovering this crippled aircraft safely. Under his guidance, innovative ideas like fuel catch rig and drop tank stands were successfully put to practice. In the sphere of administration, he ensured an extremely healthy working environment. In spite of a number of commitments, a marked improvement in the Squadron morale and discipline were noticed during his tenure. His efforts also resulted in the Squadron being adjudged as the Champion Squadron in Central Air Command Exercise Ekiavya 99-2000. For his exceptional devotion to duty, personal example and ability to motivate all those under him, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Rakesh Anand.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th June 2002 - No.118-Pres/2002 dated 26th January 2002 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
JWO Radhakrishnan Nair 281357 ORUnit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Junior Warrant Officer Radhakrishnan Nair was enrolled in the Indian Air Force in Jul 66. He has been working in the office of SMSO of HQ SAC since 01 Oct 84. He has been associated with setting up of Maintenance Branch offices since its formation of the Command in July 1984. The contribution of the JWO in establishing the various sections of the Maintenance Branch during the initial stages is significant. His dedication to duty is exemplary.

JWO Radhakrishnan Nair was attached to a Wing in Jan 87 under the augmentation plan. He was detailed to work in the CR&SS of Vijay aircraft keeping in view his past experience and training in this type of aircraft. JWO Radhakrishnan Nair acquainted himself thoroughly with the task in hand in the electrical section without loss of time. He applied his professional skill and determined efforts to improve serviceability of aircraft. His simultaneously trained the tradesmen in the electrical section on fault diagnosis and rectification.

For his exceptional professional knowledge, devotion to duty and significant contribution towards setting up of Headquarters Southern Air Command Engineering Sections from scratch, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to JWO Radhakrishnan Nair.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Avinash Chander Chopra 7604 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Avinash Chander Chopra, VM (7604) Flying (Pilot) has been posted as Air-II at Headquarters Southern Air Command for the last three years.

As Air-II, Gp Capt AC Chopra is responsible for planning coordinating and executing of transport and helicopter operations in the geographical jurisdiction of HQ SAC.

Sometimes in May 87 it became apparent that large scale transport/helicopter operations will be required in Sri Lanka. The officer was entrusted with this task and he worked diligently to achieve the requisite infrastructure to support such large scale envisaged operations. Facilities were crated at Thanjavur and Trichurapally. These two locations were such where no Air Force elements existed. His efforts enabled the initial induction and operations of large scale helicopter and transport operations in a very satisfactory manner.

He maintained close liaison with maintenance personnel to ensure that all the twenty five helicopters placed at the disposal of HQ SAC are serviced promptly to ensure

availability of maximum number of helicopters at all times.

For unflinching devotion to duty, meticulous planning continuous prolonged involvement the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Gp Capt A C Chopra VM.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Madusoodanan Nair Jayakumaran Thampi 16632 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Madusoodanan Nair Jayakumaran Thampi (16632) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 11 Dec 1981. He has rendered active service in a number of front line air support transport squadrons and has flown over 4500 hours on various aircraft. He is also a Qualified Flying Instructor. Through out his service career, Wg Cdr MJK Thampi has shown exemplary devotion to duty and has been twice awarded commendation by the Chief of Air Staff in 1993 and 1995.

Since 12 May 1998 Wg Cdr MJK Thampi has been performing of the duties of Commanding Officer Southern Air Command (Unit). During his tenure as the OC (Unit), he under took the challenging task of shifting the Command Headquarters from its temporary location in Trivandrum City. He painstakingly supervised various work services and ensured their timely completion within the budgetary constraints, thus facilitating smooth relocation. This ensured that a Command became functional and operational within the shortest possible period.

While at the temporary location all Air Force personnel were being accommodated at hired/reimbursed houses in civil area. Due to Wg Cdr Thampi's tireless drive and close supervision, construction of married quarters for officers and airmen were completed in record time. Not just that but a number of other amenities were created for the welfare of the personnel and their families, which perceptibility improved the quality of life for the personnel of Southern Air command. Due to his excellent liaison work with civil administrative authorities Wg Cdr Thampi ensured timely completion of the laying of new water pipe-lines and power-lines, thereby facilitating uninterrupted power and water supply to HQ Southern Air Command and its lodger units.

Wg Cdr MJK Thampi, by his ingenuity and administrative acumen, has contributed significantly to relocation of the Command Headquarters as well as the overall improvements in the quality of life for all personnel.

For his dedication and distinguished service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander MJK Thampi.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2001 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.