Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List


A total of 1329 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 1329 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Mukesh Kumar Tiwari 776027 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 15 Announced 15 Aug 15
Details : 776027 Sergeant Mukesh Kumar Tiwari, Flight Gunner, is on the posted strength of a Mi-17VS Helicopter Unit since 30 Sep 13. He holds Category B on Mi-17VS. On 21 Nov 14, at 1610 hrs he was detailed to fly as a Flight Gunner in No 1 aircraft in a two aircraft mission to evacuate casualties from a forest area in Sukma district of Chattisgarh. He prepared the aircraft for the mission in a record time thereby ensuring safe and timely launch. He effectively briefed the Medevac teams and the Garud forces on the prevailing life threatening conditions on the ground and the importance of the mission. To save on time, he optimized the cargo space for casualty evacuation, while in flight, using innovative ideas. As the helicopter approached the evacuation zone, he effectively scanned the area and readied the cargo hold for landing and quick evacuation. Displaying professionals of a high order he assisted the Medical team in giving first aid to the injured personnel and transfer of casualties and their setting down inside the cargo compartment. His actions resulted in a vel}' quick loading and exit of the aircraft from the evacuation zone. However, on the takeoff leg the Helicopter came under a burst of hostile fire. The first bullet pierced through the door and splinters tore through his leg chest and arm. At the same time another splinter hit CRPF personnel. Despite grave injuries to himself, he kept his calm and composure and continued with his duties. He displayed a high degree of courage and determination in keeping the environment in the cargo compartment calm and under control despite being injured himself. He comforted the other injured CRPF personnel while continuing to perform his duties and underplaying the grave injuries sustained by him. His resolute spirit and assurance encouraged the Captain to focus on the other aspects of extrication from the area and safely leading the two helicopters missions back. Both the helicopters landed safely at Jagdalpur at 1800h. His courageous spirit was reflected in the fact that he continued discharging his duties right until opening the door after landing. For his exceptional courage and resolute commitment after being gravely wounded, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Sergeant Mukesh Kumar Tiwari.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bhupender Singh Sehrawat 24203 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Bhupender Singh Sehrawat, VM (24203) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 21 Dec 96. Since 22 Jul 13, he is commanding a Cheetal and Cheetah helicopter unit, located at high altitude. The Unit has the distinction of operating at helipads between 19000 ft to 23000 ft in the Siachen Glacier. He has more than 6000 hrs of accident and incident free flying. Undertaking tasks in treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, the Unit has flown more than 6550 hrs in 14350 sorties under his command. Under his command the unit participated in Op Meghdoot, Op Rakshak, Op Megh Rahat, Op Chumar, Op Phutkal, besides undertaking numerous casualty evacuations and extending valuable support for the conduct of elections in the region. In Op Meghdoot, while operating over the most hostile and treacherous terrain in the world, Wg Cdr Sehrawat has executed more than 4100 landings at the world's highest helipads. He has displayed exceptional courage and exemplary flying skills while operating under constant threat of hostile fire and at the extremes of helicopter flight envelope in his single engine helicopter. Leading the unit from the front and setting an example under the most adverse and challenging situations in Op Meghdoot, the unit under his command has flown more than 8800 sorties in the Siachen Glacier alone. Contributing most significantly to the nation's efforts in the Op Meghdoot, he propelled his Unit towards maximization of its operational potential in the most threatening and challenging of environments. Under his Command the unit was bestowed with five gallantry awards that include one Shaurya Chakra and four Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry). These stand testimony to his leadership under extremely difficult operating conditions. In Sep 14, while dealing with incursions in the Chumar sector, Wg Cdr Sehrawat, again lead from the front and flew 55 successful missions towards air logistics, casualty evacuation, photo recce and troop induction, under constant threat of hostile fire, inclement weather, and treacherous terrain. His exceptional professionalism, incisive analysis and positive approach made it possible for many time critical operations, which involved landing over untried and unprepared sites on the steep slopes above 16000 ft. to be accomplished. Flying extensively in these arduous conditions, he evacuated four critical casualties from the forward posts besides airlifting 11520 kgs of life sustaining material. For his acts of courage, professionalism, leadership and distinguished service of a high order in hostile situations, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Yudh Seva Medal to Wing Commander Bhupender Singh Sehrawat, VM.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajiv Dobhal 24022 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Rajiv Dobhal (24022) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a front line Mi-17 VS Unit since 12 May 14. On 25 Apr 15, the Unit was tasked to participate in Op Maitri in Nepal. Within a few hours, Wg Cdr R Dobhal got airborne and positioned at Gorakhpur in difficult weather conditions. He thereafter proceeded to Kathmandu at first light and as the officer in charge of operations; he immediately took up the challenge and assisted the IAF Task Force Commander in formulating operating procedures. Thus, within hours of induction on foreign soil, IAF helicopters were able to commence relief operations. In the following three weeks, he flew 176 sorties, undertaking several demanding missions and rescuing numerous survivors. The most noteworthy was the rescue of 95 stranded Indian mountaineers from Lukla- one of the most dangerous airfields in the world. On 05 May 15, the IAF contingent was tasked for an urgent evacuation of a Spanish rescue team from Langthang village at an altitude of 12,500 feet. Due to the criticality of the mission, the Spanish Ambassador and Defence Attache personally briefed the pilots and stressed the fact that their team was ill equipped to survive the night. Mindful of the high risk involved and the team's survival, Wg Cdr R Dobhal got airborne after carrying out meticulous mission planning. On landing at Langthang, he found that the rescue team had moved away. The situation started becoming critical due to onset of a hailstorm and deteriorating light conditions. After thoroughly assessing the risks involved, he decided to search for the team. With the weather close at heels, he flew along the valley bottom and finally spotted the team 10km away. Displaying utmost professionalism, he skillfully maneuvered his helicopter to land on a restricted field and rescued the Spanish team. As the helicopter exited the valley, the entire area was engulfed by hailstorm. Thus, in the face of adverse conditions, he gallantly executed an extremely demanding mission and earned accolades for IAF from the international community. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Rajiv Dobhal.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ninnal Kumar Bakshi 24531 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Nirmal Kumar Bakshi (2,IS31) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a frontline Mi-l7 V-5 unit since 27 Jan 15. Wg Cdr Bakshi was part of the relief operations in Nepal. On 12 May 15, after a second powerful earthquake hit the country, Nepalese officials rushed to him with information of different locations where grievously injured casualties were reported. Wg Cdr NK Bakshi got airborne immediately, followed up with a precise plan in air, addressing the criticality and reached the respective areas. The casualties were not in a position to be moved at all and thus could not be relocated to an alternate location where the aircraft could land. The sites were located on sloping soft ground surrounded by a high density of obstructions, especially tall trees and dangling cables. The collapsed buildings and debris all around posed a serious threat to the aircraft and the probability of the aircraft downwash causing landslides posed even more serious threat to the people on ground. Undeterred by the setting sun and low visibility conditions, Wg Cdr Bakshi courageously pressed on with the rescue and skillfully brought down the helicopter amongst obstructions. He maintained the helicopter rock steady and light on wheels to avoid a possible land slide. The evacuation spots provided little or no margin for error that called for courage and professionalism of the highest order. Displaying both, Wg Cdr Bakshi evacuated nine serious casualties, including four children from different locations in the shortest possible time. Flying back to Kathmandu under extremely poor visibility conditions, Wg Cdr NK Bakshi coordinated for a specialist paramedic team to be available for immediate medical care. The mission was well appreciated and boosted the morale of the rescue teams to a new high. Apart from this courageous mission, he flew 55 hrs in 78 sorties in the region. For his act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Nirmal Kumar Bakshi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Nikhilesh Gautam 21210 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Nikhilesh Gautam (21210) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Pilot in the flying branch on 15 Jun 91. He is a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner with over 3870 hours experience. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and has undergone the Higher Air Command Course. He took over command of the prestigious Flying Instructors' School (FIS) on 22 Apr 13. The officer served as Chief Instructor of the prestigious IAF Training Team on deputation to Botswana Defence Forces from Jan 05 to Dec 07. As Station Flight Safety and Inspection Officer he was adjudged as the 'Best Flight Safety Manager' for South Western Air Command in the year 2010. As Commanding Officer of a Bison squadron in SWAC, he made significant contributions to improve the operational capability of the unit. As CO FIS, Gp Capt N Gautam was entrusted with re-induction of Kiran Mk I aircraft for the course flying training and re-commencement of night flying at base after extensive runway repairs. With his personal involvement, SOPs for conduct of training flying on two types of aircraft were generated and night flying undertaken safely at base. Under his guidance, the School undertook revision of syllabus for pilot training in the IAF which was subsequently implemented. The School revised all the training publications for the conduct of the Flying Instructors' Course which has resulted in visible improvement in the quality of training imparted. His planning, strict adherence to flight safety and utilisation of resources is evident from the fact that the School flew an average of 7200 hours per year without any accident during his tenure and the Station bagged the best flying unit 2014-15 trophy in Training Command. He has personally led from the front flying approx. 400 hours as Commanding Officer. He follows an interactive style of leadership and encourages people to find solutions to issues through innovative thinking and improvisation. Gp Capt N Gautam has always placed Service-before-self and relentlessly strived for organisational growth. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Nikhilesh Gautam.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sandeep Khan 21581 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Sandeep Khan (21581) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Navigator in the flying branch on 14 Dec 91. He is a Qualified Navigation Instructor (QNI) with over 5000 hrs of flying experience and is the Commanding Officer of Navigation Training School (NTS) since 13 May 13. An accomplished professional and QNI, he has held Inst/RTR Cat 'Pl on Avro, AN-32 and IL-76 ac. An AF Examiner he was instrumental in formulating and streamlining the training and aircrew examining procedures. As Chief Navigation Instructor at the Fixed Wing Training faculty at Yelahanka, he introduced unconventional methods for making the training more effective; the highlight being conceptualisation and design of the Radio Telephony (IVI')simulator. He later commanded a Pechora Squadron where he contributed significantly towards finding effective solutions for siting of missile systems. As CO NTS, he has consistently worked towards enhancing the training standards by creating new training infrastructure and raising the instructional ability of QNIs through sustained skill development plans. He conceptualised and trained the QNIs in creating video tutorial modules that can be accessed by trainees as well as aircrew across IAF. Under his guidance, use of digital maps and Geographic Information System (GIS) for sortie planning has enabled better op orientation and optimal exploitation of training resources. The unit has handled all training and operational tasks with utmost professionalism while maintaining the highest safety standards notwithstanding the ageing Avro fleet being operated by the unit. He motivates personnel and manages available resources for achieving organizational goals and is informal yet firm in maintaining a synergetic environment. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sandeep Khan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Kanwaljit Singh 23175 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Kanwaljit Singh (23175) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 1994 and has been the Commanding Officer of a MiG-27 ML Squadron since 31 Mar 2014. The officer has over 3500 hrs of accident free flying of which nearly 2500 hrs are on operational aircraft. Within two weeks of his taking over the reins of the squadron, the squadron had to be relocated to another base due to operational requirements. He not only motivated the men and officers to complete the move well within the stipulated time, but also took the move as an opportunity to expose the aircrew to various kinds of missions in difficult terrain. He liaised with units from neighbouring airfields for integrated flying, thereby sharpening the skills of the pilots in their operational role. Leading by personal example, he instilled a sense of belonging and professional pride in the personnel thus binding the unit into a potent force even in this challenging situation. Despite various constraints, he has shown immense courage and exceptional determination to undertake pioneering missions which include re-commencement of Valley Flying, CSFa missions and banner target towing from different bases. He took it upon himself to revive the art of valley flying and operated a detachment from two different locations to undertake valley flying. During the detachment he refined the SOPs and revived the expertise for valley flying in the aircrew. The level of motivation instilled by him was evident when within five months of his taking over, the squadron was fully operational and prepared to undertake the revised operational role despite relocation to a new base. He also took the initiative and sent a detachment of two aircraft to another base recommence air-to-air firing and maintain continuity of training. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Kanwaljit Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Amardeep Singh Pannu 23178 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Amardeep Singh Pannu (23178) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 17 Dec 94. He ispresently undergoing the Higher Command Course at College of Air Warfare. The officer had earlier held the appointments of CO & Flight Commander of a Mirage 2000 Squadron and Station Aerospace Safety and Inspection Officer (SASIO) at a large base. He is an alumnus of DSSC and did his Qualified Flying Instructor's course in USA followed by instructional tenure abroad. The officer has 2900 hours of flying experience of which 1700 hrs are on Mirage 2000 ac. As Commanding Officer, his primary focus was on improving the operational capability of the Squadron. He laid emphasis on effective training and better understanding of both Aircrew and Engineering Officers. The unit participated and performed exceptionally in various Air Force and Command level exercises. The Squadron's performance in Central Air Command ExEklavya in May 13 was exceptional with the Squadron being the best in Conventional bombing in the team event and was also adjudged Overall Best in Ex Eklavya in 2013-14 with the Squadron receiving 05 trophies out of 07. The Squadron also carried out Annual armament detachment and Ex Eklavya detachment 2014-15 with exceptional results. The Squadron was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Sep 13 and the overall performance was 'Average Plus'. He has also taken keen initiative to enhance the Op potential of M-2000 fleet by formulating various SOPs. He has been closely involved in welfare activities for all personnel in the station. He has organised various activities like Air Adventure Camp for motivating all personnel and their families and creating Aerospace Safety awareness. The Squadron also celebrated its 80th anniversary during his tenure. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Amardeep Singh Pannu.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Ajay Pal Singh 23538 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Ajay Pal Singh (23538) war commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 17 Jun 95 and is Commanding a Su-30 MKI Squadron since 10 Jun 13. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He has flown variants of the MiG-21 and Su-30 MKI aircraft and has over 3975 hours of accident free flying to his credit. He had actively participated in the Kargil Conflict undertaking Live Missions and also in Op Parakram. The officer has been Flight Commander of a SU-30MKI Sqn and has done staff tenure at Head Quarter Eastern Air Command where he was entrusted with looking after Su-30 MKI fleet and two major Fighter Bases of EAC. Since joining the squadron he has displayed very high sense of responsibility, exemplary initiative and thorough professionalism. His noteworthy managerial skills meticulousness and diligent planning ensured quantum increase in flying hours per month. He has ensured maximum operational upgradation of aircrew towards special roles and specialist weapons thus enhancing the war fighting capability. He showed exemplary leadership skills during the bilateral International Exercise Garuda V with France during which the qualitative preparation and planning lead to high success rate in all missions. His unflinching involvement in fulfilling demanding task and leading the Squadron from the front was displayed during Ex Eklavaya and Air to Air Missile firing camp. He also led the Republic day flypast 2015 and was instrumental in planning and execution of various tasks given to his unit in President Standard Presentation in Mar 15. He has actively promoted 'espirit de corps' amongst air warriors in his unit. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Ajay Pal Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Hrushikesh Jagannatb Page 23566 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Hrushikesh Jagannath Page (23566) was commissioned to in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 17 JU.195. The officer is posted as Commanding Officer of a RPA Squadron since 22 Apr 13. Gp Capt Page is a qualified flying instructor with vast experience on the Mig-21 aircraft. His instructional ability and mentoring of young fighter pilots was appreciated and he was commended by the AOC-in- C. He was instrumental in the planning and execution of the permanent relocation of a training unit in EAC. The officer underwent the Defence Services Staff Course where he was adjudged the Best in Campaign Planning and also awarded the OS Grading. As SAS&IO of a large fighter base, he was, on multiple occasions, adjudged the Best Aerospace Safety Manager in WAC. During this tenure the Officer encountered a critical aircraft emergency which he handled exceptionally and was awarded the Commendation by the CAS. He converted to the RPA fleet and in a short time got categorized as internal pilot and achieved the qualification of Mission Commander. As Commanding Officer of the RPA Sqn the officer has ensured that his unit has performed admirably and competently in all aspects of Operations, Maintenance and Administration. The unit flew a total of 1314 h during his tenure without any human error accident or incident. The unit was adjudged the Best RPA Squadron in the Command and also won all the Ex Eklavya trophies for the year 20I3 - 14.The Directorate of Air staff Inspection too judged the operational capability of the unit as average plus. Under his effective leadership the moral of the unit remained high and the unit achieved many operational milestones. He has submitted various operational oriented papers to enhance the op capability of IAF. He was instrumental in planning and validating the RPA Op Philosophy during the AF Level EW Exercise. For exceptional devotion to duty. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Hrushikesh Jagannath Page.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Puneet Vig 23733 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Puneet Vig (23733) was commissioned to in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95 and is commanding a premier fighter squadron of Jaguar aircraft since 29 Apr 13. The Officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a OS graded alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC).He was a member of the elite Suryakiran Formation Aerobatic Team and has also served as the Flight Commander of a leading maritime strike squadron. He is a highly qualified pilot with over 3900 hrs of accident/incident free fighter flying with over 1900 hrs on Jaguars. Under his command the squadron excelled in all possible fields and peaked in its operational capability. As the commanding officer, he led from the front and ensured fulfillment of all assigned unit operational tasks across a varied spectrum. He flawlessly led the Republic Day fly past in January 2015 and the Air Force Day flypast in October 2013 earning all round plaudits. The squadron, with its impeccable weaponry performance, was adjudged overall Ex-Eklavya champion in 2014. Further, the squadron was also inspected by DASI during May 2014 with good results. His impetus towards operationally oriented training resulted in maximum aircrew being upgraded in their qualifications and proficiency. As a pioneering initiative after a long break, the unit successfully undertook heavy weight operations under his supervision. Under his command the unit has flown more than 4900 hours with a good aerospace safety record. Group Captain Puneet Vig keeps himself current in all the flying roles and always leads from the front with zeal and enthusiasm. He has flown more than 660 hours during his command tenure and is not only current in all flying roles assigned to the squadron. He takes keen interest in subordinate development and acts as a role model to constantly motivate his team to achieve higher standards. Under him, the unit remained highly cohesive and performed exceptionally well in sports, cultural and welfare activities. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Puneet Vig.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Yesh Pal Singh Negi 23735 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Yesh Pal Singh Negi (23735) was commissioned to in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95 and is presently Commanding a Bison Squadron at Air Force station Srinagar. He is a Fighter Combat Leader with 2685 hrs of service flying to his credit. The unit, under his leadership flew extensively in a year with a large percentage of it being at night. He professionally steered the Sqn towards winning many operational trophies including "Best in individual bombing", "Best in two ac role specific BAI mission", "Best in individual RIP firing" , "Best in RIP team firing" during the gunnery meets under his command. His impetus was to provide maximum flying experience to the younger pilots resulting in 133 up gradations in the last two years. He successfully completed the challenging task of selecting High Altitude ranges after extensive ground, helicopter and fighter trials. Currently the unit is regularly carrying out operations over these high altitude ranges. He was also chosen to supervise a training camp on Air to Air Gunnery and Missile firing for Bison fleet. The Camp under him provided an opportunity for the young Bison pilots to get exposed to the art of aerial warfare. He always ensured that Flight safety and Mission accomplishment were the two pillars on which the achievements of the unit rested. He is a role model for all the officers in planning and execution of the assigned task. His consistent leadership and enthusiasm ensured complete unison of the Unit towards achieving a dose overall second in the year 2013-14 and "Best Fighter Sqn of WAC" in the year 2014-15. During the recent calamity of rapid floods at Srinagar he went beyond the call of duty for voluntary support to the relief operations. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Yesh Pal Singh Negi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Kuldeep Singh 23747 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Kuldeep Singh (23747) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch on 16Dec 1995. He is a Fighter Combat Leader (FCL) with over 2900 Hrs of flying on M-2000, SU30 MKI, Mig 21 T-96 and Bison aircraft. He is presently commanding a front line Mig 21 Bison squadron. In the 19 years of his distinguished service, he has held several field and staff appointments that include Squadron FCL Officer in Charge Training at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE)and Deputy Commandant of TACDE. He stood first in the overall merit in 56 FCL course at TACDE. During his tenure as Squadron FCL in Mig 21 Squadron, where he was responsible for operational training, the squadron did very well in all operational activities and was adjudged the best fighter squadron of the command. As the Deputy Commandant at TACDE, he was responsible for planning and conduct of the Composite Graduate Courses involving all the combat elements of the IAF. During his tenure at TACDE he had been involved in planning and conduct of a number of bilateral Air Force exercises without any incident/accident. He took over the command of fighter squadron on 17 Feb 14.He used his vast operational and instructional experience to improve the professional standards of the pilots of the squadron. His in-depth analysis of the situation and remedial actions resulted in safe and enhanced operational flying, improved aircraft serviceability, faster upgradations and exemplary performance of the officers of his Squadron. As a result of his focused training and leadership, the squadron achieved the distinction of being the first Bison squadron of the IAF to be judged best in the annual gunnery meet (Exercise Eklavya) of the command. His innovative initiative resulted in resolving the long persisting problem of recording of head up display of Bison aircraft and enhancing operational efficiency of the squadron. He did an exceptional job of planning and conducting 'Joint Military Training exercise' with Singapore Air Force. His tireless zeal, composed attitude, eye for details and meticulous planning has resulted in an envious flight safety record. He has never allowed personal discomforts to impede his work and has willingly contributed beyond the call of duty. He is a good Squash player and was the captain of the medal winning command squash team at Air Force championship. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Kuldeep Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Raman Goel 23757 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Raman Goel (23757) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95 and is presently Commanding a MiG-27 Upgrade Squadron. The officer is a Fighter Strike Leader and has been posted to various units including prestigious Tactics and Air Combat Training Establishment (TACDE).He has a varied and vast experience on MiG-21 T-96, Bison, Su-30 MKI,MiG-27 ML and MiG-27 Upgrade aircraft. As in charge of training at TACDE, the officer’s involvement in meticulous planning, coordination and conduct of first ever Composite Graduate Course of the IAF, is worth a mention. Immediately after assuming Command of the Upgrade Sqn, he took the initiative and challenge of increasing the flying task considerably. During execution, he ensured strict supervision and very high professional standards in the aircrew as well as ground crew which contributed in an impeccable aerospace safety record of the Squadron. Since his taking over, the squadron has been inspected by DASI wherein the squadron was assessed as Average Plus in peace time operations. The performance of the Sqn aircrew during AEB inspection has also been Above Average. With personal involvement, he ensured timely and quality upgradation of aircrew status which resulted in the Sqn aircrew getting empaneled for professional courses on time and also performing well. In view of his Operational orientation, the officer was made team leader to study vulnerability, redeployment and offensive plans during a high level table top exercise. The officer actively involves himself in all station activities. During recently conducted Presidential Standards Presentation, the officer flawlessly commanded the Presidential parade and also ensured conduct of various social events in a befitting manner. His efforts vis-à-vis team building and task accomplishment were par' excellence and this ensured smooth conduct of all the Squadron operations. His positive approach and helpful attitude served as an example for others to emulate. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Raman Goel.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Jayashankar Sreeram 23980 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Group Captain Jayashankar Sreeram (23980) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 29 Jun 96 and is Commanding a frontline Jaguar Squadron since 06 May 13. The officer is a Fighter Combat Leader, an Experimental Test Pilot and a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. He has held instructional tenures at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment and the Air Force Test Pilots School. Despite having limited experience on type, he achieved all operational qualifications within a few months of taking over. Under his command the Squadron has flown over 5100 hours. The highlights of his command include, conduct of the first ever fighter detachment at a non-fighter base, three heavy armament detachments, exceptional performances in Exercise Eklavya and flawless execution of the Republic Day and Air Force Day Flypasts. The Squadron performed extremely well in all three spheres during inspection by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in the year 2014. In this pursuit for operational excellence, the officer led his Squadron from the front wherein he himself flew 740 hours and performed we1in Eklavya 2013. Being a Test Pilot, the officer was called upon to undertake several important trials during his Command tenure. The Squadron has indigenously fabricated Weapon Loading Trolleys, spacer frames for outboard pylons, pylon loading adaptors and Cable No. 45 for Rocket Pod testing. These innovations will aid the entire Jaguar fleet in overcoming some of the operational constraints. A number of work services and welfare activities were also undertaken. These include alteration of aircrew cafeteria and work stations, construction of parking sheds and provision of sports equipment and bicycles for airmen at the work place. For exceptional devotion to duty and professional competence, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Jayashankar Sreeram
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjay Chopra 23786 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Sanjay Chopra (23786) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95 and has been the first Commanding Officer of a premiere MI- 17VSHelicopter Unit since I I Feb 13. Wg Cdr Chopra is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Helicopter Combat Leader with vast experience on the Mi-17 fleet. On assuming Command of the Unit, he took on the challenge of moving the new unit barely four months after' its raising, to another location to undertake a unique task in difficult conditions. His remarkable planning acumen and incredible leadership qualities can be gauged from the fact that the unit commenced flying within a week after relocation. Under his able guidance, the unit was able to undertake all its op tasks in a short time. This feat was achieved with immaculate planning in terms of maintenance, an exceptional training routine and dedication to the cause. Despite the initial shortages in manpower and a large number of maintenance related hurdles he pushed to maintain a steady four aircraft permanent detachment while ensuring flight safety and high levels of morale of the men under him to achieve the unique task entrusted to the unit. During the Assembly Elections of Chhattisgarh and the Lok Sabha Elections 2014, Wg Cdr Chopra controlled ad coordinated the helicopter operations in support of the Election Commission and Govt of Chhattisgarh. Operations in the difficult conditions would not have been possible without his tremendous initiative and leadership qualities. Under his able guidance, multiple missions were flown safely and successfully in spite of the increased threat emanating from the anti-national elements in the region. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Sanjay Chopra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Nikhil Shrikant Purandare 23792 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Nikhil Shrikant Purandare (23792) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95 and is commanding a frontline Mi-17 VS helicopter unit since 31 Mar 14. He is a Helicopter Combat Leader and has over 5900 hrs of flying to his credit on all types of helicopters. The Officer has flown in all the terrains of the country and seen numerous operations. He has more than 1000 hrs to his credit in the Siachen Glacier. During Op Rahat in 2013, as Flight Commander, he rejoined from leave and stepped forward to take charge in the aftermath of the ill fated crash of a helicopter of his unit. He led from the front amidst the gloom and low morale and paved the way ahead by resuming landing operations within hours of giving shoulder to his deceased comrades. Since taking over the unit, it has been his endeavour to consolidate op potential of the unit and accomplish all tasks assigned in most professional manner. He has carried out trials on all helipads for NVG operations and was also selected to be a part of Indo- Russian joint exercise. During Op Megh Rahat, the Unit under the leadership of Wg Cdr PS Nikhil undertook one of the largest Rescue Relief Operation ever carried out in an urban area. A staggering 340 missions were flown in a matter of five days to rescue thousands of people and drop relief material. What made the operation unique and challenging was the fact that 1283 people had to be evacuated essentially through winching from precarious roof tops in a dense urban environment amid obstructions. The fact that Unit could achieve this feat incident free with limited aircrew and no established procedures! precedence speaks volumes of his leadership. His innovativeness and tenacity in devising Air Operation Procedures, entry exit points, advising the ATC on procedural control specific to the rotary wing in midst of heavy density of traffic, inclement weather, hostile elements on ground and limited time window ensured incident free flying. Amidst this operation, he was tasked as Task Force Commander for all Mi-17 operations in the Ladakh region to tackle certain intrusions. An officer who believes in 'Ductus Exemplo' he has the unique persona and ability to motivate and more importantly lead his men to achieve the extraordinary. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Nikhil Shrikant Purandare.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Suraj Shankar 24037 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Suraj Shankar (24037) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 29 Jun 96. He is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Vs helicopter unit as Commanding Officer since 02 Jun 2014. On 28 April 2015, Wg Cdr Suraj was carrying out earthquake relief operations in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Nepal on 25 Apr 15. Operating from Pokhra in Nepal, he received information that 09 people at Abrik village in the ravaged zone were critically injured, and their immediate evacuation was a question of life and death. He immediately got airborne to evacuate the injured to Pokhra. Having reached the area he observed that there was no suitable ground available to land the helicopter in the village. He quickly assessed the nearby areas and identified a 'step farming' area which could accommodate the wheels of the helicopter and was accessible from the village. In spite of the fast deteriorating weather and battling heavy odds in the terrain, he remained unfazed and skillfully landed the aircraft on a very restricted area. This professional act of the officer resulted in saving the nine lives. During the entire operations at Nepal, he displayed sterling leadership qualities and exceptional professionalism and grit. He spearheaded many such successful rescue / relief missions despite weather hazards and challenging conditions: He personally flew 63 sorties that resulted in saving 248 lives including 38 critical casualties. He also airlifted 28000 kg of relief material into the affected area. Under his guidance as the Commanding Officer, his unit rescued a total of 373 people, evacuated 53 casualties and supplied 36000 kg of relief material which helped immensely in providing succor to the affected people of Nepal. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Suraj Shankar,
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Devam Vats 25631 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Devam Vats (25631) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the helicopter stream on 19 Jun 99. He has held important appointments and presently is the Flight Commander of a Mi-17VS unit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and a Unit Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner (IRIE). He has over 3800 hrs of accident / incident free flying to his credit. He has been commended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, SWAC and Commander-in-Chief, Andaman & Nicobar Command for his operational achievements. In his distinguished flying career, he has flown a variety of helicopters in the IAF inventory and has participated in various humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. He has undertaken HADR missions in the Sikkim earthquake relief ops in 2011 and flood relief missions in Assam in 2012 and Gujarat in 2003. In the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2005, he was actively involved in the successful rescue of many affected people in Sri Lanka. He carried out extensive inter island patrolling towards anti-poaching Ops and rescued the crew of a damaged ship south of Car Nicobar in 2006. He was also actively involved in the Anti-Naxal ops in Andhra Pradesh 2004 and was instrumental in fire fighting operations of a forest fire near Vishakhapattanam on 09 Oct 2014. From 2012 to 2013 he has been actively involved in raising a new Mi-17 VS unit. As a flying supervisor, he has been instrumental in achieving the training of aircrew and ensuring accident/incident free operations in the unit. He has been at the helm of all operations carried out by the unit in its area of responsibility. His unflinching devotion to duty and willingness to keep service interest paramount even at the cost of personal time bears testimony to his exceptional leadership qualities. The Officer has successfully executed the pioneering underslung ops of field guns in hilly terrain. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Wing Commander Devam Vats.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Shiv Shankaram 26561 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 16 Announced 26 Jan 16
Details : Wing Commander Shiv Shankaram (26561) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Jun 01. He is on the posted strength of a premiere Mi-I7 Unit since 30 Jun 2014. On 25 Apr IS, the Unit was tasked to participate in Op Maitri. Wg Cdr Shiv Shankaram was the captain of one of the two unit Mi-17helicopters launched at first light on 26 Apr IS from Gorakhpur. On landing at Kathmandu, he took the initiative and interacted with the Nepalese Army Ops Room, the Airport Manager and got the IAF helicopter operating area earmarked and ground procedures established and assisted the Task Force Commander in quick launch of rescue and relief operations. He undertook missions to numerous locations in a very intense and challenging flying environment in an unfamiliar terrain where there were no established landing grounds, no wind indications and missions were extremely time critical. The trauma and scale of devastation further enhanced the difficulty level. Utilising men and machine to their optimum to achieve the extraordinary, Wg Cdr Shiv Shankaram flew 86 sorties evacuating 34 medical casualties, airlifting 350 personnel and airdropping 36 Tons of relief supplies. On 12 May IS, a Huey UH-l Helicopter of the US Marine was declared missing at 2100 hrs and a combined SAR operation was launched. Wg Cdr Shiv Shankaram carried out an intense search along the valley bottom and his initiative to interact with the locals, the police and army troops resulted in providing vital leads on the wreckage. Using inputs obtained from a local lad the wreckage could be located under difficult weather and terrain conditions. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Wing Commander Shiv Shankaram.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Abhishek Singh Tanwar 28211 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 16 Announced 15 Aug 16
Details : Squadron Leader Abhishek Singh Tanwar (28211) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Sukhoi-30 MKI Squadron since 14 Jul14 as Sqn Pilot. On 06 Jan 16, Sqn Ldr AS Tanwar was authorised to fly a valley flying sortie as No. 2. During the sortie, the pilot experienced multiple failures in quick succession while in the valley with difficult terrain all around. At first he experienced oil system failure after approximately 20 mins of flying. He took correct actions and set course towards base for a priority recovery. Subsequently he experienced "Fire on Left Hand (LH) Engine". The pilot immediately switched off the left engine and operated the fire extinguisher. This was followed by all four channels of the Fly By Wire (FBW) system failing accompanied with vicious oscillation due to autonomous movement of the rudder. This coupled with Fire on LH engine presented the pilot with an emergency of the most critical nature. Despite experiencing multiple emergencies of dire nature, displaying exceptional courage, Sqn Ldr AS Tanwar calmly assessed the situation and reacted in a controlled manner while remaining with the aircraft. On experiencing oil system failure, the pilot correctly switched off the engine thus preventing an engine seizure. Subsequently, on experiencing LH Engine fire the pilot's prompt actions prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the aircraft. The failure of all Channels of the FBW system resulting in dangerous oscillations made the task of the recovery challenging. Landing with single engine.in such a situation calls for a high degree of skill levels. His exemplary piloting skills with composed mental state under extreme adverse conditions were instrumental in successfully recovering the aircraft. Post flight inspection revealed that the FBW looms were completely burnt. Any delay in recovery could have resulted in a catastrophic accident due to complete loss of control. His prompt and correct actions prevented a Category-I accident and saved the valuable aircraft. In having piloted the aircraft under such odds and executed correct emergency actions, Sqn Ldr AS Tanwar displayed courage and presence of mind of a high order. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Abhishek Singh Tanwar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Abhishek Singh Tanwar 28211 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 16 Announced 15 Aug 16
Details : Squadron Leader Abhishek Singh Tanwar (28211) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Sukhoi-30 MKI Squadron since 14 Jul 14 as Sqn Pilot. On 06 Jan 16, Sqn Ldr AS Tanwar was authorised to fly a valley flying sortie as No. 2. During the sortie, the pilot experienced multiple failures in quick succession while in the valley with difficult terrain all around. At first he experienced oil system failure after approximately 20 mins of flying. He took correct actions and set course towards base for a priority recovery. Subsequently he experienced "Fire on Left Hand (LH) Engine". The pilot immediately switched off the left engine and operated the fire extinguisher. This was followed by all four channels of the Fly By Wire (FBW) system failing accompanied with vicious oscillation due to autonomous movement of the rudder. This coupled with Fire on LH engine presented the pilot with an emergency of the most critical nature. Despite experiencing multiple emergencies of dire nature, displaying exceptionalcourage, Sqn Ldr AS Tanwar calmly assessed the situation and reacted in a controlled manner while remaining with the aircraft. His prompt and correct actions prevented a Category-I accident and saved the valuable aircraft. In having piloted theaircraft under such odds and executed correct emergency actions, Sqn Ldr AS Tanwar displayed courage and presence of mind of a high order. For this act of exceptional courage, Squadron Leader Abhishek Singh Tanwar is awarded of Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).
Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 01 Jan 1970 Number:ase 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bhavesh Kumar Dubey 29775 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 16 Announced 15 Aug 16
Details : Squadron Leader Bhavesh Kumar Dubey (29775) Administration/Air Traffic Controller is the Commanding Officer of an Indian Air Force Special Forces Unit since 06 May 2013. On 02 Jan 2016, he was leading a Squad of IAF Special Forces for a search operation at Air Force Station, Pathankot. UAV Contact with four suspects was reported to him at about 0245 hrs inside MES Yard. Squadron Leader Bhavesh Kumar Dubey showed keen situational awareness in estimating that the terrorists were in close proximity to the residential area. He immediately deployed his forces to lay a cordon. While searching the area, his team came under intense hostile fire from the terrorists, in which one of his team members was grievously injured. Maintaining his composure, he effectively marshalled his troops, spreading them out in the area to contain the terrorists within a designated area. Despite a gunshot wound on the right thigh, he led from the front and along with his buddies, continued to fight with four terrorists at extremely close range. He was able to contain them at the same spot for 25 minutes till arrival of reinforcements, thereby preventing them from entering residential area and creating a possible hostage situation. He was singularly responsible for wrenching the initiative from the terrorists, thwarting their plan and forcing them on the defensive. He evacuated his injured buddy and returned to action immediately. He continued to lead his troops till the conclusion of the operation on 07 Jan '16. The steadfast leadership and raw courage displayed by the officer was inspirational. His decision to aggressively engage the terrorists at the outset and confine them to a specific area proved to be the game changer in containing the terrorists to a very limited area. For this act of exceptional courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Bhavesh Kumar Dubey.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sukhwinder Singh Multani 27002 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 18 May 16 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Squadron Leader Sukhwinder Singh Multani (27002) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a frontline Mi-17 V5 unit with effect from 24 Aug 15. He has flown over 3500 accident free hours on helicopter. In the wee hours of 18 May 16, Indian Air Force received a frantic call from Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board informing a forest fire raging on Trikuta hill which was fast approaching the shrine. Sqn Ldr Multani was immediately tasked for dousing the fire by the use of Bambi bucket. He immediately swung into action and got airborne for the site. By then, the fire had turned into an inferno and was only 100m from the main walkway to the shrine, endangering the lives of thousands of pilgrims. The fire was spotted on a steep slope surrounded by tall trees making it inaccessible to the fire fighters on ground. Realising the time criticality, with his experience and awareness of the area, he identified the reservoir of Salal Dam at Riasi as a potential source for filling up water. Reduced visibility due to smoke, excessive turbulence and limited turn radius reduced any margin of error as the aircraft had to be operated at its maximum capacity. The alignment of the fire line required the water drop to be carried out in a direction facing into the hill, making it dangerously difficult unlike other firefighting operations. With the Bambi bucket under slung at 30 m below the aircraft, the terrain clearance was marginal. The complexity of the mission required courage and skillful handling of the helicopter maintaining a high degree of situational awareness. During the process of dousing the fire the bunch cable holding the Bambi bucket had entangled, thereby making it impossible to fill up the water. Returning to base for rectification would have caused loss of precious time thereby, allowing the fire to spread putting in danger lives of thousands of pilgrims. Sqn Ldr Multani located a restricted but clear patch next to the reservoir and with no assistance available on ground to secure the Bambi, he deftly maneuvered the aircraft to land safely. Having removed the entanglement personally, he resumed the firefighting operations with courage and commitment. Accurate and relentless operations were able to douse the fire, preventing a major catastrophe in the Trikuta hills. For this act of exceptional courage in saving precious lives, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Sukhwinder Singh Multani.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vikas Puri 27716 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 12 Mar 16 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Squadron Leader Vikas Puri (27716) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Helicopter Unit since 22 Apr 13. He is the Unit Helicopter Combat Leader and an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. On 12 Mar 2016, Sqn Ldr Vikas Puri was detailed to fly a Mi-17 helicopter from Shillong to Tezpur with AOC-in-C, HQ EAC and other senior officials of his entourage on board. After an uneventful flight of 30 minutes, his aircraft experienced fuel booster pump failure which immediately leads to "rarest of the rare" emergency of "both engine failure" in Mi-17 helicopter. Being at a height of only 4000 feet above in a difficult terrain and with very limited time in hand, he promptly analysed the situation and quickly initiated correct recovery actions. Unaware of the actual cause of failure, displaying exceptional courage, astute technical knowledge, exceptional crew coordination, timely ingenious actions and adept handling of the toughest emergency in a helicopter, he recovered the aircraft safely by force landing the aircraft. Even while losing height critically, he maintained his composure and dexterously maneuvered the helicopter to safety barely 250 meter above ground level thereby averting a certain catastrophe. In this fearless and courageous effort, he not only saved sixteen invaluable lives but also a precious war waging asset. He showed exemplary valour, bravery, maturity, exceptional professionalism and situational awareness in tackling one of the gravest emergency in a Mi-17 helicopter. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Vikas Puri.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rijul Sharma 29911 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 01 Jun 16 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Squadron Leader Rijul Sharma (29911) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MiG 29 Squadron wef 11 Apr 16 and has been performing the duties of a Squadron pilot. On 01 Jun 16, Squadron Leader Rijul Sharma was authorised to fly an Air Test sortie on MiG 29 aircraft which involved testing of aircraft at Supersonic Speeds at a height of 10 Km. While conducting this test in Supersonic Flying corridor; 110 km away from base at a speed of 1.1 Mach which corresponds to 1200-1300 Krnph of true air speed, the canopy perspex of the aircraft shattered. This resulted in explosive decompression and perspex pieces hitting the officer on his right shoulder. In the absence of canopy; he was exposed to extremely low temperatures of minus 28 deg C and very severe wind blast owing to very high speed. Human exposure to such low temperatures, aeromedical problems of decompression sickness and few seconds to useful conciseness due to Hypoxia required prompt actions on the part of the pilot. Weighing against the option of ejecting and displaying courage of an exceptional order, Sqn Ldr Sharma decided to recover the aircraft. In the process, he totally disregarded his critical shoulder injury and the discomfort posed by high speed, high altitude and low temperatures. To avoid the effects of aero-medical problems he quickly descended to 3 Km and simultaneously reduced speed for effective control of the aircraft. Displaying concern to other lives and national assets he avoided flying close to oil installations and populated areas. Notwithstanding the reduced frontal visibility, very high cockpit noise level and heavy aircraft weight, he skillfully handled the damaged aircraft and executed a safe emergency landing, without any further damage to the aircraft. His actions in handling such a critical emergency, not only saved his own life and the aircraft, but also prevented possible catastrophic damage to en-route strategically important and vital petro-chemical installations and populated areas. For this act of exceptional courage, very high standards of professionalism in recovering a damaged aircraft, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Rijul Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ramesh Verma 31160 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 11 Jul 16 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Squadron Leader Ramesh Verma (31160) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI Squadron, since 02 Dec 2013. On 11 Jul 16, Sqn Ldr Ramesh Verma was authorised for a battle inoculation mission, by Dark Night. While carrying out the attack profile, the front canopy burst with a loud bang. Sqn Ldr Verma was hit by large pieces of canopy Perspex with great force on his neck, resulting in a deep wound and injury to his right shoulder. The severe wind blast also caused his head to hit the canopy combing, almost rendering him unconscious. Sqn Ldr Verma was quick to regain control of the aircraft using his instincts. His vision had become hazy due to the strong blast of wind and possible fine powder from the bursting canopy fragments, in his eye. There was also no communication possible either with his rear seat WSO (who was not a pilot), or with any ground agency. The aircraft was very close to Bareilly town and an ejection would have resulted in catastrophic damage on ground. Despite a bleeding wound, pain and stiffness in his right shoulder, he lowered his seat, selected the dark visor down and initiated recovery keeping clear of populated area. Lowering of the dark visor was essential to protect his eyes, though it considerably reduced visibility on a dark night. Large pieces of the canopy had also fallen inside the cockpit and could have interfered with the flying controls and the ejection seat. Abandoning the crippled aircraft would have resulted in extensive damage on ground and the loss of a very expensive aircraft. He displayed courage of an exceptional order in deciding to brave the strong air blast inside the cockpit, very hazy vision and grave injuries to his shoulder and arm while recovering the aircraft in a dark night. The courage, resolve, and professional skill displayed by the officer were of the highest order. For this act of exceptional courage, preventing loss of property and life on ground and recovering an expensive aircraft inspite of being wounded, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Ramesh Verma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Partho Pratim Modak 21866 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Partho Pratim Modak (21866) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 13 Jun 1992 and is presently posted as Station Commander of Air Force Station Panagarh. He has over 1300 hrs of Jaguar and Hunter flying and is a Qualified RPA Instructor with over 2000 hrs of flying. He has held several field and staff appointments. These include Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of a RPA squadron, deputation to NTRO and Director NBC. As Station Commander, his professional expertise, dynamism and inspiring leadership have resulted in the Station working as an efficient, motivated and highly productive team. His initiative and foresight have contributed immensely towards the meticulous analysis of the gaps in conceptualising and developing the new base at Panagarh. He was posted to Panagarh when the station was under upgradation to a major flying Wing with proposed induction of a strategic Medium Lift Transport aircraft round the corner. To support flying operations the first achievement was the successful completion of runway resurfacing on 04 Aug 15 ensuring quality works. The officer initiated other work services to improve the working and living environment. Based on the future basing plan the officer took the initiative to process the case for acquisition of 800 acres land (380 private and 420 forest land). Due to his personal involvement the case for transfer of 167 acres of equivalent land of Andal to Air Force Station Panagarh received approval of Gol. The officer has also been instrumental in operationalisation of a long abandoned airfield at Rampurhat which is now being used by rotary and fixed wing ac. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Partho Pratim Modak.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Jaspreet Singh 22547 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Jaspreet Singh (22547) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in flying branch as a pilot on 21 Jun 93. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Strike Leader and a graduate of the Command and Staff College, France. He has flown MiG-21 FL, MiG-23 BN, MiG-23 MF and MiG-27 ML aircraft and has over 2700 hours of accident free flying to his credit. He has flown extensively in Operational missions during Kargil Ops and has been awarded Mention in-Despatches. He has commanded a SAGW Sqn and been a DS at DSSC Wellington. The officer is now posted at HQ SWAC. As CO of SAGW Sqn located at a frontline base, through his exceptional initiative and drive he ensured high operational status of the Squadron, categorisation of all combat crew in the shortest possible time and outstanding performance of the squadron in operational exercises. In his present appointment, he has been actively involved in functioning of MiG 27 upgrade fleet, planning of Command Yojna, conduct of Weapons Meet for Fighter Sqns and planning of Annual Armament training for fighter Sqns in the command AOR. Working with selfless missionary zeal, with ingenuity and resourcefulness, he has not only accomplished the allotted mandate in a planned and meticulous manner, but also ensured value addition in every task undertaken by him. Due to his undaunted involvement and constant monitoring there has been an enhancement in flying undertaken, night flying percentages, weapon delivery and serviceability status of MiG 27 Upg fleet. This in turn has led to improvement in the Ops status and overall Operational potential of the MiG- 27 Upgradation squadrons. He has been actively involved in successful hosting of large scale flying exercises in SWAC AOR. These include the bilateral lndo-French flying exercise Garuda V, SCOW and Ex Eklavaya, wherein large number of aircraft participated and accident/ incident free flying was carried out. As the Officer-in-charge of Ex Iron Fist 2016, he played a pivotal role in planning and execution of the exercise. The planning process of the exercise spanned more than a year and involved coordination with multiple agencies. As a result of his untiring and deft initiatives, the main event showcasing the operational capability of IAF was undertaken in an exemplary manner in front of the President, PM and other dignitaries. IAF has benefitted immensely from the Operational canvas covered and positive attention received during the exercise. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Jaspreet Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sanjay Aswal 22918 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Sanjay Aswal (22918) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. Gp Capt Aswal has held several important appointments during the span of his career. He has served as a Directing Staff in the prestigious Flying Instructors' School and as an Air Force Examiner in Aircrew Examining Board. He was also sent on deputation to Botswana on instructional assignments as part of IAF Training Team. The officer established a new Hawk Operational Training Squadron as a Chief Flying Instructor in Air Force Station Bidar. He is a Category 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor with a total flying experience of nearly 4,500 hours. For his commitment to service and devotion to duty he was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in Jan 07. Since 07 Ju114, in his current appointment as Chief Instructor at Air Force Station Bidar, the officer has ensured maintenance of highest flying standards and flight safety consciousness in the process of training newly commissioned pilots. His effort was also appreciated by the CAS during his visit to the Station in Mar 15. Under his supervision, over the last two years, the Hawk Squadrons have flown in excess of 17000 hours. Despite the continuous pressures of training task, he has ensured timely upgradation of the operational status of Instructors. In2015, when two Hawk Squadrons had to be relocated to Air Force Station Kalaikunda, he efficiently supervised this challenging and enormous task. When the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team was resurrected in 2015, apart from carrying out his normal duties, he personally flew with team and assisted them in validating the new syllabus, SOPs and sorties profile of formation aerobatics. Close monitoring and personal involvement in critical issues like availability of debrief aids, flying publications and flying clothing has been commendable and has had a positive effect on the training flying operations. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sanjay AswaL
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vivek Vichitra Gupta 22927 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Vivek Vichitra Gupta (22927) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as fighter pilot in the flying branch on 18 Jun 94. He is a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor and Type Examiner with over 3100 hours experience. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and has undergone the Air War Course(AWC} at Maxwell AFB, USA. He took over command of the prestigious Flying Instructor's School on 22 Jun 15. The officer has the unique distinction of being the Flight Commander and the Commanding Officer of his first Operational Squadron. As CO of a MiG-27 UPG squadron, he made significant contributions to improve the operational capability of the unit and achieved an envious aerospace record of zero incidents / accidents during his tenure. Even at AWC, he was adjudged as an outstanding professional, brilliant scholar and an outstanding ambassador of Indian Air Force. Gp Capt VV Gupta took over the command of Flying Instructors' School during a phase of transition and transformation. He was entrusted with the onerous responsibility of smooth de-induction of Kiran Mk II with simultaneous induction of PC-7. His dynamic decision making came to the fore when induction of PC-7 with on-going course demanded speedy implementation of plans. Using exceptional professional acumen, vision and vast instructional experience, he led his team of carefully chosen officers to revise and restructure entire training syllabus, SOPs, Airborne Instructional Techniques and Briefing Guide. All this was at a time when Chennai was experiencing the worst ever floods and FIS was entrusted the task of providing succor to the stranded populace. Under his able leadership, FIS rose to the occasion with the technicians ensuring 100% serviceability and the aircrew displaying true professionalism and zeal for the task at hand. Another first in the history of FIS, was the quantum increase in the QFIC strength. His initiative and drive to marshal scare resources effectively-and efficiently harmonize the Operational, Maintenance and Administrative activities have seen smooth and timely progress of training without compromising on the quality of training. His scrupulous supervision and strict adherence to aerospace safety is evident from the accident free flying of an average of 8000 hours per year. He has personally led from the front flying in excess of 250 hrs in the two courses. His innovative thinking and the ardour to better the learning environment had led to improvisation of training aids, e-Iearning, etc. His management skills have helped him maintain a good liaison with all support agencies at base, resulting in a productive and safe flying environment. His interactive and engaging leadership style has acted as a catalyst for his subordinates to drive themselves to find solutions through innovative and out of the box thinking. Gp Gapt VV Gupta has always placed Service-before-self and relentlessly strived for organisational growth. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vivek Vichitra Gupta.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sadasivam Ramaswami 22973 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Sadasivam Ramaswami (22973) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a transport pilot in flying branch on 18 Jun 1994. He has been in command of Paratroopers Training School (PTS) since 09 Jun 14. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Transport Combat Leader, qualified on An-32, IL-76/78, AWACS and basic trainers in the IAF. He has over 6800 flying hours to his credit. He was commended by AOC-in-C and CAS. Group Captain Sadasivam Ramaswami has played a pivotal role in enhancing the operational potential of the transport fleet in general and PTS in particular. His initiatives and perseverance resulted in the first ever inland Water Para Jump by transport aircraft. He personally oversaw the modifications in the indigenous AN-32 heavy drop system and revived heavy drops by An-32 in Apr 15. He went further to re-initiate tandem heavy drops from An-32. From Apr 15 till date, the unit has undertaken over 20 successful Heavy drops which is unprecedented and has contributed extensively to the potency of the Airborne Forces. Under his leadership, PTS undertook many historical para drop exercises. Most of the planning and co-ordination was affected by the officer. He also played the role of An-32 Type Force Commander for two key drops. He was also instrumental in PTS successfully completing its mandate. The officer personally led his Sqn during HADR operations as part of OP Megh Rahat (J&K 2014) and Op Maitri (Nepal 2015). The contribution of PTS during these operations was commendable. The officer maintained a close knit and professional unit. He led by example and was a role model for his subordinates. He volunteered and successfully completed the Basic Parachute course in Apr 16 and earned the coveted Para Brevet. He has elevated the status of PTS to rank amongst the best flying units of the IAF. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Sadasivam Ramaswami.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Ajay Kumar Chaudhary 23214 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Ajay Kumar Chaudhary (23214) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch and is the Commanding Officer of a MiG 29 Squadron with effect from 17 May 2014. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with over 3350 hours of flying. He has been commended by Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Indian Air Force in 1997. He was also commended by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command for sustained hard work and selfless devotion to duty. Group Captain AK Chaudhary is a dynamic officer who was part of the Hawk Induction team. He was instrumental in the safe and efficient induction of the HAWK Advanced jet Trainer (AJT) in Indian Air Force. The officer's immaculate planning and professional knowledge was evident in preparation of Training Syllabi, Standard Operating Procedures and designing of indigenous HAWK Video Debrief System. He was also actively involved in the preliminary planning and acceptance of Hawk Simulators. Under his Command, the Squadron has consistently achieved its operational tasks along with achieving the training of ab-intitio pilots on the fleet. During his tenure, the Squadron has undertaken numerous missions from Leh and Thoise. Under his able leadership, the unit successfully executed numerous operational tasks such as Ex LlVEWIRE and Ex SINDEX 2014 with Singapore Air Force. He also led the first ever fighter detachment that operated from Thoise Airfield. He has been instrumental in formulating procedures and initiating the process for operational exploitation MiG 29 aircraft in the l.adakh area. His leadership style, professional acumen personal involvement and empathy have motivated all air warriors under his command to strive for higher standards in the interest of the service. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Ajay Kumar Chaudhary.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Vishal Malhotra 23518 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Vishal Malhotra (23518) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in fighter stream in Jun 1995 and is the Commanding Officer of a Su-30MKI Squadron since January 2014. Gp Capt Malhotra is a very experienced Qualified Flying Instructor who is qualified on a number of different aircraft types. He was one of the pioneers of Hawk training in the IAF, having been selected to be amongst the first batch of instructors to undergo the Hawk conversion in the UK. In that capacity, he contributed immensely in setting up the foundations of the training system, which has evolved into its present form. He has undergone the Staff Course in Australia in 2011 and by his sheer hard work and performance, demonstrated the high calilber of an IAF officer amongst international peers. Gp Capt Malhotra took over command of his Sqn in very unsettled conditions. Due to non-availability of the runway at its home base, the Sqn spent almost one and a half years, in continuous outstation detachments. The challenges of maintaining serviceability, operational efficiency, morale and administration are far more complex when at different outstation bases. He dealt with the aspirations of all aircrew, officers and other personnel very empathetically. He managed these many complex stresses extremely well and displayed a high quality of leadership, creating a very cohesive flying unit. This was evident in the very high state of operational capability of the Sqn. He has led all activities by personal example and all the sqn pilots were qualified to the highest possible level, commensurate with their experience. The Sqn always met its operational commitments in all exercises and on a routine basis. He ensured that the quality of flying was of a very high caliber and all the crew were capable of participating competently in very complex scenarios. The Sqn also maintained a very high level of serviceability, consistently. This was possible with judicious planning, careful stagger and focused attention to even the most routine un-serviceabilities. Due to his constant involvement and demand for excellence in all activities, the Sqn was adjudged the Best Fighter Sqn in the Command. For his professional competence, high quality of leadership and exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Vishal Malhotra.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Manoj Nair 23725 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Manoj Nair (23725) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in flying branch and is currently on the posted strength of Advance Head Quarter South Western Air Command. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95. During his 20 years of service he has performed the duties of an operational Squadron pilot in four different fighter squadrons. He has been the Flight Commander of a Su-30 MKI Squadron and also served as the Joint Director (Flying) at Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at Air Head Quarter. He has recently finished his Command tenure of a Su-30 MKI Squadron. Gp Capt Manoj is a Fighter Combat Leader with over 4000 hours of accident free fighter flying of Su 30 MKI and MiG 21 T-75 aircraft. The officer has more than 3500 hours on SU-30 aircraft itself. He has been awarded with three stars for flight safety for 1500 hrs of accident! incident free flying on 17 Apr 08. He has been commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Head Quarter South Western Air Command on 08 Oct 02 and 26 Jan 10 and commended by the Chief of the Air Staff on 26 Jan 12 and further commended by Commanding-in-Chief, Strategic Force Command on 24 Aug 16. Gp Capt Manoj is an exceptional professional who has led his unit by personal example of the highest standards. In the past one year, due to meticulous planning and execution of operational flying training, the Squadron has ensured fully operational status for each and every available aircrew in the Squadron. Along with this, the Squadron's average aircraft serviceability has increased by over 10% due to the planning and foresight of the officer. He has always led the Squadron from front, served as a role model to his subordinates with his tireless zeal, knowledge and maturity. Apart from flying training he has ensured that the young pilots were groomed to be 'officers and gentlemen' while understanding and upholding the traditions and enduring values of the Indian Air Force. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Manoj Nair (Retired).
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Mandeep Singh Sehrawat 23756 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Mandeep Singh Sehrawat (23756) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 16 Dec 95. He is a Cat 'A' OFI with 5250 of accident free flying hours; has been a DS at FIS and an Air Force Examiner. Presently, he is commanding an Avro Sqn at one of the premier Air base in South Western sector, since 16 May 14. He played a key role in operationalisation of Pithoragarh and Dharasu airfields, which became lifeline during relief ops in Utarakhand. As an AFE he was instrumental in overhauling of RHSCP training and formulation of the current AFO 49/2015 on aircrew categorisation. He was awarded 'Menekshaw Medal' for standing First in the order of merit at DSSC, a first ever for a transport pilot. He was also adjudged' best in Ground Subjects' during OFIC. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff on 08 act 10. As Commanding officer of his present unit, he spearheaded trial landings at Keshod, Kandla, Mundra and finally Assault Landing at Pokhran, a 'first' for the Avro. On 10 Nov 15, the squadron created history by launching all nine ac, achieving 100% serviceability on the ageing fleet. He has made most of the Challenge to conduct Stage III training on HS-748, overhauling the process of type training and reinitiating of Low Level training. During the last two years, his squadron has performed exceptionally well in AEB, and in January 2015, the squadron was assessed as Average Plus in all facets of inspection by DASI. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Mandeep Singh Sehrawat.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Sandeep Singh 24011 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Sandeep Singh (24011) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in fighter stream on 29 Jun 96 and has over 2000 hours of flying experience on Mig-21 T-75, MiG-21 T-96, Mig-27 ML and Mig-27 UPG aircraft. He is a Fighter Strike Leader (FSL), Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner (IRIE), and graduate of Defence Services Staff College. On completion of his tenure as Flight Commander of a Mig-27 ML Sqn, he took over command of a Mig-27 ML Sqn on 12 Jan 15. In the past he has been awarded commendation by AOC-in-C for his professional acumen. The officer took over command of the Sqn only after a few months of its relocation to a new base. This brought about new challenges in running the Sqn and meeting the operational aspirations of the aircrew with limited assets. With painstaking effort and foresight, he set about maximising the operational potential of the Sqn. With focused planning and training, all aircrew of the unit were operational and valley qualified within a very short span of time. The fleet serviceability improved considerably under his able dynamic leadership. Under his command, the Sqn also took over the role of Banner Target Tow (BD) and in a record time of a week, eight aircrew were declared banner qualified. The officer with his multi-dimensional initiatives has effected several innovations towards flight safety, with the Sqn maintaining an enviable flight safety record. Besides completing the allotted task in an extremely professional manner, the Sqn has also been interacting with the Army to train together leading to excellent rapport with the local Army units and in turn the Corps. This jointmanship was instrumental in garnering extensive support from the Army for the arduous task of preparing for President's Standards Presentation (PSP) at Hasimara. His keen involvement and quest for excellence was the key to the successful conduct of PSP at Hasimara. A record number of veterans were looked after very professionally and all events relating to PSP were conducted in a befitting manner despite the enormity of planning and coordination involved. Additionally, the officer has been instrumental in validating the Aircraft Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) modification and carriage by Mig-27 ML, followed by formulation of SOP. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Sandeep Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Navjot Singh Bhinder 24484 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Navjot Singh Bhinder (24484) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force a fighter pilot on 21 Jun 97 and is commanding a MiG-21 Bison Squadron at a premier IAF base. The officer is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor and Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner (IRIE). He has served as a Directing Staff at Flying Instructor School for three years. He has 3000 hrs plus of fighter flying with 2700 sorties on Mig 21 ac. The officer is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington. Despite the age of the fleet, he ensured efficient management of resources to maintain healthy aircraft availability on the flight line. In last one year, the Sqn has flown much beyond the monthly average task; and has achieved a significant percentage of night flying as well. Personally, he has flown over 365 sorties in the last one year and under his command the squadron achieved a large number of upgradations. The officer took up the challenge of improving the weapon delivery accuracy of the Bison aircraft. The Sqn won four trophies including the overall championship in the WAC Gunnery Meet, Ex Eklavya 2015. He ensured strict supervision and very high professional standards in the aircrew as well as ground crew which contributed to a good aerospace safety record of the Squadron. On 13 Jul 15, the officer successfully carried out a forced landing of a BISON aircraft with a 'dead' engine which amplifies his excellent flying skills and professionalism. The performance of the Sqn aircrew during AEB inspection has also been Above Average. The Sqn was adjudged as Best Fighter Sqn of WAC for the year 2015-16. The officer actively involves himself in all station activities. His efforts vis-a-vis team building and task accomplishment were par excellence and this ensured smooth conduct of all the Squadron operations. His positive approach and helpful attitude served as an example for others to emulate. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Navjot Singh Bhinder.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Kanwal Preet Singh Dham 24514 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Kanwal Preet Singh Dham (24514) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch and presently, he is commanding a premier fighter squadron of Jaguar aircraft since 16 Mar 15. The Officer is a Fighter Strike leader and alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington. He was a Directing staff (DS) of the elite Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), Inspector at Directorate of Air staff Inspection (DASI) and has also served as the Flight Commander of a frontline Jaguar strike squadron. He has more than 3000 hrs of accident/incident free fighter flying with over 2000 hrs on Jaguars. As the Commanding Officer, he led from the front and ensured fulfilment of all assigned unit operational tasks. He flawlessly led the Air Force Day flypast in October 2015 and the Republic Day fly past in January 2016. His impetus towards operationally oriented training resulted in maximum aircrew being upgraded in their qualifications and proficiency. The squadron actively participated in the pan Air Force Exercise 'Livewire' 2015. During the winter detachment in Feb 2016, the squadron created history by flying a record number of sorties in a 24 hour period in an incident/accident free environment. The squadron operationalised Air Force Station Sarsawa for fighter operations by successfully conducting a detachment there. During the last one year the Squadron has flown its assigned task without any accident or human error incident. Group Captain Kanwal Preet Singh Dham keeps himself current in all the flying roles and always leads from the front with zeal and enthusiasm. He has flown more than 300 sorties during one year of his command tenure and is not only current in all flying roles assigned to the squadron but also proficient in specialist skills such as Air to Air Refueling (Dark Night) and Precision Guided Munitions delivery both by day and night. The officer relentlessly strives for perfection and fulfils all attributes of an ideal Commanding Officer. For exceptional devotion to duty and leadership, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Kanwal Preet Singh Dham.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Nishant Singh 24887 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Nishant Singh (24887) was commissioned in the Indian Air force as a pilot in flying branch on 20 Dec 1997. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College with OS Grading. Previously, he has held the appointments of Senior Test Flying Instructor (STFI) at Air Force Test Pilots School and Flight Commander of a MiG 21 Bison Squadron (Sqn). Currently, he is posted as Commanding Officer of a MiG 27 Upgrade Sqn. With his exceptional planning ability and leadership skills he motivated his unit personnel to achieve high ac serviceability and 40 %enhancement in flying task in the last two years with limited resources. Leading from the front with approximately 320 hrs to his credit, the Sqn achieved a much more than the normal monthly average of the past. This enhanced flying task has resulted in under trainee pilots becoming operational in record time of less than a year. The MiG 27 Upgrade fleet had been reporting random weapon inaccuracies. With his sound knowledge of weapon testing he put forward methods to analyse the errors and initiated steps to correct them. This helped the sqn being adjudged 3'd in Ex Eklavya twice in last two years with exceptional scores. This accurate weapon delivery was also displayed by the MiG 27 upgrade squadrons in Ex Iron Fist achieving direct hits by day and night. With his knowledge about systems and keenness to improve, he has revived the usage of a Photo Reccee pod by digitizing the films and reducing the time frame for analysis by almost half. This innovation with locally available resources at minimal cost has improved the operational capability of the ac in the Reccee role many folds. Under his guidance, the unit was instrumental in re-operationalisation of a base in Eastern Sector during Ex Live Wire for fighter operations. His professional competence has been amply displayed by his own handling of emergencies like Hydraulic failure and DC Gene failure leading to safe recovery of aircraft. Under his leadership the operational strength of the unit has surged ahead both by day and night with optimal utilization of resources. For his exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Nishant Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Satbir Singh 24894 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 17 Announced 26 Jan 17
Details : Group Captain Satbir Singh (24894) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in fighter stream on 20 Dec 97. 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 27 Jan 15. He has close to 3000 hours of flying experience on MiG 21, Su 30K, Su 30MKI, Kiran and HPT 32 aircraft. The officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. Even as a young operational pilot of a Su 30 Squadron, the officer was specially chosen to represent the IAF in the first of the many international exercises like, COPE-INDIA, SINDEX and GARUDA. His exemplary contribution to the relocation and operationalisation of a Su 30MKI squadron to a forward base enhanced the operational capability of the IAF. He was specially chosen as the flight commander to resurrect a Su 30MKI squadron at a frontline base. He handled this arduous task with his foresight and pro-active approach which ensured that the squadron became operational in a record time and the squadron was adjudged as Average Plus by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team. In the past he has been awarded Commendation by Chief of the Air Staff for professional acumen and contribution to aerospace safety. Gp Capt Satbir Singh, on assuming the command of a frontline fighter squadron in the east, was faced with the challenge of preparing the squadron for Exercise Livewire and operationalising the civil airfields. He meticulously planned the activation of a remote civil airfield in the eastern theatre and led from the front by landing a fighter aircraft in a challenging environment displaying his professional prowess. It was due to his meticulous planning, dynamic leadership and an eye for details that the squadron maintained very high serviceability and flew extensively during Ex Livewire in Nov 15. His operational orientation and focus have led to a high quality of training, a substantial quantum increase in squadron's operational capability and a very high level of operational readiness. The major achievements includes exemplary performance of his squadron during exercises like Akraman, Livewire, EW workshop, Air to Air firing and successful accomplishment of all Air Force/ Command Level tasking. He was the team leader for the Joint Military Training with the Singapore Air Force. It was his personal involvement which ensured a professional conduct of this prestigious international exercise. Gp Capt Satbir Singh 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. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Satbir Singh.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Subhash Singh Rao 25827 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 17 Announced 15 Aug 17
Details : Wing Commander Subhash Singh Rao (25827) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mig-21 (Bis) Squadron with effect from 18 Apr 2015 and has been performing the duties of Squadron Flight Commander. On 10 Oct 2016, Wing Commander Subhash Singh Rao was detailed for an air test sortie. After an uneventful sortie, when he came in for landing, he was informed that the starboard main wheel of his aircraft was misaligned. This abnormality, a serious defect, would have resulted in pilot abandoning the aircraft through ejection. This potentially hazardous situation would have resulted in total loss of the aircraft, decapitating injuries to pilot as well as loss of property on ground. The situation was averted due to the timely decision taken by Wing Commander Subhash Singh Rao. In a very short time he was able to correctly assess the situation at hand and correlate the emergency with a similar incident. He exercised extreme caution and displayed precision flying of the highest degree and took a courageous decision to execute the landing of the aircraft under stress. On landing, the wheel of the aircraft failed and the aircraft started going off the runway. Wing Commander Subhash Singh Rao displayed superior skills in maintaining control of the aircraft and stopped the aircraft on the runway, thereby saving the aircraft. Even under a situation of considerable duress, Wing Commander Rao maintained a cool and calm composure. He was able to communicate his chain of thoughts to the personnel on ground which further aided in the safe recovery of the aircraft without creating panic. Displaying exceptional courage, Wg Cdr Rao was able to make an extremely well executed landing of the aircraft. He was able to prevent the loss of one valuable fighter aircraft while at the same time ensuring that there was no loss of life and property on ground to any civil or military infrastructure. For this act of exceptional courage, tenacity and valour beyond the call of duty shown for safely recovering a stricken aircraft, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Subhash Singh Rao.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ravinder Ahlawat 26300 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Aug 17 Announced 15 Aug 17
Details : Wg Cdr Ravinder Ahlawat (26300-T) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a front line Indian Air Force Establishment since 20 April 2013. On 26 Ju116, he was authorized to carry out a 'Range Instructional Technique' (RIT) sortie over Pokharan Range in Mirage 2000 Trainer aircraft as the captain of the aircraft, occupying the front cockpit. While carrying out "Pull Up Attack" circuit, at 500 ft above ground level at high speeds and in a tum, the aircraft experienced a Bird Hit. The severity of the impact shattered the canopy perspex completely and the bird hit Wg Cdr Ahlawat, damaging his helmet, breaking his visor and injuring his face, neck, arms and chest resulting in profuse bleeding and nearly incapacitating him. The bird also broke the glass separator between the front and the rear cockpit as well. The impact also damaged the front pilot ejection system. Due to the injuries, blood streaming down his face and bird remains, Wg Cdr Ahlawat had limited vision available from his left eye only. Despite the nature of his injuries, shock of impact, high wind blast and minimal reaction time since the aircraft was flying at low level, he took all the emergency actions correctly to save the aircraft and people of a village in close vicinity of the Pokharan range. During recovery, the rear pilot could not see the runway due to the perspex being obscured. Without the front pilot taking over and landing, the aircraft would have to be abandoned. There were significant chances of ejection system failure due to damage to the same. Displaying gallantry and upholding the virtues of "service-before-self", Wg Cdr Ahlawat used his one hand to open his left eye, took over the controls with the other hand and 'despite incapacitating injuries, limited binocular vision and with the canopy perspex blown off, he executed a safe landing on the nearest runway of an Air Force Base which resulted in saving of an expensive national asset and lives on ground. For this act of gallantry, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Ravinder Ahlawat.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rajiv Chauhan 29086 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Squadron Leader Rajiv Chauhan (29086-K) Adm/Garud is on the posted strength of 617 Garud Flight, Air Force as Commanding Officer with effect from 27 Feb 17. He was assigned the responsibility of Garud Detachment Commander while on deployment in Op Rakshak with 13th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles, with effect from 23 Aug 17. He demonstrated indomitable courage and admirable leadership in exhibiting exceptional situational awareness in guiding his team during the encounter on 11 Oct 17 at Boon Mohalla of village Rakh Hajin, district Bandipora, resulting in shooting down of two category 'A' terrorists, Abu Bakar (alias Ali Bhai) and Nassuralla Mir (alias Anna). On 18 Nov 17, on receipt of specific intelligence, an operation was launched jointly by Garud team and 13 RR in village Chanderger, District Bandipora in Jammu & Kashmir. Squadron Leader Rajiv Chauhan, while leading the Garud team exhibiting exceptional situational awareness and courage, covertly deployed the Garud team in cordon at the target house wherein suspected terrorists were hiding, and cut off all possible escape routes. While the detachment laid in wait, six terrorists hiding in the house, rushed out, shooting and lobbing grenades at the Garuds. Sensing the intentions of fleeing terrorists, Squadron Leader Chauhan demonstrated indomitable courage, control and admirable leadership in exercising effective and accurate fire by his team on the fleeing terrorists, thereby resulting in shooting down of one category 'A+' and five category 'A' terrorists of LeT. The officer was directly responsible for killing of one category 'A' terrorist named Abu Zurgam (LeT front man in North Kashmir). Disregarding personal safety, he ensured speedy evacuation of the injured men under his command and exhibited admirable leadership in the intensely fought close quarter battle. For his act of courage, professionalism, leadership and distinguished service of a high order in a hostile situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Rajiv Chauhan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kamal Sharma 29680 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Squadron Leader Kamal Sharma (29680) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17V5 Helicopter Unit since 02 March 2015. The unit mans the detachments for Operation Triveni as part of Anti Naxal Task Force (ANTF) at Raipur and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. In Jun 2017, the Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF had launched "Operation Prahar", a major joint operation against Naxalites in Sukma district. ANTF was involved in large scale troop induction missions and was on hot stand-by at Sukma and Jagdalpur. On 24 Jun 17, a heavy exchange of fire took place between CRPF and the Naxals at Tondamarka located 20 km south of Chintagufa in Sukma, in which five jawans of the Special Task Force (STF) of Chhattisgarh Police were critically injured. Since it was impossible to move the casualties to any nearby helipad, the IAF agreed to evacuate the casualties from the encounter area itself. The Task Force Commander (TFC) of ANTF had detailed Sqn Ldr Kamal Sharma, an experienced Helicopter Combat Leader, to proceed immediately to Sukma. Sqn Ldr Sharma assessed the complete situation and took an operational update from SP Sukma. On receiving the go ahead from Task Force Commander, he immediately proceeded to the dangerous conflict zone to land at a designated unprepared landing zone as captain of the lead aircraft, with another helicopter providing overhead escort protection. The weather was inclement and the encounter zone was in thick jungles in an unfamiliar area where the security forces had never ventured earlier. Judiciously avoiding known threat zones and in a display of courage, he safely landed in a small clearing in the encounter zone in the thick jungle and picked up the five casualties. While taking off, the helicopter was fired upon by the Naxatities. There were bullet hits in the cargo compartment and a rotor blade. Notwithstanding the firing on the helicopter, he remained undeterred. He displayed exceptional courage and situational awareness, in maneuvering the helicopter from the firing zone as the safety of the casualties, his crew and the aircraft was paramount in his mind. After ascertaining the aircraft's airworthiness by getting it visually inspected by the escort helicopter, he carried out a safe landing at Sukma. He further ensured that the casualties were promptly moved in the other helicopter to Raipur. By willingly accepting and executing a very high risk mission, saving precious lives and the helicopter, Sqn Ldr Sharma displayed exceptional courage which has special significance not only for the IAF but also for the troops involved in these operations. For his act of exceptional courage and fortitude in the conduct of a daring mission in Operation Triveni Hon'ble President is pleased to award, Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Kamal Sharma.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Anshul Saxena 26118 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Wing Commander Anshul Saxena (26118) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Cheetah! Cheetal Unit that operates in Siachen Glacier, as Flight Commander since 13 Ju115. He has more than 4400 hours of accident/incident free flying over varied and extremely challenging terrain. On Saturday, 11 Mar 17 at 0630 h the Unit was tasked for a casualty evacuation of an ITBP personnel from Zursar post, situated at a height of 17,000 feet on the Indo-China border. The patient had suffered a major heart attack and needed immediate evacuation to survive. Wg Cdr Saxena took stock of the situation and immediately activated the necessary services for launching the rescue effort. On the day of the planned evacuation the weather in the sector was marginal with poor visibility, strong winds and clouding which added to the extreme challenges of high altitude faced by the pilots, Wg Cdr Saxena took the responsibility to lead a two helicopter formation himself for the rescue in the marginal weather. Quick reaction and exemplary planning by him ensured that the mission was underway in the shortest possible time. The risk and challenges faced in such a high altitude evacuation whilst negotiating poor visibility and heavy turbulence are of a very high order. Another risk faced by the officer was the proximity of the rescue site to the International border with China and obstructions near the helipad which demanded extremely skillful handling of the helicopter at the limits of flight envelope. While approaching the helipad at an altitude of more than 17,000 feet, the weather deteriorated further and visibility dropped to barely 500m. Wg Cdr Saxena quickly and correctly assessed the situation. He had the option to tum back as a slight misjudgment could have resulted in an adverse situation. He displayed exceptional courage and took a conscious decision to evacuate the seriously ill ITBP personnel. He advised the other member of the formation to hold clear in the valley while he landed to pick up the casualty. While on short finals to land at the unprepared (kutcha) helipad, there was very limited oxygen, varying winds, turbulence and snow bowl which grossly increased the danger of landing in a high altitude helipad. Displaying courage and superior flying skills in the face of adversity, Wg Cdr Saxena executed a safe landing. After picking up the casualty, he again successfully negotiated marginal weather en-route to land at Loma, where he personally undertook a quick turn-around servicing of the aircraft to continue further flight to Leh. He landed safely at the 153 General Hospital at Leh with the casualty on board. He therefore, kept the highest traditions of IAF and set an example for his subordinates by saving the life of the ill personnel. For this courageous act of professionalism and undeterred valour in which a precious life was saved by timely evacuation of a combatant from an extremely challenging helipad, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Anshul Saxena.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Bhuvan Mathur 22971 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Bhuvan Mathur (22971-H) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying branch of the Indian Air Force on 18 Jun 94. He is a highly experienced and qualified pilot with more than 7000 hrs of accident free flying on various platforms such a An-32, Emb-135 and BBJ aircraft (ac). He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Type Examiner on Emb-135 and holds 'AMG' on both Embraer and BBJ ac. Gp Capt Mathur had displayed outstanding professionalism in every aspect of his work over the last two decades. Having mastered the An-32 ac in the initial years of service and being qualified on every role the platform could offer, Gp Capt Mathur was chosen to be one of the pioneers for induction and operationalization of Embraer fleet into the IAF. Since then he has continued to strengthen multifaceted operations of the fleet. He has over 2800 hrs on the Emb-135, which is second to none and was appointed as Flight Commander on 31 Ju112. He took over command of the prestigious Air Headquarters Communication Squadron on 08 Ju114. His perseverance, commitment to service, zeal to excel and transformational leadership continued to guarantee many firsts to his credit. As Commanding Officer AHCS, the unit achieved numerous feats that included the first Cat 11landing of the BBJ ac, VVIP operations at night by helicopters during Ex Iron Fist, night recovery of Mi-17 VS at Delhi under IFR conditions and operationalization of low Visibility Takeoffs (LVTO) for the BBJ and Emb-135 fleet. His involvement and inspirational leadership are evident from the fact the he captained the first LVTO in the EMB-135 (RVR 125m). He also executed the trial landing of Emb-135 for the very first time at Jagdalpur and Rourkela for PM of India. It is therefore no surprise that with his fervor to achieve operational excellence and his exceptional leadership skills, his team remained steadfast to the Squadron Motto of 'Seva aur Suraksha' and achieved an unprecedented 16500 hours of accident! incident free flying operating across all parts of the world during his tenure as Commanding Officer. As Commanding Officer of a Squadron operating four different types of aircraft, he ensured his men were equipped with adequate training and knowledge to undertake the highly challenging operational tasks. He worked tirelessly to ensure that all maintenance and administrative aspects of the Squadron were undertaken meticulously, the most critical of these being the smooth transition from Mi-8 heptrs. His foresight, remarkable eye for details and innovative approach ensured that the 96 months servicing of the Emb-135, the 72 month servicing of BBj ac, VIP modification of the Mi-17 VS heptrs and completion of Integrated Squadron Headquarters were executed flawlessly with strict adherence to all provisions of the contract. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Bhuvan Mathur.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Tarun Hindwan 23167 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Tarun Hindwan (23167-R) was commissioned in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 17 Dec 94. He is on the posted strength of Air Force Station Bidar since 03 Apr 16 and working as Chief Instructor. He is a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor with a flying experience of nearly 4,000 hrs. He is a graduate from Air Command and Staff College, USA and Higher Air Command Course (HAeC) at College of Air Warfare. He was the first IAF officer to be awarded Gen Lansdale Award for his thesis during staff course abroad. He was also awarded the Commandants trophy during HACC. He has served as a Directing Staff in the prestigious Flying Instructors' School and as an Air Force Examiner in Aircrew Examining Board (AEB). In his present appointment, the officer has achieved multiple crucial milestones. At the time of his appointment the course flying was behind schedule by two months. With his exceptional ability to plan and execute tasks, the Hawk units flew more than 8,000 accident free hours in the last 10 months to regain scheduled timelines. His intense focus on quality was visible in AEB visits where the result of general subjects exams was 100% for the first time. He also ensured that operational and armament qualification status of the aircrew in both Hawk units improved from a mere eight to 32 aircrew within five months of his assuming charge. Due to this operational orientation, the Hawk units were appreciated and adjudged 'Above Average' in operational missions by the inspecting team from Directorate of Air Staff inspection (DASI) in Dec 16, who also appreciated his sustained drive towards conduct of simulator training and adjudged the same also as 'Above Average'. The unrelenting pursuit for excellence and professionalism in training resulted in AFS Bidar being awarded the best Flying Training Establishment (FTE) and the Hawk units being awarded the best Aerospace Unit trophies in Training Command for 2016. The comprehensive Hawk ac Operator Manual was compiled by the officer during initial induction of Hawk ac. He again undertook revision of operator manual with amalgamation of all pilot orders to create a complete manual. He has also effectively shouldered additional duty as officiating Station Commander on multiple occasions. He is a highly motivated officer who displays exceptional leadership, exemplary initiative and thorough involvement in professional activities making him a role model for other officers in the station. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Group Captain Tarun Hindwan.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Tulasi Rukmini Ravi 23724 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Tulasi Rukmini Ravi (23724-G) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a transport pilot in the Flying branch of Indian Air Force on 16 Dec 95. In his 21 years of service, he has flown 7650 hours. He is a Category 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor on HPT-32, HJT-16 and Category 'A' / Master Green in An-32, IL-76 and C-17. During his service, the officer has held the appointment of Training Officer of an IL-76 Squadron (Sqn), instructor at the prestigious Flying Instructors' School and has been an Air Force Examiner. As the first Flight Commander of the C-17 Squadron, he was instrumental in drafting the Standard Operating Procedures for ope rationalization of the C-17 fleet in IAF. He planned the first ever C-17 landing at Kathmandu which was during Operation (Op) Maitri for Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Relief (HAlDR). The fact that it was carried out in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake on a runway with cracks and amidst Air Traffic Control breakdowns, chaotic tarmac control and high frequency of unscheduled traffic is a testimony to the officer's planning ability and professionalism. He was also involved in formulating procedures for formation flypast of C-17 with Su-30 aircraft, which has since been flown in all air displays. He also formulated procedures for C-17 operations at Thoise for regular air maintenance. In his present appointment as Commanding Officer, he undertook the trials for Counter Measure Dispensing System on C-17. The officer planned and executed the first landing by C-17 at the advance landing ground at Mechuka, which was a milestone in the IAF's forward area strategic airlift capability. He undertook the first air drop mission in Exercise Iron Fist, and also the first high altitude low opening airdrop. He spearheaded the HAlDR mission to South Sudan, piloting the first aircraft to evacuate the Indian diaspora out of the afflicted warzone. The mission was flown with Minister of State for External Affairs, General VK Singh (retd) and his team, in a nonstop 36 hours duty cycle. During Op Neer, he landed C-17 at Male for the first time. He has flown in all critical ops like Op Hudhud (AP cyclone), Op Meghrahat (J&K Flood), Op Madad (Chennai flood relief), ops during Gujarat Patidar agitation, airlift of CRPF during Srinagar agitation, Tamil Nadu relief ops and demonetization relief ops. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Tulasi Rukmini Ravi.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Surender Malik 24490 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 18 Announced 26 Jan 18
Details : Group Captain Surender Malik (24490-S) F(P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on 21 Jun 97. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) with over 3430 hours of flying experience. He has been Flight Commander of an M-2000 Squadron, Station Aerospace Safety & Inspection Officer (SASIO) of a Wing and is an alumnus of Defence Services Command and Staff College, Bangladesh. He successfully commanded a Mirage Squadron. As Commanding Officer, he maintained high operational readiness of Sqn and with special emphasis on role oriented training by night. He ensured that required standards are achieved by all concemed. The Sqn under his command flew 3220 accident free hours and 34% of which was flown by night. He ensured optimum utilization of limited flying hours in M-2000 Sqn to maintain high Operations status. The Sqn participated in 17 flying detachments and 37 exercises. He ensured 76 aircrew role upgradations and 191R upgradations. The Sqn was graded 'AV Plus' in Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) all aspects. The Sqn won the team event for Night MAR in Exercise Eklavya. The Sqn effectively reduced the sortie durations and enhanced multi tasking to maintain more that 70% of aircrew at Fully Operations status. He effectively supervised the recommencement of air to air gun firing in M-2000. During his tenure, HUD recoding on M-2000 was enabled at Sqn level and was operationalised towards better training value. The Sqn undertook three detachments from Saifai airfield and prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) towards operations from civil satellite airfields. He was leader for three aircraft highway landing at Agra-Lucknow expressway in 2016. The Sqn participated in Exercise Iron Fist 2016 in two events and he was leader for 5 x 250 kg CDA event. During his tenure, the Sqn focused on the effective Operational utilization of standoff precession weapons like Crystal Maze/ Spice-2000 against HQ-9/Spada SAM systems and submitted papers on their Operational employability. The Sqn met all its operational commitments and achieved good upgradation of Operational status of all aircrew. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to duty) to Group Captain Surender Malik .
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.
The URL for this page is Here is a Clickable Link
Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
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.