Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List


A total of 1329 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 1329 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Adya 12010 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Adya was posted to Air HQ Communication Squadron, AF. He has flown more than 3000 Hours on Boeing 737 aircraft and has a total of 8000 hours of accident-free flying to his credit.

On 16 Jan 90, Wg Cdr Adya was detailed to fly as a check pilot on Boeing-737. The route was Delhi-Lucknow-Varanasi. As he gained altitude en route to Varanasi, he heard a pilot of the Piper aircraft calling Lucknow. The Piper pilot appeared to be lost. He was trainee pilot who had taken off from Lucknow for Faizabad due east about 70 NM for a solo cross country by day. He had got lost and had tried to come back to Lucknow. By then night had fallen. Since he had never flown at night in his life, he did not know what to do.

Wg Cdr Adya discontinued the training flight to Varanasi to search for the lost aircraft and render all assistance. He immediately turned towards the track from Lucknow to Faizabad, switched on all his landing and wing lights and asked the Piper pilot to switch on his landing lights to increase the chances of spotting either aircraft.

He continuously kept the morale of the Piper pilot by reassuring him that he would be found. A few minutes later, the Piper pilot reported seeing the lights of a city. Wg Cdr Adya asked him to head for the city and then modified his search plan. Finally the Piper pilot was helped to land safely.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, professional competence, calm and cool manner the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr AK Adya.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Saravjit Singh Hothi 12215 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr Sarvajit Singh Hothi has been commanding an operational squadron with effect from 10 Jun 88. His systematic approach, quest for excellence and the stress laid on training of Sqn pilots enhanced the operational status of the Sqn. His planning and approach to operational status ensured that all night strike qualified pilots successfully undertook live heavy armament stores firing at a range.

The task of planning and co-ordinating of night exercises was entrusted to Wg Cdr Hothi. His meticulous planning and effective co-ordination involving different fleet was exemplary.

Wg Cdr Hothi has flown nearly 1000 hrs on MiG-23 BN ac, all accident free. He has a total of 4055 hrs to his credit on single engine jet aircraft.

For his professional excellence, zeal, contribution towards operational preparedness, leadership, devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr SS Hothi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Tejbir Singh Pandhawa 12947 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr Tejbir Singh Randhawa was commissioned in the IAF as a Flying (Pilot) on 22 Jan 72,

On 04 Jul 88, Wg Cdr Randhawa took over the Command of a fighter squadron. This was the time when most of the experienced team members were posted out. He had the dual responsibility of selection and training of new members, to form a 9 aircraft close formation aerobatics team, in a limited time frame which also included the monsoon period. Over and above this, he was also tasked to train U/T Ops Pilots from OCU. The grand finale came in Mar 89, when the 9 aircraft display at a range for Air Power Demonstration, held the spectators spell bound.

In Oct 89, the close formation aerobatics role was suspended and the Sqn was asked to change over to operational role. Wg Cdr Randhawa accepted this change willingly and improved upon the Ops status of the Sqn Pilots to a very high percentage and the rating status to 100% in a veritably short span of time. This achievement ensured the squadron's participation in Inter-Squadron Gunnery Meet 'EKLAVAYA' where the unit proved its worth by winning trophies for the individual events.

For his excellent professionalism, sustained hard work beyond the call of duty, selfless devotion to duty and qualities of leadership, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr TS Randhawa.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kottukonam Neelakantan Gopakumaran Nair 14295 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Sqn Ldr Kottukonam Neelakantan Gopakumaran Nair is on the posted strength of one of the helicopter units with effect from 22 Aug 1988.

Sqn Ldr Kottukonam Neelakantan Gopakumaran Nair is a veteran pilot with over 4200 flying hours to his credit. He had undertaken over 750 missions in OP PAWAN including 45 missions by night. All these missions were flown over an extremely hostile and unfamiliar terrain under constant exposure to enemy ground fire.

The very fact that Sqn Ldr Kottukonam Neelakantan Gopakumaran Nair undeterred, undertook 14 casualty evacuation missions by night in the thick of enemy fire and in adverse weather conditions, speaks volumes of his devotion to the service and the display of his courage.

For his high standard of professional skill, dedication to duty and to the service and the display of courage in the face of the enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Kottukonam Neelakantan Gopakumaran Nair.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Har Pal Singh Natt 14281 F(P)Unit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Sqn Ldr Harjinder Pal Singh Natt is on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Helicopter Units since 30 Jul 88.

Sqn Ldr Natt was a member of the VIII Antarctica Expedition because of wide experience on Mi-8 and Chetak helicopters. He has flown a total of 186 hrs and over 370 sorties in the treacherous Antarctica environment, which is a record.

On 08 Jan 90, Sqn Ldr Natt was Captain of the aircraft, which landed at a Camp, to discover the tragedy leaving four expedition members dead. Overcoming the initial shock, he helped evacuating the dead to Maitri camp. On 13 Feb 90, the expedition doctor Major CS Joshi slipped on hard plus ice and was seriously injured. Sqn Ldr Natt, with his presence of mind immediately prepared a sling and administered first aid to Major Joshi. On getting airborne from the accident site with casualty on board it was found that both, the expedition leader and the senior surgeon, whose presence was necessary for further medical treatment, were away from Maitri camp. Sqn Ldr Natt immediately took charge of the situation and went to locate the senior surgeon. Sqn Ldr Natt's professional skill, determination in evacuating the causality and yet carrying on with the tasks at hand were of the highest order.

For his selfless sacrifices, skill and determination in evacuating the causality under the most trying circumstances, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr HPS Natt

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Diwakar Dattatreya Kulkarni 15041 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date 17 Jan 90 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Sqn Ldr Diwakar Dattatraya Kulkarni is on the posted strength of MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) since 22 Jun 87.

On 17 Jan 90, he was leading a four aircraft low level strike in a Type-77 aircraft. Approximately 75 Kilometers from base, he ordered a controlled scatter manoeuvre. For this, the formation engaged reheat and turned 30°, accelerating to 1000 IAS. At 1000 IAS Sqn Ldr Kulkarni switched off reheat and noticed his fire warning light on. He immediately gave a call and eased up in a climbing turn towards base. As his speed dropped to 500 IAS Sqn Ldr Kulkarni operated the fire extinguisher but the fire warning light continued to illuminate. He climbed to three kilometers to level out below cloud. In the climb, he also noticed his main hydraulic warning light coming on and pressure reading 50 Kg/cm2. As a precaution, he switched off his aileron booster and auto pilot and noticed that his JPT/rpm were normal indicating that the jet nozzle had closed. Approaching overhead base, at height, he lowered his undercarriage on emergency. The cone did not retract and remained at 95%. He attempted to retract the cone manually but was unsuccessful as the main hydraulic pressure was now 30 Kg/cm2. Sqn Ldr Kulakarni then correctly elected to carry out a descending circuit. He made a flapless approach, landed safely and switched off on landing.

For his cool professionalism and undaunted courage in the face of a serious and complex emergency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Kulkarni.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sudhir Vishwamurti Bal 15552 F(P)Unit : No.224 Squadron  Award Date 23 Mar 90 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Sqn Ldr Sudhir Vishwamurti Bal is on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Squadrons with effect from 21 Aug 89. On 23 Mar 90, he was authorized to fly a procedure sortie by night during dark phase. While carrying out an instrument let down, he experienced a case of severe engine surge at a height of 5 Kms. The RPM of the engine dropped and the JPT (Jet Pipe Temperature) started rising abnormally, while the 'engine overheat' light came on. He analysed the situation correctly and promptly switched off the engine. Thereafter, a successful relight was carried out by him. However, on opening throttle, the engine surged once again forcing him to switch off the engine for second time. By this time, the aircraft had descended to a height below 3 Kms. Again, he carried out a relight successfully, descending below 2 Kms in the process of relight. While carrying out the relight, he skillfully positioned himself to carry out a descending circuit and landed the aircraft safely, with minimum use of RPM.

Sqn Ldr SV Bal has displayed exemplary professionalism and extraordinary courage in the best traditions of the Air Force. In recognition of his professionalism and courageous act, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr SV Bal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Gopalkrishanan Sreepal Warrier 16549 AE(M)Unit : 21 Wing  Award Date 13 Jul 90 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Flt Lt Gopalkrishanan Sreepal Warrier is on the posted strength of an Air Force Wing since 07 Dec 89 and has been working as Senior Engineer (mechanical).

On 03 Jul 90, one Chetak helicopter flown by Flt Lt MV Rao had to be left behind at Amar post due to engine failure. Change of engine to retrieve the helicopter from Amar post situated at 19000 ft AMSL and pressure altitude of 23000' in the face of random shelling and on the actual line of control, was a challenging task by any standards.

Flt Lt Sreepal volunteered to take upon himself the uphill task of replacing the engine at site. Notwithstanding the adverse weather condition and enemy shelling during the process of changing the engine by the team to successfully do the job which started at 1800 hours on 12 Jul 90 and ended at 0900 hrs on 13 Jul 90. The helicopter was flown out at 1740 hrs on 13 Jul 90.

For his exemplary courage, single-mindedness of purpose, determination and professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flt Lt Gopalkrishanan Sreepal Warrier.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Shailendra Sood 19181 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date 11 Nov 88 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Fg Offr Shailender Sood has been on the posted strength of 142 SSS Flight since Dec 88. He holds A 'C' White status with 250 hours on type.

He was detachment commander of a Chetak Helicopter of 142 SSS Flight at 5 Wing. On 11 Nov 88 at 2020 hrs, he was called upon to rescue a pilot who had ejected from a Hunter aircraft. He acted with methodical proficiency and getting airborne within a commendable time of 40 minutes. He was guided by Air Traffic Control to the last known position of the crashed aircraft. Though it was moonlit night, the visibility started to deteriorate. Unmindful he pressed on and spotted a cartridge fired by the ejected pilot. He carried out a reconnaissance of the area and promptly landed with precision. Thereafter he returned to the base with the injured pilot. Fg Offr Sood, in this act of singular valour, achieved the very first night pick up of any ejected aircrew in a Chetak helicopter.

For displaying extremely high sense of duty, ability to take and execute a professionally calculated decision and bravery of a very high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Fg Off Shalinder Sood.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Davinder Singh Bindra 228616 ORUnit : 125 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

MWO Davinder Singh Bindra was on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter Units since 19 Mar 84. As one of the pioneers of the unit trained in Soviet Unit, MWO Bindra has been performing the duties of Engineer Leader in the Unit.

In Oct 87 when the Unit detachment moved for `Ops Pawan' , MWO Bindra was one of the first aircrew to land in Sri Lanka and subsequently first to undertake live mission. Since then he has been a vigorous participant in the operational area having 108 missions and 97:10 operational hours in `Ops Pawan' besides having flown 4400 hours on various types of helicopter in Indian Air force.This MWO proved his worth during Operation Checkmate. There was extensive use of Akbar helicopter in Nitikaikulan area using varying armament configurations. Realising the sensitive nature of these operations, he decided to be in the cockpit in every mission. With total disregard to his personal comforts, over a period of one month from 28 Jun 88 to 28 Jul, he flew as part of aircrew in 58 missions and 42:05 hours.

For his exemplary hard work, courageous actions and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to MWO Davinder Singh Bindra

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sgt Yoganandam Kalluri 659174 ORUnit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Sgt Yoganandam Kalluri is on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Helicopter Units since 13 Jan 90.

On 03 Jul 90, a helicopter had to be left behind at Amar due to engine flame out on ground. The retrieval of the helicopter was planned after an engine change. Amar helipad is at a height of 19000' AMSL and on the Actual Line of Control, within range of enemy artillery fire. The post is constantly shelled by the enemy.

The engine was flown to Amar on 12 Jul 90. During this period the post was under enemy shelling, when Sgt Yoganandam under instruction of Flt Lt Sreepal, Officer incharge of the team, assisted the offloading of the engine. The task of engine change could commence only in the evening due to enemy shelling. Sgt Yoganandam with the help of other technicians carried out the engine change during the night with the help of kerosene lamps and torches. Finally the helicopter was flown out at 1740 hours on 13 Jul 90.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, selfless service and thorough professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sgt Yoganandam Kalluri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Conard Anthony Dalton 12430 F(N)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr CA Dalton is on the posted strength of No. 6 Squadron, AF since 23 Nov 84. He has spent 13 years of his service career in a Canberra Squadron and has to his credit an impressive 6200 hrs of flying, all of it accident­free. He has the unequalled distinction of having the maximum flying hours not only among the Canberra Navigators in the Indian Air Force, but also those of the transport fleet. This indeed is a unique achievement.

Wg Cdr Dalton has flown Canberra aircraft in all its multifarious roles, viz. bombing, Reconnaissance, Survey, Maritime strike and Target Towing. He was also assigned tasks associated with the demarcation of the IndoBhutan border in 1982.

On 30 Oct 87, when on a low level tactical sortie, while carrying out a simulated high speed attack, his Canberra suffered a massive bird strike on the nose section of the aircraft. Wg Cdr Dalton who was then in the nose section navigating saved his head from being shattered while suffering multiple injuries on his face and hands. Inspite of bleeding profusely, he navigated the aircraft safely back to base.

For his consistently outstanding achievements in flying, administrative skills and enthusiasm of an exceptional order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr CA Dalton.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Arun Dattatreya Karandikar 10865 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Gp Capt Arun Dattatraya Karandikar had been on the posted strength of one of the Transport Squadrons of the IAF since 23 Oct 89. He has flown a staggering 10850 hours without a single accident or incident. The first 10,000 hours were flown in the first twenty years, at a rate of almost 500 hours a year, continuously. This achievement, probably not duplicated by any one in the Air Force, assumes greater significance considering that a large portion of flying was undertaken on air maintenance missions over the rugged terrain of Ladakh, J&K, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizo Hills on AN-12, Dakota and now AN-32 aircraft and most of the remaining on VVIP flights.

In addition to the full times duties to coordinate the entire spectrum of flying tasks including daily air maintenance missions for two transport Squadrons and supervising the administration of two Advance Landing Grounds all by himself, he took on the major task of bringing up the base Air Defence Centre, the Intelligence room and Nav Briefing room from a practically non functional level to a fully operational level. These have since been commented on appreciatively by visiting dignitaries and DASI.

In 1973, he was commended by the CAS for successful handling a critical engine failure on a fully loaded Dakota, immediately after take off from a forward airfield in Assam. He qualified on AN-32 achieving exceptional category in just four months. He has been assessed as exceptional on all the types of aircraft he has flown. His exceptional skill in the conduct of VIP flights earned him and the Air Force praise from a number of Indian and foreign dignitaries.

For display of leadership, exceptional professional standard for more than two decades, dedication to duty and unstinted hard work towards the operational efficiency of a squadron, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt AD Karandikar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Fali Homi Major 11442 F(P)Unit : No.127 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Gp Capt Fali Homi Major, a helicopter pilot, raised and commanded the first Mi-17 Helicopter Unit in the IAF in 1985. He now commands one of the Helicopter Units in the Air Force.

Immediately after taking over command of his present unit, he proceeded to Sri Lanka, where his unit was operating in the offensive and logistic support role in support of "OP Pawan". He personally flew a number of operational sorties and supervised the functioning of the detachment there. It was largely due to his personal example and leadership qualities that the unit won many laurels including the appreciation of AOCin-C, WAC, AOC-in-C, SAC and the award of the prestigious IPKF standard.

In Feb 1990, the unit was inducted directly from Sri Lanka to Srinagar in support of "OP Rakshak". Gp Capt Major ensured that his aircrew were trained on the armament role of the aircraft in the shortest possible time to meet the requirement for armed "Internal Security" duties. He flew extensively in the area of operation and closely supervised the conduct of various operations.

Besides "OP Rakshak", his unit also operates in support of "OP Meghdoot". Gp Capt Major was instrumental in evaluating the Mi-17 helicopter in high altitudes and formulating SOPs and tactics in 1985. Today, with his sound knowledge and extensive flying in the area, his unit is doing yeoman service in support of "OP Meghdoot".

As the Task Force Commander of Exercise "Sky Hawk" in Nov 1990, he created some kind of a record by launching 302 night SHBO missions involving 900 combat troops with a force-level of 21 helicopters. His profes sionalism and direction ensured 100% mission accomplishment without an accident/incident and with a clock-work precision.

For his dynamic leadership, exceptional devotion to duty, professionalism and undaunted efforts to enhance the image of the IAF Helicopter Fleet, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Gp Capt FH Major.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Sanjay Bose 12757 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date 19 Sep 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Late Wing Commander Sanjoy Bose was the Commanding Officer of one of the Squadrons of Air force, from 13 Aug 90 to 19 Sep 91. He has undergone the Staff Course in UK.

On 19 Sep 91, Late Wing Commander Bose was airborne for a live RP strike over a Range. While pulling out from the dive, he experienced a severe engine surge followed by engine overheat and thermo-regulator warning indications. While dealing with this multiple emergency, with very little height at his disposal, Wg Cdr Bose realized the gravity of the situation and informed the ground control of his intention to eject. At this stage there was enough height for him to abandon the aircraft successfully, but his aircraft was pointing towards a village. He piloted his stricken aircraft away from this populated area and in doing so delayed his ejection to a critically low altitude. The aircraft crashed in an open field near the village but Wing Commander Bose was fatally injured. Late Wing Commander Bose, thus averted a major catastrophe by sacrificing his own life in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

Late Wg Cdr Bose was an extremely dedicated and capable officer. With his rare acumen and sound leadership, he ensured that the Squadron was operationally geared up to meet any eventuality. He was frank and forthright officer, whose humane behavior towards his men made him an outstanding commander.

For the supreme sacrifice made by him in saving invaluable lives and for his selfless devotion to duty, spanning more than twenty years in the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal (POSTHUMOUSLY) to Wg Cdr Sanjoy Bose.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Jithendra Paul Singh 13594 F(P)Unit : 1 Base Repair Depot  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wing Commander Jatinder Paul Singh is on the posted strength of a Base Repair Depot of the IAF since 29 Jul 90 and employed as Officer i/c Aircraft Test & Ferry Flight. He is engaged in air testing of Hunter and MiG-21 variants.

On 30 Aug 90, Wg Cdr Singh was on an air test sortie of an aircraft after an engine change. On completion of the supersonic run, while descending through 8.4 kms at a speed of 650 kms IAS he brought the throttle back initially to BLC catch and subsequently to idle. On bringing the throttle to idle he heard a bang and experienced engine surge with rise in JPT. He promptly switched off the engine. He had a successful relight at 6 kms but on opening throttle experienced vibrations and unusual engine sound above 90% N1 RPM. He gave an RT call, restricted RPM to 85% and landed the aircraft off a descending circuit making a straight approach for the nearest runway. Post flight inspection revealed extensive damage to the compressor between 2nd and 8th stage. Wg Cdr Singh by his correct and prompt actions landed back a badly crippled aircraft. He displayed confidence and professional skill of a high order.

On a subsequent occasion on 21 Nov 90, Wg Cdr Singh was flying an air test sortie on another aircraft. Towards the end of the sortie, on engaging reheat, he experienced main hydraulic failure. He promptly switched off the reheat and the jet nozzle closed. He then experienced total main hydraulic failure with the pressure dropping to zero. The cone was struck between 80 to 85% and the undercarriage was lowered on emergency. While taking corrective action the pilot had already turned downwind and positioned for a flapless landing. He landed off a descending circuit keeping throttle use to minimum. The aircraft was switched off on touch down. Post flight inspection revealed a profuse leak at the outlet connection of hydraulic electric selector valve to jet nozzle actuator. Any further delay in taking corrective action would have caused fire in the tail section leading to loss of control. Wg Cdr Singh with his prompt actions handled the emergency in a professional manner.

For his self confidence, presence of mind, professional skill of a high order and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr JP Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mohammad Raza Shirazi 7705 F(P)Unit : No.2228 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wg Cdr MR Shirazi has been commanding one of the 'Pechora' squadrons since 28 Jan 90. Even before the Squadron could receive its full complements of personnel, common user vehicles, communication equipment etc and stabilize as a fighting unit, operational conditions necessitated the move of one of its combat flights to an operational location. At the time this move was ordered, the Squadron had only a few officers and about half the total strength of technicians and other support staff on posted strength. Wg Cdr Shirazi moved combat flight 'Alpha' with its complete combat equipment, all specialist vehicles and communication equipment from a wing to its ops location by a special train. When the flight arrived at the ops site, it had only 4 officers, 50 airmen and 7 NCs(E) as the remaining personnel of the Squadron had been kept behind for manning combat flight 'Bravo', Tech Flight and Sqn HQs.

The 'Alpha' flight was tasked to provide air defence of a port and the oil jetties/tanks in the area. The most suitable site for deployment of the combat flight was located in scrub jungle with no approach roads. By personal liaison with various civil authorities, Wg Cdr Shirazi had the area cleared and approach road built. This enabled the flight to be deployed at the ops site in just 27 days. The flight continues to be deployed at this site till date.

In spite of acute shortage of manpower, with almost half of the available personnel being new and inexperienced, Wg Cdr Shirazi has managed to keep his combat flight at a high state of readiness and maintained the combat equipment at a very high serviceability state. The detachment has been operating from tented accommodation, under very difficult working and living conditions. In spite of these adverse conditions Wg Cdr Shirazi has managed to keep the morale of his men very high. In the past five months Wg Cdr Shirazi has relentlessly perused his efforts to make the living and working conditions of his detachment more comfortable.

For his outstanding qualities of leadership, unbound initiative, unflinching dedication to duty and exceptional hard work to achieve operational preparedness, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr MR Shirazi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mandhir Singh 9806 F(P)Unit : Para Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wing Commander Mandhir Singh, a transport pilot, is posted as Flight Commander of Paratroopers Training School since 27 Aug 90.

Wing Commander Mandhir Singh has to his credit well over 9200 hrs of incident free flying, out of which 3300 hrs has been dedicated to AN-32 aircraft alone. He holds the signal credit of individual average of almost 730 hrs per year, in all types of terrain and adverse weather conditions. He holds the prestigious RHCP qualification on three different types viz. HS-748, C-46 and AN-32. His record of flying for 1300 hrs as Captain of AN-32 in perilous and treacherous terrain of Siachen proves his professional skill and constant pursuit to achieve perfection.

On 30 Jul 87, he commanded the first aeroplane to land at Jaffna airfield in a hostile environment and set up an indigenous Air Traffic Control. Only after this the subsequent fleet of transport aircraft carrying IPKF landed. His matchless skill made him an automatic choice on 9 Feb 90 to be the first pilot to carry out circuits and landings by night on the high altitude Leh airfield on an emergency flare path only. Amongst the numerous firsts to his credit, is also the distinction of being the Captain of the first AN-32 to land in Male airfield in Operation Cactus.

He was posted as Flight Commander at PTS at a time when the unit was bedeviled by unfortunate and avoidable flying incidents, he rose manfully to the onerous task of reorienting, motivating and reco-ordinating the aircrew to the challenging tasks ahead. By personal example, constant and persisted hard work, he resurrected the unit almostsphinx like from ashes and trained a total of 14 new, raw and non-ops pilots on type to be fully qualified on all roles operational and routine within an astonishingly short period of only eight months. Under his meticulous supervision, careful planning and smooth execution the aircrew of the unit achieved maturity and confidence.

As recognition of his stupendous personal flying record, unparalleled achievements and ability to lead and supervise by example in a period of crisis, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Mandhir Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ronald Banerjee 11398 F(P)Unit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wg Cdr R Banerjee was the Commanding Officer one of the Air Force Helicopter units from 27 Jun 88 to 19 Apr 91.

Although the unit was equipped with aircraft only on 27 June 88, with his tremendous enthusiasm, initiative and unparalleled organizing capacity, he not only declared the unit operational within six days but had also moved to Punjab for massive flood relief operations. His sterling qualities of intense patriotism, supreme leadership and excellent flying skills ensured very successful induction of Mi-17 ac in Op Pawan, especially in offensive role. He fully exploited the aircraft to ensure tremendous success during the operations, exhibiting a very high sense of professionalism and dedication to the cause. His unit remained inducted in OP Pawan for almost one year and flew more than 4000 hrs in extremely hostile environment without any accident/incident once again reflecting his qualities of leadership and professionalism.

Under his command, the unit undertook various tasks. Working prodigious hours, he cheerfully undertook all operations ranging from 'Op Meghdoot' to 'Op Falcon', Aid to civil power in Punjab, Srinagar and Patna, Air Maintenance in Himachal Pradesh and Special Heliborne Operations in the deserts of Rajasthan.

As a pilot, he has to his credit 8700 hrs of rotary Wing flying experience. His performance in the last five years has been really incredible in which he has flown 4603 hrs. Such outstanding feat in operational service flying is worthy of emulation.

For his leadership, professionalism par excellence and outstanding contribution to service whilst in command of an Air Force Helicopter Unit, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr R Banerjee.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Guriqbal Singh Nijjar 12020 F(P)Unit : No.29 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wing Commander Guriqbal Singh Nijjar took over command of one of the MiG-21 operational Squadrons on 22 May 90, with dual role i.e. Stage-III training of pilots in peace time and full operational role in war. Undaunted by this difficult task of diverse requirements and under severe constraints of adverse factors like weather, limited ac serviceability, shortage of staff pilots and restrictions, Wg Cdr Nijjar set about with drive, initiative and single minded determination.

During his command, the unit logged over 7800 sorties, of which over 5300 sorties were flown in 1990, an all time record for this 21 year old Squadron, all without accident/ serious incidents. Wg Cdr Nijjar's personal contribution has been 850 sorties at an average of 55 per month. Wg Cdr Nijjar led the Squadron from the front and accepted the challenges of Command, head-on.

On the operational front also, the Squadron under his professional leadership, excelled itself, bagging the R/P and Bombing events during the last gunner meet and emerging overall a close second.

Wg Cdr Nijjar is a highly experienced A-2 QFI, with over 5000 hrs of flying to his credit, out of which well over 2000 hrs are on MiG21. His personal and professional example, his great enthusiasm for flying and his untiring capacity for hard work have been a continuous source of inspiration not only to Staff Pilots but also for the impressionable young trainees in his Squadron. His outstanding leadership in the air and ground is worthy of emulation by one and all.

For his dynamic leadership, unflinching and exceptional devotion to duty, meticulous planning and execution of MOFT tasks and very high professional standards, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Nijjar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ram Mohan Shridharan 12033 F(P)Unit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wg Cdr RM Sridharan took over as Commanding Officer of one of the AF Helicopter Units in Nov 88.

He was entrusted with the task of raising the unit with new aircraft and making it operational in the shortest possible time. This task, which he set about most diligently and displayed outstanding eagerness to serve and an exemplary enthusiasm in fulfilling his responsibilities. He set up the unit in the shortest possible time, imparted training to aircrew to operate in Siachen glacier.

Over the last two years, under his command, the unit has flown over 5500 hrs accident-free, out of which 3500 hrs have been flown in Siachen glacier. About 3500 Tons of load has been air dropped at various posts over the glacier. Under his able leadership and deft guidance his unit has airlifted armament, troops and essential supplies in aid to civil power during Oct/Nov 90 over inhospitable terrain and climate of J&K area.

Wg Cdr Shridharan was given the task of selecting DZs and carrying out trial, based on which the complete airlift was executed. On another occasion, the heavy equipment of Border Roads Organisation was carried across river in Arthal Area under slung. It was once again Wg Cdr Shridharan's guidance and leadership that such an extra-ordinary task was successfully completed.

For his exemplary sense of duty, leadership, able guidance and exemplary enthusiasm, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr RM Sridharan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Suresh Chandra Mukul 12930 F(P)Unit : No.223 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wg Cdr SC Mukul was posted as Commanding Officer of one of the squadrons of the Air Force on 27 Nov 89. He is an A-2 QFI, who has also done FCL and Staff College Courses. The task of this assignment was reequipping the squadron with MiG-29 aircraft and getting the squadron operational in the shortest possible time.

Disposal of earlier aircraft and associated equipment, setting up flight and technical complex in a new location were all done with a great sense of urgency. Newly acquired ac and ground equipment was inspected and taken over from (Soviet) Erection Team with limited man power available in a smooth manner.

Squadron commenced flying on MiG-29 ac in Apr 90 with a nucleus of only a few MiG-29 qualified pilots. New pilots with different backgrounds were progressed speedily through conversion and OST syllabus. It goes to his credit that the Sqn achieved Ops status by August 1990 with sufficient pilots fully ops to take on operational commitments without a single incident/accident.

His Squadron was also given the task of imparting Dissimilar Air Combat Training to the MiG-21 Sqns in the western sector. This training was imparted with all the seriousness and professional thoroughness to pilots of a number of Sqns one after the other. It is to the credit of Wg Cdr Mukul that these DACT camps were always completed on schedule. An interesting development was the regular weekly continuation of DACT missions on completion of DACT camps with the MiG21 Sqns of the neighboring bases; the TRS of the MiG-21s landing at this AF base was looked after by his Sqn technicians. These DACT Camps and the procedure of weekly DACT/Buddy missions has enhanced the Ops preparedness of fighter squadrons tremendously.

For the high standard of professionalism and dedication shown in safe and speedy induction of MiG-29 ac at Wing as well as for achieving Ops Status of the Sqn and efficient running of DACT Camps with MiG-21 squadrons, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr SC Mukul.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Noel Amiyakumar Moitra 12931 F(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wing Commander Noel Amiyakumar Moitra has been in command of a fighter squadron since 22 Apr 90. He has over 3100 hours of accident-free flying to his credit. He was one of the three pilots to cross 1000 hours on T-75 and also the first in all courses he has undergone. He has also attended the Air Staff Course at RAF Staff College, UK.

He was trained abroad on Mirage-2000. He took over as Flight Commander of the first Mirage-2000 Squadron on return. He was required to tackle monumental task of inducting the aircraft into Indian Air Force. With his vast knowledge of the aircraft, he developed cockpit interfaces and displays in the air and spelled out pilot's requirements for various missions. His efforts were commended by the Director ADA.

In April 1990, Wg Cdr Moitra took over the command of a Mirage-2000 Squadron. On assuming command, he set about integrating all the systems for optimal utilization. Realising that future conflicts would depend heavily on electronics, he converted the approach to EW laying great emphasis on increased EW awareness and its dissemination.

The only IAF pilot to have fired S-530D BVR Missile, he pioneered a series of trials on the optimum integration of this potent weapon with the improved aircraft radar. The operational status of the Squadron was brought upto 100% of fully Ops pilots. It was no surprise that the Squadron was nominated the best Squadron of the Air Force for 1990-91.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, dedicated hard work and consistent outstanding achievements, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr NA Moitra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Paranjit Singh Bhangu 12932 F(P)Unit : No.220 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Bhangu has been commanding one of Air force Squadrons since 26 Jun 89.

Wg Cdr PS Bhangu took over the command of the Sqn at a stage when its overall performance with special reference to air-to-ground armament was at a low ebb. He identified the Key Result Areas and reviewed planning of the Squadron training. His immediate priority was to motivate and train his subordinates to perform as wellknit professional team. He achieved this by his dedicated approach and putting in long hours of hard work in personally training his subordinates.

Positive signs of improvement were indicated when the Squadron was tasked to plan and launch 12 to 15 aircraft missions during 'Ex Gumrah'. His personal involvement and eye for the smallest detail ensured safe execution of the task. The Squadron performed exceedingly well during 'Eklavya 89'. The Squadron won the night bombing team event and Wg Cdr Bhangu personally won the individual day bombing event. There has been as sea change in the quality of flying carried out the unit. He was co-opted staff member for Supervisors Combat Orientation Course (SCOC) from 08 to 18 Aug 89.

Wg Cdr Bhangu has been very closely associated with the modification and trial of SPO-10 on MiG-23 BN aircraft. He is also involved in the modification of radio altimeter. He has followed up his suggested modification of cine camera fitment on MiG-23 aircraft which he initiated as Flt Cdr in Nov 87.

Under his custodianship, the squadron during the last DASI inspection of 08-12 Apr 91, managed an all time of high of 74.25% in operational capability. Backed by sound a soundly administered unit, a well disciplined body of Squadron personnel, Wg Cdr Bhangu has led his unit from strength to strength in the best traditions of the IAF.

For his inspiring leadership, professional competence and dedication to improve and maintain his Squadron's op efficiency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr PS Bhangu.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mohan John 13131 F(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Wing Commander Mohan John was commissioned in the IAF in Jun 72. He is fully ops on MiG-21 and Mirage-2000 aircraft and has a total of 3200 accident free flying hours, over 1000 sorties of these are on Mirage-2000 aircraft.

After his commissioning, he joined a front line operational squadron. At that stage when he was relatively inexperienced, he handled a serious aircraft emergency in a cool, calm and professional manner and for this he was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff. He has also been commended by the AOC-in-C, WAC in 1978 for his meritorious service. In 1979, Wg Cdr John underwent All Purpose Flying Instructors Course and stood first. He is also a Fighter Combat Leader and is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

In 1985, Wg Cdr John was posted to a Mirage-2000 Squadron and was the first pilot to be converted in India. He not only completed his training in a record time but as a supervisor contributed immensely in the build up of expertise and evolution of tactics on this aircraft. He did remarkably well as a Flight Commander.

In October 89, Wg Cdr John was appointed as the Squadron Commander of Mirage-2000 Sqn. The morale of the Squadron was low as his predecessor had been killed in an air crash. By sheer hard work, dedication, personal example and deep sense of involvement he guided the squadron through this difficult phase and ensured that the squadron once again became a viable fighting unit. During his tenure, the squadron had been given the task of perfecting the art of night strike and delivery of laser guided bombs. He undertook these challenges and ensured that adequate number of pilots were trained in a short time in this phase. He was also entrusted with the task of training pilots in low level aerobatics. This he did commendably well, again by personal example and deep sense of dedication.

For his professional skill, dedication and devotion to duty and for his qualities of leadership in the best traditions of the IAF, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Mohan John.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pradeep Kinra 13778 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Sqn Ldr P Kinra has been on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Squadrons since 08 May 88 and has been holding the appointment of Flight Commander from Jul 89.

During his tenure as Flight Commander, Sqn Ldr Kinra involved himself completely and whole heartedly in all the activities of the Squadron. He is solely responsible for keeping the Squadron as an extremely well knit team even during difficult time. His untiring efforts towards motivating the Squadron pilots and training them as keen professional culminated in the Squadron becoming the overall champion for two consecutive years in EKLAVYA 1991. By maintaining the best armament score for the last two years in the Squadron and winning the individual bombing trophy during 1990, he has set an example of professional competence worthy of emulation by all.

By virtue of its location at one of the wings, the Squadron has to undertake a minimum of six detachments during a year. Sqn Ldr Kinra accompanied each of them during the last two years and successfully achieved all the tasks allotted to the Squadron. Due to his foresight and meticulous planning, the Squadron maintained very high aircraft serviceability during May 91. Despite adverse circumstances at the parent location of the Squadron and frequent detachments, the fact that the Squadron was able to maintain an accident free record bears testimony to his absolute involvement in the Squadron and a keen sense for details.

He has demonstrated excellent administrative capabilities as a Flight Commander and when he was officiating Commanding Officer for about six months. In Jan 91, as officiating Commanding Officer, he was able to motivate the men for a massive snow clearance operation in extremely adverse weather conditions; worst in the last 30 years. It is mainly due to his affable nature, personal example and excellent social interaction that he has been able to keep the Squadron at its peak efficiency.

For his professional excellence, rare devotion to duty and leadership qualities of a very high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr P Kinra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kuldeep Malik 15181 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Sqn Ldr K Malik has been on the posted strength of one of the Squadrons since 13 Feb 89. He is fully Ops Pilot, an A-2 QFI and FCL with 600 hrs on type and 2400 hrs of total service flying.

On 05 Mar 91, he got airborne for a combat sorties as a number four member in the formation. While climbing through 350 meters above the ground level, he heard a loud thud and the aircraft engine flamed out. He gave an R/T call indicating that he would be ejecting, and gently turned away from the populated city limits. Even he was preparing for ejection, he analysed and concluded that the height and speed combination was just sufficient for attempting a safe relight. The relight attempt was successful and he safely landed the aircraft. After landing checks revealed extensive damage to air intake, cone, lip and engine.

The whole process of engine flame out to the relight of the engine took place in a short span of 30 seconds. Even a delay of 3-4 Seconds in taking a decision or in carrying out the relight procedure would have cost the service a valuable aircraft worth crores of rupees and invaluable human lives. All through this critical and very dangerous situation, Sqn Ldr Malik remained calm. He quickly and correctly assessed the implications and handled the emergency in the most professional manner.

Sqn Ldr Malik displayed extremely high degree of professionalism and airmanship which is worthy of emulation by all aircrew. For excellent presence of mind, professional skill and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr K Malik.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Singh 15192 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Singh is on the posted strength of one of Air Force Squadron since 03 Apr 89. The officer has flown 4300 hrs including 850 hrs on IL-76. He has logged 600 hrs as Captain on IL-76 and he is holding a MG category.

On 01 Apr 91, Sqn Ldr Singh was detailed for an air maintenance sortie to convey 225 passengers to a high altitude. The weather was cloudy with low and medium clouds. About 150 km short of Leh while flying at FL 290 over mountainous terrain with peaks protruding above 21000 feet, a loud bang was heard with severe vibrations and fire warning on No. 1 engine. The engine had burst and its parts had hit the wing undersurface and APU bay. The engine had tilted upwards by a few degrees, the port side slat was damaged. The reverse thrust buckets of the failed engine had deployed and the ac was facing serious aerodynamic problems.

Showing exemplary cool, presence of mind and professional competence of the highest order Sqn Ldr Singh correctly analysed the situation and initiated prompt action without hesitation and with full confidence saved the ac from disaster.

After completing initial actions and initiat ing diversion to base, Sqn Ldr Singh displayed exceptional qualities of leadership to exhort all his crew members to take prompt and correct actions. Ably assisted by co-pilot with mere 75 hrs of experience on type, he monitored the subsequent crew actions. By his calm disposition, efficient handling of situation and dialogue, he inspired a very high degree of confidence amongst crew members and thus enabled the emergency to be handled in a competent manner enabling a safe landing at the base.

For his commendable calm, enviable self confidence, maturity and display of exceptional skill in flying a battered ac to save the lives of 230 personnel, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr VK Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Ashish Ranjan 16230 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date 18 Jan 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

On 18 Jan 91, Sqn Ldr A Ranjan was authorized to fly as a leader on a Hunter ac in a 2 ac sortie.

After 30 minutes of flying, at 16000' and 380 Kts, the pilot found his throttle non effective and RPM stuck at 7500. He assessed the situation and instructed his No. 2 to return individually.

Sqn Ldr Ranjan had a choice of carrying out a planned ejection or flaming out the engine and carrying out a dead stick landing. Despite fuel constraint, high speed and RPM stuck at a high power, Sqn Ldr Ranjan decided to bring back the aircraft. He also allowed adequate time for the ATC to recover other airborne ac. Displaying a very high degree of professional competence, he skillfully manoeuvred the aircraft so as to be able to make an approach with speed higher than permissible speed. He switched off the engine using LP cock when he was still on approach. Thereafter, using excess speed to reach the runway, he carried out a planned dead stick landing. The touchdown was well controlled albeit at a higher speed. By judicious use of brakes and tail parachute the aircraft was brought to a halt at the end of runway with no damage. On subsequent examination the throttle linkage to the engine was found disconnected.

The sound assessment of a very critical situation and subsequent safe and undamaged recovery of a valuable aircraft was undoubtedly an example of total professional approach, display of exceptional flying skill and sound airmanship with scan regard for personal safety, on the part of Sqn Ldr Ranjan.

For his courage, sound assessment of critical situation, flying skill and professional approach, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr A Ranjan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Vyakaranam Venkata Surya Subbarao 16633 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Jun 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Sqn Ldr VVS Subba Rao has been on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter units with effect from 15 Feb 88. He has had the distinction of flying in "OP MEGHDOOT' sector for the past four years and has flown more than 1500 hours spread over 3500 sorties. On 11 Jun 91, Sqn Ldr Subba Rao was on air maintenance sortie for "OP MEGHDOOT' to a helipad which is at a height of 4650 mtrs AMSL. The sortie involved paradrop of 600 Kgs of load followed by a landing to offload 400 Kgs landing load. The helipad is bound by hills and has very rough and rugged terrain. After carrying out paradrop he landed and offloaded the aircraft as per the SOP. Thereafter he took off with 100 Kgs load and one passenger. When the ac had gained about 60 kmph speed and 60-70 ft height, Sqn Ldr Subba Rao suddenly heard a loud thud and experienced loss of height. He glanced at the engine instruments and noticed that the port engine RPM and TGT were rapidly going down. He displayed exceptional skill in handling the emergency and manoeruvred his aircraft even at that critical height and carried out a safe landing. The emergency had occurred at a very critical phase of flight and it was only because of Sqn Ldr Subba Rao's professionalism and competence as a pilot that helped him remain absolutely cool and react to the emergency in an exemplary manner which otherwise would have been a disaster. This successful single engine landing is perhaps, the first of its kind in Mi-17 aircraft which had been carried out at a height of 4650 mtrs (15500 ft) AMSL. This feat is all the more laudable because it occurred at the very extreme of the aircraft's flight envelope where the scope for error is absolutely negligible.

For his contribution to "ÓP MEGHDOOT", display of exceptional professional compe tence in handling a very critical emergency in an extremely hostile terrain, dedication to duty and courage, the President is pleased to award

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Pasupathy Venkataraman 18689 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 19 Aug 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Pasupathy Venkatraman is on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Squadron since 16 Oct 89. He has a total experience of 758:00 hours, of which 225:00 hours are on MiG-27 ML aircraft.

On 19 Aug 91, while carrying out a night practice level bombing sortie over a Range in MiG-27 ML aircraft, the detachable wingmounted gun pods got released accidentally, when the trigger for release for bombs was pressed. Flt Lt Venkataraman felt a very violent wing-rock, which he immediately countered and climbed to a safe height.

The gun­pod had caused extensive damage to the leading edge of the starboard wing and starboard flaps. Being a night sortie, he had no means of assessing the extent of damage visually. However, during the subsequent low speed handling check, when he selected flaps down, he noticed a marked "rolling" tendency. The "rolling" became progressively severe as the speed was reduced. He therefore decided to carry out a flapless landing.

Drawing upon the reserves of his limited flying skills, Flt Lt Venkataraman executed an extremely dangerous and critical flapless landing by night with no damage to the aircraft.

Flt Lt Venkataraman displayed outstanding presence of mind in a potentially dangerous situation. By his exceptionally cool and professional handling in a disastrous situation, he landed a crippled aircraft safely against all adversities.

For his exemplary courage in handling a potentially disastrous emergency by night and outstanding professionalism in landing a crippled aircraft, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flt Lt P Venkataraman.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Satinder Lal Sud 11317 F(P)Unit : No.102 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Gp Capt Satinder Lal Sud had the honour of Commanding a prestigious Trisonic strategic reconnaissance Sqn from 23 Oct to 13 Jan 92.

On taking over as CO, he undertook the task of training pilots to ensure ops capabilities of the Sqn. He achieved this single handedly by conducting lectures and performing dual checks. He had four fully ops pilots available to him in about one and half months time.

He personally air tested all aircraft returned from Russia after MR and ensured quality control. He involved himself in technical matters and ensured that all lifed components were changed with Cat 'D' rotables on the ac going to Russia for MR thus increasing his bank of rotables and saving shipment charges.

For the Sqn detts, minimum requirement of transport support was two IL-76 ac which was reduced to one by removing inertial-nav planning equipment from the Pelong vehicle and installing the same on a trolley which could be loaded in an AN-32 ac.

Photo machine, an important equipment for strategic reconnaissance Sqn, was unserviceable for want of spare parts from Russia. He persistently explored the market for fabricating the parts indigenously. He succeeded in doing so and put the machine into fully serviceable condition.

For his exceptional devotion to duty and management skill of high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Group Captain Satinder Lal Sud.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Arvind Kumar Nagalia 11633 F(P)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Group Captain Arvind Kumar Nagalia, VSM has been in command of a front line squadron since 06 Mar 89. The Squadron is equipped with two types of aircraft, the Jaguar and the Canberra.

He has been personally instrumental in recovery of a Jaguar aircraft after a serious engine problem while doing a dual check. The aircraft had engine surge in flight resulting in breaking off the LP compressor blades. By his exemplary airmanship in handling a serious emergency, he effected a safe recovery of the aircraft.

The average flying increased on the Jaguar and Canberra from 0900h per year to about 1200h per year respectively. By systematic training and meticulous planning, he has increased the operational potential of his unit. The unit won a number of trophies in Command Gunnery meets.

Being a maritime unit, his leadership and sense of involvement has resulted in successful commencement of Maritime Night Strike Syllabus and a 100% operational status of his pilots.

For his exceptional devotion to duty and qualities of leadership, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt AK Nagalia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Dushyant Singh Ahluwalia 9460 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Wg Cdr Dushyant Singh Ahluwalia has been on the posted strength of a Squadron since Aug 91. He has flown 4800 hrs on various transport aircraft including 21 hrs on AN-12.

On 05 Apr 92, Wg Cdr Ahluwalia was on a supply dropping sortie to Gapshan DZ. After successful completion of the drop, when close to Leh at an altitude of 8 km, a loud bang was heard from the starboard side followed by a judder. It was reported that number 3 engine was emitting thick black smoke. He then, without undue haste, ordered feathering of number 3 engine. As soon as it was completed, the internal fire warning light of number 4 engine appeared. The flight engineer sought permission to use number 4 engine fire extinguisher. When faced with this grave situation, Wg Cdr Ahluwalia showing remarkable coolness and presence of mind, restrained the flight engineer from operating the fire extinguishers. He instead immediately reduced power on No. 4 engine. There was no visual sign of fire on number 4 engine. He then came overhead Leh and made a correct approach and safe landing on three engines. On subsequent examination, number 3 engine was found to have seized with bearing failure. Any delay in feathering would have resulted in disintegration of the engine.

Throughout the period of emergency, Wg Cdr Ahluwalia displayed cool and competent presence of mind and qualities of airmanship. All this resulted in the saving of a valuable aircraft and precious lives.

For his courage and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr DS Ahluwalia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mahadeva Ramakrishna 12027 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Wing Commander Mandava Ramakrishna assumed Command of a helicopter unit on 21 Jan 89 and immediately dedicated himself whole heartedly for 'OP PAWAN' in Srilanka. He personally flew 440 missions and successfully carried out live underslung operations of an Army Chetak helicopter shot down earlier under LTTE fire from Mettur jungles on 30 Oct 89. His personal attention to minute details, sound advance planning, initiative and above all exemplary courage as a leader enabled the unit to provide admirable support to IPKF throughout the difficult and trying conditions of "OP Pawan".

In May 90, during the relief operations in Andhra Pradesh, he not only worked round the clock flying and co-ordinating the entire relief operation involving seven Mi-8 and six Chetaks, but also flew 15 to 20 sorties every day in hazardous and adverse weather conditions. Again in Jun 91, Wg Cdr Ramakrishna led two helicopters in marginal and adverse weather to provide relief in tidal waves affected islands of Maldives rendering yeoman's service to the island nation of Maldives.

During the tenure of three years, Wg Cdr Ramakrishna has spared no effort in maintaining high operational status of all aircrew of the unit. His consistent had work and unstinted dedication has enabled the Sqn to maintain 100% categorization at all times. He was instrumental in achieving the Best Helicopter Unit trophy for 1989.

His excellence in professionalism, exemplary dedication, tenacity, outstanding leadership and a rare capacity to meet all operational tasks have been of highest order and in keeping with the best traditions of Indian Air Force.

For his professional competence and excep tional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr M Ramakrishna.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pushpendra Singh Diwaniyan 12379 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Wg Cdr Pushpendra Singh Diwaniyan has been commanding one of the first OSA-AK-M air defence squadrons of the IAF with effect from 14 May 90. He has flown 6600 hrs on various aircraft, all accident/incident free.

While posted as Flight Commander in a Helicopter unit during Nov-Dec 85 in 'OP MEGHDOOT', Wg Cdr PS Diwaniyan carried out 1000 hazardous missions to deliver over 1500 tons of vital supplies like guns, ammunition, rations and medicines to various helipads in Siachen Glacier considered one of the highest DZs/helipads in the world. During Nov 85, he carried out the first ever successful paradrop of eight snow-mobikes to high helipads like Chandan, Jawala, G-3, Kumar, Sai-la etc. in a very close proximity to enemy locations in situations invariably similar to warlike conditions due to frequent enemy shelling/fire, from altitudes ranging from 18000 to 21000 ft. well above the ceiling of Mi-17 helicopters. This resulted in enhanced operational mobility of the Army patrols between posts, near the actual line of control, on the Siachen Glacier.

Ever since taking up the assignment as OC of OSA-AK-M squadron, the officer has gone methodically and with a great zeal in moulding his unit into a viable operational squadron capable of meeting its assigned air defence task.

Wg Cdr Diwaniyan has had the unique distinction of being parade commander of the Air Force Day investiture parades, the President's Colour presentation parade and a number of Guard of Honours presented to foreign Heads of States.

For his courage and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Pushpendra Singh Diwaniyan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Anil Chaudhari 14564 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Squadron Leader Anil Chaudhari is on the posted strength of a Squadron of Air Force wef May 89. He is an A-2 QFI, FSL and IRIE.

During his tenure of three years in the unit, he has maintained an accident-free record and performed the duties of Flight Commander, IRIE and Sqn FSL.

After he became the first FSL on type in Feb 90, he immediately got down to the task of compiling data for calculating the firing parameters on Type. The important values of CL/Alpha for type were not available. TACDE, AF also could not provide the much needed information. Sqn Ldr Chaudhari took it on himself to work out these parameters. He resorted to using the MiG-23 figures and started correcting them after detailed analysis of results through plotted armament scores and file debriefs. His painstaking efforts bore fruits when the unit participated in the EAC Annual Gunnery Meet and was declared overall EKLAVYA champion for the year 1991-92 winning three of the four events. The calculating parameters were immediately transmitted to all type operating units so that the IAF standards could also improve.

He then got down to the task of Combat Training of the pilots. He introduced the Defensive Manoeuvering Concept on type, carried out trials and rewrote the entire briefing guide and circulated it to the type operators for Interdiction patterns, Strike Tactics and Close Air Support with 2, 3 and 4 ac missions. For his exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Anil Chaudhari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Ramkumar Mahadevan 15033 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Sqn Ldr R Mahadevan has been working as a Senior Flight Commander of the Sqn since 15 Jul 91. He is fully operational on MiG Bis aircraft with 876:00 hrs on type and has an unblemished record of over 2100:00 hrs of total flying.

On 11 Oct 91, he was authorized to fly a routine procedures sortie on Type-75 ac C-2116. The initial part of the flight was uneventful. After 12 minutes of flying, he heard a loud bang and the aircraft developed severe vibrations. This was soon followed by the Fire Warning coming ON. The aircraft generator and hydraulic systems failed. The engine parameters shot well beyond the permissible limits. Sqn Ldr Mahadevan was thus faced with multiple emergencies within a short span of time. The aircraft condition was fast deteriorating and the pilot was faced with the most difficult decision to eject.

However, the pilot with single­minded devotion to duty decided to recover the crippled aircraft on residual thrust. He analysed the emergency promptly and recovered the aircraft safely. He thus displayed professional competence of a very high order in tackling complex emergencies. The pilot not only prevented the loss of a very expensive aircraft but also enriched the service with valuable information with regards to complex aircraft emergencies.

For his acts of courage and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr R Mahadevan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Surya Bir Singh 16630 F(P)Unit : Basic Flying Training School  Award Date 20 Feb 92 Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Sqn Ldr Surya Bir Singh is on the posted strength of Basic Flying Training School since 20 Jun 91, as a Flying Instructor.

On 20 Feb 92, Sqn Ldr SB Singh was detailed for an instructional general handl ing sortie on Deepak aircraft No. x 2550. During the process of demonstrating a loop to the trainee, severe engine vibrations were experienced, while the aircraft was travel ing vertically with air-speed rapidly reducing. Sqn Ldr SB Singh calmly reduced throttle and recovered the aircraft from the adverse attitude, inspite of being hampered by the severely vibrating instrument panel. Attempt of reducing the engine vibrations by adjusting mixture, resulted in engine switch off, vibrations and propeller coming to dead stop, instead of wind milling.

Sqn Ldr SB Singh kept the engine shut at great personal risk and decided to carry out a dead stick landing. The situation in terms of height and distance to runway at that moment was critical.

As a consequence of an excellent and precise judgment, expert and deft handling of the aircraft, Sqn Ldr SB Singh executed a copy book dead stick landing. During the entire emergency, he kept the inexperienced flight cadet engrossed by calling out the actions in the cockpit. Sqn Ldr SB Singh displayed exceptional qualities of airmanship and professionalism in handling the emergency by safely force landing the aircraft without any damage or injury to its occupants.

For his acts of courage and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr SB Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Chow Ongpee Maunglang 17441 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date 03 Jun 92 Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Chow Ongpee Maunglang was posted to MiG Operational Flying Training Unit with effect from 09 Sep 91 from a Type 75 Squadron. From his arrival, he applied himself with determination and zeal to promote flying in this unit. Despite his youthful years, he displayed a rare maturity of purpose and design.

On 03 Jun 92, while rejoining after a PI sortie, his canopy exploded in the air. Silvers of perspex cut his face and shattered his cheek-bones, causing excessive bleeding. Despite the pain and shock, the officer retained his presence of mind and initiated an ejection. Though the ejection was successful, the canopy minus the perspex bubble did not separate cleanly. Grievously injured and tumbling down through the air, Flt Lt Maunglang did not panic but decided to fight on. He operated the manual separation lever and decided to eject through the broken canopy perspex. He achieved this and then also opened manual D ring to ensure that his parachute would deploy. Unfortunately, exiting through the canopy, he was hit on the head by the solid frame, causing fatal injuries. The officer fought to the very last breath.

For his acts of courage and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal (Posthumously) to Flt Lt Chow Ongpee Maunglang.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Ravindra D Kundari 17873 F(P)Unit : No.35 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Flt Lt Ravindra D Kudari is on the posted strength of a Squadron since 14 Oct 91. He has flown a total of 683 hrs. on different types of aircraft. His total solo experience on Canberra aircraft is 112 hrs.

On 22 Nov 91, while on a sortie and coming to land, he lowered undercarriage and commenced descent and noticed two 'reds' only on the undercarriage indicator and the main hydraulic pressure had dropped to zero. He operated the hand pump to build up hydraulic pressure to obtain three greens, but there was no response. Coupled with this, his starboard generator failure warning light also came on. He was advised by the SFS to initiate climb to 6000 feet and take appropriate actions. When all attempts to lower the undercarriage failed, he was told to prepare for a wheels up landing on the runway. During the 50 minutes or so, Flt Lt Kudari remained calm, composed and displayed professionalism of a very high order. After touch down, he controlled the direction in such a manner that the aircraft came to a halt on the runway centre line. The aircraft sustained least possible damage considering the fact that it was EW modified Canberra aircraft in which direction keeping is very difficult. Any error of judgment on the part of the pilot could have resulted in disastrous consequences. Throughout the period of about 58 minutes, while handling multiple emergencies, Flt Lt Kudari remained composed, calm and displayed high degree of professional competence resulting in not only saving the lives of the aircrew but also a valuable aircraft of the Air Force.

For his presence of mind and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flt Lt RD Kudari

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Rajeev Kumar Chauhan 18556 F(P)Unit : No.110 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Rajeev Kumar Chouhan is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit, Air Force since 09 May 90. He holds B Green Cat/IR on Mi-8 and has flown 1550 hrs of accident/incident-free flying to date.

On 11 Feb 92, Flt Lt Chouhan was detailed to undertake Air Maintenance Ex MON, to various DZs of Assam Rifles in Nagaland Area. During the course of Air Maintenance sortie from MON to Chaklanyshu on giving the command to drop the load over the DZ, Flt Lt Chouhan suddenly experienced severe vibrations followed by partial loss of control of the helicopter. One of the parachutes had separated from the load and had entangled in the tail. Sensing the emergency and seriousness of the situation, Flt Lt Chouhan kept cool and controlled the helicopter. Maintaining presence of mind, he decided to put the aircraft down on the helipad PSEAO in the immediate vicinity at an altitude of 1750 meters. During the course of landing on the helipad, the parachute chords further entangled in the tail rotor causing damage to tail rotor gear box to a very great extent resulting in further loss of control and direction of the helicopter.

Flt Lt Chouhan, however, continued to remain unperturbed and very successfully put the helicopter down at the helipad without any loss of life.

For his acts of courage and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flt Lt RK Chouhan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Paritosh Upadhyay 18581 F(P)Unit : No.152 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 13 Oct 92 Announced 26 Jan 93
Details :

On 13 Oct 92, the hauling cable of cable car carrying passengers to 'Timber Trail' holiday resort had snapped and ten passengers on board got stranded in the middle of the valley. The Air Force was given the task to rescue the passengers of cable car which was dangling at a height of 1500 ft. above the river bed.

A specially selected aircrew including Flt Lt P Upadhaya was tasked to undertake this hazardous mission. The only way, the tourists could be saved was by winching them up from the cable car. For this, the helicopter had to hover precariously close to the set of cables that ran above the cable car. The mission was fraught with danger as the slightest mistake on the part of any team member could end in disaster.

The helicopter was manoeuvred to a position above the cable car, with a roof approx 2' x 2' in dimension. Absence of any visual reference, turbulence and strong winds made precision hovering over the car very difficult and hazardous. Hovering is tiring and doing the same respectively ten times, 20 mts. each, involved exceptional courage and professional skills. It was due to sheer professionalism and exceptional courage that all ten passengers were rescued. This rescue operation was perhaps the first of its kind in the history.

For exceptional courage, professional of highest order, excellent team work and exemplary devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flt Lt P Upadhaya.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 1993 - No.63-Pres/93 dated 26th January 1993 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Baljeet Singh 9557 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Gp Capt Baljeet Singh was commissioned on 16 May 65 and has been the Commanding Officer of an operational Helicopter Unit (HU) since 26 Aug 91.

Gp Capt Baljeet Singh has achieved a unique distinction of being the only helicopter pilot to exceed 10,000 hrs of flying in the Indian Air Force. This marvelous feat was achieved by him over a span of 28 years of accident free flying which speaks volumes of his professional competence. He has flown various types of helicopters viz. Mi-4, Mi-8, Mi17, Chetak and Cheetah over terrains like the desert, the high reaches of the Siachen Glacier, the uncertain weather zones of the North East and over the vast expanse of the Sea. He has undertaken missions covering flood relief, counter-insurgency, Air Maintenance to VVIP communication duties. He had been commended by the Chief of the Air Staff twice i.e., in Jan 77 and Aug 83 for qualities of airmanship and devotion to duty.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Gp Capt Baljeet Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Shivsangappa Umbarje 12760 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Wg Cdr Ashok Shivasangappa Umbarje was commissioned on 12 Jun 71 and has been in Command of a combat squadron since 13 May 91. He has to his credit over 3600 hours of flying and is at the threshold of the exclusive club of aviators with 5000 sorties on MiG-21.

During his Command, eleven ab-initio pilots were declared fully operational and 10 pilots were declared day Ops. The squadron carried out this high level of training while maintaining a zero accident rate.

During Wg Cdr AS Umbarje's tenure, the squadron was inspected twice by Air Crew Examiner Board and once by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team. On these occasions, the squadron achieved a very high rating in all disciplines viz. Operations, Maintenance and Administration.

Under his dynamic leadership, the squadron won overall first position. It was also adjudged 'Best Combat Squadron' in South Western Air Command for 1992.

For exceptional devotion to duty and dynamic leadership, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr AS Umbarje.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Satish Kumar Gahlaut 12764 F(P)Unit : No.17 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Wg Cdr Satish Kumar Gahlaut was commissioned on 12 Jun 71 as a fighter pilot. He commanded a fighter Squadron during 199092. The officer has over 2500 hours of accident -free fighter flying to his credit which includes over 3000 sorties on MiG -21 aircraft.

During his tenure as Commanding Officer, the Sqn was inspected twice by Aircrew Examining Board (AEB) and once by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection. In all these inspections the unit was rated very high each time. The unit won the prestigious overall trophy during the Western Air Command Gunnery Meet, 199192. The consistency in performance was mainly due to the outstanding leadership provided by Wg Cdr Gahlaut.

Wg Cdr Gahlaut was given the task of reequipping the Squadron for dedicated Photo Reconnaissance (PR) role. He handled this task in a highly professional manner and ensured that the transition was most expeditious and smooth.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr SK Gahlaut.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Harjinder Singh Rehney 8367 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Wg Cdr Harjinder Singh Rehncy was commissioned on 18 Apr 64 and has been on the posted strength of AN-12 Squadron since May 88. He is extremely capable and experienced transport pilot having flown over 8500 hrs on various aircraft, of which 5500 hrs are on the AN-12.

On 19 Nov 92, Wg Cdr Rehncy successfully handled a dangerous situation involving multiple emergencies on the AN-12 and landed the aircraft safely at a forward airfield. The aircraft took off from Jaisalmer with passengers and cargo. About 50 miles from Halwara, the aircraft encountered bad weather resulting in drop of oil contents from No. 4 engine. Wg Cdr Rehncy very rightly assessed the situation and feathered the No. 4 engine. In the meantime the oil contents of No. 1 engine started dropping. He maintained his cool and carried out a safe 3 engine landing at Halwara. He switched off No. 1 engine immediately after landing to prevent any damage to the engine due to low pressure/contents. He thus averted a major disaster, saving not only 60 human lives but also a valuable aircraft, in keeping with the highest traditions of the IAF.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr RS Rehncy.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Sharad Uddhavrao Apte 12380 F(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Wg Cdr Sharad Uddhavrao Apte was commissioned on 13 Jan 70 and has been on the posted strength of Directorate of Operations (Air Defence), Air Headquarters since 23 Apr 90.

Wg Cdr Apte is a highly qualified and experienced Mirage-2000 pilot. He commanded one of the premier fighter squadrons for two years and both the years, the squadron was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Squadron of IAF'. It was also awarded the Best Flight Safety (CAC), Best Squadron on CAC (1990) and the IAF Instrument Rating Trophies.

During May 89, eight fully serviceable aircraft were damaged in a hangar collapse. Within a matter of three months all these aircrafts were repaired and flown, with Wg Cdr Apte flying the first air test sortie on each of these aircraft. He, thus, displayed high professional competence and extraordinary airmanship.

As Deputy Director Air Defence at Air Headquarters, Wg Cdr Apte, with his professional knowledge and planning abilities was able to resolve the long outstanding problems of War Wastage Reserve of Mirage fleet including specialist weapons in relatively short period.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr SU Apte.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Normon Anil Kumar Browne 13129 F(P)Unit : No.16 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Wg Cdr Norman Anil Kumar Browne was commissioned on 24 Jun 72 and has been in command of a Squadron, equipped with the frontline Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft since Dec 90. Wg Cdr Browne is a graduate of Staff College in USA. He has over 3000 hours of accident-free flying.

Immediately after assuming command of the Squadron, he set about enhancing the operational preparedness and potential of the unit. Wg Cdr Browne's personal contribution in development of tactics has been very significant. Recommendations made by him and his team have been accepted by Air HQ and these form a part of the standard tactics for strike squadrons.

During a low level night strike mission in a Jaguar aircraft, he experienced serious controls malfunction followed by controls restriction in the rudders. As worthy professional, he remained cool and analyzed the emergency correctly. He nursed the stricken aircraft to a safe altitude. He had to fly the aircraft extremely close to the limits of the performance envelope. He displayed extraordinary qualities of airmanship in landing the crippled aircraft thus saving invaluable aircraft.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr NAK Browne.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Sanjay Kumar Jayaswal 13134 F(P)Unit : No.18 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Wg Cdr SK Jayaswal was commissioned as a fighter pilot in Jun 72. He has more than 3300 hours of accident free flying on fighter aircraft to his credit. He is in command of a MiG-27 Squadron since May 91.

As Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr Jayaswal has been leading the combat unit from the front. He devoted himself to the operational combat training of the pilots. His systematic approach to armament training resulted in excellent performance of the Sqn in the annual air to ground armament firing meet of the Western Air Command where the Sqn was adjudged the best.

His professional ability and conduct has been a source of inspiration to all his subordinates. He motivated his officers and men in the most competent manner to form a well-knit combat team. This showed results when the unit, under his leadership, attained the highest ever marks given by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection Team to any unit in the IAF.

For his professional competence and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr SK Jayaswal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.