Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List


A total of 1329 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 1329 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajan Puri 21846 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : Wing Commander Rajan Puri (21846) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit, since 01 May 2006. On 31 Aug 2008 an SOS call was received from Government of Assam, that river Puthimari had breached its embankment causing flash floods, a few villagers were stranded on rooftops and the deteriorating situation demanded a swift rescue operation. Wg Cdr Puri was tasked for the mission. Wg Cdr Puri along with his team got airborne within shortest possible time for the rescue. In spite of adverse weather coupled with low clouds and strong winds, he quickly identified one isolated building that had four survivors, including a 10 year old child, stranded on the wooden support structure of a rooftop under construction. The current flow was strong and the water levels were rising very rapidly and any further delay would have resulted in the people getting washed away. Realising the gravity of the situation, Wg Cdr Puri established hover over the restricted area and winched down his experienced Flight Gunner for helping the survivors get into the helicopter. Inspite of limited visual references, adverse weather conditions and high obstructions, the whole operation was accomplished with precise accuracy; the officer very gallantly, rescued all four survivors. Wg Cdr Puri displayed exceptional courage and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force. The accomplishment of the mission won accolades from the State Government as well as from the media for the Indian Air Force. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Rajan Puri.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Yogindra Singh Tomar 28497 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : Flight Lieutenant Yogindra Singh Tomar (28497) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MI-8 Helicopter Unit with effect from 26 Dec 2006. On 14 Nov 2008, he was the Co-Pilot in the helicopter for picking up three Border Security Force (BSF) casualties, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)and election commission officials. Despite reports of anti-national activities in the area, he greatly contributed in the planning and execution of a successful landing at the helipad. After picking up the personnel and equipment, during take-off, the helicopter came under heavy small arms and light machine gun fire. Even after the Flight Engineer, Sergeant Mustafa Ali was fatally injured and the helicopter sustaining heavy damage to main rotor blades, fuel tank and tail boom, he displayed courage and composure under fire. The loss of the Flight Engineer other than being an important personal loss is a great setback in flying the helicopter even in normal circumstances. With the helicopter badly damaged, the loss of the Flight Engineer is accentuated as it is he, who monitors the health of the helicopter and operates levers and switches not directly related to flying. Normally the Co-Pilot is given the responsibility of navigation. Fit Lt Tomar displayed courage and composure in overcoming grief and shock and assisted the Captain in safely flying the helicopter by taking on the added duties of the Flight Engineer and simultaneously carrying out accurate navigation by dusk and night to get the aircraft back to safety at Jagdalpur. This act of courage and valour has been valuable in saving fifteen other lives in the helicopter, the helicopter and the EVMs, which are government property and obviating adverse propaganda material for the anti-national element's cause. A sincere, hardworking and courageous Pilot of the unit, he has 622 hrs of flying to his credit. Fit Lt YS Tomar was the Co Pilot of the helicopter which successfully carried out the election duties at Chhatisgarh from 08 Nov 08. For his courage under fire from anti national elements and composure under adverse situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Flight Lieutenant Yogindra Singh Tomar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
JWO Rajhans Thapliyal 679560 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : 679560 Junior Warrant Officer Rajhans Thapliyal, Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 18 Mar 2007. On 31 Aug 2008, an SOS was received from the Government of Assam, that river Puthimari has breached its embankment causing flash floods, a few villagers were stranded on rooftops and the deteriorating situation demanded a swift rescue operation. JWO Thapliyal was tasked to be the Flight Gunner for the mission. The crew got airborne within the shortest possible time. In spite of adverse weather coupled with low clouds and strong winds, they identified four survivors including a ten year old child stranded on the wooden support structure of a rooftop under construction. The current flow was strong and the water level was rising very rapidly. Any further delay would have resulted in the people getting washed away by the strong current. Realising the gravity of the situation, JWO Thapliyal volunteered to be winched down to help the survivors to get into the helicopter. He very gallantly stood over the loose and unbalanced wooden support for over ten minutes amidst the swirl of strong current and heavy rotor downwash. He rescued the four survivors one by one. He was the last one to be winched up with a ten year old child in his arms. He proved his mettle by not only handling the duties of Flight Gunner efficiently but also endangering his life when the situation demanded to do so. JWO Thapliyal displayed outstanding valour and acted in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force. The accomplishment of the mission won accolades from state government as well as from media for the Indian Air Force. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Junior Warrant Officer Rajhans Thapliyal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Bipin Kumar 766557 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : 766557 Sergeant Bipin Kumar Flight Engineer is on the posted strength of an An-32 Squadron since 10 Jul 2006. He has over 2000 hours of flying experience on An-32 aircraft. On 06 Nov 2008, he was detailed for a Transport Support Role mission to airlift 38 passengers along with full load to Leh. On reaching 25,000 feet at 80 nautical miles from Chandigarh, "CHECK DOORS" caution flashed in the cockpit accompanied with a loud bang. Sgt Bipin Kumar sensed imminent danger and proceeded immediately to check the cargo door where he noticed abnormal indications. With his experience and appreciation of the situation, he realised that this could result in cargo door opening in air. Putting his life to grave risk and displaying indomitable courage, he remained at the rear of the cargo compartment as he took prompt emergency actions in a rare display of exemplary courage. He advised the captain to turn back towards base, ensured that all passengers moved to the front and only then did he move to safety. Immediately soon after, another loud bang was heard along with misting in the aircraft. The cargo door had opened in air and was hanging precariously from one side, aircraft tail support and cushions were sucked out and the entire cargo cabin was exposed to freezing conditions at 25,000 feet. He remained calm and avoided panic amongst the passengers by guiding them to take required precautionary measures and assuring them safety. Sgt Bipin Kumar displayed exemplary courage, dogged determination and devotion to duty even putting his life in danger while dealing with an unprecedented emergency. His prompt actions conspicuous bravery and presence of mind saved the life of 38 passengers in the aircraft. He also played a stellar role in the safe recovery of the badly damaged aircraft as it flew across treacherous terrain and landed back at base. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Sergeant Bipin Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
L Nk Amrik Singh 9083049 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 Aug 08 Announced 15 Aug 09
Details : 9083049 Lance Naik Amrik Singh was on the posted strength of a Defence Security Corps Platoon attached to Air Force Technical College (AFTC)since 17 Aug 2008 till he died on 07 Jan 09. He had been performing the duties as guard at AFTC. On 17 Dec 2008, Late UNk Amrik Singh while on guard duty, single handedly foiled an attempt of theft in AFTC camp by five masked intruders, who had entered the camp by scaling the boundary wall. Though, the intruders were in possession of sharp edged weapons, he challenged them to surrender. The intruders retaliated by pelting stones at him. As he was continuously attacked he fired three rounds in the air from his service rifle. The intruders did not heed to the warning shots and continued pelting stones. Unmindful of his own safety he fired fourth round on the thigh of one intruder who was incapacitated and apprehended by him. The other four intruders managed to escape. This prompt and gallant act by UNk Amrik Singh despite serious threat to his own life ensured safety of life and government property of the prestigious college. The incident made headlines in major News Dailies and was well appreciated by Civil and defence security forces. Late UNk Amrik Singh was an outstanding soldier whose conduct and sense of duty was exemplary and worthy of emulation by the DSC cadre. He was a highly motivated soldier with exceptional sincerity, commitment and dedication to service. On some earlier occasions too, he had displayed exemplary courage in thwarting trespasses in the Camp by undesirable elements. The UNk succumbed to a massive heart attack on 07 Jan 09. For displaying exceptional courage and bravery in the face of intruders, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Lance Naik Amrik Singh (Posthumously).
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ajay Koul 19960 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Ajay Koul (19960) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Air Force Station Jaisalmer since 12 May 2008. On 26 March 2009, he authorised himself to fly a bird reconnaissance and handling sortie on Streak Shadow Microlight aircraft (ac). The sortie was uneventful till 1751 hours. He was flying at 1000 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) and holding about seven kilometers from the airfield, for recovery of fighters. While flying he sensed a sudden increase in the engine vibrations. He immediately reduced throttle setting and commenced a turn towards the base. The vibration reduced as he brought down the engine revolutions per minute (RPM) to 2000, he put the ac in a glide and looked around for a force landing field should the contingency arise. On ensuring engine parameters were within limits, he smoothly opened throttle till 3500 RPM. At this stage there was a loud thud and the engine failed. The height at this stage was inadequate to make an approach and landing for runway. He analysed the situation quickly and planned for a forced landing. Despite being distracted by another loud banging noise from the engine, he retained his composure and identified a relatively safe field clear of habitation, trees and poles for landing. He landed the aircraft (ac) on flat but rocky terrain and controlled the aircraft skillfully after landing and ensured that there was minimum damage to the ac, no injury to himself or any loss of life or property to civil population. He thereafter contacted the Air Traffic Services and helped to guide the Search and Rescue helicopter to the accident site. Wing Commander Ajay Koul has been a professional and keen fighter pilot with 2377 Hrs of incident/accident free flying on MiG 21/27 ac throughout. His presence of mind and prompt analysis of the emergency is indeed praiseworthy. At the height of 1000 ft AGL, a pilot in a situation of engine failure has very little time to react. The ac with an engine failure loses height very rapidly. His gallant action not only saved a valuable ac but many lives, had the ac crashed in a habited area. There have been very few successful force landings with a failed engine in the past. For this act of exceptional gallantry, exceptional flying skills, quick and correct decision making while handling a complex emergency in the air in saving a valuable aircraft without any damage to civil or service property, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Ajay Koul.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Riju Kochhar 22975 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Riju Kochhar (22975) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an AN-32 Squadron since 01 Oct 2007. He has over 3000 Hrs of flying experience on AN-32 aircraft and holds CAT/IR 'BG' (Category 'B' Green). On 2006 November 2008, he was authorised as captain of a Transport Support Role mission from Chandigarh to Leh with 38 passengers. At an altitude of 25,000 feet, about 80 nautical miles from base, the "CHECK DOOR" caution came on. He promptly investigated the abnormality with the help of his Flight Engineer. Moments later, a loud bang was heard which was followed by misting in the cockpit. Wg Cdr Kochhar with rare display of quick reflexes immediately recognised the emergency correctly as rapid decompression. As the misting cleared, the cargo door was observed to be hanging from the port side, posing grave danger to the passengers and crew. Displaying exceptional situational awareness and professional courage, Wg Cdr Kochhar controlled the aircraft and turned towards base, gave a 'MAYDAY' call and commenced emergency descent amidst high terrain. He flew the aircraft with the ramp partially open for over 45 minutes and carried out a safe landing at Chandigarh. As he touched down on the runway, the ramp was observed to be hanging precariously a few inches above the runway. There was a possibility of ramp scraping the runway and the likelihood of aircraft going of the runway during landing. With his analytical approach and skillful handling, Wg Cdr Kochhar ensured that the aircraft did not suffer a landing accident. Wg Cdr Kochhar handled an unprecedented and grave and emergency reacted in a calm and composed manner and with single minded purpose. His leadership qualities were at display in utilising all crew members in recovering the aircraft safely. His prompt action, professional courage and presence of mind saved a precious aircraft as well as 42 invaluable lives thereby averting a serious accident. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Riju Kochhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Anoop Singh 26716 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Squadron Leader Anoop Singh (26716) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Jaguar Squadron since 25 Jan 2007. On 19 March 2009 he was authorised to fly a live armament sortie over Pokhran range. The sortie was uneventful till recovery. During recovery he carried out a Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) and took over for a visual approach and landing at five km from Runway. At 200 ft on approach, he heard a thud on the left side. When he glanced inside, he noticed port engine Turbine Gas Temperature exceeding the operating limits and felt the engine thrust reducing. Deviation from flight path and increase in Angle of Attack (AOA) at this stage could have aggravated the situation. Prompt actions on part of the pilot of engaging max reheat on both engines and correct attitude change, kept angle of attack under control and a safe landing was executed. Post flight analysis on the ground indicated an extensive damage to the port engine. Further, Accident Data Recorder (ADR) and Digital Video Recording System (DVRS) analysis brought out immediate loss of thrust, under surge conditions. The analysis revealed quick and accurate actions on part of the pilot which led to aversion of a potentially dangerous situation. Considering the aircraft emergency which occurred at a critical phase of flight wherein split second decision making was absolutely necessary, the actions from Sqn Ldr A Singh were most gallant and professional. The cascading effect of the emergency would have left him no other choice but to eject, if the actions were delayed. These timely actions by him resulted in saving a valuable aircraft. Also critical post flight analysis could be undertaken since the ac was recovered to ascertain the cause of surge. Due to this analysis such accident could be avoided in the future. For the act of exceptional gallantry, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Anoop Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Wasudevrao Gosewade 16816 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Wasudevrao Gosewade (16816) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned in the Flying Branch on 04 Jun 82. During his 26 years of distinguished service he has held the challenging appointments of FIt Cdr of a VIP Transport Sqn, CO of a frontline Air Defence Combat Sqn, President Air Force Selection Board (AFSB) and Directing Staff at DSSC. He is presently commanding a Strategic Air lift Sqn since 03 Sep 07. An accomplished professional, he has participated in numerous operational exercises and has brought laurels to the IAF In the year 1993 he flew various missions successfully in the war torn Somalia with VIPs of three Services on board. As FIt Cdr of a VVIP Sqn he has demonstrated exceptional professionalism and meticulousness while flying the VIPs and VVIPs of India and foreign countries. As a Commanding Officer of an IL-76 Sqn he has been instrumental in improving the Category State, operational status of aircrew and aircraft serviceability which in turn has helped the Sqn completing all the assigned operational tasks in the most befitting manner. Under his Command the Sqn has brought laurels to the country and IAF by undertaking numerous humanitarian relief missions in China, Myanmar and Bangladesh which has also earned the appreciation from VCAS. Leading from the front he has flawlessly executed the first. ever Indian Army deployment to China in Ex Hand-in Hand. His initiative and innovative ideas helped the Station Officers' Mess to achieve higher qualitative standards. His inspiring leadership, faith in subordinates and motivation has brought all round growth and achievement for the Sqn despite various constraints while operating from Nagpur. Under his Command the Sqn has been awarded the prestigious CAS Citation in Oct 08. In the recent Ex Red Flag 08, he led the participating team of aircrew and maintenance crew and achieved brilliant success in the Ex. While leading the IL-76 in various missions during this Ex he along with his crew earned praise from all quarters including ACAS (Ops) and PO (Ops T&H) for its professional skills and superior performance. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Sanjeev Wasudevrao Gosewade.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Joseph Xavier Israel 17167 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Group Captain Joseph Xavier Israel (17167) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the Flying Branch on 28 May 1983. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) on IL-76, AN-32 , HS-748 and HPT-32 aircraft with more than 8000 hrs of flying which includes 2600 instructional hours. He holds 'Master Green' on IL-76 and AN-32 aircraft and is fully operational on all roles of both the types. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), he took over Command of one of the most important airlift Squadron on 16 Jul 2007. As Flight Commander of a strategic airlift squadron, he was directly involved in moving the squadron to a new location. With adverse conditions and limited resources, he inspired his subordinates to deliver exceptional results, winning the "Best Transport Squadron" of IAF in 2003-04. His contribution to the safe conduct of the ferry of six fighter aircraft across the globe and back, as the captain of the lead aircraft during Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder, was exemplary. Subsequently, as Ops IIA at Headquarter Western Air Command he supervised and ensured efficient and smooth operations of transport aircraft in that Command. As Commanding Officer of a Squadron equipped with IL-76 and AN-32 aircraft, and over 400 personnel, he has ensured a cordial atmosphere with high level of motivation and professional standards. The squadron was awarded the "Best Transport Squadron" in WAC 'in 2007-08. Under his command, the squadron has set impeccable standards in achievement of allotted task, be it air maintenance or short notice launch of aircraft during national/ international crisis, in a timely and efficient manner. Gp Capt JX Israel has a humane approach which has won him the confidence and respect of his peers and subordinates. As Commanding Officer, he has streamlined all administrative, operational, maintenance and welfare activities of the unit, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency. Leading by example, he has set high standards and goals for his subordinates to follow. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Joseph Xavier Israel.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manish Khanna 18554 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Group Captain Manish Khanna, (18554) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the Flying Branch on 06 Dec 86 and has been the Commanding Officer of the Aircrew Examining Board since 11 Feb 08. He is a highly accomplished professional and has earlier commanded a premier composite fighter squadron which had the unique distinction of operating the MiG-25 in the strategic reconnaissance as well as the MiG-21 in the electronic warfare role. He is a Category A Instructor with over 3500 hrs of accident free flying on the MiG-21, MiG-25, Mirage-2000, F-5, Kiran and HPT-32 ac. Under his leadership, the Board has taken on all its tasks displaying a high degree of professionalism and proactive response. In the last one year a total of 101 inspections were conducted. This included flying tests for 1862 aircrew and ground tests for over 2600. Meticulous preparation and planning ensured that all these inspections were conducted safely, efficiently and as per the stipulated guidelines. Two IRIE courses were also conducted during which 52 aircrew were trained to function as field examiners. AEB is also tasked to recommend short / long term measures to enhance the flying environment and provide regular feedback to commanders for assessing the professional competence and quality of training across the IAF. In this regard it is pertinent to note that the quality of comments and recommendations on all flying related matters were well researched and deliberated, indicating a high degree of commitment and involvement of the Commanding Officer and his team. Other than inspection tasks, Group Captain M Khanna also initiated measures for educating the field staff on key issues directly related to flying. Initiatives like the AEB website, e-data bank, module on Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT), civil Air Traffic Services (ATS)procedures and computer based testing were well conceptualised and executed. The officer's initiative in progressing the online testing project and the computerisation of records is also creditable and this has the potential to revolutionise the examining process in the IAF. The unit's involvement in tasks at the station level too is creditable. The officer's balanced, mature and integrated approach has been a source of confidence to his team, adding to their motivation and guiding them to meet future challenges. AEB has performed very well and has grown in a comprehensive manner which is a direct reflection of the quality of its leadership. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Manish Khanna.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shashank Misra 19175 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Shashank Misra (19175) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Helicopter Pilot in the Flying branch on 19 Dec 87. A Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and Production Test Pilot with over 5000 hrs of flying on various types of helicopters, he was Joint Director (Plans) at Air Headquarters before taking over Command of the first Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Unit on 30 Jun 05. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, he was the leader of the Sarang Helicopter Display Team and flew as captain of the lead aircraft. The 'Sarang' display team upgraded from three to four aircraft and the unit flew more than 2700 hrs during his tenure. He led the -team at many important events and venues in India such as Air Force Day, Presidents Fleet Review, World Military Games and Passing Out Parades at various Military Academies. He also led the team at the prestigious Aero India 2005 and 2007, which had rave reviews and 'Sarang' got recognised as a world class Aerobatic Display Team. He led the Sarang team at Air shows in Malaysia in 2005 and at Berlin in 2009, where they were adjudged the best looking display team. He was instrumental in the first ferry of five ALH helicopters in Europe involving flying over the 'English Channel'. He led the unit at various venues in the United Kingdom to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, which was much appreciated all over the world. Being the only QFI on ALH, he was involved in the conversion of 12 pilots posted to ALH units within a short period of six months. Despite the low spares availability and high maintenance requirements of the ALH fleet, his personal involvement ensured adequate availability of helicopters for displays as well as other tasks allotted to the Unit. He ensured that all displays were executed with professionalism without any compromise in the morale of the unit personnel. During DASI Inspection in Feb 08, the Unit was adjudged 'Above Average' in all spheres Operations, Maintenance and Administration. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Shashank Misra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ramesh Mishra 19402 ACCTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Ramesh Mishra (19402) Accounts/Parachute Jump Instructor was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the Accounts Branch on 11 Jun 88. He is on the posted strength of ADRDE, DRDO since 15 Jan 05, as the Chief Test Jumper. As a Parachute Jump Instructor since 1990 he has a total of 2485 live jumps from 16 variants of Aircrafts and Helicopters. He successfully carried out the trials of Combat Free Fall system from various altitudes and became the first person to jump from 30000 ft AGL with indigenous CFF system. The modifications incorporated after the trials led to the completion of the indigenous development of CFF System by ADRDE. The DRDO Rag was flown high in the sky with the jump of CFF system at AEROINDIA-2009, in front of the international community. This resulted in an indent for 825 CFF systems on the OPF, Kanpur from Army, Navy and Air Force. The international orders are also expected soon. Another elite project of ADRDE is CADS (Controlled Aerial Delivery System). In the beginning a great difficulty was faced in flying and inflation of this unmanned parachute system and Wg Cdr Mishra was requested to jump along with these unmanned systems from various heights. Knowing fully well that these parachutes can land far away from the desired impact point, he readily agreed to jump along with the system on various trials, videographed the system in mid air and briefed everyone on the behavior of the parachute. Based on his inputs the CADS Project team could develop the "Control Logic" for the CADS project. In fact the Director of another Lab, ADE Bangalore, Dr PS Krishnan, being highly impressed by the Logic recommended the development of the advanced versions with 1 ton & 3 ton loads. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ramesh Mishra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Hilal Ahmad Rather 19863 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Hilal Ahmad Rather (19863) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter Pilot in the Flying branch on 17 Dec 88. He is on the posted strength of a frontline Squadron, since 26 Dec 2006 as the Commanding Officer of the unit. Wg Cdr Rather has led his unit from the front as a firm professional, flying nearly 500 sorties during his tenure, which encompassed all roles. During his tenure, the unit achieved 4500 hrs of accident free flying. The officer consistently adopts a very systematic, fair and-humane approach, which has improved the working culture, work environment and morale in the unit. Through outstanding level of involvement, Wg Cdr Rather is consistently striving to improve the system through simple and innovative solution to some perennial problems. Through his innovative approach, the officer proposed a simple Digital Video Recording and Debrief system for the Mirage- fleet. He locally fabricated a number of innovative, simple, inexpensive and effective alternatives Ground Support Equipment (GSE), which enhanced maintenance safety greatly. Displaying great intellectual approach, the officer proposed a simple ground check to prevent a serious engine emergency in air. Under his leadership, the unit became the first unit in the IAF to fully operationalise the Flight Line Maintenance ( FLM) concept and was chosen as a role model unit for FLM implementation. Wg Cdr Rather has always displayed highest personal professional standards and through his calm and intelligent handling, the officer recently, safely recovered a Mirage-2000 ac, with a third degree failure of the Electronic Flight Control System and retained all external loads in spite of a serious emergency. The officer also led his Sqn during the Indo-French Exercise Garuda-III and FPD at Pokhran during which he delivered three LGBs with pinpoint accuracy. Under his leadership the Squadron hosted the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations successfully, where his foresight, meticulous planning and execution were clearly evident. The officer always conducts himself in the most appropriate manner and commands great respect of all unit personnel. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Hilal Ahmad Rather.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Tejbir Singh 19958 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Tejbir Singh (19958) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the Flying branch on 17 Dec 88. He is on the posted strength of Headquarter Maintenance Command Communication Flight (FCCF), AF wef 16 Oct 06 as the Commanding Officer of the unit. During his tenure, Wg Cdr Tejbir Singh has infused a new sense of dynamism and professionalism amongst the aircrew and the personnel of the unit that has enabled the unit to scale unprecedented heights. For his untiring efforts the unit flew over 2700 hrs of accident free flying during his tenure and maintained a record 87% serviceability, the highest in the fleet, despite the aging fleet constraints. During this period the unit achieved an enviable Cal/lR state with 70% aircrew holding a supervisory category, which is the best Cat state in the fleet. A distinct qualitative change was brought about in the unit by introducing several innovative programmes including ~ITI first snag analysis system' resulting in an empowered and a confident JITI air warrior. The spirit-de-corps and cohesiveness within the unit personnel is seen in every activity be it on tarmac or on the social front. Wg Cdr Tejbir Singh has led the unit on all fronts and has himself flown over 1000 hrs as Commanding Officer, and at the same time dedicated himself in marshalling all resources under him with dexterity. This is evident from the numerous tech innovations undertaken by the unit. Two of them, i.e. 'Aircraft Ground Cooling System' using a simple desert cooler and 'Mobile DSS Trolley' were totally his initiatives and have been emulated by other units. Wg Cdr Tejbir was a key organiser of successive mega events - The Nagpur Air shows' held in 2007 and 2008. These air shows were executed flawlessly with his personal involvement, remarkable liaison at all levels and close supervision. By his actions, the officer has fully and justifiably stood up to any responsibility assigned to him in his capacity as the Commanding Officer. Through his keen sense of purpose and dynamic leadership, Wg Cdr Tejbir Singh and his team of air warriors achieved many major milestones in all sphere of activities. The Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) (Regional) Thrift Shop run by the unit was turned around and has earned an all-round praise, registered unprecedented 300% growth rate over last two years and adjudged the 'Best AFWWA Shop' for two consecutive years. Under his leadership, the unit was awarded 'BEST SUPPORT UNIT' trophy of Maintenance Command for the year 2008-09 for overall excellence in all spheres of operations. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Tejbir Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr George Thomas 20118 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander George Thomas (20118) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter Pilot in the Flying branch on 14 Jun 1989. He was on the posted strength of a SU- 30MKI Squadron as the Commanding Officer from 09 Oct 2006 to 03 Nov 2008 till posted out to ADA, Banguluru. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot, and a graduate of the Joint Services Command and Staff College of the UK. Wing Commander Thomas faced several challenges soon after assuming command of the unit. The SU 30MKI Phase 1 ac on the unit strength were due for upgrade, and as a result serviceability was poor. Also, virtually all the aircrew supervisors were posted out within a short time, leaving a supervisory shortfall. With careful planning and meticulous execution, Wing Commander Thomas applied himself to the task at hand, and put into place a long term plan to build up both the ac availability and operational status of the Sqn. Due to runway repairs at base, the sqn was required to undertake a long detachment for nine months. Despite operating in an austere environment, the squadron participated in a record number of exercises and trials at the dett location. His foresight, attention to detail, and personal example were instrumental in ensuring that the unit induction, de-induction and operations at dett location were carried out in a flawless manner. The squadron was designated as the participating unit for Ex-Red Flag at Nellis, USA from Jul- Sep 08. This was the first ever participation by the IAF in Ex Red Flag, the first time a unit would be operating in an international exercise day and night and in two simultaneous roles, and the longest and largest ever overseas deployment by the SU 30MKl. Wing Commander Thomas showed exceptional understanding of the requirements, and closely channelised the planning and work up requirements to meet the IAF objectives. Considering the pathbreaking nature of the exercise, he needed to display extreme levels of initiative and insight to coordinate the planning aspects of operations, maintenance and administration to ensure that the aircrew and groundcrew are prepared in the best possible manner for the exercise. The sqn flew over 800 accident! incident free hours abroad in a span of two months and won accolades for outstanding performance in what was a very intensive exercise. The deployment and de-induction over a trail distance of close to 40,000 kilometers was flawless and showcased the IAF's global reach in the best possible manner. Wg Cdr Thomas has tirelessly continued to focus on enhancing the operational status of his unit while maintaining a blemish free safety record. In his two years in command he has led from the front and has flown over 550 hours. Throughout his tenure he has maintained morale of the unit at a very high level by inspiring leadership and personal example. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander George Thomas.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mohonto Panging 20446 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Mohonto Panging (20446) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the Flying Branch on 16 Dec 1989. The officer is a Fighter Strike Leader, Pilot Attack Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Command and Staff College, Bangladesh. The officer is presently the Commanding Officer of a Su-30MKI squadron. The officer has over 3300 hrs of flying on fighter aircraft and is qualified on the Su-30MKI, Su-30K, Jaguar and Hunter aircraft. He was a founding member of both the first Su-30K and Su- 30MKI Squadrons (Sqn) in the IAF Since these aircraft were newly inducted in the IAF, most of the work for operationalising these highly potent aircraft had to be done by the initial core team of officers. Wing Commander Panging was instrumental in evolving and compiling Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Combat Briefing Guides, Maritime SOP, Combat Employment Manual specific to Su-30MKI operations. His expertise was put to use in formulating tactics for new weapon systems including new tactics for employment of Beyond Visual Range missiles. During his tenure as the Flight Commander of a Su-30MKI squadron, the squadron was adjudged the best fighter squadron within South Western Air Command and also performed exceedingly well during the inspection visit by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. He has been commended by the Chief of Air Staff as well as by the Air Officer Commanding -in- Chief South Western Air Command, for his dedication to duty. As the Commanding Officer, he led the Sqn with utmost dedication and by setting personal examples to attain professional excellence. Under his command, the Sqn secured 100% marks in all the events participated during the inter squadron gunnery meet. The squadron for the first time successfully fired the anti-ship missile on a disused ship, scoring a direct hit. The squadron also carried out fighter operations by night for the first time in IAF from Car Nicobar airbase under very demanding conditions. Post 26/11, the Sqn was also deployed at forward bases and maintained high alert states for long periods. He is also a qualified low level aerobatics display pilot and is presently the Display Supervisor responsible for training new pilots. He has performed breathtaking displays at various venues in India and won accolades from dignitaries, both military and civilians. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Mohonto Panging.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjai Chauhan 20466 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Sanjai Chauhan (20466) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as fighter pilot in the Flying Branch on 16 Dec 1989. He has been performing the duties of Commanding Officer of a Jaguar squadron since 16 Apr 2007. Wg Cdr Chauhan is a Test Pilot with OS grading, and a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 3400 hrs of flying experience. He has undergone Staff Course abroad. He has also served as an instructor in Air Force Test Pilots School. Under his stewardship, the sqn emerged Second Overall in "Best Fighter Sqn" in WAC in 2007 and 2008, with no HE accident. He has pursued flying task achievement with meticulous planning and foresight, and against monthly task of 235 hrs, the sqn averaged 236 hrs, with night flying of over 15%. Rapid strides have been made towards enhancing degree of op preparedness, with quality flying as a KRA, alongside under training Pilots enhancement of role oriented qualifications of Ops pilots. Under his dynamic leadership, the sqn has put up a display of demonstrated performance on numerous occasions. He led the sqn in two EX EKLAVYA, bagging the Overall championship on both occasions, with four team events in 2007 and three team events in 2008. On both occasions, he led from the front with personal example. In EX ACHOOKVMR with Army, the sqn put up a stellar performance over and above the required mandate by releasing three Laser Guided Bombs (LGB) with immaculate precision. On allotment of Laser Designating Pods (LOP), aircrew training and operationalisation was carried out in record time, and three LGBs were released by day as well as night using LOP with exceptional results during the heavy armament dett in Feb 09. Wg Cdr Chauhan led the fighter flypast on AF Day 07 and 08, and the professional execution was commended by SASO, WAC on both occasions. The sqn also achieved Hi Av and Av Plus assessment during Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and Aircrew Examining Board (AEB) inspection respectively. Wg Cdr Chauhan has ensured a steady improvement in ac serviceability. During his tenure, the Sqn achieved 100% serviceability on five occasions, with 96% serviceability during 21 days armament dett in Feb 09. The sqn has also achieved consistent improvement in discipline standards. He has made rapid strides in improvement in quality of life in the sqn with operationalisation of a modern Flight Complex, numerous works services towards improvement of existing infrastructure, and welfare measures to ensure high morale. Through a responsive administration, he has ensured creation of a working environment conducive to bringing out the best in each air warrior, and the sqn's superlative performance bears testimony to this. On a personal front, Wg Cdr Chauhan is a keen flier, logging almost 700 hrs in the current tenure, and has set high standards in marksmanship and physical fitness. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sanjai Chauhan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rajat Mohan 20476 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Rajat Mohan (20476) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in Flying Branch on 16 Dec 1989. He is a combat strike leader. He has held the appointment of directing staff in Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) during which he was a part of the Air Force contingent for an International exercise in France. He also planned, coordinated and executed the entire operations of Indo French exercise Garuda III held in Kalaikunda, West Bengal. He has been serving as the commanding officer of a MiG 27 Upgrade Squadron since April 2007. He successfully operationalised the MiG 27 Upgrade aircraft. His efforts were appreciated by all senior dignitaries as it has resulted in a substantial increase in the war waging potential of the IAF He was instrumental in detailed planning of work services for induction of Air Combat Maneuverable Instrumentation System (ACMl) from Israel. With innovative schemes he minimized the cost of work services by Rs 38 lakhs, Under his inspiring leadership the squadron participated in numerous domestic exercises and performed admirably. He used his experience and expertise to improve the training standards of the squadron. He laid greater emphasis on up-gradation and safety consciousness. He ensured nearly 4300 sorties/ 3550 hours of accident or incident free flying without sacrificing the quality of training. Wg Cdr Rajat Mohan's professional attitude, exceptional standards in weapon delivery and air combat skills motivated the squadron pilots to maximize their potential. This was proven in the 'Air armament firing competition' held in December 2008 where the squadron was adjudged the best overall squadron in marksmanship while competing with other modern fleets of IAF This remarkable achievement signifying the improved offensive capability of IAF would not have been possible without his outstanding leadership and professionalism. He initiated various welfare schemes and work services to the tune of Rs 46 lakhs for improvement of working environment for all air warriors and modernization of operational assets. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Rajat Mohan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Amit Verma 20480 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Amit Verma (20480) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 1989. He has served in MiG-21 squadrons and has over 3000 hours of flying to his credit. He is a Type Qualified Flying Instructor who has earlier held the appointment of Fit Cdr in Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and is presently commanding MOFTU 'B' Sqn, On 13 Feb 2002, while captaining an instructional sortie on a MiG- 21 T-69B ac, he carried out an exemplary landing on the nose wheel with absolutely minimal damage, after its main under carriage had failed to lock down. In 2005 he was instrumental in activation of Lengpui and Imphal airfields by MiG-21 ac and for the planning and execution of Exercise Abhyas of Eastern Air Command (EAC). He has successfully undergone the 27th Air Staff Course in Bangladesh and has secured a DS rating. Upon his return he was initially tasked to function as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Air Force Station Bagdogra wherein working with exceptional zeal and motivation he ensured that Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) assessed operations of the base as Above Average. As a commanding officer he has maintained the highest personal standards of professionalism and conduct and has also motivated all ranks in the squadron to continually raise their level of performance. In 2007 the squadron successfully carried out operations from the international airport at Kolkata and with the Indian Navy in Goa. In 2008 under his command the squadron was selected as the best fighter squadron of EAC. All operational pilots of the squadron are qualified and current in all the envisaged roles and the pilots have repeatedly performed exceedingly well in the inspections by Aircrew Examining Board (AEB). Safety in maintenance practices of the squadron has prevented any accidents or incidents due to 'Human Error' in servicing and has also resulted in a high percentage of serviceability while flying the oldest fighter aircraft in the inventory of the lAF Wg Cdr Amit Verma has also displayed an exceptional degree of initiative, involvement and dedication in all spheres of activity in the station. He has specially been instrumental towards a total face lift of the play school at AF Stn Bagdogra, bringing it at par with the very best. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Amit Verma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Kuldip Singh Gill 20746 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Kuldip Singh Gill (20746) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in flying branch on 16 Jun 1990. He is commanding a Bison Squadron at Air Force Station Srinagar since 20 Aug 2007. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 2700 hrs of accident free flying. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a frontline Fighter Squadron and has participated in various national and international exercises. As a Commanding Officer, he has ensured that all pilots of the unit upgrade their qualifications and ratings commensurate with their experience and seniority. With his exemplary leadership and managerial skills, he is able to strike a perfect balance between task accomplishment, flight safety and welfare. His procedural discipline and active supervision ensured 'Nil' Human Error (Aircrew) incidents during 200S-09. In January 200S, the trials for the operations from the parallel taxi track (PTT) at Srinagar were carried out in a very professional manner and for the first time a fighter aircraft landed on PTT, thereby increasing the operational potential of this base. He was also tasked to check the feasibility of night operations from the Udhampur airfield. After a detailed study on the subject he carried out the first night landing by fighter aircraft at Udhampur airfield on 16 Oct 07. With sustained effort the squadron carried out 2900 Sorties/172S:00 hrs of flying in 2007- 09, which was not only accident free but IS % higher than previous years. His achievements as a Commanding Officer can be summed up by the fact that under his able guidance, the unit won the most coveted trophy of the 'Best Fighter Squadron in Western Air Command' for the year 200S. The officers' decision making, level of staff work, command and control are of a high order. He is always willing to take on any additional service commitment and accomplishes it with enthusiasm. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Kuldip Singh Gill.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anand Mishra 23678 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 10 Announced 26 Jan 10
Details : Wing Commander Anand Mishra (23678) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an Engineer in the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) branch on 29 May 1995. He served as Engineering Officer in three frontline fighter Squadrons of the IAF. Thereafter, he graduated as Flight Test Engineer (ITE) (Avionics) after completing the 27th Flight Test Course at Air Force Test Pilots School, in May 2005. He is presently on the posted strength of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment. Wg Cdr Mishra was entrusted with the task of undertaking the crucial third and final phase of the user evaluation trials on Su-30 MKIac in Jun 2005. The operational capability of the Su-30 MKI ac inducted into the IAF in three phases was to be realised and verified during these trials. It was an onerous and demanding task to ensure contractual compliance and op efficacy of the entire avionics suite of the aircraft. Further, due to his innovative flight test techniques, the operational potential of the Su-30 MKI radar was effectively established. His role in the flight evaluation ensured exceptional performance by the IAF contingent during Exercise Red Flag at USA. Wg Cdr Mishra is a sincere, diligent and dedicated air warrior. He displayed remarkable leadership, initiative and foresight to ensure meticulous planning and efficient execution of several system integration and user evaluation trials on the aircraft within the scheduled timeframes. He evolved several specific flight test techniques to critically evaluate the entire avionics suite for contractual compliance. During the trials, Wg Cdr Mishra displayed a very high degree of perseverance and tact to persuade the Chief Designer of the Sukhoi Design Bureau to accept the inadequacies in design of the various avionic systems in the aircraft and ensured implementation of corrective measures by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. The success of the trials can largely be attributed to the officer and was favourably commented upon even by the Russians. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Anand Mishra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sagar Singh Rawat 22711 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 03 Sep 09 Announced 15 Aug 10
Details : Wing Commander Sagar Singh Rawat (22711) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 16 Dec 07 and has been discharging the duties of Chief Flying Instructor. He is a Cat 'A helicopter pilot with more than 3800 h of accident/incident free flying till date. On 02 Sep 09 afternoon, the unit was tasked to launch a Search and Rescue (SAR)mission to locate the missing helicopter of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, carrying the Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy. Wg Cdr SS Rawat was airborne within 25 minutes of the call, equipped with necessary SAR equipment and Search and Rescue Finder (SARRNO) onboard. On reaching the general area after flying for one and a half hours, Wg Cdr Rawat commenced his search operations. Realising that time was at a premium, a sequential search was commenced with meticulous marking and elimination. The absence of any response on the SARRND tilted the entire responsibility on Wg Cdr Rawat, to ensure a foolproof visual search in an area which was unfamiliar and the visibility was severely restricted by marginal weather conditions. Also the importance and criticality of the search mission had gathered enormous media attention and the capabilities of IAF were being watched by the entire nation. Not to be dispirited by the initial unsuccessful attempt, Wg Cdr Rawat diligently worked throughout the night, triangulating the probable position of the missing helicopter based on mobile tower receptions and available inputs from the local populace. With a purposeful mindset and confident about the most probable area of crash that he had arrived at, the previous night, Wg Cdr Rawat got airborne early in the morning on 03 Sep 09 and commenced search operations. The helicopter wreckage was located at 0825 h due to his systematic approach, on a spur of a hill amidst tall trees. Wg Cdr Rawat identified the site and immediately informed the concerned agencies. A landing at the site was impossible owing to the density of obstructions. Considering the gravity of the situation and importance of the task at hand, he judiciously exercised the option to hover and winch down the commandos. He gallantly chose this risky option as the helicopter at that altitude was operating at the extremities of its performance envelope. This action required great professional courage, instant response and exemplary flying skills. He executed the hover for a prolonged period in restricted space and adverse weather with a sharp look out on the helicopter performance. Throughout the operation, he displayed selfless courage, exceptional skills, leadership and dedicated purpose. By his timely and pronounced act of courage, he brought about a conclusion to what seemed to be a long drawn search operation. For this act of exceptional courage, exemplary leadership and professional acumen in execution of the mission, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Sagar Singh Rawat.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ashok Kumar 24900 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date 30 Sep 09 Announced 15 Aug 10
Details : Squadron Leader Ashok Kumar (24900) Flying (Pilot)is on the posted strength of Helicopter Training School (HTS) since 21 Jun 09. On 30 Sep 09, at around 1530h HTS was tasked to rescue five youths stranded in the middle of Dindi River (120 KM South of Hyderabad) due to flash floods. On receipt of this information, despite his extremely limited experience on type, Sqn Ldr Ashok volunteered for the task. On reaching the site, the crew realised the extreme danger the stranded persons faced due the fast rising current, and swung into action immediately. Sqn Ldr Ashok as winch operator, along with the other crew members, rescued the five stranded persons in an expeditious manner. Any delay in the rescue would have resulted in certain death of these stranded youths. Sqn Ldr Ashok again volunteered to take part in the subsequent relief operations conducted by the school in the districts of Kurnool and Mehboobnagar during the floods which devastated Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the first week of October 09. During these operations, he was instrumental in rescuing 19 persons marooned in flood waters at different locations around Kurnool as a winch operator. One rescue mission carried out on 05 Oct 09 was achieved under exceptionally demanding circumstances, wherein the crew had to rescue a family of four members including two small children, who had been marooned on a tree submerged in several feet of fast flowing flood waters for three days. The rescue mission was demanding since the crew could neither see the persons nor access them conventionally. With his ingenuity and quick thinking, Sqn Ldr Ashok innovatively floated the rescue harness to the marooned family and winched them up through the thick branches of the tree, at times even dragging them for a few feet through the flood waters. To achieve this successful rescue, he displayed a high level of skill, quick and decisive thinking as well as crew co-ordination and control of a high order, as the aircraft had to be continually repositioned in the process of rescue. During the entire flood relief operations he flew numerous sorties from first light to sunset, which included six rescue missions saving 24 lives in highly demanding situations, exacting terrain and marginal weather. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Ashok Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Amit Sharma 26545 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 07 Oct 09 Announced 15 Aug 10
Details : Squadron Leader Amit Sharma (26545) Flying (Pilot)is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI Squadron since 07 Apr 08. On 07 Oct 09, he was detailed to fly as Number 3 for a practice Air Force Day flypast over Hindan Airfield. Shortly after take off, the air crew got a warning of 'Fly by Wire' failure, with the controls becoming sluggish and the aircraft pitching up. He along with his co-pilot quickly assessed the situation and reacted very promptly to this very adverse flight condition, which had happened for the first time in the history of Su-30 MKI aircraft operations in the IAF. He brought the aircraft under manual control and returned to base for a priority landing. During recovery and the most critical part of the flight i.e., during the approach and landing, the aircraft encountered continuous longitudinal oscillations and was pitching up viciously, nearing a state of uncontrolled flight. At this stage Sqn Ldr Sharma with his exemplary flying skills, handled the aircraft in a most professional manner and executed a safe landing. Post flight inspection revealed multiple failures of the 'Fly by Wire' system with loss of almost all means of longitudinal control. An adverse flight condition like this cannot be simulated while training, and in case of loss of controls the flight manual recommends an ejection by the aircrew. Sqn Ldr Sharma displayed exceptional professional courage and recovered the crippled aircraft from a condition which was totally unprecedented and undocumented. With this gallant act, he not only saved a valuable aircraft but this act also helped in post flight analysis of the failure. The analysis would be of tremendous advantage to avoid reoccurrence of such a failure again. For his act of exceptional courage and high degree of professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Amit Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vishal Mohan 27475 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 02 Oct 09 Announced 15 Aug 10
Details : Squadron Leader Vishal Mohan (27475) Flying Pilot is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 30 Jun 09. He is a unit staff pilot with more than 2000 hrs of flying experience. On 02 Oct? 09, Sqn Ldr Mohan was detailed as pilot of a helicopter operating Ex-Raichur to assist the State Govt of Karnataka in flood relief operations. During the flood relief operation and systematic search, he spotted a bus marooned in flood waters. The life of the passengers in the bus was at risk owing to its precarious position in the gushing flood waters. Sqn Ldr Mohan promptly evaluated the situation and considering its gravity, went ahead for a protracted winch operation, during which 17 passengers were lifted to safety. This protracted winch operation demanded exceptional flying skills and a thorough knowledge of the helicopter configuration and performance. The gallant action taken by Sqn Ldr Mohan proved to be extremely time critical as the bus was engulfed by the flood waters within a short span of time. On 03 act 09, Sqn Ldr Mohan was once again detailed as a co-pilot of a helicopter which was pressed in flood relief activity. During an aerial search for survivors, he noticed a man clinging on a lone tree in heavy flood waters. He assessed the situation and guided the helicopter near the survivor. Despite lack of direct visual contact with the survivor below, Sqn Ldr Mohan was able to lift the survivor to safety with his astute sense of situational awareness and effective utilisation of the cockpit resources. During both these missions, Sqn Ldr Mohan displayed a very high level of motivation, exceptional courage and professional prowess. These attributes were the key factors in ensuring the success of the missions. For these acts of exceptional courage, high degree of professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award' Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Vishal Mohan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rohit Rai 27992 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 28 Oct 09 Announced 15 Aug 10
Details : Squadron Leader Rohit Rai (27992) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Jaguar Squadron since 22 Dec 08. Sqn Ldr Rai was part of Exercise Eastern Bridge with Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) at Oman. On 28 Oct 09, he was authorised to fly as No.2 in a low level Strike versus Intercept integrated mission involving RAFO Jaguars and F-16's. While rejoining, on easing up from low levels to join up with his leader, he experienced a control malfunction. His control stick got stuck to the right with a progressive increase in the bank angle to almost 80° within three seconds, at a height of less than three thousand feet with nose pitching down. The stick continued to be stuck to the right inspite of all efforts by the pilot. A situation like this is a rare phenomenon and cannot be simulated during training missions. Sqn Ldr Rai reacted very promptly to the situation and averted any further roll of the aircraft by application of full opposite rudder control inputs. Any further delay in this quick response, would have taken the aircraft in the regime of uncontrollability and owing to the proximity of aircraft to the ground, could have resulted in a serious accident. With his continuous control inputs, he was able to bring the aircraft to a manageable flying state as the continuous oscillations on all the three axes subsided. On recovery of the aircraft, Sqn Ldr Rai with his keen sense of situational awareness appraised the formation leader of the situation and helped him in establishing a visual contact with his aircraft. He later carried out a slow speed check to ascertain airworthiness of the aircraft for safe landing. Keeping a sharp eye on the aircraft handling characteristics, Sqn Ldr Rai executed a safe landing. With this gallant act, he not only saved a valuable aircraft but this act also helped in post flight analysis of the failure. The analysis would be of tremendous advantage to avoid reoccurrence of such a failure again. Throughout the incident, Sqn Ldr Rai displayed exceptional courage, sharp reflexes and presence of mind in dealing with an unprecedented situation, which if not handled courageously could have spun out of control and resulted in loss of an aircraft for IAF during an International Exercise. For his act of exceptional courage and high degree of professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Rohit Rai.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sushil Chaturvedi 21720 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Sushil Chaturvedi (21720) Flying (Pilot) is a Centre Seat Qualified flying supervisor and an alumnus of the Defence Services staff College and is fully operational on Chetak/Cheetah helicopters with over 5500 hrs of accident! incident free flying experience. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a frontline FAC Fit since 27 Jul 09. On 08 May 10, the station was tasked to undertake casualty evacuation in dusk period of J&K police personnel in critical conditions stranded in a fierce gunfight with. militants in the deep jungles of Lar in the Mahore-gulabgarh area at 9500 ft density altitude. Considering the degree of difficulty of landing at unprepared area in dusk period and evacuating from inhospitable and Anti National Elements infected terrain, Wg Cdr Chaturvedi was detailed to lead and undertake the mission. The survivor was stranded in a highly fragmented steep and uneven terrain offering practically no place to land. His first two attempts to land at the site in low conditions of light were aborted due to steep gradient of the site and inadequate place to descend amongst wild growth of vegetation. Despite difficult and trying conditions of inhospitable terrain and gusty winds, Wg Cdr Chaturvedi made partial landing on a roof top in a small area of 10 feet x 10 feet of a nearby abandoned house to evacuate one critically injured police constable. With his indomitable spirit, dauntless courage and disregard to personal safety, he saved the precious life of a J&k police personnel thereby boosting the morale of the troops engaged in the anti-militant operations in the J&K sector. This daring operation enhanced the image of IAF yet again. For displaying act of exceptional courage and professional acumen in the face of challenging odds to save valuable lives, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Sushil Chaturvedi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Manjit Singh Sidhu 22334 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Manjit Singh Sidhu (22334) Flying (Pilot) is posted to a Helicopter Unit and has been flying as captain of No. 3 helicopter in the 'Sarang' helicopter display team. On 27 Feb 10, Wg Cdr Sidhu was detailed to fly as Sarang 3 during a practice display for Vayu Shakti 2010 at Pokharan. The display was uneventful till the formation was rejoining for the final manoeuvre. As Sarang 3 and Sarang 4 approached the Grand Stand for a final split, Sarang 3 experienced a sudden sink of the helicopter, without any change in engine parameters. Wg Cdr Sidhu immediately handed over controls to the co-pilot to check for collective response, which was not there. He took over controls and correctly gauged the emergency as failure of the collective pitch system. This emergency is potentially catastrophic and the recovery actions have not been specified even by the manufacturer. In the 30 seconds, before the helicopter impacted the ground with no control on Rate of Descent, he gave an R/T call to caution other formation members and turned the helicopter away from the Grand Stand. With exceptional flying skill, he controlled the helicopter with help of cyclic and rudders only and selected a flat spot to touch down, in an otherwise undulating terrain. The helicopter impacted the ground with near level attitude and minimum forward speed thus avoiding toppling and with minimum damage of the helicopter. A quick switch off was carried out after landing and the crew exited the helicopter safely. Wg Cdr Sidhu displayed an exceptional degree of professionalism and courage when faced with an extraordinary emergency situation. His immense presence of mind and superior flying skills not only saved the lives of the aircrew on board but also recovered the helicopter with minimum damage. By turning away from the Grand stand he also saved lives of hundreds of people who had gathered to witness the display. The highly professionally executed "Forced Landing" also helped in investigations to resolve the cause of the incident. For this act of exceptional courage and handling an unparalleled emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Manjit Singh Sidhu.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vikas Bhushan 27450 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Squadron Leader Vikas Bhushan (27450) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of Su-30 MKI Squadron with effect from 27 Jan 09. He is a 'Fully Operational' pilot, 2 aircraft leader, trainer captain (Day), rated White' on the Su-30MKl ac and has approximately 650 hrs on type. On being posted to an Air Superiority Fighter aircraft without any previous exposure in Air Defence missions, he worked hard and made the transition in a professional manner within a short period. On 08 Mar 10, Sqn Ldr Bhushan was detailed to fly as Number 3 in a four aircraft formation for a practice live Medium Altitude Release over Pokhran range towards Exercise Eklavya. After reaching top of climb at flight level 245 and out of base by approximately 80 kilometers at an IAS of 660 kmph and Mach No. 0.82 and in radio contact with Delhi area, the aircraft front canopy burst. The pilot experienced sudden wind blast with extremely high noise level in the cockpit and a situation akin to explosive decompression. The pilot was hit by broken flying Perspex which hit him on the shoulder and also broke his helmet visor, resulting in lacerations on his face. As captain of the aircraft, Sqn Ldr Bhushan took control of the situation while remaining calm and composed and correctly assessed it as canopy burst of the aircraft. The officer controlled the aircraft and commenced emergency descent, simultaneously reducing speed. He took immediate actions of tightening harness and lowering seat. Even though he could not hear anything on the Radio Telephony equipment due to extremely high ambient noise and wind blast, he gave all the required calls to civil agencies in a calm and composed manner. On approach, at a distance of 2 to 3 kilometers from touchdown, the aircraft experienced increased level of cockpit noise and control vibration. The pilot increased speed to maintain the controlled state of flight and affected a safe landing. The canopy burst is amongst the gravest emergencies in any fighter aircraft. This is the first instance of this emergency on the Su-30 MKI and actions to be taken by the pilot as listed in the Flight Reference Card are very cryptic. Throughout the handling of the emergency, he had extreme pain in the ears due to the rapid decompression that the crew had been subjected to on canopy burst. By taking timely and correct actions, in spite of the physical injury and discomfort on his person, Sqn Ldr Bhushan displayed exceptional professionalism in ensuring the safe recovery of his aircraft. This could otherwise have resulted in the loss of an extremely vital and expensive national asset. For this act of exceptional courage and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Vikas Bhushan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Air Cmde Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar 15881 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Air Vice Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar, VSM (15881) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot on 14 Dec 1979. During 30 years of his distinguished service, he has held several important command and staff appointments that include command of a Mig-21 Fighter Squadron, Directing Staff (Air)at College of Air Warfare, Ops-1A at HQ Western Air Command, Commandant of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Air-I at HQ Western Air Command. He is a Staff College Graduate and an experienced Qualified Flying Instructor with over 3200 hours of accident free flying to his credit. He was commended by the CAS in 1997 and was awarded VSM in the year 2005. As Commandant of TACDE, he has been the exercise director of two international exercises with USAF (Cope India-OS) and RAF (lndradhanush) which brought in international acclaim to the IAF The officer took over as Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Jamnagar on 21 Apr 08. The Station operates many flying and Air Defence units. With his involvement he ensured high serviceability state of all aircraft and equipment due which all operational commitments were always successfully completed on time. Through good planning he brought about commendable and substantial changes in the infrastructure of the station improving the quality of life all personnel. He was also very successful in promoting sports and cultural activities on the station thereby giving opportunity to the personnel of the station and their family members to display their talent. Under the leadership of the officer, AF Station Jamnagar was adjudged the Best Wing, "Operations" of South Western Air Command in 2009. No 6 Squadron of this base was awarded the Best Fighter Squadron of Indian Air Force in 2009. Under his dynamic leadership, the wing was graded High Average during DASI Inspection in Oct 09. In 2009, AF Station Jamnagar was declared as the nodal centre for Cricket and achieved the distinction by construction of cricket ground with all the facilities required. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Air Vice Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar, VSM.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Air Cmde Deptendu Choudhury 17335 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Air Commodore Deptendu Choudhury, VSM (17335) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot in the fighter stream on 22 Dec 83. He has held the appointment of Chief Operations Officer of a Flying Station, Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron, Director (Flying) in Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, Commandant of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Director of Operational Planning and Assessment Group at Air Headquarters. During his tenure at TACDE, a record number of courses were conducted with a total of 5100 sorties and over 4000 hours of accident free flying on a variety of fighters, transports and helicopter aircrafts. He introduced Exercise - Rakshak for Helicopter Combat Leader courses and expanded Exercise Akraman by integrating transport aircraft of the Transport Combat Leader course, helicopters of HOEC course and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Under his command TACDE, produced a large number of tactical concepts and solutions, combat manuals and standard operating procedures (SOP) on operations. He also introduced the air defence simulator and Aggressor Cell at TACDE for operations training and development. He is Fully Operational and Master Green rated on all MiG-21, MiG-27, Su-30K and Su-MKI aircraft with over 3200 hours of total flying which included over 4500 sorties on fighter aircraft. The officer has the unique distinction of having successfully led three international flying exercise. He was the Director of Garuda 07 the Indo-French flying exercise in India. Thereafter he led the largest Indian Air Force (IAF)contingent for six weeks to United States of America for the prestigious multi nation exercise 'Red Rag'. On the way back from United States of America, he also led the team for exercise 'Desert Eagle' in United Arab Emirates. His meticulous planning, realistic work up training and hands on leadership ensured the IAF contingent for exceptional performance in all the exercises. During his tenure at Air Headquarters from 05 January 2009 to 24 March 2010, the officers was actively involved in the creation of the Directorate of Operational Planning and Assessment Group. As the Director, he was responsible for strategic and operational planning as well as revision of the IAF Operations Instructions. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Air Commodore Deptendu Choudhury, VSM.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Mehtab Singh Deswal 20131 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Group Captain Mehtab Singh Deswal (20131) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned on 14 Jun 89. The officer is a Pilot Attack Instructor and an alumnus of Defence Services Staff Collage. He is fully operational on Hunter, Jaguar, Su-30K and Su- 30MKI aircraft with over 3200 hours of flying experience. The officer commanded a Su-30MKI Squadron from 01 Nov 07 to 08 Nov 09. Group Captain Deswal was part of the core team to be inducted on Su-30K aircraft in the IAF in 1997. On assuming command, he was tasked to re-equip the squadron with Su-30MKI aircraft. He went through the reequipping process in a methodical manner and besides exploiting the entire warranty on swap aircraft he ensured a serviceability of more than 75%. Under his command his squadron became the first Su-30MKI squadron to achieve 100% fully operational aircrew and ready to undertake any operational commitment within four months of resurrection. Group Captain Deswal created an excellent working environment that enabled his Squadron to perform outstandingly in all endeavors. Under his leadership the Squadron won the 'Team Event' Bombing Trophy during Exercise 'Eklavya' of Central Air Command in 2009-10. The squadron performed extremely well during inspections by Aircrew Examining Board and Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. Under his dynamic leadership and guidance, the squadron accomplished all tasks exceptionally well. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Mehtab Singh Deswal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Siruvuri Sridhar 20138 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Group Captain Siruvuri Sridhar (20138) flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 14 Jun 89. He has held the appointments of Hight Commander of a Chetak / Cheetah Helicopter Unit, Joint Director Personnel Planning-II at Air Headquarters and is presently commanding a Chetak helicopter unit at Air Force Station Jodhpur since 07 Apr 08. He is a graduate from National Defence Academy and a post graduate from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He is a qualified flying supervisor on Chetak/Cheetah helicopters and is presently holding "A Master Green" flying category. He has an accident/ incident free flying of 4,920 hours to his credit and took active parting Op Meghdoot by flying 975 hours of Air Maintenance and Casualty Evacuation Missions in the Siachen Glacier. For his professional competency and devotion to duty of very high order, he was thrice commended in the past by AOsC in-C, WAC & CAC and by CAS. During the last two years as the Commanding Officer of a Chetak unit, he marshaled his resources well to efficiently accomplish all the assigned peacetime tasks and maintained the unit in a combat ready state at all times by effective training, maintaining high serviceability state of helicopters and development of espirit-de-corps amongst the unit personnel. Despite Chetaks being an ageing fleet, the unit maintained an average serviceability of 75to 80% during the period and flew a total of 3,926 hours free of any accident/incident. The unit also achieved the distinction of completing 25,000 hours of accident/incident free flying in Nov 09. Under his command, the unit was assessed as Average Plus in Administration & Maintenance and High Average in Operations by DASI. AEB visited the unit twice during the period and all the eligible aircrew have been categorized commensurate with their experience. Despite the constraints of shortage of supervisors and helicopters, the additional task of Stage III helicopter conversion training of six aircrew was completed on schedule. The unit flew extensively in the Naxal affected areas of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra towards election tasks and did a commendable job. During the period, the unit Search and Rescue helicopters were launched thrice at short notice and saved the precious lives of ejected fighter pilots. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Siruvuri Sridhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ravuri Sheetal 20490 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Ravuri Sheetal(20490) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 89. A qualified Flying Instructor and Experimental Test Pilot with over 5000 hours of flying experience on various types of helicopters. Wg Cdr Sheetal took over command of the Sarang Helicopter Display team on 18 Aug 08. As the Commanding Officer and leader of the Sarang Helicopter Display Team he successfully led the Sarang display team at many important events and venues in India such as Air Force Day, Commonwealth Youth Games, President's Colour Presentation, POPs at AFA and NDA, Navy Day and Vayu Shakti 2010, to name a few. He has introduced new manoeuvres in the display, highlighting not only the versatility of the ALH helicopter but his professional and leadership qualities. He tailored various manoeuvres in the profile in a manner that they could be modified to cater to the peculiarities of the display venue without endangering flight safety. The experience gained in each detachment was collated and put up and validated as the Sarang Display SOP. Also, the lessons for each position during displays were compiled as Briefing Notes which helped improve pilot proficiency and enhance flight safety. Wg Cdr She eta I has pursued the procurement of professional video cameras, LCD TVs, kitting and publicity funds for the team, all of which have contributed to enhanced safety and improved displays from the Sarang Team and contributed immensely to the professional pride and motivation of the entire team. A testimony to his professionalism and leadership was that the unit ferried to AFS Gwalior for the Sarang display within three days of the completion of the unit move from Yelahanka to Sulur. He has also initiated the selection procedure for pilots to meet the requirement for Sarang display team in order to maintain the high skill level and caliber of the Team. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ravuri Sheetal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Tejpal Singh 20724 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Tejpal Singh (20724) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the IAF as a pilot in the fighter stream on 16 Jun 90. The officer after his initial flying training was posted as a squadron (Sqn) pilot in various MiG-21 units. His performance in the units was of a high order both professionally and otherwise. In 1998 he was selected to undergo the Qualified Flying Instructors Course (QF!C) and served for two years as a QFI. Through his dedication and focus he imparted training of the highest quality to his pupils. He was selected for the Flight Test Course (FTC) in May 2000 and thereafter served as an experimental test pilot in ASTE for four years. During this period the officer executed various important projects and trials. These included the integration of the electronic warfare (EW)suite on the Bison and evaluation of Phase I and Phase II Su-30 MKI aircraft. His concerted efforts ensured successful and timely completion of these projects while ensuring that all significant issues were resolved by the manufacturer prior to induction of these aircraft/systems. He was also instrumental in the modification of Su-30K aircraft prior to Exercise Garuda in 2005 wherein unconventional solutions were found for the integration of certain systems within a short span of time. Subsequently he served as the Flight Commander in a Bison Sqn. The officer is an A2 QFI and stood first in flying and aerobatics during the QFI. He was adjudged as the best test pilot during the FTE. The officer has undergone the Air Staff course in France wherein he achieved exceptional grading, thus bringing laurels to the nation and the JAF The officer is a keen sportsman and he represented HQ SWAC in Squash in 1996. He was commended by the AOC-in-C in 1997 and by the CAS in the year 2000 for his professionalism, devotion to duty and dedication to service. The officer assumed command of 23 Sqn on 18 Aug 08 and under his leadership the unit has performed exceedingly well. There has been an increase in the monthly task achieved resulting in an improvement in the operational status of the unit. The unit has undertaken a number of detachments including air to air firing of R-73 missile. The unit won two trophies in the annual gunnery meet and was assessed Hi Av to Av plus by DASI. The performance of aircrew in ground subjects was exceptional during the inspection. The Sqn formulated a briefing for conduct of UAV intercept capsule in WAC and was the lead Sqn for conduct of the same. Various works services were not only initiated but also followed through till completion to improve working and living conditions for the air warriors. The officer has led from the front and represents the true ethos of an air warrior. He has displayed exceptional leadership qualities and ensured highest levels of morale among his subordinates. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Tejpal Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anant Mathur 20727 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Anant Mathur (20727) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned in the flying branch on 16 Jun 90. He is a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor, a Test Pilot, and a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College (USA). He has been an Air Force Examiner. He was adjudged the Best in Flying, Ground Subjects, Aerobatics and Overall in the Flying Instructor's Course. He also stood first in the Test Pilot's course and the Staff College entrance examination. A combination of this feat has not been achieved by any other officer in IAF for the past two decades. He was a flying member of the first ever Jaguar contingent to Alaska for Ex Cope Thunder 2004. He has been the project pilot for the DARIN 11 programme and instrumental in developing new aircraft capabilities. He is presently the Commanding Officer of a premier front line Jaguar Squadron since 18 Aug 08. Wg Cdr Mathur led a 6 aircraft Jaguar detachment to Oman for an exercise with Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). The officer planned the entire exercise with meticulous precision and skillful co-ordination. Due to his untiring efforts and hands on management, all aspects of operations, maintenance and administration were fully addressed. The realistic training of the team resulted in 38 direct hits out of 40 bombs during the exercise. The Jaguar contingent flew 135 hrs in 10 days of intense detachment with 100% serviceability. During the return ferry, the team flew 6 fighter aircraft with single IL-78 refueller for the first time in the history of IAF. Wg Cdr Mathur was instrumental in devising new procedures for traffic flow, weather abort and emergencies for the ferry with IL-78 ac. Wg Cdr Mathur has ably led the squadron where many milestones have been achieved. The unit has been commended by HQ CAC for achieving more than the tasked effort in all exercises. The unit was commended for its professionalism and work ethics by HQ WAC during Ex Abhyas where the squadron achieved 100% mission success and serviceability. The unit dropped twenty 1000 Ib bombs in a single detail, a unique feat in the history of Jaguar operations in the IAF. Wg Cdr Mathur used his expertise as a Test Pilot to institute Daily Snag Analysis Brief in the unit which ensured well directed rectification efforts leading to faster recovery of ac. This increased the average serviceability by 12-15% from Aug 09 to May 10. He has taken special efforts to improve the working environment and infrastructure in the unit leading to increased morale of all personnel. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Anant Mathur.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Philip Thomas 20743 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Philip Thomas (20743) Flying (Pilot)was commissioned as a pilot in the Flying branch on 16 June 90. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander (Fit Cdr) of a Bison Squadron (Sqn), Fit Cdr Flight Safety (FS) of a major flying base and is currently Commanding Officer (CO) of a MiG-21 Bison Sqn since 31 Mar OS. A qualified flying instructor, he holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. Within four days of his assuming command, the Sqn had to induct to another Air Force Station due to runway repair. The task at relocated station involved conduct of full-fledged operations with all the commitments expected from an operational Bison Sqn. Wg Cdr Philip personally lead to ensure that the Sqn men and material settle down safely and comfortably in the shortest possible time. His proactive approach, professional clarity and involvement ensured that the Sqn excelled in all spheres of activity. To cite a few examples; the Sqn was inspected by Aircrew Examining Board (AEB) while on detachment (det). The Sqn performance was average plus with nil failures. Further, the Sqn took part in the SWAC annual gunnery meet 200S from the det location and excelled by winning two team events and three individual trophies. During the extended det which continued for ten months till Jan 09, the Sqn had nil Human Error (Servicing) / (Aircrew) [HE(S)!(A)]accident/ incident despite flying 211S sorties/1430 hours. Post de-induction to Jodhpur, the Sqn was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspections (DASI)in two phases. The serviceability state of the Bison, which had been a critical issue, showed a remarkable improvement and was sustained in both phases with the Sqn flying 13 missions/51 sorties and assessed as average plus in operations. Within a fortnight of the DASI inspection, the Sqn was inspected by AEB and despite the short gap between inspections, the Sqn performance was better than the previous one with above average assessment, nil failures and creditably, nil observations from AEB. For the Mini Fire Power Demonstration 2009 and subsequent Maha Vayu Shakti 2010, the Sqn was tasked for Medium Altitude Release of Bombs by night - a first by any MiG-21 Sqn. Wg Cdr Philip personally lead the missions ensuring operational excellence. In between these two major events, the Sqn took part in annual gunnery meet 2009 and once again excelled by winning one team event and the all important coveted Best Fighter Sqn trophy. Once again, the Sqn has had an enviable FS record with nil HE(S)/(A), Foreign Object Damage or Bird Strike related accident/ incident and most importantly, reducing the total number of incidents itself to just three for 2009-10 despite flying 2332 sorties/1625 hours. Also, Wg Cdr Philip achieved a milestone by being the first pilot in the IAF to record 1000 hours of accident/incident free flying on the Bison. Wg Cdr Philip, during his tenure as a CO, has lead his Sqn with the highest standards of professional acumen and elan. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Philip Thomas.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rahul Bhasin 20745 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Rahul Bhasin (20745) Flying (Pilot)has been on the posted strength of 223 Squadron with effect from 03 Mar 08. Since then, he has been performing the duties of Commanding Officer of the Squadron. Shortly after taking over command, Wg Cdr R Bhasin was tasked with shifting of the Squadron due to planned runway repairs. The move, although ordered at extremely short notice, was planned and executed meticulously. The Sqn undertook trouble-free operations from the relocated station for a period of fifteen months, before moving back to the parent Air Force Station. The move back was equally well planned and executed, without losing out on even a single flying day. Under the command of Wg Cdr R Bhasin, the Sqn went from strength to strength, taking on all operational commitments assigned with distinction. These included numerous Command-level exercises, outstation detachments and commitments like the Air Force Flypasts in 2008 and 2009, both of which were personally led by Wg Cdr R Bhasin as leader of the Baaz formation. Wg Cdr R Bhasin ensured that the flying task undertaken by the Sqn was enhanced significantly. This enabled the Sqn to achieve by Jun 09 the enviable distinction of having achieved operational status for all its aircrew. With diligent application of safety norms, the officer ensured that the increased flying effort was achieved with a clean safety record as well. Under his command, the Sqn has maintained an accident/ incident free record since Aug 08. The Sqn also maintained a high serviceability state consistently and even achieved hundred per cent serviceability on three occasions. The performance of the Sqn was duly acknowledged, with the Sqn being adjudged as the 'Best Fighter Squadron' of WAC for the year 2008-09. Wg Cdr R Bhasin ensured that the Sqn lived up to its reputation by performing with distinction in all traits, in the DAS[ inspection in Mar 10. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Rahul Bhasin.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Vikas Sharma 20757 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Vikas Sharma (20757) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch as a Fighter Pilot on 16 Jun 90. In his 20 years of service he has crossed several important milestones. He is a Pilot Attack Instructor who was awarded the Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh trophy for standing first in the overall order of merit in the course. He is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He has handled various important operational assignments as that of Flight Commander of a MiG-29 squadron (Sqn) for two and a half years and Chief Operations Officer of a Fighter Wing. He has been awarded twice with the commendation by the AOC-in-C WAC. He is one of the very few pilots to achieve 1200 hours of accident free flying on the MiG-29 aircraft. Wg Cdr Sharma was appointed as the Commanding Officer of a frontline MiG-29 Sqn on 07 Apr 08. Under his command the Sqn has been able to achieve exceptional standards due to his ability to motivate the men under him as well as by his displaying a very high degree of professionalism through personal example. Within two months of his taking over command, the Sqn proceeded on a year long detachment to a new base. He ensured that the move was executed meticulously and the Sqn was operational in all aspects within two days of the deployment. He made focused and sustained efforts towards up gradation of the operational capability and achieved a 100% operational status for the aircrew in Apr 09. The Sqn maintained a very high degree of operational and rating status and executed all the assigned tasks with a high degree of work output. In Nov 09, the Sqn was awarded the Standard by the President of India. The Sqn had to deploy for this task within a fortnight of moving back to base after the long detachment. The Sqn performed all the activities associated with the event exceptionally and earned accolades from all senior serving and retired dignitaries for the quality of its work output, cohesiveness and team spirit. Through his close personal interaction and genuine concern for his subordinates, he ensured that their morale always remained very high, despite the frequent movements away from the base. In Dec 09, the Sqn commemorated its Golden Jubilee. By his meticulous planning and attention to detail, he ensured that the all the events were conducted in a befitting manner. The efforts put in by the Sqn personnel were highly appreciated by all the attending dignitaries. The Sqn was inspected by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team in Mar 10. Due to his dynamic leadership and vast experience, he guided his team to achieve remarkable results. The Sqn was adjudged as 'Average Plus' in all the facets and also earned appreciation from the inspecting team for its high operational standards. His concern, zeal and enthusiasm have been mainly responsible for the Sqn handling one major event after the other smilingly and also producing exceptional results in each one of them. He has more than justified the faith placed in him by his superiors by exhibiting exemplary competence, professionalism and dedication. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vikas Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Joy Thomas Kurien 20782 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Joy Thomas Kurien (20782) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in IAF as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Jun 90. In his nineteen years of service, he has served in various frontline fighter squadrons. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI)with 3375 hrs of flying experience, and is fully operational on MiG-21 aircraft. For his professional contribution and commendable service, he was awarded commendation by the CAS on 26 Jan 02 and on 26 Jan 09. He graduated from Air Command and Staff College, Royal Thai Air Force with Exceptional grading in 2007. Wg Cdr Kurien is on the posted strength of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team since 10 Mar 08 and commanding the Team since then. During his command, the Surya Kiran Aerobatic team performed 65 displays in India and abroad. On taking over command, Wg Cdr Kurien had to reformulate the team as the earlier core members had changed. He trained the team with professional acumen, attention to detail and formulated new manoeuvers to set high standards befitting a National Aerobatic Team. The resultant displays within and outside the country have been of a very high quality and lauded by one and all. Wg Cdr Kurien led the team for the first ever displays in China and Laos. The team of 12 ac travelled 7215 nautical miles safely, transiting through eleven airfields in China, Laos and Myanmar braving adverse weather and inadequacy of navigational aids. The team performed at the T" Zuhai International Air Show and the IAF received praise and respect not only from the Chinese Air Force but also other participating countries and the Indian Ambassador in China. The team also performed successfully in the Aero-India 09, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh state raising day and in the 15t},International Youth festival at Bhubaneswar thrilling large audiences. Wg Cdr Kurien by his ingenuity and initiative has found solution to the various hurdles in the extensive display schedule and has ensure that all the tasked displays were executed in a timely and professional manner. Under his leadership, the team has performed at various locations showcasing the prowess and skills of the IAF in an exceptional manner. This has only been possible due to higher levels of training, dedication and devotion to task at hand. Wg Cdr Kurien has been able to mould the entire unit as a compact team, inspiring each team member to achieve professional and operational standards of a very high order. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Joy Thomas Kurien.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ganapathiraju Srinivas 21505 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Ganapathiraju Srinivas (21505) flying (Pilot) is a graduate of the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) and was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the Flying branch on 14 Dec 91. He is a Commanding Officer (CO) of a front line Fighter Squadron (Sqn) since 04 Aug 08. Wg Cdr Srinivas is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 2600 hours of accident and incident free flying, of which 2000 hours are on operational fighter aircraft. He has held the appointments of a deputy flight Commander (Dy Fit Cdr) of a fighter' Sqn and Station Flight Safety and Inspection Officer (SFS&IO) of a major fighter base before assuming command of the present Sqn. During his tenure as Dy Fit Cdr, the Sqn was adjudged as the best fighter Sqn in the command for two consecutive years. As SFS&IO, he was adjudged as the best SFS&IO in the command in 2007. The officer is an alumnus of the Defense Services Staff College with a Directing Staff (DS) grading. He stood first in the Flight Safety and Accident Investigation Course in 2006. He was awarded the AOC- in- C's commendation in the years 2005 and 2006. During his tenure, as the CO, the Sqn was awarded the prestigious President's Standard and celebrated its golden jubilee. Both these momentous events were conducted in a manner befitting the highest traditions of the IAF. As a CO, he undertook the herculean task of relocating the Sqn from Bhuj (Gujrat)to Nal (Rajasthan) in 2009. This incident free activity was accomplished in the shortest possible time, without stopping flying even on a single day. The Sqn has been imparting training to young fighter pilots, meeting all professional standards and deadlines. Under his leadership, the Squadron performed exceptionally well in all inspection visits by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, and Aircrew Examination Board. The Sqn has been flying the highest quantum in Western Air Command, maintaining an average serviceability of nearly 75% at all times. The officer has always led from the front and served as a role model to his subordinates with his tireless zeal, knowledge and maturity. The Sqn has remained focused and motivated under his leadership with an immaculate welfare and discipline record. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ganapathiraju Srinivas.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashish Singh 21517 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Ashish Singh (21517) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 14 Dec 91. He has taken part in the Kargil conflict in 1999, flying 13 operational missions on the Mirage 2000, including live bombing of enemy camps. A Category 'A' Flying Instructor, he has been an instructor at Flying Instructors' School, and thereafter as Flight Commander of a Mirage 2000 Squadron (9 Sqn). He has undertaken a detachment of six aircraft to Singapore for a successful international exercise. He has been appointed as an Air Force Examiner at Aircrew Examining Board, from where he has also temporarily functioned as an Inspector for Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI). He subsequently graduated from Defence Services Staff College, where he was awarded the Scudder Medal for standing first in overall merit in M.Sc. Defence Studies. He has flown almost 3700 hrs of total flying, of which 1700 hrs is on Mirage 2000. In his current tenure as Commanding Officer of 7 Sqn, the unit has flown 1900 hrs of accident free flying in the last 10 months, with the officer having flown over 270 hrs. Under his leadership, the Sqn has performed exceedingly well, getting a good grading from DASI in Sep 09. The operational status of the unit is very high with most of the pilots holding almost all the operational 'role qualifications'. All exercises and nine detachments have been executed well. The officer volunteered for, and subsequently led the 14 aircraft successful detachment for Ex Maha Vayu Shakti (FPD). This was the single largest tasking undertaken by any Sqn in the exercise, inclusive of 54 normal bombs and eight Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) being dropped accurately. The Sqn's role oriented focus on armament firing has shown visible results. The Sqn has dropped a total of 11 LGBs successfully in the last 10 months and is the only Mirage Sqn to have carried out Air to Ground gun firing in over two decades, and bagged the trophy for 'Best in Operational Firing' during the gunnery meet Ex Eklavya 10. The officer leads from the front and encourages op-orientation in the Sqn. During DASI he flew five of the missions. During FPD he flew the LGB night mission. In Oct 09, when a fighter had to be flown outstation, he flew it himself at night under inclement weather, due to urgency of the requirement. He has originated five operational papers that have the potential to enhance the war fighting potential of both the Mirage 2000 fleet, as well as the Indian Air Force. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ashish Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Nongthombam Lokendro 22714 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 11 Announced 26 Jan 11
Details : Wing Commander Nongthombam Lokendro (22714) Flying (Pilot) has been posted to one of the premier Transport Aircraft Squadron in North East Sector wef 30 Apr 06 and performing duties of Squadron Training Officer. Wg Cdr Lokendro, a QFI and graduate of DSSC, has been instrumental in consistently enhancing and maintaining very high ops status of Sqn pilots in spite of limited availability of flying effort towards forward area. He has been instrumental in carrying out almost every exercise successfully by this unit in last three years. He was detailed as Task Force Commander in various exercises such as para drop of Indo- US troops (Ex Vajra Prahar) in Aug 08 and in-situ para drop of 21 Para (SF) in Feb 09 and Feb 10. He has also taken part in various exercises conducted at 4 Wing. As Sqn Training Officer, he has played most crucial role towards achievement of "Best Transport Squadron in EAC" for 2008 by the Sqn. He has always led all the missions and operations, by his personal example for the rest to follow. His ingenuity in specialized training towards operational flying, enabled the Sqn to be judged 'above average' in operation during last DASI visit in May 09. He has always undertaken training flying of Sqn pilots in all roles of An-32, without ever caring for his personal comfort. He has undertaken incident free landing sorties at various challenging ALGs of North East, typical airfields like Barapani in Shilong and Paro in Bhutan for over three years. He has also been regularly undertaking flawless communication sorties for various senior service officers. During his current tenure he has flown over 1710 hrs, averaging a staggering figure of 438 hrs a year. Besides excelling in operational aspects, his leadership and guidance has ensured good inter personal relationship leading to excellent social environment in the squadron. His initiative and leadership qualities have been a great motivating factor for the Sqn personnel. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Nongthombam Lokendro.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Vivek Ahluwalia 21578 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 21 May 10 Announced 15 Aug 11
Details : Wing Commander Vivek Ahluwalia (21578) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a premiere Mi- 17 IV helicopter unit in the northern sector since 05 Oct 09. He has flown 3532 hrs of accident free flying in his 19 and 1/2 years of service. On 06 Dec 09, a Mi-17 IV helicopter Z-3352 crash landed at Chungtash helipad near Siachen Glacier at an elevation of 15080 feet. The harsh climate, inhospitable terrain and high altitude with very low levels of oxygen rendered recovery of this helicopter near impossible. A workable plan requiring test of human endurance was conceived for the recovery. The helicopter that was exposed to extremities of cold & high altitude conditions was prepared for recovery. Wg Cdr Ahluwalia was tasked with evaluation, planning and recovery of this damaged helicopter. He meticulously devised the relevant checks and procedures required to ensure airworthiness of the helicopter. For humans to work in such unforgiving and extreme climate, stage wise acclimatization is a basic requirement to overcome physiological limitations of the human body. On 21 May 10, Wg Cdr Ahluwalia reached Thoise (10066 It) for three stage acclimatization to finally reach Chungtash (15080 ft) on 01 Jun 10. He thoroughly checked the damaged helicopter and evaluated the risk factor. The helicopter had been on ground for six months with heavily damaged nose wheel assembly and tail boom and was exposed to extreme environment with temperatures below minus 25°C. This exposure could have caused metal fatigue besides damaging rubber seals and critical components. This kind of enormous and specialised evaluation and tasking is normally handled by the Original Equipment Manufacturer and test pilots. However, the operational nature of location and the task required the recovery to be handled by a pilot with enormous field experience and exceptional operational capability. Having briefed and reassured his team, he started the helicopter at the crash site and later flight tested the machine. During the flight test, the helicopter displayed random handling problems and wind shield developed crack. The situation was analysed and handled in a professional and mature manner. The helicopter was successfully recovered at Thoise on 02 Jun 10 and later was flown to Air Force Station Hindon. For this act of exceptional courage, professional competence and successful execution of this high stress and high risk mission in extremely hostile terrain and inhospitable environment, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Vivek Ahluwalia.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Dhruv Kumar 28186 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 09 Feb 11 Announced 15 Aug 11
Details : Squadron Leader Dhruv Kumar (28186) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI squadron since 31 Mar 08. On 09 Feb 11, he was detailed to fly as a Combat Air Patrol Leader in an Offensive Sweep Vs Combat Air Patrol mission (Combat sortie) during Dark Night in local flying area at a distance of 70 km from Bareilly Air Base. During the exercise, he noticed that all Cockpit Instrument Displays, Head Up Display, Up Front Control Panel and the Mission Computer Data Interface Panel had blanked off. The Standby Compass and Artificial Horizon were also stuck. Thus, there was no reference of attitude or direction available to him. He correctly identified the emergency as a failure of the interface unit between the Mission Computer and the cockpit, and commenced priority recovery to Base. This is the first instance that an emergency of this nature has manifested in failure of even the standby instruments on the Su-30 MKI, which are critical for the emergency recovery of the aircraft. Faced with the challenge of flying in Dark Night with absolutely no attitude and heading reference available, he took the help of limited visual cues for maintaining attitude and effected a safe recovery and landing at Bareilly. in doing so, Sqn Ldr Dhruv exhibited exceptional flying skill, courage and airmanship to recover the aircraft and execute a safe landing in one of the most challenging conditions which can be experienced by an aviator. In face of such a grave danger, any error of judgment or flying skill would have certainly resulted in Spatial Disorientation and a catastrophic accident. Post flight investigation revealed a major failure of the Mission Computer Interface system. Simultaneous failures of Air Data System, Laser Inertial Nav System and Attitude & Heading Reference System were also confirmed in Flight Data recorder. Such an extreme emergency considered to be very rare which has not even been documented by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. Sqn Ldr Dhruv Kumar displayed grit, indomitable spirit, exceptional professionalism and flying skill to safely recover an aircraft in dire emergency. For act of exceptional courage and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Dhruv Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Hasheer Hameed 29736 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 25 Jul 10 Announced 15 Aug 11
Details : Flight Lieutenant Hasheer Hameed (29736) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Chetak/Cheetah Helicopter Unit since 11 Aug 08. The pilot has a total experience of 660 hrs. On 25 Jul 10, Fit Lt Hameed was detailed as captain of the Chetak helicopter Z-1810 for its ferry flight from Air Force Station Sirsa to Air Force Station Hindon. While the helicopter was being flown at 2000 feet and was 30 nautical miles out of Sirsa, he experienced loss of height and uncontrollable yaw of the helicopter from its flight path. The engine revolutions per minute (rpm) were seen reducing to 25000 from a normal operating rpm of 33500. Considering the limitation of the height at which the helicopter was being flown, the options available with Fit Lt Hameed were very limited. He promptly analysed the grave emergency and using all his professional skills, successfully maneuvered the helicopter away from an inhabited part of a village and low tension electrical cables to force land the helicopter. His actions of carrying out a force landing were very precise, which indicated quick and clear thinking in the face of a dynamically changing emergency situation around him. These prompt and courageous actions not only saved the helicopter but also averted a major damage to a village on the ground. After the forced landing, he saw flames coming out of the engine. Even though he was fully aware of the grave danger involved in going close to an engine on fire, he disregarded his personal safety and was eventually successful in extinguishing the engine fire with water brought from the nearby tube well. In spite of having limited experience of only 280 hrs as Captain on the helicopter, he displayed superior situational awareness and emergency handling skills. Due to his thorough understanding of the situation, backed with profound knowledge of the machine, he kept the situation under control and initiated correct recovery actions. He exhibited professional composure befitting an air warrior and quickly arranged for security of the helicopter and also informed the Air Force authorities of the incident and for quick retrieval of the helicopter. For display of exceptional flying skills, courage and professionalism in saving an aircraft and averting a major catastrophe on the ground, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Flight Lieutenant Hasheer Hameed.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Nitin Welde   23193 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Nitin Welde (23193) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a FAC Fit since 09 Nov 10 as Flight Commander. On the evening of 07 Feb 11, a SOS call was received by Air II AOC J&K to launch a helicopter to rescue a stranded labourer of BRTF. The labourer was stranded on a Pier of a bridge which was under construction. On receipt of this information Wing Commander Welde took on the responsibility of executing the mission. Detailed & comprehensive flight planning was carried out as the site was close to Line of Control and exact coordinates were not known. On 08 Feb 11, the aircraft was prepared prior to sunrise and the crew took off 20 min before sunrise. By virtue of accurate navigation the aircraft approached general search area and thereafter located the survivor stranded on the bridge pier. The site was mired in obstructions, owing to HT cables, LT cables, and other temporary cables, all of which were likely to affect the rescue operations. Using his experience, Wg Cdr N Welde decided an approach direction and established hover. The strong and turbulent winds made hover difficult, however, Wg Cdr Welde in an exemplary display of flying skill maintained steady over the survivor. The pier itself had 15-20 feet vertical iron rods jutting out in a haphazard manner and entanglement of winch cable in these rods would have resulted in a major disaster to the helicopter. He displayed extraordinary coordination and flying skills in maintaining steady position till the survivor was on the rescue belt and was flown to a safe landing place. In spite of limited visual references, adverse weather and wind conditions, coupled with high obstructions, the whole operation was accomplished with precise accuracy. This rescue of a J&K civilian added to the IAF image of being ever ready to provide succour to the affected, with precision and professionalism. For this act of exceptional courage, unwavering devotion to duty and professional approach, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Nitin Welde.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Mannarath Shylu 24221 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Wing Commander Mannarath Shylu (24221) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of Helicopter Squadron since 20 Sep 10. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Helicopter Combat Leader with 2750 hrs of accident! incident free flying. On 17 Jan 11, Wg Cdr Shylu was tasked to ferry a Mi-35 attack helicopter from Suratgarh to Hindan. The sortie was uneventful till Hindan, however while carrying out downwind vital actions, the starboard undercarriage malfunctioned and did not come down. Wg Cdr Shylu displayed exceptional professional skill and tenacity by carrying out an unprecedented landing of the helicopter on its belly in a controlled manner thus preventing the helicopter from a possible accident. While carrying out vital actions on downwind, Wg Cdr Shylu was vigilant and was prompt to notice that the starboard undercarriage indication had not come in the cockpit. He displayed extreme professionalism in crew resource management as well as co-ordination with the other aircrafts and the air traffic control for physical check of the undercarriage. Having made all possible attempts to lower the undercarriage as per the SOP,.Wg Cdr Shylu brought the helicopter to a low hover for the ground crew to physically force the under carriage down. His steady maneuvering ensured safety of the ground crew working under the helicopter. When all attempts of lowering the undercarriage failed, Wg Cdr Shylu landed the helicopter on its belly with such precision and control that the machine and its crew were recovered scratch less. For his exceptional skill in recovering the attack helicopter from a potentially catastrophic situation and his extremely high degree of professionalism and tenacity in the face of a critical emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Mannarath Shylu .
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Surendra Kumar Indoria 18296 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 12 Announced 26 Jan 12
Details : Group Captain Surendar Kumar Indoria (18296) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in flying branch of IAF on 07 Jun 86. He is Qualified Flying Instructor and has been an avid aviator having an experience of approx 6000 hrs on various types of aircraft. He has undergone the prestigious Joint Staff & Command Course at Indonesia. conducted in Bhasha Indonesia, and achieved above Average grading, upholding the image of the Indian Air Force and the nation at large. He worked as Director Training at Air HQ and has been the Commanding Officer of an An-32 Squadron since 06 Jul 09. For exceptional performance and dedication to duty the officer was awarded Commendation by Chief of Air Staff, in 1996. As Commanding Officer of the An-32 Squadron. he has deeply involved himself in every single activity of the squadron and truly set an environment of professional excellence. It was due to his personal involvement and guidance that Bombing by An-32 touched new heights. It was in his command that the Squadron undertook a host of maiden bombing exercises and achieved exceptional results in all of them. In fact in Ex Eklavya he led from the front and won the Bombing Trophy. He put in his professional acumen in formulating SOPs on internal and external bombing, High Altitude Bombing at Toshe Maidan range, Demonstration drop 01 1Ox1000 Ibs Bomb Drop in single stick, among others. He has shown exceptional foresight and initiative in undertaking a study for alternate bombing stores for An-32, which would go long way in enhancing the op effectiveness of the ac. On 21 Nov 10, Gp Capt Indoria, undertook the First Ever Trial landing at the Advance Landing Ground (ALG) at Dharasu, in Uttarkashi hills (Elevation-2950Ieet). which had presented a challenge for years. The Advance Landing Ground is short airstrip ( Length-3400 feet), situated in a bowl with restricted approach due high hills on all sides. The terrain around does not even allow a straight approach to the runway, leaving the option for only a curved approach and demands very high levels of proficiency and control of aircraft. It speaks volumes about the character of the officer that he decided to take on this challenge, himself. He went about the mission in an exemplary planned and professional manner and thereafter, also submitted an SOP on the operations from the ALG, making it possible for other to follow suit with all variables catered for. This mission has provided an altogether a new horizon for the IAF in support of Indian Army deployed in the region. He also led from front by undertaking the First Ever PTT landing by An-32 at Bareilly. His contribution in conceptualising and formulating the out of area contingency plan as Type Force' Commander speaks volumes about his operational understanding and strategic appreciation. It was under his command that the squadron became the first ever transport squadron of the IAF to be affiliated to a combat unit of the Indian Army. The manner in which he has participated in and organised a host of activities to further this affiliation in its true sense has set new standards of jointmanship. He led the unit by example and always stood firmly committed towards the culture of professional integrity and operational mindedness in his working environment. On the maintenance front Sqn passed through a phase of low ac availability. In spite of constraints, the energetic officer drove his way through by keeping flight line serviceability over 90% by proactive planning and managing resources. During the DASI visit in Aug 2010, the squadron undertook all operational missions in the most professional manner and earned laurels for the same. The effect of his directive leadership and visionary approach was well proven when the squadron went on to earn the coveted Average Plus grading in all five aspects of the inspection. The continued excellence of the unit under his command took the squadron to a level where it was adjudged as the Best Transport/Helicopter Squadron of CAC for the year 2009-10. These achievements speak very high of the highest standards 01 morale and professional values in his unit, which are clear indication of the officers' effective leadership and optimum resource utilisation. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hcn'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty)' to Group Captain Surendar Kumar lndoria.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

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.