Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List


A total of 1329 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 1329 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Sudhakar Yadav Flight Gunner 775698 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : 775698 Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav Flight Gunner was on the posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter unit since 14 Jan 13. On 25 Jun 2013. Sergeant Sudhakar was tasked to move essential supplies and rescue stranded civilians from Kedarnath as a part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Missions that were undertaken in the aftermath of the disaster which occurred recently in Uttarakhand. As a motivated aircrew, who had been extensively involved in Relief Operations in the sector since 21 Jun 13, he carefully went about planning for the mission. The task involved moving Relief Teams of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Relief Force from Guptkashi to Kedarnath. The presence of inclement weather and poor light conditions in the tricky hill terrain of the valley made the task extremely demanding. Knowing full well the helicopter would be operating at the limits of its capabilities, he analysed the degree of difficulty of landing at high altitude and evacuation from inhospitable terrain. He maintained a high degree of coordination between the crew members and effectively synergized the relief efforts. While maintaining his composure, he ensured availability of all equipment on board thus accepting the challenges of the mission. Having assessed all the adversities and the restrictions imposed by the prevalent weather. he provided all possible assistance as a team member. With his timely efforts, the crew were able to take off at the first available opportunity and land at Guptkashi displaying high degree of determination and skill. The Relief Teams were then safely transported to Kedarnath. The helicopter took off from Kedarnath with the Relief Teams and was ready to make another shuttle at the earliest. However. the weather conditions on the return leg deteriorated at a rapid rate and the aircraft crashed killing all its occupants. The selfless act of courage of flying the helicopter through extremely hostile terrain in marginal weather conditions provided much awaited succour to the affected people at Kedarnath. Flying these missions in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, Sergeant Sudhakar supported the decisions of his captain displaying exceptional courage and professionalism. For this act of exceptional bravery and pre-eminent valour which finally led to the supreme sacrifice. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Satish Chandra Gulati 19179 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Satish Chandra Gulati (19179) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the flying branch on 19 Dec 87. He is Qualified Flying Instructor on Boeing Business Jet (BBJ). Dornier 228, Avro and HPT-32 aircraft and has flown over 7600 hours including 2000 instructional hours. He holds A/Master Green on BBJ and Embraer 135 aircraft. He took over Command of one of the most prestigious Transport Squadron on 31 Oct 11. He was among the pioneer pilots on the BBJ aircraft who formulated the Standard Operating Procedures, training pattern and carried out extensive flying prior to undertaking VVIP commitments. As Officer in charge Project Management Group for Infrastructure works for the BBJ hangars, he ensured that the works services were carried out strictly in accordance with the contract and in a record time. During his tenure. he prepared a roadmap for aircrew postings, clearances & categorization schedule and operationalisation plan for the AW-101 helicopter. He was the leader of the Joint Receipt Inspection (JRI) team responsible for accepting the AW 101 helicopter. During the initial phase of the pilots' conversion, he inspired the Air Warriors to toil and gain the desired flying experience within the stipulated time to facilitate their initial categorisation. With his tireless zeal. initiative and involvement, he ensured that all works services related to the construction of the hangars to house the AW-101 helicopters were completed prior on schedule. As Commanding Officer of a Squadron with four different types of aircraft and over 500 personnel. he has ensured a professional approach for timely execution of all assigned tasks. Gp Capt SC Gulati has always led by example in every sphere and has been a source of inspiration to his colleagues and subordinates. Under his command, the Squadron has set impeccable standards for task achievement and has achieved many firsts including the first landings of a BBJ class of aircraft at Jalgaon and Hubli airfields. He has ensured excellent working environment of the unit and instituted various welfare measures to enhance the morale and bring out the best in Air Warriors of the unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, exemplary work ethos, initiative and personal drive, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Satish Chandra Gulati.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Arun Saklani 19549 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Arun Saklani (19549) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the flying branch on 11 Jun 88. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He was awarded an Air Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation on 26 Jan 2000. As the Commanding Officer of 49 Squadron, Gp Capt Saklani spearheaded trials for landing at Vijaynagar Advance Landing Ground (ALG 79). and accomplished the first ever landing at the renovated ALG. He was instrumental in carrying out trials for supply drop at Alinye (DZ 64). which culminated in the first ever drop at the Drop zone by a transport aircraft. Under his guidance. five sets of aircrew were cleared for the bombing role within a short duration of being allotted this additional task. His proactive approach and drive ensured that operations in North Sikkim could be resumed. resulting in supply drops at Drop Zone Muguthang being carried out for Army and Para Military forces. thereby enhancing the operational preparedness of the nation. Trials for operations to Drop Zone Chuna in Tawang sector were undertaken by him in the month of Oct 12. These extensive trials culminated in a successful drop at Chuna, located at an altitude of 13500 feet where man and machine operate at extremes of their operating envelope. The achievement was appreciated by the Indian Army, as it had a huge bearing on the morale of the troops operating in that sector. After the successful drop, Gp Capt Saklani was instrumental in clearing of other aircrew for the sector. Gp Capt Saklani with his high degree of professionalism, vision, skill and leadership qualities has enhanced the operational capabilities of the IAF. He has not only demonstrated an exceptional degree of excellence, but has also paid attention to detail. He has always accomplished assigned tasks with elan while adhering to safe flying procedures For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Arun Saklani.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Palaparthy Venkat Shivanand 19901 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Palaparthy Venkat Shivanand (19901) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 88. He is a qualified Pilot Attack Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader with more than 2700 hours of accident free flying on all MiG-21 variants. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and was a member of the core team for MiG-21 Bison induction into the IAF. He has commanded a Mig-21 Bison Squadron (Sqn) with distinction and was the first Director of the newly raised Directorate of Airborne Sensors and Networking at Air HQ. dealing with Air Borne Warning and Control System (AWACS) induction and Network Centric Warfare (NCW) issues. He took over command of the prestigious AWACS Sqn of IAF on 18 Apr 11. As the CO of this newly acquired strategic 'Force Multiplier' Sqn. Gp Capt PV Shivanand was entrusted with the daunting task of operational consolidation. formalization of AWACS Concept of Operations (Conops) and enhancing NCW aspects of RE Under his leadership. all three AWACS have smoothly transitioned to the 'Final Operational Configuration' while simultaneously increasing mission availability with a nearly 100% increase in annual and monthly AWACS availability and flying effort. His relentless zeal and deep level of involvement has ensured total Mission Accomplishment and Flight Safety. He was instrumental in formalizing AWACS Concept of Operations and dovetailed these Conops into the concept of the 'Op Training Day' for each Command. His constant endeavor to enhance the NCW domain has resulted in successful Operationalisation of six geographically diverse 'Ground Exploitation Stations' and seamless AWACS integration into the IACCS system. The successful conduct of the first ever. six month long detachment at 40 Wg for a strategic asset of this class bears testimony to his inspiring leadership and effective Command and Control. In this period. over 400 hours of incident free flying effort covering over ten major Command level Exercises and numerous 'Off base' operations were executed flawlessly enabling the formalization of 'Off base' operations for AWACS. By mustering the technical management skills under his command the Squadron was able to undertake the AWACS Dome change operation and the first ever 900 hours servicing activity on AWACS in-house. His dynamic leadership and involvement is evident in the numerous SOPs and AWACS compendiums that were generated and ratified. the upgradation in professional categories of AWACS crew and in the technical innovations like the indigenous APU trolley and mobile CSM and ECM analysis tool. Due to his exceptional leadership and personal example. AWACS exploitation in the first major IAF level Ex Live Wire was a major success. wherein over 40 Missions were flown in a span of two weeks with near 100% mission success rate. The pro-active and decisive steps taken by him have ensured optimal exploitation of a scarce national asset and would significantly strengthen current and future IAF Op potential. For exceptional devotion to duty. Horible President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Palaparthy Venkat Shivanand.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vembu Satyamurthy 20511 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Vembu Satyamurthy (20511) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 89. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 4500 hours of accident free hours. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff on 26 Jan 98. Presently. he is the Commanding officer of an AN-32 Squadron wef 30 Nov 11. During his tenure as Station Flight Safety & Inspection Officer of 44 Wg. the documentation of Flight Safety Section was graded 'Exceptional' by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. He was the Chief Flying Instructor of HS-748 ac at Fixed Wing Training Flight and later commanded the Communication Flight of HQ Training Command. As Joint Director Operations (Transport) at Air HQ. he revised the Air Staff Orders for the Transport fleet and drew out a detailed plan for training on transport aircraft. As Commanding Officer of Air Force Institute of Nuclear Biological Chemical Protection, he pioneered the revision of the 'Chemical, Biological. Radiological and Nuclear Defence Doctrine of the IAF. Gp Capt Satyamurthy's supervision in achieving and maintaining highest safety standards has enabled the Sqn to effectively execute all the Op tasks given by the HQ South Western Air Command Air HQ. His meticulous planning and utilization of resources is evident by the fact that the Sqn achieved a record flying of 383 hours in Feb 13 during Ex-Iron Fist. Also, under his command, the unit created history by achieving 100% serviceability on an ageing fleet like HS-748 on 20 Mar 13. 11 Sqn was re- designated as the Type Training Sqn for HS-748 in 2011 Rising to the occasion, he diligently planned and marshalled the available resources to conduct conversion courses while simultaneously ensuring op role training of the unit aircrew. His foresight. innovativeness and the ability to direct while leading from the front, has ensured that the courses were completed well ahead of schedule. His ability to motivate individuals to perform optimally has resulted in an improved categorisation status of the Sqn aircrew. During one of the training sorties with an ab-initio pilot. he experienced an engine failure during a roller take off. With his keen sense of observation, situational awareness and clarity in handling this emergency during a critical phase of flight, he was able to take all actions correctly and bring the aircraft to a stop without any damage. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vembu Satyamurthy.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan 22136 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan (22316) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 19 Dec 92. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has approx 3150 hrs of total service flying. He has held the appointments of Senior Aero Space Safety and Inspection Officer at two fighter Bases and Flight Commander at a Flying Training Establishment. He is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. Gp Capt Taliyan took over command of 22 Squadron on 04 Oct 10 and led the Squadron exemplarily until he relinquished command on 06 Jan 13. When he took over the Squadron, the MiG 27 fleet was going through a difficult phase due to a spate of accidents and persistent maintenance issues. Despite tremendous pressure due to low serviceability and reliability of the aircraft. he led the unit effectively through personal example and ensured that the aircrew and ground crew regained confidence in the aircraft. During his tenure the Squadron won the Eastern Air Command Eklavya Championship in 2012. He personally won three trophies for individual LDA bombing and team events in conventional bomb and LDA bombing. Because of his meticulous planning and foresight, the Squadron relocated smoothly from Hasimara to Kalaikunda without any incident / accident and commenced flying operations at its new base within a few days of arrival. Due to the move of the unit, he anticipated the problem of low availability of personnel at the new base and instituted measures to ensure that the Sqn could achieve its assigned tasks at all times without compromising of aerospace safety. His effective liaison and personal interest resulted in the unit maintaining a high serviceability ever since it shifted to Kalaikunda. All aspects related to the settling down of the unit were completed in a professional manner due to his supervision and guidance. Additionally, he was assigned the task of completing the Board of Officers for induction of Hawks at Kalaikunda in two weeks. The task involved conceptualization of the entire project to preparation of AEs from scratch. Gp Capt Taliyan led the team by involving himself in all the aspects of planning and completed the entire task in less than two weeks while still undertaking flying activity. He has consistently achieved all organizational objectives and accomplished all assigned tasks going well beyond the call of duty. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sharad Aneja 22677 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Sharad Aneja (22677) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93 and since Dec 11. he is commanding a Su-30 MKI squadron. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot. He has varied experience of operational flying on the Mirage 2000, MiG 21 (T-75 & T-77) and Su-30 MKI aircraft. He has flown over 3000 hours on various fighters, trainers and transport aircraft of Indian Air Force. The Group Captain was tasked to raise the first Su-30 MKI of Western Air Command. The resurrection of the unit in all aspects of operations, maintenance and administration was an arduous task which he astutely surmounted utilising his resourcefulness and operational background. With his unrelenting effort, loyalty, initiative and perseverance he ensured that the unit gained the required operational status in a very short time. He has innovatively utilised his technical acumen and operational capability to ensure a high availability of aircraft and equipment along with a professional combat orientation of the squadron. In doing so he has displayed tremendous commitment, commendable performance, admirable knowledge and creditable operational orientation keeping up with the finest traditions of military service and this reflects credit upon himself and the Indian Air Force. Gp Capt Aneja's outstanding initiative, leadership and logistic abilities introduced best tools and equipment in the unit which has been emulated by many other units. With his meticulous planning. optimal utilisation of manpower, aircraft and equipment, ability to adapt quickly to ever changing requirements and commitments of the squadron. he ensured regular flying operations with maximum utilisation of available resources. During his tenure, he has marshalled his resources admirably to achieve a good safety record, high morale and operational readiness of the unit. This is evident from the performance of the unit during various visits, inspections and exercises including Ex-Livewire. He has singularly focused on progressively increasing the quantum of flying and achieving full operational capability. He has displayed great mission focus in which he personally led from the front. achieving all tasks allotted to the squadron. This was evident in the Republic Day Flypast of 2013 in which he participated and his performance was appreciated by all. He gainfully utilised his test pilot and operational knowledge to operationalise maximum aircrew in operating from Leh. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sharad Aneja.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sarabinder Singh Atwal 22693 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Sarabinder Singh Atwal (22693) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and an Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner with more than 3200 hours of accident free flying. He is also one of the most experienced pilots on Bison in the Indian Air Force with more than 1400 hours to his credit. He has been awarded with a Commendation by the Chief of Air Staff on 08 Oct 2006 and Air Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation twice. He was the Commanding Officer of 21 Squadron Air Force from 07 Jun 10 to 22 Jul 12. The officer is qualified on MiG-21, Mig-21 Bison and MiG-29 aircraft and flew extensively during Op Safed Sagar. During the induction of MiG-21 Bison in the Indian Air Force, he was instrumental in converting various squadrons to the new aircraft where in he immaculately planned the operations, maintenance and administrative activities which resulted in quick operationalisation of these units. During his tenure as the Flight Commander. 23 Squadron won various trophies in the Western Air Command (WAC) Gunnery Meet. During his command of 21 Squadron, he made valuable additions to the squadron on all fronts. The squadron performed exceedingly well during all command exercises especially during Ex-Gauntlet wherein the squadron flew all assigned missions by day and by night. In 2010, he was specially selected to undertake Medium Altitude Level Release (MALR) trials on the Bison and was the first to drop bombs in this mode. During his tenure, the squadron won various Gunnery meet trophies and he also led the winning S-24 formation in 2012. During Air Force Day 2010 and 2011 he led the Bison formation with perfection. He enforced strict anti-FOD measures in the Squadron. His personal involvement helped in attaining objectives set in a qualitative manner without any incident or accident. His personal involvement and guidance ensured high serviceability of aircraft and ground equipment. Under his command various welfare activities were undertaken in the squadron such as felicitation to wards of Air Warriors and NCs (E) who had excelled in academics or sports. Due to his personal liaison, he was able to ensure that the works services released for the unit were completed on time. As President Mess Committee of the Officers' Mess, his personal supervision resulted in various functions being conducted in a befitting manner. His tenure has as Commanding Officer epitomizes his exceptional leadership and outstanding professional competence. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sarabinder Singh Atwal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Abhijit Tokekar 22696 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Abhijit Tokekar (22696) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. He is presently commanding a MiG-21 M Squadron. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 500 hours of instructional flying. He has a total service flying of 2800 Hours. He has been awarded a Commendation by the Chief of Air Staff on 08 Oct 2006. He has been the Flight Commander of a MiG 21(T-96) Squadron undertaking MiG Operational Flying Training. During his tenure as a Flight Commander. the squadron was adjudged as the Best Fighter Squadron in the Command. He has also served as the Chief Operations Officer of a fighter base and Chief Flying Instructor at Air Force Station Hakimpet. He assumed Command of the Fighter Squadron which imparts MiG Operational Flying Training to newly commissioned fighter pilots on 19 Oct 2011. Prior to his assuming command of the Squadron. the Sqn had witnessed three serious accidents in quick succession related to flying capability of young aircrew. With his vast instructional experience he took active control of the situation and improved the standards of training in the Squadron thereby resulting in Nil Human Error (Aircrew) incidents or accidents since then. His personal attention to detail, close monitoring of the briefings and debriefs and also a regular introspection of the performance of the aircrew has resulted in the Sqn aircrew being assessed as Average Plus to Above Average during four inspections by the Aircrew Examination Board (AEB). He also standardized the patter to be called out for instructional flying on the critical circuit approach and landing phase on the MiG-21 which was subsequently ratified by AEB. With his excellent management skills, he has maintained a good liaison with the other agencies of the base which has resulted in a productive and safe flying environment. He has always led from the front and served as a role model to his subordinates. His involvement in welfare related activities of the unit has been exemplary. This has ensured a feel good factor and upswing in the morale of the unit personnel. While displaying managerial abilities of the highest order. he has never allowed personal comforts to impede his work and has willingly contributed beyond the normal call of duty. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Abhijit Tokekar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Subramanian Krishnan 22922 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Subramanian Krishnan (22922) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. The officer has 3085 hours of flying experience of which 780 hours are on Mirage- 2000 aircraft. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and a Qualified Flying Instructor with 900 hours of instructional flying. The officer was the Flight Commander of Hawk Operational Training Squadron Bravo. Presently. he is commanding a Mirage-2000 Squadron. As the Commanding Officer, he has focused on improving the operational capability of the Squadron by emphasizing on effective training of aircrew and engineering officers and increased serviceability of aircraft and systems. Despite the limited flying effort available in the fleet, his op focus is evident by the fact that all ops pilots are qualified on Valley flying, Litening and Air to Air Refuelling. Under his command, the Squadron has flown a total of 1023 hours in the last one year with the officer having flown 144 hours. His zeal for mission accomplishment is highlighted by the 100% mission success that the unit achieved in the various air force and command level exercises which include Ex Shock Effect, Jack Hammer, Crystal Maze Live Firing, Magic missile firing, Air Force Day fly-past 12, No 1 Composite Graduate Course and Ex Livewire. His pursuit for excellence is reflected in the Average Plus' performance of the aircrew during the inspection by Aircrew Examining Board. Gp Capt Krishnan has displayed exceptional leadership abilities in leading the unit. While his primary focus has been to improve operational capability of the unit, he has also been compassionate in ensuring welfare of the personnel placed below him. He has displayed extraordinary qualities of maturity, initiative and excellence, and has set high standards for all the officers in the squadron to emulate. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Subramanian Krishnan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manu Midha 22940 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Group Captain Manu Midha (22940) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 1994. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner and has flown over 3100 hours. He has also served as a Directing Staff at Flying Instructors' School and as an Air Force Examiner with Aircrew Examining Board. He has been awarded a Chief of Air staff Commendation on 08 Oct2008. He commanded 51 Squadron from 20 Jun 11 to 16 Jun 13. Under his command, the Squadron flew over 4350 sorties without any Human Error accident or incident. He led from the front and himself flew 430 sorties. Due to his immaculate planning and continued operational focus, the squadron aircrew maintained their currency on all operational roles at all times. Due to his personal involvement. a high serviceability of aircraft and mission critical systems was maintained. Under his command, the Squadron performed well during the inspection visits by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection and Aircrew Examining Board and also during the various exercises. He himself ensured that at all times operations were conducted with high regard to aerospace safety. He followed an interactive style of leadership and encouraged his people to find solutions to issues through innovative thinking and improvisation. His unconditional involvement, devotion to duty. leadership qualities and the highest norms of interpersonal relations ensured a positive and professional work environment. Through his operational focus and responsive administration, he kept the Sqn operationally prepared while keeping the morale extremely high despite trying circumstances. Gp Capt Midha has displayed exceptional motivation, professional skills and unparalleled leadership in discharging his duties. He has always placed Service-before-self and relentlessly strived for organisational growth. These qualities reflected in the performance of the Squadron and it was adjudged the Best Fighter Sqn for 2012-2013 in Western Air Command. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Manu Midha.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Bhasker Satish 22948 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Bhasker Satish (22948) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He is commanding a Su-30 MKI squadron since 26 Jul 11.The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot and has flown over 3300 hours. He was decorated with `Mention-in-Despatches' for being the junior most officer (Flt Lt) to undauntedly lead the highest number of strike missions in the face of enemy fire during the Kargil conflict. His unparalleled devotion to duty, demonstrated performance and single handed contribution to the induction of the Su-30 MKI into the IAF during his tenure as a test pilot at ASTE have also been appreciated. His meticulous planning and exceptional personal involvement as a detachment commander of an Air Force level Special Weapon Camp resulted in maximum number of aircrew and ground crew getting qualified in employment of specialist weapons on the Su-30 MKI. His pro-active approach, meticulous study and the zeal to undertake the arduous task of employing a Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) from a hitherto unexplored altitude realm has given the IAF the ability to safely execute precision strikes from altitudes well beyond the manufacturer certified envelope. Wg Cdr Satish has displayed uncommon initiative in improving the combat capability and survivability of the Su-30 MKI in several path-breaking ways. Mapping of friendly aircraft through Non Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) techniques on the Su-30 MKI conceptualized and operationalised by him would be a game changer in avoiding fratricide in the modern day scenario. His innovative approach to problem solving has improved the Electronic Warfare capability of the Su-30 MKI. Under his command, the unit authored several critical Standard Operating Procedures for the Laser Guided Bomb, NCTR and the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) that have set new benchmarks and have found wide appreciation from across the IAF. Under his command, the Sqn achieved and sustained a very high serviceability and combat readiness with an immaculate aerospace safety record. The Sqn under his command has also achieved the unique distinction of being the first squadron in the history of the IAF to be affiliated to a warship of the Indian Navy. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Wing Commander Bhasker Satish.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Harshad Mishra 22963 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Harshad Mishra (22963) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He has over 3250 hours of flying experience on MiG-21 T-75, MiG-21 T-77, Bison and Su-30MKI aircraft. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He was one of the participants of multinational Exercise Red Flag 2008 at US base Nellis and was entrusted the assiduous task of planning the same. He has been the Flight Commander of a Bison Squadron and is presently commanding a Su-30 MKI Squadron. In the past he has been awarded commendation by CAS. Within a month of assuming command, Wing Commander Harshad Mishra had the arduous task of relocating the squadron to a frontline base for strategic considerations. This mammoth task involved entire operational, maintenance and administrative infrastructure involving more than 300 tonnes of load and families of more than 350 Air Warriors of the Squadron. The relocation of the Squadron also necessitated the change in role from type training to that of operational core squadron. Due to his meticulous planning and attention to detail the move of the unit was conducted in such a smooth, professional and praiseworthy manner that, the squadron was tasked to compile a "Squadron Permanent Relocation Move Guide" to serve as a template for future relocation of fighter squadrons. Despite lack of specialist testers and equipment, he initiated second line servicing at the new base on priority and ensured high level of serviceability. Under his command, the squadron professionally completed its previous task of type training at the same time continuing to consolidate on operational role by undertaking regular long duration missions over the North-East, the Himalayas and Island Territories. It was due to his zeal and focus that the unit could achieve 172 operational up gradations of pilots in a short span of two years, participate in all exercises of South Western Air Command and Western Air Command in extremely professional manner and win three trophies in exercise Eklavya 2011. He was also the first officer to fire the BETAB bomb from Su-30 MKI and was instrumental in finalising the Standard Operating Procedure for the weapon. Additionally the officer led the team tasked to validate the ACMI modification and carriage by Su-30 MKI. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Harshad Mishra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Gurpreet Singh Tung 23201 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Gurpreet Singh Tung (23201) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a helicopter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 94. He is commanding a Mi-26 Helicopter Flight at Air Force Station Chandigarh since 08 Apr 13. He has flown 3981 hours on various aircraft including more than 400 hours on Mi-26 helicopter. He is the only supervisor endorsed on Mi-26 helicopter. Large scale rescue operations in Uttarakhand (Op Rahat) commenced on 17 Jun 13 and shortly after the commencement of Op Rahat, it was realized that positioning of heavy equipment in the remote helipads would be critical for mission accomplishment. Since most of the roads and bridges had been damaged or washed away because of the flash floods, it was decided to airlift and position refuellers / fuel barrels at Dharasu and Gaucher to sustain the operations. On 18 Jun 13, Wg Cdr Tung was tasked to airlift and position 9 KL refuellers at Dharasu and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) barrels at Gaucher, a mission which could only be undertaken in the world's largest helicopter, Mi-26. He analysed that the helicopters did not have adequate flying hours to undertake the mission and hence after due deliberations with the technical staff at various levels, proposed a daring and realistic plan for granting a war time extension on the helicopter for execution of the task. Although this entailed him taking immense risks while flying, he took on the mission himself and thus ensured positioning of the equipment and sustenance of the relief operations. He executed the challenging task in a most professional manner wherein, 92000 kgs of special stores and heavy equipment were airlifted in a time bound manner and in demanding circumstances to remote and restricted areas. For exceptional devotion to duty and professional competence in the tremendous odds, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Gurpreet Singh Tung.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ramachandra Venkateswara Prakash 23523 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Wing Commander Ramachandra Venkateswara Prakash (23523) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a helicopter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Jun 95. He is the Commanding Officer of an operational Mi-17 unit since 28 May 12. He is a Cat 'A pilot and has a total flying experience of 3500 h. He is a graduate of the Defense Services Staff College, a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Helicopter Combat Leader. Under his command the unit has been employed for Anti Naxal Operations as a part of `Op Triveni'. The unit faced the daunting challenge of maintaining six helicopters at three geographically separated detachments. With exemplary leadership, he has routinely overcome challenges of manpower constraints and aircraft serviceability to ensure that the unit is always ready to take on its allotted tasks. He has been instrumental in evolving new tactical procedures, which in turn have enabled the execution of a large number of missions in a high risk environment safely. He has on many occasions personally flown a number of high risk missions in the most challenging circumstances. He constantly spurs his personnel towards professionalism and successful mission accomplishment. His extraordinary courage and leadership qualities were displayed during the recovery of one of his unit helicopter which had to carry out a force landing due to hostile fire on 18 Jan 13 in the Naxal infested Sukhma district. In the face of grave naxal threat, he personally led a rectification team to the force landing site. Due to the continued naxal threat to the helicopter and the recovery team, it was decided that the aircraft be flown to Jagdalpur Detachment after only patch repair at site. As befitting the ethos of service, as the Commanding Officer of the unit he rose to the occasion. Disregarding personal safety he volunteered to fly the helicopter to Jagdalpur from the site of force landing after only patch repair at site. The entire recovery was carried out directly under his supervision in a record time of under 96 hours highlighting his professional aptitude, courage and conviction of the highest order in line with the finest traditions of the Indian Air Force. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Ramachandra Venkateswara Prakash.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Saurabh Gupta 26979 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 14 Announced 26 Jan 14
Details : Squadron Leader Saurabh Gupta (26979) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 22 Jun 02. He is on the posted strength of Flying Instructors School at Air Force Station Tambaram as a Directing Staff since 19 Dec 12. On 13 Feb 13, he was authorised to fly a general handling instructional sortie for the benefit of a trainee QFI. During the sortie, while opening throttle from idle to maximum, the engine RPM and thrust did not build up above 58%. Sqn Ldr Saurabh Gupta analysed the grave nature of emergency situation in a calm, composed and professional manner. With the available thrust at the maximum obtainable RPM of 58%, it was not possible for the aircraft to maintain level flight or for a normal approach and landing to be carried out implying that the pilot had only one option left for recovering the aircraft at that stage, which was to glide the aircraft and intercept the force landing pattern at the nearest airfield. This consideration left a negligible margin of error for landing the aircraft. A go around due to any reason would have been impossible and would have invariably led to an ejection from such a low altitude, resulting in loss of an aircraft and possible injury to the pilots. Although the aircraft was 25 Km away from the base with just adequate height to carry out a force landing, he correctly assessed the aircraft position with respect to the airfield. Keeping these restrictions in mind, he took over control from the trainee QFI, skillfully maneuvered the aircraft to intercept the forced landing pattern and carried out an uneventful landing. The landing conditions were all the more challenging due to strong cross wind, short runway length at Tambaram airfield and close proximity to Chennai international airport. Sqn Ldr Saurabh Gupta handled a critical emergency with an exceptional high level of skill and professionalism. He maintained his composure in a dire emergency situation and retrieved the aircraft and his co-pilot safely thus displaying a very high sense of devotion to duty. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Squadron Leader Saurabh Gupta.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Abhyankar Aniket Santosh 24497 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 14 Announced 15 Aug 14
Details : Wing Commander Abhyankar Aniket Santosh (24497) Flying (pilot) is from the Helicopter stream and since 22 Apr 12 he is the Flight Commander of a Cheetal! Cheetah helicopter Unit that operates in the Siachen Glacier. He is a Cat 'N. QFI and has over 4,000 hours of accident/incident free flying. Wg Cdr Abhyankar has flown over 1,000 hrs in the inhospitable and challenging terrain of Siachen Glacier, where a helicopter is required to be flown at the extremes of its flight envelope and under constant threat of enemy observation and fire. He has displayed utmost courage and devotion to duty, while skillfully executing more than 500 landings at the world's three highest helipads located at Amar Son am and Zulu in the 'Op Meghdoot' area. He has also executed numerous casualty evacuations from places located above 20,000 feet in the Siachen Glacier and Laddakh Sector. His contribution towards the war efforts in the World's Highest Battlefield has been substantial. On 17 Aug 13, Wg Cdr Abhyankar was tasked for rescuing a foreign national, who was part of a lndo-British expedition, from 'Saser Kangri' which is at an altitude of 23,000 feet. At these altitudes, the helicopter operates at the extremes of its flight envelopes, has exceedingly restricted reserve of power, no margin for error and hence exceptional piloting skills are required to handle the helicopter safely. On the day of the planned rescue, the weather in the sector was marginal with poor visibility, strong gusty winds and clouding which further added to the challenges being faced by the pilot. Braving these adverse circumstances, Wg Cdr Abhyankar skillfully maneuvered and landed his helicopter in an extremely restricted & uneven terrain which was mired in crevasses & loose snow. He evacuated the paralyzed casualty to Tangtse where basic medical aid was available. By now, the weather in the area had further deteriorated which mandated an unplanned night halt at Tangtse and further evacuation to Leh was only possible the next day. Throughout this act of valor, Wg Cdr Abhyankar, used his experience, judgment and exceptional flying skills and was able to save a precious life. He also kept up the highest traditions of the IAF and displayed exceptional courage, highest level of leadership, professionalism and skills. For this act of exceptional courage, exemplary leadership and highest level of professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Abhyankar Aniket Santosh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rahul Shukla 25845 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 14 Announced 15 Aug 14
Details : Wing Commander Rahul Shukla (25845) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a frontline BISON Squadron since 30 Jul 12. On 20 Jan 14, Wg Cdr Rahul Shukla was detailed to ferry a MIG21 T-69 aircraft from Kalaikunda to Ambala with a refuelling halt at Allahabad. After takeoff from Allahabad, while climbing passing 5 km, he heard a bang from the rear portion of the aircraft. He immediately checked his engine parameters and noticed a rise in Jet Pipe Temperature (JPT). As he reduced power to control the Jet Pipe Temperature, his Main Hydraulic Warning light came on with pressure gauge indicating a drop in hydraulic pressure. The failure of the main hydraulic system manifests into non-availability of certain critical systems which results in reduced controllability of the aircraft. The situation was further aggravated due to the marginal weather conditions of poor visibility and low cloud base. Despite being faced with a grave emergency, with uncertain and unclear indications of the exact cause, he retained his composure and took the correct actions of recovering the aircraft on RW30 at Allahabad. Since the cloudy conditions prohibited visual contact with the ground, he retained his ventral drop tank so as to preclude jettisoning it over a populated area. Taking cognisance of the marginal weather conditions, he asked the radar controller to position him on the final approach for landing. Due to the failure of the main hydraulic system, he was forced to lower the undercarriage by emergency means and subsequently execute an immediate overweight landing without flaps necessitating much higher landing speed than the normal stipulated speed. The reduced visibility due weather and high rate of descent of 10 m/s on the final approach path provided him a window of only 8-9 seconds to pick up the runway, align and execute a landing. The frontal visibility was further restricted by the high nose up attitude due to the non-availability of flaps. While on the final approach path, the JPT had stopped registering due to probable fire in rear fuselage. Maintaining his composure in ever increasing adverse circumstances, he carried out a flawless overweight flapless landing at Allahabad and successfully stopped the aircraft without any damage on the runway. During the landing roll, observers on ground noticed and confirmed smoke and fire in the fuselage section of the aircraft. After landing, he also assisted in effective fire-fighting operations. Post flight assessment revealed extensive damage to the aircraft due to fire. Wg Cdr Rahul Shukla displayed exemplary courage, presence of mind, and was able to maintain his composure in adverse circumstances which led to the safe recovery of an aircraft with an engine problem in adverse weather conditions. His skillful piloting and professional handling of an adverse situation prevented probable civilian casualties on ground and has set an excellent professional example for others to emulate. For this act of exemplary courage and professional handling of an unserviceable aircraft under difficult circumstances, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Rahul Shukla.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Maneesh Kumar Roy 22980 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Maneesh Kumar Ray (22980) Flying (Pilot) was on the posted strength of an An-32 Squadron in Jorhat from 20 Jun 11 to 30 Ju113, as the Flight Commander. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and holds Cat/lR of AMG on An-32. He has a total of more than 6000 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. On 29 May 13, Wg Cdr MK Ray was planned for an Aircraft and Engine check sortie at Jorhat. During rejoin, Wg Cdr Ray noticed that the main indicating compass was stuck on a westerly heading while the other heading indicators were functioning normally. Thereafter the co-pilot side Altimeter Failure warning came on. Subsequently the 'CHECK ELECT POWER' and "RIGHT ALTERNATOR OFF" and the "RIGHT AUTO FEATHER READY" light went OFF, indicating a problem with the electrical system. One attempt to connect the failed electrical supply was made, however it did not connect. After some time the 'Right Oil Temperature' indicator failed. On selection of flaps, the flap position indicator remained stuck at zero. The crew anticipated and prepared for multiple electrical failures. On downwind the nose wheel steering "READY TAKE OFF LAND" warning was coming on at a speed of 280 kph and bank 15 deg. The crew requested activation of crash services for a possible asymmetric withdrawal of propellers on landing that can lead to the aircraft going off the runway. As an added precaution, Wg Cdr MK Ray selected the batteries to main power line for landing. Wg Cdr MK Ray carried out a precise landing but the propellers failed to unlatch on withdrawal. Acting instinctively, Wg Cdr Ray immediately closed bath the fuel supply valves, however only the left propeller feathered causing the aircraft to veer viciously to one side. Without losing his composure and remaining calm in a difficult situation, he made a valiant attempt to maintain control of the aircraft and simultaneously tried to feather the right propeller manually by KFL button but the engine did not feather. Without giving up under the demanding circumstances, he shut down the engine using hydraulic toggles and ordered the crew for a quick exit. The multiple failure of this nature is considered extremely rare and does not find mention in any flight manuals. Considering the fact that the emergency occurred during the critical stage of landing, it called for courage of a high order under imminent danger so as to act in the best possible manner. Wg Cdr Ray, as the captain of the aircraft, lived up the demands of the situation and remained un-flinched in spite of an imminent danger to the lives of all the crew. For displaying act of exceptional courage and professional acumen in handling an unprecedented emergency, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Maneesh Kumar Ray.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Saurabh Sharma 23209 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma (23209) Flying Pilot is on the posted strength of An-32 Squadron (Sqn) with effect from 26 Jun 11 and has been dedicatedly performing the duties of pilots training officer. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 17 Dec 94, is a Qualified Flying Instructor holding category / instrument rating NMG and has varied and extensive flying experience of over 7000 hours. On 01 Apr 14, he was detailed to undertake a Transport Support Role (TSR) sortie to Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) Kargil in support of the Border Roads Organisation. The mission involved carrying 35 passengers in addition to five crew members and was combined with pilot training. During descent towards Kargil, when the aircraft was below hill crest level 'RIGHT PROP LOCKED' annunciator came on. The Officer immediately took the decision to divert to Leh since landing at Kargil is difficult considering the length of the runway available. Further check of parameters revealed that the torque of right engine was critically low. Subsequently, RIGHT ENG BEARING TEMP and 'RIGHT ENG LOW OIL indicators also came on. The multiple emergencies, with the aircraft in hills close to the LOC, required prompt decision making and high situational awareness and diversion to Leh was ruled out. Any delay in feathering the engine would have led to engine seizure or fire with disastrous consequences. Once the engine was shut down, the aircraft could not maintain height and careful handling was required to maintain terrain clearance and executing a safe single engine landing at a high elevation ALG (Kargil). Also, the fact that the co-pilot was under training added to the adverse situation. During this operation with passengers, Wg Cdr Sharma did not have the option of ejecting the load and instead had the additional responsibility of saving the 40 lives on board. All these factors combined put the Captain of the aircraft in a very precarious situation. The emergency demanded courage in the face of heavy odds, good system knowledge, analytical ability combined with a high degree of situational awareness and area knowledge. The officer analysed the situation quickly and with his presence of mind and fortitude, managed to recover the aircraft safely. For his act of exceptional courage and bravery in saving the lives of 40 personnel on board by successfully executing a single engine landing after critical engine failure at a high altitude ALG, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Amit Jain 25110 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Amit Jain (25110) Flying (Pilot) is posted as Flight Commander of a Cheetal/Cheetah Helicopter Unit operating in the Siachen Glacier, since 08 Apr 14. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Unit Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, and has more than 3500 hours of accident/incident free flying. On 18 Ju12014, an urgent request from Leh district administration for a casualty evacuation was received. Wg Cdr A Jain was authorized to lead a two helicopter formation for the search and rescue of a critically injured mountaineer with broken ribs, shoulder, pelvic bone and spinal injuries. The mountaineer had a vertical fall of 40 feet from the Stok Kangri peak. The location of the mountaineer was ambiguous and the prevailing weather in the entire sector was marginal, which made the mission even more challenging. Despite the limited time and sketchy information available, Wg Cdr Jain along with his crew members displayed extreme swiftness and professionalism in planning the mission. Having reached the area, he quickly anlaysed the situation and marshaled the resources at hand for an efficient search. He located the casualty at an altitude of 21050 feet on a steep slope. The inhospitable terrain coupled with operations at the extremities of the helicopter flight envelope left no margin for error. He kept flying close to the casualty, and encouraged the struggling mountaineers, who were in waist deep snow, to tow the casualty towards the landing spot. Braving the inclement weather and turbulent winds, he maneuvered and attempted to land his helicopter close to the casualty on the treacherous terrain marred with loose snow and crevasses. He was able to execute a landing 50 feet from the casualty on an extremely restricted ledge protruding out of a steep slope at an altitude of 21000 feet. Assessing the small window of opportunity available in an avalanche prone area, he instructed his No 2 to carry out a landing at a lower elevation to conserve fuel He used his experience and well calculated judgment to fight against all odds to successfully save a precious life. Throughout this act of gallantry, Wg Cdr Jain led the high risk mission effectively in the face of inhospitable terrain, inclement weather and extreme aircraft limits showcasing exceptional courage, extraordinary flying skills, exemplary leadership and professionalism. For this act of exceptional courage, exemplary leadership, resolute determination and highest level of professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Amit Jain.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Anup Sharma 25310 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Anup Sharma (25310) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 1V unit since 16 Dec 2013. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor Cat 'p( holding instrument rating of Master Green and is Flight Commander of the unit. On 05 Sep 14 due to incessant rains, Jammu and adjoining areas were severely affected by floods, with water level rising above danger level in Tawi and Chenab rivers. In this grave situation, he dared the marginal weather and got airborne for the first rescue mission of Operation Megh Rahat from Chenab River. Without wasting time, he improvised and decided to launch the rescue effort for evacuation using rope ladder. There was no space to land at Patyari village as people were marooned in a small strip of land inside Chenab River with tall trees and obstructions around. He showed extreme courage and determination in flying in extremely adverse weather conditions, low clouds, reduced visibility and torrential rain. He maintained steady hover amid obstructions and adverse winds to rescue 14 people with the help of rope ladder which was the first ever rescue of its kind by the Unit. In another instance, Wg Cdr Sharma was involved in a rescue effort at Katwari border post of BSF wherein any delay in the rescue would have resulted in 23 BSF personnel being washed away across the International Border. The approach itself was restricted from one direction at this post as it was surrounded by IB on three sides, He maintained steady hover at a height of 55 feet amid tall trees for one and half hour to save all of them. The entire mission required courage, perseverance and an un-daunting spirit against heavy odds. His valiant efforts resulted in the rescue of a total of 244 marooned people from the clutches of death in similar operations and marginal weather including 158 people with the help of rope ladder from the raging rivers. For acts of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Anup Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Pankaj Sharma 25628 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Pankaj Sharma (25628) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi 17 V5 helicopter unit at Air Force Station Srinagar since 20 Apr 13. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor and is presently the Flight Commander of the unit. Jammu and Kashmir faced a natural catastrophe in the beginning of Sep 14 in the form of ravaging floods. The devastation was unprecedented, wherein the loss to life and property was unparalleled. The unit was the first to be tasked to commence rescue operations in Op Megh Rahat. Not to be daunted by the overwhelming magnitude of relief operations, he took on the responsibility of the team leader since the CO was on a fig ex for the first day, for conducting all the rescue missions. An officer with tremendous courage and initiative, he flew the first sortie under adverse weather to assess the extent of damage for commencement of rescue and relief missions were to follow. He flew extensively in the most exigent circumstances for helicopters, which included winching up of around 200 people, mass evacuation of flood affected people and dropping of relief material. On 07 Sep 14, he volunteered for the first rescue operation involving winching operations. Running against time, he rescued 25 people stranded on precarious roof tops of collapsing house in the heart of Srinagar town, who would have otherwise perished in the rising waters. On another occasion he evacuated critically ailing CRPF person from the Secretariat building amidst heavy stone pelting at the helicopter from hostile elements on ground. He showed courage, perseverance, ingenuity and dexterity in planning and executing these missions. He utilised Garuds along with their survival equipment for overcoming constraints and progressing rescue operations unhindered in an hostile environment. As the Flight commander of the unit, his dedicated involvement, crew management, conduct of briefings and intricate planning of sorties resulted in smooth conduct of rescue operations against heavy odds. The colossal task was undertaken with clockwork precision and exemplary professionalism without any incident or accident; which can be attributed to the careful planning, formulation of procedures, ardent supervision and leading by example consistently. For acts of exceptional courage and selfless commitment in saving lives during Op Megh Rahat, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Pankaj Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Mantej Singh Somal 26996 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Squadron Leader Mantej Singh Somal (26996) Flying (Pilot) is held on the posted strength of a Mi 17 VS helicopter unit as a unit supervisor with effect from 28 Jan 2013. On 07 Apr 2014, while undertaking anti Naxal operations in Jagdalpur, he received information that there was an attack by Naxalites on the CRPF camp in Chintalgufa. In the fierce gunfight with Naxalites, three CRPF personnel were critically injured and required air evacuation as a life saving measure. > He took on the onerous task of evacuating the injured amidst the ongoing fierce gun fight. The helipad of Chinatalgufa is surrounded by hills on three sides and the naxals had occupied dominating area on one side. The security forces were able to carry out sanitization in the approach funnel away from the hills, thus ensuring only unidirectional approach. Despite the fact that the landing was possible only in one direction, he decided to go in for a landing since waiting for complete area domination by security forces would have endangered the life of critically injured personnel. Sqn Ldr Mantej Singh displayed immense courage in making a precise landing on a very restricted helipad amidst the ongoing battle between naxals and security forces. Displaying an un-daunting spirit, he evacuated the injured from the battle scene, which not only resulted in saving the lives of the injured but also served as a huge morale booster to the troops on ground. Throughout the election period in the same time-frame he took part in close to twenty high risk missions, which have been instrumental in successful and peaceful conduct of general elections in the states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in 2014. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Mantej Singh Somal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Saurabh Raghuvanshi 27955 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi (27955) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in IAF on 19 Jun 2004. He was on the posted strength of Bison Squadron wef 16 Dec 2013 at Air Force Station Srinagar. He is a CAT 'B' instructor and had over 1450 hours of service flying to his credit. On 27 May 14, the officer 'was planned to fly as No.4 in a four aircraft strike mission towards Exercise Talon in WAC AOR. The mission was flown to validate the efficacy of Low Level Light Weight Radar (LLLW) air defence preparedness against enemy raids. Having flown the route through the Himalayas and the Pir Panjal valleys, the trail element, with Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi as the wingrnan, entered Srinagar valley with an aim to strike Awantipur airfield and descended to low levels. During the final run-in towards the target, a tactical action towards left was ordered approximately 10 km short of Awantipur airfield. Almost simultaneously, Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi experienced a bird hit on the front windshield of his canopy. The bird impact was so hard that it broke the windshield and impacted his face. The face injury nearly incapacitated him. In spite of the-serious injury and critical time available to him due to the extreme low altitude, he visualized the future flight path of the aircraft that would have killed numerous villagers on ground causing loss of lives and property. Without fearing for his own life, he courageously steered the aircraft away from the village and ejected in a clear area. The precious time lost in this effort of saving lives and upholding the virtues of 'service-before-self' resulted in the life saving mechanism of the ejection system not getting sufficient time to operate successfully. The brave pilot succumbed to the injuries instantaneously on impacting the ground. The officer has displayed exceptional valour, professional skills and unparalleled leadership in the face of extreme danger. He saved numerous innocent lives of his countrymen and national property by his heroic act. For this act of exceptional courage and supreme sacrifice, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kapil Kareem 29719 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Squadron Leader Kapil Kareem (29719) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mirage Sqn since 11 Jan 10. He is a fully Ops and 4 Ac leader on Mirage-2000 aircraft. He has a total of 691 Hrs of service flying of which 318 Hrs Squadron Leader Kapil Kareem was authorized to lead a 2 Vs 2 combat mission on 06 May 14. The sortie was uneventful till the second combat situation. Towards the end of the second combat situation, on commencing a right turn at 11500', 480Kts with 4.5 g, the aircraft went into server oscillations in pitch. The pitch of the aircraft varied rapidly from + 15 to -25. The failure warning on the 2W panel also came on simultaneously. The rapid oscillations exposed the pilot to large positive and negative g loads in a very short time. During oscillations, a maximum g of +7.69 g and -6.13 g were recorded (the normal human tolerance is barely -3.5g). The high rapid onset and varying g forces jolted the pilot inside the cockpit banging his head against sight camera and canopy. The violent jolting severely sprained the pilot's neck and he nearly became incapacitated. He could not move his neck to glance at the warning panel on the right side. He maintained calm and displaying courage of the highest order, skillfully controlled the aircraft by throttling back and selecting airbrakes out. Subsequently, the oscillations stopped abruptly. He called off the combat and handed over the lead of the formation to the attacker leader. Unperturbed by his incapacitation, he maintained good situational awareness and commenced recovery. Despite being unable to straighten his neck and the resultant limitation to the vision in front, he landed the aircraft safely. The response of the aircraft during the event was abnormal and recovery method from such situations demanded very high skill level on the part of the pilot. Squadron Leader K Kareem during the event was subjected to high g load factors and stress which is beyond the human tolerance levels. He despite being nearly incapacitated, went beyond the call of the duty to stay with the aircraft and recover it safely, displaying courage of the highest order. For this act of exceptional courage in ensuring safe recovery of aircraft, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Kapil Kareem.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Ravinder Kumar 781094 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : 781094 Sergeant Ravinder Kumar PJI is posted as Parachute Jump Instructor at Paratroopers Training School, Air Force Station Agra. On 08 March 2014, as a part of Exercise Shock Effect, he executed combat free fall jump along with Army jumpers from a height of 12500 feet above mean sea level over Pithoragarh region. During free fall, he noticed that one Army combat free faller (Paratrooper Rajendra Singh of 6 PARA)was struggling with his parachute opening. The trooper carried out emergency drill and operated his reserve parachute, which had jumbled lines resulting in uncontrolled vigorous spirals. Rajendra landed on a rocky slope and hit his head on the hard ground. Seeing all this, Sgt Jakhar gallantly took upon himself the risk to land next to the trooper, far away from the designated Drop Zone Area on the restricted rocky slope (of 70 degree) with complete disregard to personal safety. Noticing no sign of breathing from the injured jumper, Jakhar immediately performed CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) and revived him. He then mustered help from the nearby ITBP battalion and evacuated the unconscious jumper to Pithoragarh Military Hospital, where he was put on life support system. The timely aid and quick evacuation ensured his survival and recovery from comma the next day. Sgt Jakhar displayed exceptional courage and camaraderie in saving the life of his fellow paratrooper in the face of imminent danger to his own life. In the process of landing on a 70 degree incline rocky slope, he has not only displayed courage of high order but also professionalism of the highest order. For this act of exceptional courage, camaraderie, and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Sergeant Ravinder Kumar Jakhar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Momocha Ningthoujam 918575 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : 918575 Corporal Momocha Ningthoujam Indian Air Force (Security) is posted as a Special Forces operative and responsible for operations and training in 601 Garud Flight since 02 Sep 13. Cpl Momocha was one of the IAF Special Force operatives inducted to undertake Rescue operations in the flood affected areas of J&K. On 08 Sep 14, while undertaking Rescue & Evacuation operation at Srinagar, Cpl Momocha was winched down on a conical roof top of a house. From this precocious position he started evacuating civilians. When he had hardly evacuated three to four people he noticed that the adjacent three storied building was collapsing and there were some civilians stranded in it and were desperately asking for help. He sought permission to go to the house for rescuing them which was initially dived considering the direct threat to the life of the Garud. However, after hearing the persisted pleas of Cpl Momocha, the Captain granted permission for him to move in. The brave airwarrior was immediately winched down, went inside the semi submerged house and rescued all four trapped civilians to the roof top. In this he carried one paralyzed old lady and two very small kids on his shoulder to reach the winching spot. While winching up was in progress, the house started collapsing under the force of swirling water. Disregarding the threat to his life, he manaqed to evacuate all of them from the precarious and dangerous situation. Cpl Momocha displayed courage of the highest order while rendering selfless service to the nation. For act exceptional courage and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Corporal Momocha Ningthoujam.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
LHF Ravinder Kumar 42477 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : PA No 42477 Shri Ravinder Kumar Leading Hand Fireman (LHF) was on the posted strength of 3 Base Repair Depot Chandigarh since 06 Dec 1999. On 08 Jun 14, at 1950 h, an emergency fire call was received from Civil Fire Station Sector -17 Chandigarh. Shri Ravinder Kumar, who was at home, being on off-duty, was recalled to join the firefighting team at National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELlT) in Sector 17, Chandigarh. The task was daunting as the three storey building of NIELlT was completely engulfed in fire making it increasingly difficult for the fireman to douse the raging flames. Valuable research records and costly equipment was at stake. Until, this stage, all the efforts were from outside the building and there was a general reluctance to enter the building to extinguish the fire at the core. Assessing the situation correctly and on his own initiative, Shri Ravinder Kumar in the true spirit of a firefighter, climbed on the first floor without caring for his personal safety to fight the fire from the inside. Encouraged by his courageous initiative, other fire fighters started following him to address the fire at the core. While his fire fighting efforts were paying dividends, under unfortunate circumstances a part of the building collapsed, trapping the Fireman under the debris. Shri Ravinder Kumar LH Fireman displayed courage of the highest order in his attempt to contain the fire and made the supreme sacrifice in the process. This courageous act of the young Fireman epitomises the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force - 'Service before Self'. He has displayed most conspicuous valour, courage and exemplary leadership and devotion to duty that will serve as an inspiration for generations. For this act of gallantry, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), Posthumously to Shri Ravinder Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vishnamettai Ramamurthy Vishwanathan 21229 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Vishnameitai Ramamurthy Vishwanathan (21229) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the transport stream of flying branch on 15 Jun 91. He is appointed as the Commanding Officer of the only IL-76 Squadron of the IAF since 23 Apr 12. He has held the key appointment of Flight Commander (platform) of the prestigious AWACS squadron and was instrumental in acceptance and ferry-in of all AWACS aircraft in to India from Israel. In the last two years under his able command, the IL-76 squadron has accentuated the lAF's vision of accomplishing enhanced serviceability and tasking, especially after the merger of all1L-76 assets under one roof. In 2013 the squadron was called upon to participate in two major IAF exercises i.e. Ex Iron fist and Livewire which required additional flying hrs over and above the unit's annual task of 3600 hrs. He took up this challenge head on and under his aegis the squadron not only performed exceptionally in the exercises but raised the bar on enhancement in tasking by flying 4271 hrs. At his professional best, the officer has time and again proved his leadership acumen in the air by attaining unparalleled operational achievements for the first time for the lAF. The Commanding Officer led from the front by piloting the first ever and highest recorded static line paradrop in the world at Nyoma at a height of 15,700 ft and also in carrying out the first ever successful aerial delivery trials of indigenously manufactured platform HDS-16T along with ADRDE scientists. This led to a significant and visible IAF footprint during major Army Battalion group drop exercises like Ex Prahar Shakti in May 13. His perseverance further bore fruit as another unprecedented achievement of two back to back Night Battalion group drops were carried out during Ex Shahbaaz Ajay with pinpoint accuracy in Dec 13. • The vision and foresight of the Commanding Officer has led to a multifold increase in support to the Army in maintaining the northern frontiers. He raised the bar of operational efficiency of the IAF by leading a barrage of ten IL-76 aircraft to Leh airfield in a single day airlifting 300 tons of load in Jan 13. This feat was once again enhanced by the officer by leading the squadron in achieving a new milestone of twelve IL-76 sorties in a single day to Leh in Feb 14, airlifting 364 tons. As always, his luminary leadership was aptly demonstrated by captaining the aircraft that flew the first ever Air Ambulance Mission on IL-76, and that too by night from Leh. The exceptional performance of the squadron during DASI visit only three months after taking over the command of the squadron speaks volumes about his meticulous planning, administrative acumen, and ability to take on challenges at a short notice. The expeditious training of new posted in pilots in a record time of six months, 100% upgradation of pilots in AEB visits, exceptional performance of the squadron in sports, consistent good performance in Chandigarh UT garden competition etc. can be attributed directly to his ability to inspire and motivate those placed under him. It has been due to his persevered efforts all along that the squadron was awarded trophy for the best overall performance transport squadron in HQ WAC AOR in the year 2012-13. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vishnamettai Ramamurthy Vishwanathan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Animesh Kumar Singh 21255 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Animesh Kumar Singh (21255) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the Flying branch on 30 Jun 91. Gp Capt AK Singh has an extensive flying experience and has flown over 5500 hrs on eight different types of aircrafts. He is a cat A QFI and has done instructional tenures in Air Force Academy (AFA),Flying Instructors School (FIS ) and in Botswana. He has been a Joint Director in Directorate of Plans at AirHQ (VB)and has also commanded the VIP Communication Flight at Air Force Station Yelahanka. He has undergone Higher Defence Management Course (HDMC) at College of Defence Management (CDM), Hyderabad and was a DS at CDM. Presently as the CO of the only Flight Refueller Aircraft (FRA) unit, he has ensured an exceptionally high state of op preparedness of the unit. During his tenure, the Sqn has participated in very large number of exercises, including the Ex Live-Wire in 2013, in which a record number of sorties, were flown, round the clock. The unit also participated in exercise Eastern Bridge, a joint military exercise with Royal Air Force of Oman, in which the unit enabled the ferry of six Jaguars to Oman, in Oct 2013. The officer was instrumental in the planning and execution of the first ever, air to air refueling trials of AEW&C Embraer 145 aircraft, in Agra, in May 2014. These trials brought forward new challenges which were overcome successfully through his personal involvement, professionalism and ingenuity. The officer is also the chief coordinator for Indo-French Ex Garuda-V scheduled to be held in Agra, in Jun 2014. The officer oversaw setting up of the Air Refuelling Coordination Centre (ARCC) in the Sqn premises in Mar 2013. This facility radically changed the planning process of air to air refueling in the IAF. Throughout his tenure, the Squadron has performed all tasks successfully besides maintaining a good flight safety record and high morale. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Animesh Kumar Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vipul Singh 21537 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Vipul Singh (21537) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 14 Dec 91. Since 04 Jun 12, he is serving as Chief Instructor (Flying) at a premier Flying Training Establishment. He is a Category 'Pi Qualified Flying Instructor with 4500 hours of flying. He has commanded a Fighter Squadron with credit and served ad Directing Staff at Flying Instructors School. He was a key member of the team that produced new Flying Instructors Schools books. As Joint Director at Air Headquarters, he was responsible for revision of Indian Air Publication. He is an alumni of Australian Staff College and was awarded 'Directing Staff' grading for being the top performer. He has been commended thrice by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief. He, in all probability, is the most experienced Flying Instructor in the entire Fighter Steam of Indian Air Force with 3400 hours on Kiran, Iskra and HPT aircraft. The present Flying Training Establishment, under him has flown over 16500 hours with nil accidents. He has himself flown over 750 hrs, which has been the maximum flying effort by any pilot at Flying Training Establishment over last two years. One Hundred Twenty trainees have graduated out of this Flying Training Establishment under him. During his tenure, the trainees and Instructors have achieved the best results in all the five Aircrew Examination Board visits, repeatedly outperforming other Flying Training Establishments. During his tenure, three Instructors upgraded to Category 'Pi, four cleared Test Pilot Exam, seven were selected for Staff College, ten achieved Initial Issue of 'Master Green' and over 45 Instructors upgraded to Category 'B'. This Flying Training Establishment was adjudged the 'Best Flying Training Establishment' for the last two years in running and also won the award for 'Best Flight Safety - Fixed Wing' for 2012-13. All this was achieved despite unprecedented rate of change over of Instructors at Flying Training Establishment. The officer has displayed exceptional professionalism, involvement, motivation and leadership throughout his career. He has repeatedly produced outstanding results. Through his personal example, he has taken his trainees and Instructors to a level worth emulation by others. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vipul Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Machetira Kammbaiah Praveen 22373 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Machetira Karumbaiah Praveen (22373) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an engineer in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) branch on 06 Apr 93. Since 30 Sep 13, he is Commanding No. 1 Air Force Range Unit. The unit is tasked to provide Explosive Ordnance Disposal coverage for the units in AOR of WAC. On 22 Jan 14, at Air Force Station Nal, a Jaguar aircraft had inadvertently dropped two 1000 pound RDZ bombs in a nearby village: One of the bombs had exploded after landing on ground whilst the other was buried at 2-3 meters depth. The situation was potentially dangerous since the buried bomb was in all likelihood armed and required only an impact for detonation. For eliminating the prevalent danger to the life and property of the villagers, it was obligatory to ascertain the status of the bomb through a physical inspection of the same. The officer, being fully aware of the risk to his life, volunteered to physically examine the bomb single handedly and thus circumvented tasking & risking the life of his subordinates. Having successfully ascertained the status of bomb, he correctly analysed that the stipulated procedure of disposing such a bomb could not be undertaken due to various constraints. Therefore, he employed an innovative but more dangerous method of probing/digging the bomb from the nose area to get access and successfully demolished the bomb by taping and exploding a small quantity of Plastic Explosive. These actions of the officer were instrumental in ensuring that there was no loss of life or damage to any property. In another incident earlier on 11 Dec 13, at Air Force Station Ambala, the officer with his team had successfully disposed two 1000 pound RDZ bombs that were jettisoned near the runway by an aircraft in emergency. The team led by the officer had in-situ cut the bomb by charge linear cutter (CLC) and subsequently disposed the bomb by burning The task, by the Officer, of disposing three live 1000 pound RDZ bombs was accomplished for the first time in the recent past of the Indian Air Force. Additionally, it was achieved with thorough professionalism and without any damage to man or material. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion To Duty) To Group Captain Machetira Karumbaiah Praveen.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sandeep Balyan 22699 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Sandeep Balyan (22699) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Dec 93. The officer is presently commanding an Akash Missile Squadron since 30 Ju112. The Officer is an exceptional professional who works with great enthusiasm and commitment towards achievement of all tasks. The Officer has held various important assignments, like Flight Commander of Operational fighter Squadron and Operations Staff at Command Headquarters. During his tenure as the Flight Commander his contribution and professional excellence was praiseworthy and he was awarded the Commendation by Chief of Air Staff and Fleet Officer Commanding in Chief. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Instrument Rating Instructor on fighter aircraft with over 3400 hrs of flying experience. He is graduate of Defence Services Staff College with prestigious Directing Staff rating. In his present appointment as Commanding Officer of a new raising, he played crucial role in induction of the state of art indigenously developed Akash Missile System into Air Force. He displayed extraordinary involvement from its nascent stage till completion of On Site Acceptance Tests to operationalisation of all elements of the Squadron. Despite the challenges of new system, widely split locations, limited resources and time the officer managed to evolve the whole system as a potent, cohesive and an excellent combat outfit. He systematically addressed the Operations, Maintenance and Infrastructure issues. Due to his profound knowledge, involvement and zest he helped achieve formulation of the Akash User Handbook, Operational Employment Standard Operating Procedures, Categorisation and Continuation training syllabi, Maintenance SOPs and Daily Inspection procedures! Cards. These documents will serve as the bedrock for maximum operational exploitation of the system by Air Force. The entire unit being lead by him from the front displayed very high operational orientation and proactive involvement in Akash EW trials, Live firing and Air Force Exercises resulting in high quality and opportune training of the personnel. His interest, initiative, foresight and constant vigil resulted in achievement of very high standard operational facility than was originally conceived. He has also been instrumental in integration and operationalisation of the system with base Terminal Weapon Control Centre thereby boosting the Air Defence capability of the base. Overall the officer has throughout displayed outstanding Leadership qualities and exemplary dedication to service. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sandeep Balyan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Pradeep Arun Shah 22925 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Pradeep Arun Shah (22925) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He is currently commanding a Fighter Squadron equipped with Su-30 MKI aircraft since 19 Dec 11. His earlier appointment was FIt Cdr of a Mirage 2000 Sqn, He is a Qualified Flying Instructor having undergone the Pilot Instructor Training course in USAF and has also done a two year tenure in USAF as a Flying Instructor. He is also an IRIE and has been endorsed on both the Mirage 2000 and Su-30MKI. He has an impeccable flight safety record in his 3750 hrs of flying. The officer has earlier been commended by the Chief of Air Staff in the year 1999 for safely recovering an ac after its canopy flew off. The officer was entrusted with the onerous responsibility of first converting and then commanding a Su-30 MKI Sqn in Eastern Air Command, while the sqn was still in its infancy having been raised only two years prior. Despite his limited experience on type, through his diligence, intelligence and professional aptitude, the Sqn's 'Op Status and Orientation' started showing a significant improvement. His foresight, deep involvement, unwavering focus, ability to find practical solutions and managerial skills came to fore when the Sqn was preparing to participate in Ex Red Flag 13-14 and during Ex Livewire, wherein the Sqn's performance was exceptional, having flown 175 hrs from two different locations. The Sqn was given an additional 'Maritime Role, in Dec 11. Due to his unfailing efforts and dogged Perseverance the Sqn today has the best 'Op Status' vis-a-vis any other sqn having a similar role. The outstanding 'op status' of the Squadron and its consistent performance has been appreciated by all dignitaries as well. Currently, under his stewardship, the Squadron is fully geared towards taking on any task that maybe assigned to it and has been awarded the Chief of Air Staff's 'Unit Citation' for exemplary performance in its Operational role for the year 2013. This recognition of the Squadron's achievements bears testimony to his untiring efforts. While according very high priority to the task in hand, he has never lost sight of morale and welfare of Sqn personnel. He exudes zeal for modernisation and innovation and has been able to motivate all the warriors towards better work output. In short he leads from the front and he leads by example. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Pradeep Arun Shah.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vinay Pratap Singh 22951 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Vinay Pratap Singh (22951) was commissioned as a pilot in the Fighter Stream of Flying branch on 18 June 1994. He has been a staff in Flying Training Establishment and Flight Commander of the prestigious 'Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team' (SKAT).He has flown 2900 hours on various types of aircraft. He is currently the Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Squadron. While in the SKAT, he executed extremely challenging duties of 'Synchro leader' and 'Deputy Leader'. He has flown more than 100 displays in India and abroad. This includes the coveted South-East Asian tour in Thailand, Malaysia and China. During the course at DSSC, Wellington, an unfortunate accident put him medically down. Nevertheless, considering the critical extent of the injury and three operations he underwent, he regained his medical fitness in extremely short duration. While being medically down, he has held the designation of Op adjutant at Air Force Station Jodhpur. During this tenure, he made immense contribution in task of establishing Main & Standby Terminal Weapons Control Center (TWCC). The Template was utilised for implementation at other operational bases as well. While standing in for COO, he has overseen conduct of multiple exercises and Republic Day fly-past. A successful live interception of a slow moving unidentified track was executed under his control as COO from Jodhpur by a helicopter, where he displayed immense presence of mind and quick decision making. • Group Captain VP Singh is commanding a MiG-21 T-77 Sqn wef 08 Apr 2013. Under his command, the unit has flown 1700 sorties/ 900 hours of accident free Ops U/T task on MiG-21 T-77 towards the benefit of officers of 186 Pc. He has lead by example while discharging his professional duties and displays exceptional operational orientation. He has instilled a sense of belongingness in the unit personnel, enhancing their integrity, motivation and morale. With his exceptional and effective leadership he has not only ensured timely completion of course syllabus in spite of the inclement weather condition, manpower and time constraints but also insisted on quality of output at all times. The MiG 21 T-77 fleet winding down ceremony was held at Air Force Station Kalaikunda on 11 Dec 2013. The task undertaken of Parade, Photo exhibition and Fly-past was executed in an exemplary manner. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vinay Pratap Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Pankaj Mittal 23166 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Pankaj Mittal (23166) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 1994. He is Fully Operational on Jaguar, MiG-27, Bison and MiG-21 Bis ac and has a total flying experience of 2650 h. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, a Fighter Strike Defence Leader and a Pilot Attack Instructor. He has also served as a Directing Staff at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE). He was commended by AOC-in- C SWAC in 2010. He is the Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Squadron (Sqn) since 02 Ju112. The Sqn under his command has done exceptionally well on all fronts. He has been successful in building up a highly professional team of air warriors that have been able to achieve all the tasks given to them. The Sqn has been able to maintain an aircraft availability of 10-11 ac on flight line regularly. The Sqn has flown extensively during the last two years with a major percent of flying done away from parent base. He has ensured highest levels of aerospace and maintenance safety with nil accident rate. The Sqn was adjudged Best Fighter Squadron of Central Air Command for the year 2012-13. During his command, the operational-status of the Sqn's aircrew was brought up to an enviable record wherein all of the sixteen aircrew posted to the Sqn achieved status of being operational by day and night or at least by day with only two aircrew in the latter category. The aircrew are well qualified and instrument rated on type. He was instrumental in guiding the Sqn and ensuring that the varied observations of various inspection agencies that were raised before he took over were addressed. He led the Sqn from the front in the last DASI inspection visit and was assessed as exceptional in two live bombing missions. The Sqn was assessed as average plus by DASl. He was also instrumental in planning and executing the move of the Sqn from Gorakhpur to Allahabad for runway repairs. Personal involvement by him ensured that all operational, maintenance and administrative issues were looked into and resolved in time. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble president is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Pankaj Mittal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Rajesh Varma 23190 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Rajesh Varma (23190) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 94. A Qualified Flying Instructor and Helicopter Combat Leader, he has more than 4000 hrs of accident! incident free flying to his credit. Gp Capt R Varma was appointed as Commanding Officer of the Attack Helicopter (AH) Squadron on 27 Aug 12. Leading with innovative vision and relentless drive, he successfully induced a vibrant team spirit amongst his subordinates and instituted a proactive, excellence seeking work ethos as the Squadron's identity. The Sqn has participated in inter-service command level exercises with Army and Air Force viz Ex-Livewire, Ex-Iron Fist, RD Flypast (2013) and AF Day Flypast (2012 & 2013). In the year 2013-2014, the Sqn has flown 1543 hours of accident/incident free flying, a feat which has not been achieved in the past 18 years. On the jointmanship front, integration between the sister services for a coordinated operational environment has been at the fore front of his vision. Gp Capt R Varma was personally involved in drafting of Op Instructions by the Army for conduct of AH operations and with his perseverance and determination succeeded in building a new synergised understanding of AH utilisation in support of Army formations. This is the first time that the Indian Army has drafted Op instructions wherein all the desired requirements of the AH Sqn have been accepted and documented. During the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, the Squadron under his command has been adjudged 'Above Average' in Operations and 'Average Plus' in Maintenance and Administration. The Squadron was also adjudged the 'Best Helicopter Unit' in Western Air Command for the year 2012-13. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Rajesh Varma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Ratish Kumar 23513 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Ratish Kumar (23513) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in flying branch on 17 Jun 1995. The officer is presently commanding a premier Sukhoi-30MKI Squadron since 15 October 2012. A Cat 'f! Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and an Air Force Examiner, he is fully operational on Sukhoi-30 and MiG-21 ac with over 4600 hrs of accident-free flying. He was decorated with 'Mention-in-Despatches' for flying 19 live missions (Guns! Rockets/Bombs) during the 1999 Kargil Conflict. He was commended by UN Force Commander (Sudan) in 2007 for planning and executing a rescue mission which saved lives of 367 UN Staff and Civilians. During Specialist Weapons Camp in 2010, he achieved an air-air kill by chasing and shooting down an unguided missile. On assuming command, the officer has led from the front and has displayed extraordinary initiative in standardizing and multi-tasking the training process which resulted in a qualitative and quantitative jump in the operational capability. With same resources, the Squadron has flown 4500 accident-free hours (20% monthly increase) and trained 51 pilots in the current year. Some of the initiatives as CO include planning a fine mix of AST/OST embedded with WSO syllabus (to sharpen the combat" skills of pilots), 75% increase in simulator flying, 25% increase in night flying, flying a record 436 hrs in a month, formulating Anti-SAGW Manoeuvres, CMDS SOP, etc. While according the highest priority to the operational readiness, he has been a source of inspirational leadership for elevating the morale and welfare of the airwarriors. Under his command, the Squadron was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Sqn' and won the 'Best Day and Night Bombing Team' trophies in Eklavya. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Ratish Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjeev Kanwar 23520 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Sanjeev Kanwar (23520) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Jun 1995. He is commanding a front line fighter squadron since 16 April 2012. Gp Capt S Kanwar is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 4236 hours of accident free flying. He is also an experimental test pilot with over four years of test flying. During this period he has been associated with many prestigious projects, flight trails and training of other test pilots. Gp Capt S Kanwar has been in command of a Darin-Il Jaguar Squadron that has been additionally entrusted with the onerous role of type training for the Jaguar fleet. The Squadron also has the unique task of operational exploitation of the modern Reccellite pod. On an average six pilots join the Squadron every six months to complete their operational training. In the two years under this command the Squadron flew a whopping 5150 hours and graduated 16 pilots so far with another four on the verge of completing the syllabus. All this was achieved in an accident free environment. In spite of the demands of the training role, all the other staff pilots of the Squadron have achieved and maintained all operational qualifications like 4 ac lead, trainer captaincy, night strike, air to air refueling and Laser Designation Pod (LDP) / Recellite flying. The Sqn won the prestigious Eklavya trophy for exceptional gunnery / bombing skills in SWAC for two consecutive years 2012 and 2013 while winning a suite of team events." The Sqn has proved its operational edge while participating in exercises like Iron-Fist, Prashikshan, Livewire, Trishakti and many EW workshops. In April 2012, the Sqn held the unique distinction of flying with 8 x 1000 lbs on the Jaguar ac after nearly two decades. During the DASI inspection in November 2013, the Squadron performed exceeding well and was adjudged 'Average Plus' on all counts. The Sqn's training efforts were appreciated by AEB during all their inspections. All these were possible due to the untiring efforts, relentless commitment and never ending drive of Gp Capt Kanwar as the CO. Apart from imparting flying training, Gp Capt Kanwar ensured that the young pilots were groomed to be 'officers and gentlemen' while understanding and upholding the noble traditions, fine customs, and enduring values and ethos of the IAF He has also employed his skills as a test pilot while leading the team that was set up by Air HQ to study the teething problems of the Jaguar engine and suggest remedial measures. The study report is today considered a keystone document related to the engine on the Jaguar. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sanjeev Kanwar
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Tahir Hussain Abdulgani Shaikh 23527 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Tahir Hussain Abdulgani Shaikh (23527) was Commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 17 Jun 1995. He has been Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Bison Squadron since 23 Jul 12. A Fighter Combat Leader and Directing staff at TACDE, the officer has over 2150 hours of Fighter Flying on various fighter aircraft. He has been closely associated with tactics development at TACDE. The Squadron was inspected by both DASI and AEB within four months of his assuming Command. His operational focus and personal Involvement in every sphere of Squadron activity was instrumental in achieving Average Plus grading by DASI and Above Average grading by AEB, this despite the limited availability of supervisors in the Unit. He has assiduously worked on ensuring Operational focus and synergised Op, Maint and Adm related functions to ensure quality work output coupled with vibrant Flight Safety Orientation. Few months after taking over Command he was tasked to relocate the Squadron to another base in WAC. He meticulously planned this complex exercise which involved move of almost 50 trucks and executed it with finesse. The Squadron become operational at its new location on the designated date which is a testimony of his unwavering focus, attention to detail, multitasking ability and leadership qualities. The Squadron, under his stewardship has consistently performed well. The Squadron achieved 100% serviceability soon after it was. relocated and subsequently the Squadron achieved a mission success rate of more than 98% during Ex live wire which is a measure of his Technical aptitude, involvement, Supervision and Op orientation. This achievement becomes significant in light of the fact that the Unit was operating with 21 % less manpower at that time. An impeccable Flight Safety record of the Unit while flying from varied locations like Chabua, Tezpur, Bakshi Ka Talab, Kalaikunda, Suratgarh, Jamnagar and Sirsa speaks volume of his Logistical capability and methodical approach. The officer has displayed remarkable HR management by leading human resource under extremely trying conditions of Squadron move, numerous detachments and other organisational commitments by keeping them focussed and motivated. He has always led from the front. He led two Air Force Day Flypasts in 2012 & 2013 in an exemplary fashion. The Sqn has flown 3500 sorties with him at helm of affairs. He himself has flown over 550 sorties during this period. He has also written extremely valuable service papers and led the trials on tactics development in BVR environment, currently under way at WAC. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Tahir Hussain Abdulgani Shaikh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashish Kumar 23529 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Ashish Kumar (23529) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned into fighter stream on 17 Jun 95. He has been the flight commander of a Su 30 MKI Squadron and is presently posted as the Commanding Officer of a Su 30 MKI Squadron since 03 Dec 12. He has close to 3000 hours of flying experience on MiG 21, MiG 29, Su 30K, Su 30 MKI, Hawk 132 and HPT 32 aircraft. The officer is a Category A Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (Wellington). He was part of Hawk Induction Team and was trained at British Aerospace Systems, United Kingdom. He was also part of-the initial nucleus of Hawk instructors responsible for setting up an impeccable flying training culture catering to the modernisation of Indian Air Force which has been responsible for improving the aerospace safety records of the IAF As the flight commander of the Su 30 MK[Squadron, he handled the arduous task of relocating the squadron to a frontline base for strategic considerations. It was his ability to effectively manage the operational risks that the squadron became operational at the new base within a week. In the past he has been awarded commendation by Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding -ln- Chief, Western Air Command for his professional acumen and contribution to aerospace safety. Wing Commander Ashish Kumar on assuming the command of a frontline fighter squadron in the east faced the challenge of preparing the squadron for Exercise Redflag and Exercise Livewire. It was the first time in the history of IAF that ten aircraft carried out simultaneous Air to Air refuelling during direct ferry from an IAF airfield in Assam to a fighter aircraft base in Punjab covering a distance of more than 3000 Kms. He meticulously planned and led this complex and challenging mission and successfully valillated IAF's capability of inter theatre operational deployment. It was due to his meticulous planning, dynamic leadership and eye for details that the squadron maintained more than 75 percent aircraft serviceability and flew close to 400 hours in 17 days of Ex Livewire in Mar 2013. His untiring efforts have led to a measurable increase in squadron's quantum of flying, an impeccable record of accident free flying, high quality of training and maintaining a very high level of operational readiness of the squadron. The major achievements included sustained highest aircraft serviceability amongst all the SU 30 Squadrons of IAE undertaking 11 flying detachments in an extremely professional manner and successful accomplishment of all Air Force/ Command Level tasking. Wing Commander Ashish Kumar has nurtured a feeling of pride and utmost professionalism in all the air warriors of the squadron. His efforts vis-a-vis team building and task accomplishment were par excellence which ensured smooth conduct of all the squadron operations. The dynamic leadership and undeterred resilience of Wing Commander Ashish Kumar was responsible for his squadron performing extremely well in all the spheres and the squadron was adjudged as Average Plus by the Directorate of Airstaff Inspection team. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Ashish Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Kaza Jyotir Mahendra 23762 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Group Captain Kaza Jyotir Mahendra (23762) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the Flying branch on 16 Dec 1995. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a fighter squadron and has been a part of the Indian Air Force induction team of Hawk aircraft at the United Kingdom. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 2010 and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief in 1999. He has been awarded Aerospace Safety 3 stars for Superlative performance. Group Captain Kaza Jyotir Mahendra assumed command of a MiG-21 Squadron with MiG Operational Flying Training role on 27 August 12. Under his Command, the Squadron has flown a total of 5260 Sorties of accident and incident free flying. He has always lead from the front and has himself flown 697 Sorties during the tenure. Under his Command, operational upgradation of pilots has been a very high priority thereby directly increasing the operational capability of Western Air Command. A total of nine pilots have achieved Day Ops status till date out of which four have further become FullyOps. Two pilots have also achieved 2 aircraft leader status. The Instrument Rating and training status of the Squadron has been of the highest order at all times. The Squadron has consistently ensured that all heavy armament allotted has been utilized effectively for training. Aircrew Examining Board has repeatedly commended the Squadron on the quality of training during surprise audit and standardization visits. The performance of the Squadron during Exercise-Iron Fist and Exercise-Livewire has been exemplary with a 100% success rate. The Squadron has also won three team events and one individual event during Exercise-Eklavya 2013. He always leads from the front and is a source of motivation for all personnel under his command. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Kaza Jyotir Mahendra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mukesh Kothari 24047 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Mukesh Kothari (24047) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 29 Jun 96. He is a QFI with 3300 hrs of accident free flying on Mi-35, Mi-17, Mi-8 and Chetak I Cheetah helicopters. He has flown extensively in Op Vijay, Op Meghdoot, UNPKF in DRC and in Eastern sector of India. At present, he is commanding a Cheetah I Chetak helicopter unit based at Udhampur since 26 Aug 13. In the first week of Sep 2014, unprecedented rainfall in Srinagar valley led to breach in embankments of Jhelum River causing wide spread damage to life and property. Since the Kashmir valley was the worst affected, it was decided to position a three helicopter detachment at Srinagar to carry out relief operations with Wing Commander Kothari as the Detachment Commander to supervise the challenging task. During the entire operations, the officer undertook 40 missions, rescued close to 20 people from low hover and dropped four tones of rescue material. On 09 Sep 14, the Unit was tasked to answer an urgent SOS call from Karnnagar and Tengpura localities of Srinagar, wherein people were marooned on rooftops. Water level was rising continuously and there was a threat of people getting swept away, especially in the low lying areas. The officer meticulously briefed his crew and got airborne within 15 mins of reception of the message. In this mission, he rescued four people in low hover from the roof tops in two shuttles and dropped food for the survivors. He rescued another eight people the next day from low hover and dropped 1.5 tons of food in 11 shuttles displaying his professional expertise, inspiring leadership and courage. On 13 Sep 14, SKIMS (Shere Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) had to undertake a critical lifesaving surgery. The surgical equipment at the hospital was destroyed by the floods. The fastest way to deliver these lifesaving surgical stores was by a Cheetah helicopter which could land at the restricted space of SKIMS campus. The environment was inhospitable as there were instances of stone pelting at an IAF helicopter the previous day, hence landing an aircraft outside the campus was a risky task. The officer flew the mission successfully, undeterred by the situation, displaying professionalism of a high order in a hostile environment. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Mukesh Kothari.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Govind Bhikaji Patole 24211 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Govind Bhikaji Patole (24211) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 21 Dec 96. Presently he is commanding a frontline Mi-17 V5 Unit since 22 Jul 13. On 06 Sep 14 in the aftermath of heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir the Unit was tasked to immediately deploy two helicopters for flood relief operations. Wg Cdr Patole having anticipated such tasking had already prepared two ac, aircrew and ground crew teams and hence the Unit was quick to react and reached Jarmnu-by sunset in spite of inclement weather. The foresight and leadership shown by him as well as the efficiency of the men under his command ensured that the IAF could quickly augment the relief effort underway in J & K with two additional helicopters. At Jammu he was tasked to locate a land slide site north of Udhampur and insert a team of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel to assist stranded people. On locating the site inside a narrow re-entrant, Wg Cdr Patole quickly assessed the surrounding area and realised that the only place to insert the team from where they could reach the landslide spot on foot was on a steep slope. This called for the helicopter to be landed on or manoeuvred close to the steep slope in an extremely constricted area with minimal clearance from tall trees and terrain. He, thereafter, carried out a precise approach, carefully manoeuvring his helicopter to hover with only one wheel barely in contact with ground and the rotors just clear of the terrain on the upslope side. He continued to maintain a steady hover while simultaneously managing his crew resources to their best efficiency, to ensure safe insertion of the NDRF team, who subsequently cleared the land slide and provided respite to the stranded people. On being repositioned at Srinagar the next day, his team continued to operate in the valley for the next 10 days ceaselessly from sunrise to sunset exploiting their machines and crews to the fringes of their performance envelopes which enabled the rescue of 3444 survivors including 36 who were winched up from marooned roof tops. Wg Cdr Patole was himself instrumental in rescuing 1408 survivors. Being the senior most Mi-17 V5 helicopter pilot deployed in Op Megh Rahat he played a significant part in ensuring safe operations of IAF helicopters through meticulous planning, precise briefings, weather advisories for all helicopter crews operating in the valley. He continued to motivate crews from his own and other detachments to be ready to take on any mission even in hostile conditions. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is please to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Govind Bhikaji Patole.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Rosha 24241 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Rosha (24241) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 21 Dec 96. He is a flying supervisor, and has flown Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-17-1V and Mi-17-V5 aircraft. He has more than 4600 hrs of operational flying to his credit including flying in Op-Triveni, Op-Meghdoot, UNPKF and in the Western, Northern and South Western sectors. He is commanding a frontline Mi-17-V5 Helicopter Unit since 01 Jul 13. During Op-Megh Rahat, on 08 Sep 14, following a catastrophic landslide at Saddal, Pinjar and Panjiara villages near Udhampur the officer was tasked to undertake a daring mission to insert NDRF personnel, their survival gear and essential medical supplies on a ledge, on a hill in an extremely restricted area, which helped provide succour to the needy. Whilst at Srinagar, he was instrumental in rescuing stranded civilians from roof tops at various locations in the city. He carried out a rescue of 150 girls of SKIMS (Shere Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences), that was planned and well executed with precision. Being the Detachment Commander, he relentlessly undertook the most difficult missions of relief supplies and medicine dropping. In addition, he tarmac management and technical support to all heptrs involved in the relief operations attached from Commands / Units outside Western Air Command AOR. During the course of operations, the officer 'successfully evacuated over 1800 people from inaccessible parts of the flooded valley and air dropped 60000 Kgs of relief material. He flew over 150 sorties not withstanding constraints of presence of anti-national elements, aircraft mobbing and high bird activity. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion To Duty) To Wing Commander Rosha.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Siddabathula Gopi Mohan 24527 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : Wing Commander Siddabathula Gopi Mohan (24527) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 21 Jun 97. Presently he is on the posted strength of C-130J, Special Operations Squadron at Air Force Station Hindan with effect from 08 Feb 1LHe was the Unit Training Officer since the inception of the sqn. He subsequently took over as Flight Commander of the unit on 28 Mar 14. Wg Cdr SG Mohan is a QFI, with a vast operational experience of over 5000 hours including over 1400 hrs on type, he shows exemplary vision and resilience when faced with challenging situations. Along with constraints of operating on a detachment, he has had to contend with shortage of aircrew yet achieve large quantum of flying. As FItCdr, he has led from the front and has dedicated himself tirelessly to ensure operational focus among the aircrew. On 07 Sep 14, in the backdrop of unprecedented floods in J&K, the unit was tasked to undertake immediate relief missions. As has been the case in most HNOR situations, Wg Cdr SG Mohan undertook the first mission by C-13OJ carrying more than 35 tonnes of rescue boats on the first day itself. The massive scale of the calamity brought out the best in him. Even after landing well into mid-night he got on with the job of galvanizing all activities including Operations, Maintenance and Admn. He tactfully mustered all his resources including attachment of qualified aircrew posted to other units. With sheer grit and determination he set the tone for extended relief ops leading from the front. With little concern for own comfort he multi tasked himself, flew missions till early hours, planned for the next day and all the while as a FIt Cdr and Dell Cdr kept a close watch on all the aircraft involved. On a single day, he flew multiple missions to rescue more than 800 people in the multiple shuttles and airlifted more than 50 tonnes of critical relief load. Under his leadership the sqn, with four aircraft and just five sets of aircrew effected a stupendous achievement of flying more than 230 hours and airlifting in excess of 700T of relief load and 6600 survivors, a record of sorts. Wg Cdr SG Mohan, even in face of daunting challenges and stressful conditions, ensured incident free flying. His astute professionalism and concern for Aerospace Safety was amply on display wherein inspite of flying every day, he ensured safe conduct of extended flood relief operations by innovatively operationalising a unit level 'Rescue Operations and Co-Ordination Center'. Leading from the front, he flew 67 hrs in ten days, with extended working hours till well past mid-night each day. His systematic approach, unwavering zeal and motivation inspired his subordinates to achieve this laudable quantum of effort; large flying effort with only five sets of crew and limited manpower operating from a Del. For exceptional devotion to duty and commitment, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Siddabathula Gopi Mohan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
MWO Anand Prakash Tripathi 675144 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 15 Announced 26 Jan 15
Details : 675144 Master Warrant Officer Anand Prakash Tripathi Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a C-17 Squadron since 29 May 13. He is performing loadmaster duties on C-17 ac and holding supervisory category 'B' on type. He is a highly motivated and dedicated air warrior, with high sense of responsibility and devotion towards duty. He has good operational orientation and with his positive attitude and commitment, he has always been undertaking the assigned tasks unflinchingly. He has always placed service before self and volunteered to perform duties well beyond the call of duty. On 07 Sep 14, he was detailed to carry relief material from Delhi to Srinagar. Under his supervision within no time the RAMT and NDRF teams were airlifted for OPERATION MEGH RAHAT., all loads were smoothly palletized and carried to Srinagar and offloaded on the same night. Subsequently, he flew continuously for the next 13 days clocking a total of 35 hours by day and night and flying a staggering 21 sorties towards rescue operations. As the assigned load master his task involved loading and offloading of man and material that usually involved about seven to eight hours excluding the flying time. The jobs involves meticulous planning and long hours of physical and mental stress. His efforts resulted in rescuing a total of 994 marooned survivors and carrying 311ton of loads. He consistently displayed a high degree of involvement, initiative and professionalism inspite of severe physical and mental stress. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Master Warrant Officer Anand Prakash Tripathi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr S Selvakumar 28716 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 15 Announced 15 Aug 15
Details : Squadron Leader S Selvakumar (28716) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Cheetah / Cheetal Helicopter Unit located at Leh sine ~29Apr 13. The unit role includes operations in the Siachen Glacier and the Ladakh region at the extremes of the helicopter flying envelope. On 16 Oct 14, an ITBP patrol vehicle containing 12 personnel, carrying out patrolling along the Indo-Chinese border near Hot Spring, fell into a dry river bed. All occupants of the vehicle were seriously injured. On receiving the distress call, Sqn Ldr Selvakumar promptly gathered relevant information and quickly planned the mission. The valley to the Hot Spring is sparingly narrow, hostile, inhospitable and without any habitation. There are no force landing fields to put down the aircraft in distress. In addition, inclement weather left the pilots with no margin for error, making the assigned casualty evacuation task very demanding and challenging. Aware of the fast deteriorating weather, Sqn Ldr Selvakumar estimated that only a 2 to 3 hours window would be available for the rescue. He got airborne for the accident site in marginal weather, at 1125 hrs. Short of the accident spot, he encountered extremely bad weather with heavy snow fall forcing him to carry out a precautionary landing at Tsogtsalu. Determined to rescue the soldiers Sqn Ldr Selvakumar made another daring attempt against all odds. Under constant threat of border fire and impending deteriorating weather, he landed near the casualties in the first attempt on a very restricted landing zone. On landing it emerged that all the six personnel were lying casualties requiring more helicopters. He called and guided the other aircraft while acting as the de-facto coordinator under the uncertain circumstances. Being the last to take off he once encountered bad weather. He promptly diverted to Tangtse and ensured that the casualties were administered first aid thus enhancing the chances of their survival. Once the weather improved marginally, he took off for Leh, once again dodging weather while ensuring the safety of the ac and lives of the casualties. Despite facing numerous odds at various stages of execution of the plan and facing inclement weather in a treacherous and unforgiving terrain, Sqn Ldr Selvakumar by his courage, leadership, and resolute attitude ensured that six lives were saved from a dire situation. Sqn Ldr S Selvakumar is a highly devoted and well disciplined pilot who has flown more than 300 hrs in the Siachen Glacier and Ladakh region. He has executed more than 200 landings in the 'Op Meghdoot' area. Operating his machine at the extremes of the flight envelope. he has evacuated many casualties from the Siachen Glacier and Ladakh region. His contribution towards the efforts in the Siachen Glacier has been significant. For his courage, professionalism, and dedication, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader S Selvakumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Gandikota Jagan Mohan 30835 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 15 Announced 15 Aug 15
Details : Flight Lieutenant Gandikota Jagan Mohan (30835) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Cheetah/Cheetal Helicopter Unit based at Leh wef 08 Apr 13. Operating at the extremes of helicopter flight envelope, over treacherous terrain and constant threat of enemy fire, he has executed more than 600 landings at the world's highest helipads in the Siachen Glacier. He is a 'Glacier Qualified Captain' who has flown more than 300 hrs in the Siachen Glacier and Ladakh region. He has been a part of many casualty evacuation missions. He has contributed most significantly towards the operational effort in 'Op Meghdoot'. On 19 Sep 14 and 20 Sep 14, Fit Lt Jagan was detailed for providing air logistics to our troops to tackle certain intrusions in Chumar Valley. The situation in the area at Point 4991 was very volatile and an escalation was not ruled out. Point 4991 is of great tactical importance, to the extent that possession actually controls the 480 Sq Km area of Chumar valley. The tension in the area was now in to the fourth day and consequently the Indian troops were low on essential supplies including water. FIt Lt Jagan realized that in absence of water and other daily necessities the Indian troops might have to retreat thereby losing vital posturing in the Chumar Valley. He decided to start lifting water in any available vessel like jerry cans, plastic bottles and various other means. The initiative and resolve shown by him ensured that the troops received water and food thereby making it possible for them to hold their position. The supply point was along a steep slope of a hill feature with marginal space to carry out any landing. The approach and take off had to be carried out in an unconventional manner requiring both skill and courage from the pilot. Undeterred and unfazed by the difficult ground conditions, Fit Lt Jagan remained resolute in his mission and flew 32 sorties relentlessly in two days to supply two tonnes of water and essential supplies. The mission demanded exceptional courage, flying skills of a high order, and an undying commitment towards the cause. For his act of exceptional courage, dedication and professionalism in the face of heavy odds, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Gandikota Jagan Mohan.
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.