Awards for the year 2004


A total of 64 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 6 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 11 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 20 | Vishist Seva Medal : 27 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Anil Kumar Trikha 8436 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Marshal Anil Kumar Trikha AVSM VSM (8436) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 18 Apr 1964. He has 3238h of flying to his credit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor arid Fighter Combat Leader (FCL). He is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College. During his 38 years of career in the IAF, he has held a number of challenging command, staff and instructional appointments, which include CO of a fighter Squadron, flying instructor in a friendly foreign country, Chief Operations Officer of a Jaguar base and Comdt of College of Air Warfare as well as National Defence Academy. Presently, Air Mshl Trikha is AOC-in-C Southern Air Command since 01 Jan 03. While serving as Ops 1A at HQ WAC, Air Mshl Trikha revised the Op Plans of WAC based on threat perception and latest tactical concepts. This involved intensive planning as regard to deployment of forces, updating of strike plans and co-ordination with other branches to ensure prompt and appropriate logistic support. He had also participated in the 1965 and 1971 operations as a very young pilot, for which he was mentioned in despatches in 1972. He was specially selected to undergo a specialist operationally oriented course abroad. Thereafter, he served on the operational staff at Air Headquarters and in the Military Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat. For his distinguished service, he was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 1992 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1995.

As Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of an operational base, Air Mshl Trikha used his vast experience in the field and on staff to train the personnel of his station, demanding all round excellence. He associated himself closely with efforts and trials to upgrade the air defence environment of the Base. In Mar 95, he was appointed Air Advisor in the High Commission of India, London and later Commandant of College of Air Warfare, Secunderabad. During his tenure as AD Commander in Southwestern Air Command, Gandhinagar, he was instrumental in redrafting the existing Op instructions based on the current requirement of deployment and Air Defence philosophy. As Commandant, National Defence Academy in 2001-02, he rejuvenated the training syllabi based on current Military scenario. He revolutionised the IT scene at NDA by introducing the LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network). The entire Academy were connected on LAN/WAN, which never existed before. With his personal initiative he ensured the construction of a double perimeter wall around the 9000 acres to enhance security of the Academy.

As AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command he has brought about all round improvements in the field of Operations, Maintenance, Administration and welfare of the personnel. Under his leadership and guidance SAC is ever willing to shoulder heavy responsibilities and additional tasks.

Air Mshl AK Trikha has rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Brijendra Mohan Bali 8438 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Marshal Brijendra Mohan Bali AVSM VM (8438) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 18 Apr 64. He has over 4200 hours of accident free flying to his credit on different fighter aircraft variants Inclusive of over 600 hours on the MiG-25R. He is a qualified flying instructor and a fighter combat leader. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College. He has flown several operational missions during the Indo-Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971 and commanded the Air Force element at Jaffna during the IPKF operations in 1990. In addition, during his distinguished service of over 38 years, he had held several challenging field, staff and instructional appointments, which include Instructor with Iraqi Air Force, D Plans, ACAS (Insp), IG and SASO HQ CAC, IAF. Presently, he is AOC-in-C, CAC since 01 Feb 03.

During 1987-88, Air Mshl Bali personally led several photo-reconnaissance and ELINT missions deep into operational areas with total disregard of the inherent risks, providing significant results and valuable information for national security. He was awarded VM (G) for his determination and courage. As Director of Plans at Air HQs, he was personally involved in the procurement of important aircraft and radar equipment. As Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Pathankot on 28 Aug 95, he progressively optimised maintenance and operational performance on the base to high levels with significant results. The base recorded an average increase of twenty percent in flying effort with corresponding improvements in the operational status of the fighter squadrons. During his tenure, the station had been amongst the best-administrated wings of Western Air Command and was able to absorb additional strike squadrons and air defence elements comprising 600 officers and men during exercise Trishul. As the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Air Command, which is geographically the largest operational command of the IAF, Air Mshl Bali has relentlessly pursued achievement of high levels of operational capability. With his inherent ability of visualizing task requirements towards attainment of future goals, timely analysis and planning towards critical requirements, he has ensured the highest operational capability of Mirage and Jaguar fleets. The smooth induction of IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft in Central Air Command coupled with relevant training of modern generation fighter aircraft has been a major achievement during his tenure. During his tenure as IG, the accident rate in the IAF was amongst the lowest recorded for the several years. The Air Mshl through his efforts has given the requisite thrust to computerisation and networking. He has taken deep Interest in the welfare and growth of the personnel.

Air Marshal Bali has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Bijoy Krishna Pandey 8990 F(P)Unit : Training Command  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Marshal Bijoy Krishna Pandey AVSM VM (8990) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Fighter Pilot on 25 Dec 64. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College. During his distinguished service of over 38 years, he had held several challenging field, staff and instructional appointments, which include Director DICOST and Director Joint (Ops) Planning at Air HQ and Deputy Commandant NDA. He has also served as the Air Attaché, Embassy of India at Kabul during the three most turbulent years in the recent history of war ravaged Afghanistan. Presently, he is the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, IAF since 14 Feb 03.

AirMshlPandeyhasrendereddistinguished service in several important appointments. He has successfully commanded Air Force Station, Agra, one of the largest operational bases in the IAF, which sustains high intensityflying operations throughout the year. During his tenure as Deputy Commandant NDA, the Academy celebrated its Golden Jubilee, an infinitely complex exercise during which the NDA hosted the Vice President of India as the Chief Guest, a large number of dignitaries and thousands of alumni of NDA. As Operations Manager in Aviation Research Centre (ARC), he initiated many reforms/measures, which had a positive impact on the work ethos of the Air Wing. The fleet modernisation and other futuristic projects were handled by him very systematically and efficiently which have ensured smooth implementation of various projects of importance to national security. Air Mshl Pandey was awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) in 1971 for displaying superb professional skill and courage in saving valuable lives and an aircraft. He was awarded AVSM in 2001 for distinguished service of an exceptional order.

As AOC-in-C, Training Command he has implemented several measures directed at qualitative changes, having positive impact on the training philosophy and professional standards in the Air Force. He was also responsible for the conduct of the prestigious International Air Show 2003 at Bangalore as also, a number of other major exercises to promote awareness of the IAF amongst the youth in South India.

Air Mshl BK Pandey has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Raghu Rajan 8997 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Marshal Raghu Rajan (8997) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Fighter Pilot on 25 Dec 64. He has 3091h of accident free flying to his credit. He is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College and National Defence College. He is a fighter combat leader and also a test pilot. During his distinguished service of over 38 years, he has held several challenging field, staff and instructional appointments, which include Chief Operations Officer at AF Station Srinagar, Commandant TACDE and SAASO at HQ MC. Presently, he is the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air Headquarters since 05 Jun 02.

As Chief Operations Officer, AF Station Srinagar during 89-91, when militancy gained ascendancy resulting in deterioration in the internal security scenario, he effectively integrated training of AD systems, Interceptor aircrafts, Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs), Radars and Mobile Observation Flights (MOFs) to maintain very high operational state. He also arranged integrated training for interdiction and Offensive Air Support roles for Airborne FAC and Army elements. Under his leadership, AF Station Srinagar was adjudged the best in operations in WAC in 1990. As Comdt, TACDE, he carried out a review of Op and annual training syllabi of all fighters units of IAF and also evolved tactics of strike aircraft for beyond visual range (BVR) engagements. It was during this time that the first ever night firepower demonstration was conducted at Sarmat Range involving fighters, tpts and heptrs. He commanded AF Station Jodhpur, which is one of the largest fighter airbases. During his tenure one of the fighter Sqns was adjudged the best fighter Sqn in IAF and two other Sqns based there were judged first and second in the SWAC inter Squadron Gunnery meet. The Mi-8 Sqn, Chetak were also adjudged the best helicopter Sqns. He encouraged local modification of Chetak, Mi-8, MiG23 and SAM units, thereby saving money and manhours. As Head of Air Wing training team at DSSC, he enhanced the quality of syllabi, introduced lectures and exercises on strategy and tactics and Capsules on Leadership and Logistics Management.

As Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, he is responsible for the planning, processing and progressing of the procurement of weapon systems and allied items for Air Force besides acting as a nodal authority for the Indian Air Force for the interface between the IAF, Ministry and Civil agencies in order to expedite the acquisitions. Under his able guidance, a concerted effort was made towards identification of infrastructural improvement in the Air Force and their staggered execution planned. Similarly, special emphasis has been given to planning and coordinating the medium and long-term requirement of Radar & Navigation Aids to improve the operational efficiency.

Air Marshal Raghu Rajan has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Narayan Menon 9005 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Marshal Narayan Menon, UYSM, AVSM, (9005) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned In the Indian Air Force as a Fighter Pilot on 25 Dec 64. He has 3147 h of accident free flying to his credit. He is a qualified flying instructor and a fighter combat leader. He has commanded a fighter squadron and two operational bases and a Flying Training Establishment. He is an alumnus of College of Defence Management and National Defence College. During his distinguished service of over 38 years, he had held several challenging field, staff and instructional appointments, which include Head of OB Faculty at CDM, AOC J&K and ACAS (Ops). Presently, he is Air Officer in-charge Personnel (AOP) at Air Headquarters since 01 Feb 02.

As Director Operations (Air Defence), he displayed considerable foresight and a deep sense of involvement in the management and optimisation of resources for the defence of our skies. For his distinguished service of exceptional order, he was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1998.

As AOC J & K during Kargil Operations, he was personally involved in planning and execution of all joint missions with the Army. As a result, the Air Force successfully dislodged the enemy and facilitated early cessation of hostilities. For his leadership, initiation, strategic planning and tactical innovation he was awarded Uttam Yudh Seva Medal in 1999.

As Asst Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) at Air Headquarter, he was responsible for formulation of war plans and conduct of major exercises. When mobilisation was ordered after an attack on the Parliament on 13 Dec 01, he ensured that squadrons were deployed at Op locations on 14 Dec 01 itself. Despite long deployment of the personnel, he ensured that they remained at the highest level of preparedness, ready to launch an attack at shortest possible notice.

As Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel, Air Mshl Menon has been responsible for all aspects of personnel planning, induction, training, recognition and rewards to all the personnel in the IAF. During his tenure a number of policies and innovative measures, which will go a long way to enhance the motivation and morale of the IAF personnel have been initiated. These include revival of SNCOs Commission to provide better career prospects to the serving airmen, improvement in the promotion ratios of the officers in the ground duty branches and more transparency in the decision making process. He and his team have been able to set IAF Training Institute recognised by the AICTE as also civil aviation recognition for military aviation qualifications.

Air Mshl N Menon has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Prakashchandra Khandubhai Desai 10078 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Marshal Prakashchandra Khandubhai Desai AVSM VSM (10078) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was commissioned in Indian Air Force on 03 Jan 66. During his career laced with academic brilliance at various civil and service courses he has achieved number of milestones on professional and administrative fronts.

His leadership qualities, professional acumen, academic & research orientation has helped in achieving excellent results in tasks like indigenisation, life extension and operational modifications. He had held several important assignments like Weapon Test Engineer at Aircraft-and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Dy Air Attaché, Moscow, Chief Engineering Officer Air Force Station Tezpur, and Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Kanpur during his service career bringing out his skills in contract negotiations, civil admin and legal matters besides the technical expertise. During his tenure as ACAS Eng 'A', he managed the technical and logistics of large fleet of Russian fighters, transport ac and helicopters under adverse circumstances of poor product support from OEM, both during peace and during Op Parakram. He was IAF representative in several important delegations to Russia and Ukraine and was instrumental in successfully concluding large number of contracts for critical equipment and spares. He has also been appointed on Scientific Committees at NAL and Indian Society of Non Destructive Testing.

In his present assignment as SMSO HQ MC since 12 Jun 2002, with his vast technical and logistics experience, he has provided new impetus to production, modification, provisioning and indigenisation efforts of various BRDs/EDs. Under his guidance, most of the BRDs have not only managed to complete their assigned task, but also provided excellent support to operational units in AOG clearance, in-situ repairs and rectifications. He has been instrumental in bringing about change in orientation and priority at the Maintenance Command units in favour of supporting operational units. His close association with R & D, HAL, certification and academic institutions has resulted in enormous saving of Foreign Exchange and resolution of number of problems affecting availability of aviation equipment,

Air Mshl PK Desai AVSM VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Gordon Peter D'Souza 10984 LGSUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Vice Marshal D'Souza is an upright and honest officer who has high degree of professional excellence and perserverance in marshalling the limited resources available to achieve various tasks. Since his arrival at HQ Maintenance Command, he has exhibited a single-minded devotion to enhance the work ethos of his personnel. His leadership and professionalism has contributed immensely in fine tuning logistics management activities of the Equipment Depot and Base Repair Depots. His concerted efforts have raised the performance level of EDs/BRDs, and also generated a saving of Rs. 11 Crores in local and central purchase. Disposal of non-moving inventory has increased and continued pursuance and efforts have fructified in 47446 lines identified as useful.

AVM D'Souza has laid special emphasis on monitoring and control of provisioning activities to ensure availability of spares and serviceability of aircraft fleet. As a result of his initiative availability of spares has improved at all levels. Also critical examination of the projections of spares based on comprehensive assessments has resulted in saving valuable foreign exchange. Movement of stores to operational units has been speeded up through civil courier contracts at depots for items weighing more than 35 Kgs, cutting transit time. Under his guidance, the Central Purchase Cell at HQ MC has addressed critical shortage of clothing by ensuring strict vendor discipline and timely supply increasing satisfaction of airmen's entitlement.

Air Vice Marshal Gordon Peter D'Souza has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Arvind Kumar Nagalia 11633 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Arvind Kumar Nagalia VM VSM (11633) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 02 Jun 67. During his 36 years of service career he has held important and challenging staff and field appointments, which include Commanding Officer of a maritime Jaguar Sqn, Joint Director Air Staff Requirements at Air HQ, Air Attaché at Kiev, Ukraine, Director Projects at Air HQs, Commandant Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) and Director NFTC. He is a qualified Flying Instructor. He has undergone Advance Staff Course at UK. He is also an alumnus of National Defence College (NDC). He was awarded VSM in 1985 and VM in 1993. Presently he is holding the appointment of Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Planning) at Air HQs since 16 Sep 02.

Throughout his service career and especially so when holding criteria appointment he has been the epitome of professionalism, probity and personal integrity. During a very difficult phase, through forethought, effective intervention and persistent efforts, he resolved vexatious issues of product support, settlement of warranty claims and on site training personnel not only of the IAF but also of the Army, DRDO and Defence PSUs. This had a significant impact on the maintenance of operational preparedness. During his tenure as Commandant ASTE, a record number of difficult trials involving complex systems were carried safely and effectively. Whilst being the Project Director NFTC, he was instrumental in formulating overall Flight Test Plan for the Tejas (Light Combat Aircraft). Appointed ACAS (Plans) Air HQ in Sep 02, he was responsible in breaking the deadlock between the Russians and Israelis in the integration of a major weapon system for the Su-30 MK I project. His close interaction with officials of Ministry of Defence, DRDO and Defence PSUs, unbiased and professional advice and budgetary issued as well as a truly long term perspective have facilitated clearance of a large number of projects in a reasonably short time frame.

Air Vice Marshal Arvind Kumar Nagalia VM VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Balatikalandra Uthaiah Chengappa 12112 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Balatikalndra Uthaiah Chengappa, VSM (12112) was commissioned in the Engineering Branch of the IAF on 05 Jan 70. He has undergone training abroad on Mi-25 aircraft and has successfully carried out armament trials without the assistance of the Russian warranty team. During his service of 33 years he has held various important appointments, which include Commanding Officer (CO) of Guided Weapon Training Institute (GWTI), Joint Director Signal/Eng at Air HQ, CO MiG-23/27 Technical Type Training School (TETRA), Chief Engineering Officer at Fighter Training Wing (FTW) and AOC of a BRD. He was awarded VSM in 1996 for consistently maintaining the ageing Iskra fleet at more than 99% serviceability through high levels of involvement and innovativeness. Presently, he is the Senior Maintenance Staff Officer of Central Air Command since Jan 03.

As Air Officer Commanding of one of the premier systems BRDs, with his proactive approach he was successful in not only identifying and obtaining crores worth of Pechora systems from Tajikistan but also recovering the Cat 'D' Pechora combat flight through extended medium repairs to provide additional combat flight for Air Defence during Op Parakarm.

As Senior Maintenance Staff Officer (SMSO) of Central Air Command he has brought in positive change in the ethos and work culture both at command as well as in the field units. He has brought all round improvements in aircraft activities and system functioning. His innovative approach in focusing on maintenance and flight safety has contributed immensely towards the promotion of safety consciousness in bases both in flying and nonflying environments.

With his initiative and personal liaison with Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs), ADRDE and Air HQ AVM Chengappa has been able to achieve quality improvements in both aircraft serviceability and systems functioning. Under his technical leadership, Central Air Command has been able to bring up the Jaguar, AN-32 & IL-76 serviceability, provide thrust for further exploitation of Mirage capability, plan for smooth induction of Su-30 MK I, focus earnestly on multi-skilling and induct smoothly the Fighter Reconnaissance Aircraft (FRA) Sqn in spite of various constraints.

Air Vice Marshal Balatikalndra Uthaiah Chengappa, VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Jayant Satchidanand Apte 11900 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Jayant Satchidanand Apte (11900) was commissioned on 30 Dec 68 in the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) Branch of the IAF. In his 34 years of distinguished career, he has held a number of important appointments, such as Chief Engineering Officer (CEO), Command Signals Officer (CSO) and Deputy Senior Maintenance Staff Officer (Dy SMSO) at Western Air Command (WAC), Eastern Air Command (EAC) and Maintenance Command (MC) respectively. He has been Air Officer Commanding of AF Station Kanpur, the largest Maintenance base in the IAF. Presently he is the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Engineering) at Air HQ.

As the CEO he contributed to the achievement of high level of serviceability of fighter ac and other systems. Under his leadership, the Station was adjudged best in maintenance for two consecutive years. As CEO at HQ WAC, he provided direction and guidance to all the bases under WAC, operating different types of weapon systems. He also successfully coordinated various maintenance requirements of three Trishul Exercises. Whilst being CO of ADGESTI AVM Apte brought about a tremendous change in the training philosophy by introduction of IT tools for training. While serving as CSO EAC, he standardized instal lation of exchanges and other communication systems resulting in better operational preparedness.

As AOC of Air Force Station Kanpur AVM Apte motivated the officers and personnel to perform together as a team. Under his leadership the Station had much higher production than the allotted tasks in overhauling of AN32 and various types of aero-engines in the two production years.

He successfully led life extension study teams on AN-32 aircraft, rotables and Viper aero-engines resulting in enhanced availability of fleet. AS Dy SMSO at HQ MC he has been able to coordinate maintenance activities of BRDs efficiently resulting in timely completion of task. During the Aero India 2003, he coordinated the display of items at the Maintenance Command stall which evoked keen interest from representatives of various business houses.

Air Vice Marshal Jayant Satchidanand Apte has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pravesh Kumar 12411 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Pravesh Kumar (12411) F (P) was commissioned as a transport pilot on 13 Jan 70. He has over 5900 hours of accident free flying. He has commanded a Pechora Squadron, an IL-76 Squadron and two flying stations prior to his present assignment as Air Officer Commanding of a transport aircraft base since 01 Dec 01. He is also an alumnus of the National Defence College.

Air Cmde Kumar set about achieving excellence in all facets of the Station soon after taking over command. He ensured that despite lower serviceability, the squadrons fulfilled all tasks in Op Parakram. The flying units also displayed significant improvements in their qualification and operational status. Several modifications, innovations and selfhelp projects were carried out under his able leadership. As a result the Station has been declared the best in Maintenance for two consecutive years. In 2003, the Station has been selected to represent Eastern Air Command in the competition for selection as the Air Traffic Service provider in the IAF.

He has embodied every trait of an air warrior. He has ensured a clean and healthy working and domestic environment, carried out camp beautification with optimal utilization of available assets and provided the maximum welfare requirements within service resources.

Air Commodore Pravesh Kumar has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Shakti Bhushan Prashar 12442 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Shakti Bhushan Prashar, VSM (12442) was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) Branch of the IAF on 06 Jan 70. During his career of over 33 years, he has successfully held important appointments such as Senior Engineering Officer (SEO) at Air HQs Communication Squadron, Chief of Functional Wing at Base Repair Depot (BRD), CO of a BRD and HQ Central Air Command (CAC). He was awarded VSM in 1998. The officer was the Air Officer Commanding of a BRD prior to his retirement on 30 Sep 03.

During his tenure at AF Station Gawlior, he accepted the challenge to modify the air intakes of Mirage 2000 ac against the advice of the manufacturer to ferry the aircraft abroad for retro modification. As SEO with Air HQ Communication Squadron, his recommendation on servicing of Boeing-737 aircraft resulted in substantial saving to the exchequer. As CEO HQ MC, he controlled all maintenance related matters in respect of the fighter fleet of IAF besides direct control of production activities of two BRDs. The project managed by him included indigenous development of overhaul technology for MiG-29 ac, Total Technical Extension Project for MiG-29 ac, Life Extension of MiG-25 ac, Viper Aero-engines and Avionic Modification.

His qualities of leadership, man management and administrative acumen came to the fore while commanding a BRD. His untiring efforts in providing transparent pro-active administration resulted in improved morale, excellent work culture and higher production outputs. In functional areas, he guided the production, indigenization and logistics management activities of the BRD. As a result the depot was assessed as Best Depot during the last year.

Air Commodore Shakti Bhushan Prashar, VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Vivek Kumar Chopra 12752 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Vivek Kumar Chopra VSM (12752) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 12 Jun 71. During his illustrious career he has over 4000 hrs of flying on front line fighters. Having qualified as Flying Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader he was especially selected as Directing Staff at Tactics and Combat Development and Training Establishment (TACDE). He has successfully commanded a Fighter Squadron and was also Flying Inspector at Directorate of Air Staff Inspection.

Air Commodore Chopra has the distinction of Commanding two highly operational and sensitive forward based in the Western sector. During his tenure at Sirsa, the Station was declared the best operational air base of Western Air Command. As AOC, AF Station Pathankot, he met the exacting task of induction and de-induction of fighter, attack helicopter and Surface to Air Guided Weapon (SAGW) Squadrons at a very short notice on declaration of Op Parakram. His exemplary leadership and tireless effort ensured flawless execution of the complex task in least pos sible time. Air Cmde Chopra was appointed as Director Operations (Air Defence) on 18 Mar 02. In a short span of one and half year he, with his perseverance and go-getter attitude ensured that conceptual ideas such as JCAS Op from Palam or Bison Detachment at Ozar were put into action. Formulation and implementation of operational requirements for various SAGW systems were streamlined. During this period the procedure for optimum exploitation of Su-30 MK I and Bison ac were also evolved.

A number of Tri-Services contentious issues related to Air Defence were resolved through various study groups. He proved his exceptional managerial quality by organizing the first ever Tri-Services Air Defence Seminar, which was applauded by participants of all the three Services.

Air Commodore Vivek Kumar Chopra VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Dhiraj Kukreja 13130 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Dhiraj Kukreja VSM (13130) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 24 Jun 72. During his 31 years of distinguished service, he has held a number of challenging staff appointments, which include Joint Director Operations (Transport) at Air HQ. He has undergone a Fellowship Programme at the National Defence University in Washington DC, USA from Jun 2000 to Jun 2001. He has been conferred a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from National War College of the same University. Presently he is the Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Yelahanka since 14 Jul 01.

As the Joint Director Operations (Transport) in Air HQ, Air Cmde D Kukreja initiated several projects for the IAF, which are now bearing fruit. In 1999, he was a member of a delegation to Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan to select and finalize the Fight Refueller Aircraft (FRA) requirement for the Air Force. He also led the first-ever participating team of the IAF, to South Africa for a UN Peacekeeping Exercise along with the Indian Army and Navy. As the officiating Director Ops (T&H), he single-handedly planned and organized the airlift of army and air force units to the war front during Kargil operations in May 1999.

As Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Yelahanka, he has ensured that the task of training of aircrew on transport aircraft and Mi-8 helicopters is undertaken with the emphasis on quality and timely completion, despite the constraints in available resources.

Aero India 2003 was held at AF Stn Yelahanka 05-09 Feb 03. This involved a mammoth task, Air Cmde Kukreja streamlined all planning and procedures for the Air Show. Apart from meeting the training tasks, Air Cmde Kukreja has also led his team of officers and airmen to the additional responsibilities entrusted to the Station. He successfully conducted two mini-Air Shows on the occasion of Air Force Day celebrations in Sep 01 and Oct 02. The latter show was witnessed by as many as 35000-4000 persons. Air Commodore Dhiraj Kukreja VSM has, thus, distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sanjay Kumar Jayaswal 13134 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Sanjay Kumar Jayaswal VM (13134) F (P) was commissioned on 24 Jun 72 as a fighter pilot. In 31 years of distinguished service he has held several important command and staff appointments that include Directing Staff (DS) at Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Flying Inspector in Dte of Air Staff Inspection (DSAI), Commanding Officer of a fighter Squadron and Air Attaché in High Commission of India at Islamabad (Pakistan). He was awarded VM in 1994. Air Cmde SK Jayaswal was appointed Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, Halwara on 03 Sep 2001. On taking over, he faced the challenge of ensuring high availability of an ageing aircraft of the three fighter squadrons based in the Station. He studied the situation thoroughly, introduced innovative measures to achieve this task even in the face of uncertainty in availability of spares, and limited manpower. He also ensured that other supporting equipment and infrastructure were maintained to a higher standard and serviceability. Under his guidance and leadership the Station was awarded the trophy for best Station in Maintenance in WAC for the year 2002.

In Dec 2001, at the outset of 'Op Prakaram' a large number of aircraft and personnel, over and above the existing war plans were inducted into the Station. The Station, under his leadership and guidance, ensured smooth, safe and efficient induction inspite of the adverse weather conditions. All additional Squadrons were accommodated and were fully operational in the shortest possible time. His clear vision, articulation of IAF goals, and transparency in functioning transformed the Station working culture, fostering an environment of trust, well being and professional pride. The entire period of 'Op Parakarm' and thereafter was marked by exceptional morale, camaraderie and offensive spirit, despite the harsh conditions. This was aptly recognized, when the Station was awarded the Best overall in WAC for the year 2002.

Air Commodore Sanjay Kumar Jayaswal VM has, thus, distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Ram Rattan Bhardwaj 13337 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Ram Rattan Bhardwaj, VSM (13337) AE (M) was commissioned in Engineering Branch of the IAF. He has held several field and staff appointments and has been associated with induction of three types of aircraft into the IAF. He was commended by the CAS in 1979 during MiG-21 BIS induction and was awarded VSM for successful setting up of MiG-29 overhaul facilities under most trying conditions. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a Base Repair Depot (BRD) dealing with MiG-23 and MiG29 since 23 Sep 02.

As Chief Engineering Officer of a fighter base he ensured large number of improvements during Su-30 induction, through total involvement and through professionalism and also recovered more than ten MiG-29 aircraft lying on ground for prolonged periods. As Commanding Officer of a BRD, he brought in visible improvements in work culture and quality of output, stepped up production and gave focused approach to indigenization.

At the time of commencement of Op Parakarm, only two aircraft had been ferried out by the BRD against a task of 20 aircraft. He analyzed the situation, regrouped his team and motivated them to accept the challenge. As a result, for the first time in the history of IAF all 20 aircraft under task were ferried out to field units by 31 Mar 2003. The numbers of Aircraft on Ground were brought down to 48 for MiG-29 and 77 for MiG-23. This has been possible due to various innovative means like, redesigning, reclamation, modification and focused approach to indigenization. This has also resulted in saving of crores of Rupees in foreign exchange and improved availability of aircraft in field units. During the period he has also improved the effectiveness and efficiency of the BRD by bringing administration to the doorstep and vastly improved logistics management.

Air Commodore Ram Rattan Bhardwaj, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Jasvinder Chauhan 14079 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Jasvinder Chauhan VSM (14079) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter Pilot in the IAF on 07 Jun 75. He has held several important command and staff appointments that include command of a fighter squadron and a radar unit. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with A2 category and has flown over 3400 h accident free flying. He has undergone staff course in the USA. While at Directorate of Flight Safety, his contribution as a member of Accident Investigation Boards has been significant.

Gp Capt Chauhan took over the command of Air Force Station Jaisalmer on 19 Nov 01. Normally the Station does not have any flying Sqn. However, due to Op Parkaram the Station supported and operated nearly three Sqns of fighter ac and several other radar units for over a year. Extended and extensive flying operations were undertaken by the Station without any accidents/ incidents. Inspite of adverse weather conditions due to high temperature and sandy environment, the Station under the able guidance of Gp Capt Chauhan provided excellent support and facilities to all the visiting Sqns. A newly raised Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Sqn was also inducted into the base on a permanent basis, which was smoothly deployed and oeprationalised. The Pokhran range which is also under the control of the Station was continuously extensively utilized by a large number of Sqns of the IAF for armament work. Many live trials were undertaken by Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE) and specialized Sqns for which the Station provided timely technical support. Soon after Op Parakram, Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team visited the Station and graded it 'Average Plus' in all the three facets namely operations, administration and maintenance.

Under the leadership and personal involvement of Gp Capt Chauhan the Station has done exceedingly well in al the command level exercises and has met all tasks and goals. All out efforts have been made to keep the Station clean and improve the quality of life of personnel. There has been an all around improvement and the motivation level and the discipline of the personnel has always remained high.

Group Captain Jasvinder Chauhan VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Narinder Kumar Bhoan 14312 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details : Gp Capt Narinder Bhoan, who got the award for the second time. He was part of the team that was sent to Russia in 1998 to participate in the avionics system development of the SU-30 MKI aircraft, and its tailoring to specific Indian needs. Posted at the Ahmedabad-based south western air command, he was put in charge of a venture of adapting a Russian-made weapon on the Jaguar, a task he completed well in advance of the projected year-long time frame.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Raju Stephen 14689 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Raju Stephen (14689) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1976. He has flown over 4500 h on a variety of aircraft. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a post graduate from Defence Services Staff College. He has commanded a Care and Maintenance Unit (C & MU) and has been a flying inspector with the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters. Presently, he is posted as a Commanding Officer of a transport Squadron (Sqn) since 23 Jul 2001. While Commanding the Sqn, Gp Capt Stephen has met all assigned tasks in a professional manner. He has led his Sqn from the front and has flown numerous drop and landing sorties in the northern sector under the most challenging flying conditions. He deftly managed the resources placed under him to maximise their use and achieve better than expected results. Under his dynamic leadership, the Sqn airlifted the highest tonnage in the history of air maintenance in the northern sector during three consecutive months from Nov 2002 to Jan 2003. This was achieved in spite of constraints of aircrew, aircraft availability and unprecedented bad weather during Jan 2003. The Sqn's excellent performance during 'Op Parakram' on the flight safety front and in exercise 'Geromino Thrust' at Alaska, USA, bears testimony to exceptional leadership qualities and professional competence. He continuously managed his team by keeping them in high morale and motivated to do more with utmost regard to safety in the air and on the ground.

For his dynamic leadership and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Raju Stephen.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Nasib Singh Kadian 15025 F(P)Unit : Aircrew Examination Board  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Nasib Singh Kadian (15025) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 10 Jun 1977 as a fighter pilot. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with 4500 h of accident free flying. He has been Flight Commander of a MiG-21 Sqn and Squadron Commander of MiG Operational Flying Training Unit. He commanded a fighter Sqn and Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), wherein, he was instrumental in resurrecting both these units on MiG-21 in a record time. During his tenure of two years as Chief Operations Officer (COO) of a major airbase operating fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters, he was largely responsible for an all-time record airlift of 50,000 ton load for forward area maintenance and ensuring accident free flying. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College.

Gp Capt Kadian took over as Commanding Officer of the Aircrew Examining Board on 29 Jul 2002. It is the custodian of professional excellence of the IAF. He has given a new focus to it's thrust areas. In the last ten months, he has reoriented the examining system to an operational role specific pattern, thereby ensuring high professional standards in the IAF. The amendments in the existing instructions on instrument flying conceived by him would go a long way in enhancing operational proficiency and flight safety. Through his personal involvement and commitment, the Board has undergone a paradigm shift in terms of its working environment, computer cum edit room, computerised auto-generation of question papers, archives and library. He has been responsible for the conceptualisation of a very high-class training infrastructure for conduct of courses by the Board.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Nasib Singh Kadian.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Codanda Chitrajit Cariappa 15038 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa (15038) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 10 Jun 1977. He took over command of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron on 16 Aug 2001. The task of the Squadron (Sqn) is to convey the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister within India and sometimes ex-India. The Sqn is also tasked to convey foreign Heads of States and other VIPs within India. The nature of the task demands perfection and a very high degree of professionalism.

On taking over the Sqn, Gp Capt Cariapa initiated measures to enhance professional standards and optimise resources. Using a systems approach, he restructured the B-737 flying training and reduced the conversion time of B-737 aircrew from eighteen months to seven months. His foresight and involvement has resulted in the B-737 flight having as many as 10 Cat 'A' aircrew which is a rare achievement in the history of the Sqn. Similarly, flying training and night flying targets of Avro and MI-8 flight have doubled in a short period through innovative planning.

As the Commanding Officer of a unit that is a 'flag bearer' of Indian Air Force both within India and abroad, the officer has ensured successful execution of more than 2000 VVIP/VIP sorties. Last year, the Prime Minister complemented the Sqn for the flawless execution of his election tour. During the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister to France and Thailand, the Sqn was commended for projecting a high image of the nation. Further, there has been an increase in VVIP/VIP task since September 2002 by as much as 250%. This enhanced task has been achieved successfully primarily due to the professionalism, hard work and meticulous planning of Gp Capt Cariapa.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Codanda Chitrajit Cariapa.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashok Lal 16031 F(P)Unit : No.30 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Ashok Lal (16031) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 15 Jun 1980. He took over the command of a MiG-21 Squadron at Air Force Station, Chabua on 27 March 2000. Throughout his tenure of two years and five months, he not only displayed motivation, dedication and tireless zeal, but also demonstrated exemplary supervisory and leadership skills to derive the same from all the unit personnel.

Under the competent guidance of Wg Cdr Lal, the unit has achieved commendable levels in task accomplishment, flight safety, maintenance and administrative aspects. Under his proficient leadership, the unit flew 4231 h of accident free flying. For timely and effective achievement of the given task and achievement of high operational state, the unit was awarded the 'Best Fighter Squadron' trophy in Eastern Air Command in Sep 2001. For the immaculate practices introduced by him and followed at the Daily Servicing Section (DSS), the unit was also recognised as a 'Centre of excellence'.

The all round excellence of the unit under supervision of Wg Cdr Lal was validated during the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) visit in Jan 2001. The Unit was assessed as high average in Op (Air), average plus on ground, high average in maintenance aspects, average plus in administration and average plus in activation. He also ensured that very high standards of training are achieved in the Unit. Despite the pressure of the appointment, he has flown 762 sorties/445 h during his tenure.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ashok Lal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ashwani Kumar Nabh 16608 F(P)Unit : No.17 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Ashwani Kumar Nabh (16608) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981 as a fighter pilot. He has 5000 sorties of accident/incident free fighter flying to his credit. In 22 years of distinguished service, he has held several important field and staff appointments like Flying Instructor in Air Force Academy and Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron (Sqn). As Flight Commander, he had safely landed a severely crippled MiG-21 trainer. For his professionalism, he received the Commendation by the Chief of the Air Staff of 26 Jan 1999.

Whilst working in the Directorate General of Signals Intelligence, Air HQ, he was instrumental in conceptualizing and development of a futuristic project 'Divya Drishti'. This project being operationalised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will provide unpreced ented intelligence gathering capabilities for national security planning.

Wg Cdr Nabh took over command of a MiG-21 Sqn on 15 Oct 2001, tasked with 'Reconnaissance' role. During 'Op Parakram', his Sqn was operationally active under most trying conditions in the valley. He displayed unwavering perseverance and foresight to ensure highest operational status of all the pilots in the Sqn by upgrading the tempo of operational training. Now, the Sqn aircrew is fully qualified in all possible operational roles. Leading by personal example and displaying airmanship of highest order, he flew over 400 sorties in last one year. He kept the Sqn technical personnel fully motivated and committed to achieve highest serviceability of aircraft and operational role equipment. The Sqn achieved 100% serviceability in Feb 2002 during the peak of 'Op Parakram' and thereafter maintained it well above 70% throughout year. The Sqn did exceedingly well during all the inspection visits during this period.

An articulate professional, Wg Cdr Nabh submitted two well-researched service papers on Pakistan's Combat Tactics. Recently, he presented two papers on contemporary subjects of 'Supervision in Flight Safety' and 'Steps for improving our Reconnaissance Capabilities'.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ashwani Kumar Nabh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sharad Tewari 16616 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Sharad Tewari (16616) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981. He has over 5000 h of accident/incident free flying to his credit, which includes over 1500 h of instructional flying. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Defence Services Staff College. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit. During his tenure as Flight Commander, the unit was adjudged the best helicopter unit in Western Air Command. He has been the Chief Operations Officer of a flying Station. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a Chetak/Cheetah flight since 17 Aug 2001.

Ever since taking over of the command, Wg Cdr Tewari has strived hard to bring about an all-round improvement in the functioning of the unit. As a result of his dedicated efforts, meticulous planning and personal involvement, the unit achieved 100% serviceability of Cheetah helicopters for over 280 days and of Chetak helicopters for over 75 days. In this period the unit flew over 3000 h without any accident/incident. The unit successfully undertook two mercy missions at a short notice in the high mountainous regions of Bhutan in marginal weather conditions and evacuated three American nationals to safety. Also, in Jul 2002 the unit undertook flood relief with two helicopters ex-Bhita in Bihar. These acts brought laurels not only to the unit but also to the IAF. During surprise inspection by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) in Apr-May 2002, the unit was assessed 'high average' in all three disciplines of operations, maintenance and administration. During the Aircrew Examining Board visit in Oct 2002, six out of ten pilots, who appeared, upgraded their flying category/instrument rating. The unit achieved over 90% categorisation status.For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sharad Tewari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mathews Mammen 16618 F(P)Unit : MC HQ Flt  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Mathews Mammen (16618) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981. He is a highly qualified and experienced pilot with over 7000 h of accident free flying to his credit. He is qualified in many operational and instructional roles with the highest Tpt Cat/R 'A' MG. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor/Examiner and is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC). He has been the Commanding Officer of Headquarter Maintenance Command Communication Flight wef 26 Mar 2001.

As the Commanding Officer Gp Capt Mammen has made excellent use of his knowledge and experience in meeting the task allotted to the unit. He has been able to mould and optimally utilise the potential among young pilots and navigators by inspiring them through personal example. He has achieved the synergy between operations and maintenance for safe and efficient utilisation of available aircraft. The unit achieved a very high state of categorisation, high serviceability and flew a total of 2289 h of accident and incident free flying during his tenure.

Gp Capt Mammen displayed exceptional professional ability and mental capacity to deal with the emergency and avert escalation of the emergency into a technical malfunction or material failure of an aircraft which occurred soon after take off with the AOCin-C, Maintenance Command, IAF on board. He thus set a good example of discipline in air and on ground to ensure safe conduct of flying operations without diluting operational efficiency.

Gp Capt Mammen has also made sustained efforts towards overall betterment of the unit. With his zeal, foresight, innovative organisational ability and sustained hard work, he has brought about marked improvement in the work ethos and working environment, which has contributed positively towards achieving the assigned tasks. During the recently concluded Mini Commanders Conference, his unit was awarded the 'Best Unit Support-Function for overall excellence' by AOC-in-C, MC, IAF.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain Mathews Mammen.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik 16783 F(P)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik (16783) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 04 Jun 1982. He has flown over 4000 h without accident of which nearly 2500 h has been on operational aircraft. He is a Pilot Attack Instructor and Qualified Flying Instructor.

He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He has been a Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron (Sqn) and the Chief Flying Instructor at Air Force Academy. Presently, he is the Commanding Officer of a fighter Sqn since 28 Jun 2001.

Leading by his personal example, Wg Cdr Kaushik has been able to instill confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of professional pride in his Sqn personnel, thus binding them into a strong and potent force. In 2001, the Sqn was nominated for best fighter Sqn of the IAF. During Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) inspection in Dec 2001, the Sqn was assessed as average plus. The armament scores of the Sqn have consistently remained above average to exceptional. The Sqn, also had the rare distinction of being the first fighter Sqn in ten years to operate from Car Nicobar airfield.

Wg Cdr Kaushik has been able to motivate the Sqn to reach a very high level of performance. The Sqn has a unique dis tinction of having two major operational roles i.e. land strike and maritime strike. Despite constraints of aircrew and assets, the Sqn has executed all tasks in both roles in a professional and noteworthy manner, including participation in six inter-services exercises. Under the leadership of Wg Cdr Kaushik, the Sqn's performance in the long outstation detachment during 'Op Parakram' was creditable. During his tenure, the Sqn has flown more than 2700 h without an accident.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Michael Fernandez 16967 F(P)Unit : No.224 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Michael Fernandez (16967) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1982. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a fighter Squadron wef 28 Jun 2001.

A few months into his command, post 9/11, the Sqn mounted live Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) and stayed almost continuously on alert until deployed for 'Op Parakram' in mid-December. While deployed, the squadron participated in every command level exercise in every role from live ground attack missions to Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) Combat Air Patrols to Counter Surface Forces Operations strikes to heavy armament loading exercises and acquitted themselves commendably under Wg Cdr M Fernandez's leadership. All this while the Sqn was also carrying out live ORP. Under his guidance, the unit devised a high altitude release sighting technique to overcome the inherent limitations of the aircraft's gunsight with appreciable results. It was also under his command that the fleet dropped live armament by night for the first time. Though severely constrained in terms of aircrew and technical officer strength, he managed to operate his operational detachments efficiently undertaking all assigned tasks. This included successful operation of a two aircraft ORP from the civil airfield at Ahmedabad on a trial basis. With his leadership and motivational skills he had groups of the Sqn's Tech Flight keenly volunteering to be despatched to the op location, thereby allowing the Sqn's Daily Servicing Section (DSS) personnel adequate rotation to spend time at home base. This did wonders for the unit's morale. He enthused his Sqn members to envision the future and innovate in several areas - the most notable one being the use of the hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) as a combat debrief tool. Besides maintaining a high serviceability state throughout his tenure, an average of 62% for fighters and 74% for trainers, also achieved 100% serviceability in Jan 2003.

In Jan 2003, with no warning, the unit was inspected by Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI), after almost a decade, two changes in location and a change in role. With absolutely no past indications for guidance, Wg Cdr Fernandez led his unit to achieve 'high average' in all the three prongs while the squadron flew every conceivable type of mission, be it air defence or ground attack.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Michael Fernandez.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Vivek Ram Chaudhari 16978 F(P)Unit : No.28 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Vivek Ram Chaudhari (16978) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1982 as a Fighter Pilot. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QF1) with over 3650 h of accident free flying to his credit. He has been part of the first formation aerobatics team on the Kiran Mk-II, Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron (Sqn) and an Air Force Examiner on all MiG variant and all trainer ac. He is presently commanding a fighter Sqn since 17 Sep 2001.

Wg Cdr Chaudhari assumed command of the Sqn at the time when the IAF was put on high alert. With his initiative, hard work, perseverance and excellent leadership qualities, he brought in transformational changes in the functioning of the Sqn. During 'Op Parakram', his Sqn was tasked to deploy at three locations as per the war plans. With only nine pilots and one trainer ac available, he alternated between the bases so as to complete the revalidation of augmented pilots in record time and become operational at the earliest from all three locations. While carrying out day and night Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) duties, he flew over 150 sorties and took part in all exercises. Being the only QF1 at one base, he also undertook the conversion of three under training pilots. In consultation with Tactics and Air Combat Development and Training Establishment (TACDE), he helped in development of tactics for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Vs BVR missile engagements and interception of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. While remaining deployed, his Sqn provided Dissimilar Air Combat Training to all the MiG-21 Sqns within the command, thereby enhancing their operational status.

To overcome the constraints of limited ground equipment, which were adequate only for two detachments, he obtained common equipment from co-located fighter Sqns so that his Sqn could operate from five locations on two occasions. He also used the resources of Pechora units for air charging and Nitrogen purity testing resulting in reduced requirements of air cylinders. His Sqn made innovative use of autoloaders for removal of canopy and ejection seat for servicing, thereby saving on frequent ferries to parent base.

Working under constraints of split locations, inadequate communication between them, low manning levels and extended supply lines, he remained ahead of the situations and adopted proactive measures to enhance the output of the unit. By personally moving from one location to another he ensured that he was in constant touch with the entire unit personnel and kept morale of the Sqn high. The Sqn was deinducted after being deployed for thirteen months and was soon inspected by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection team, without a warning. Wg Cdr Chaudhari led his Sqn to achieve average plus in operations and high average in maintenance activities.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Vivek Ram Chaudhari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu 17714 F(P)Unit : No.115 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu (17714) Flying (Pilot) was commis sioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 21 Dec 1984 as a Helicopter Pilot. He has over 5000 h accident/incident free flying in a variety of roles, which include high altitude, instructional and off shore roles. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner on MI-8 and Chetak helicopters. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. During 18 years of distinguished service, he has held important appointments such as Flight Commander of a Mi-8 Unit and a Chetak Flight in United Nation Peace Keeping Mission in Sierra Leone and Commanding Officer (CO) of Chetak/Cheetah Unit. Presently he is CO of a Helicopter Unit since 13 Aug 2001.

Under the command and supervision of Wg Cdr Babu, the unit performed exceptionally well in all spheres of activities. Operationally, the unit flew over 4334 h, averaging 216 h a month, even when the aircraft strength was reduced to only seven helicopters for some time. Initiation of young pilots into operational role has been his strong point. The young officers were encouraged to shoulder the responsibility in operational matters thereby enhancing their confidence and self-esteem. The level of motivation is evident from the fact that 14 upgradations of professional rating were achieved by young officers within a short period of 18 months. To achieve a high operational efficiency, Wg Cdr Babu rationalised and standardised the techniques and tactics for op role pertaining to the terrain and trained all pilots accordingly. He displayed an exceptionally high degree of foresight, planning and motivational skills to obtain maximum efficiency from his men. He led from the front whenever his unit was assigned an important task. He fostered and nurtured an exceptional espirit-de-corps amongst all the ranks, thus bringing out an excellent teamwork to achieve desired objectives.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Guttikonda Amar Prasad Babu.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Mayenk Tewari 17719 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Wing Commander Mayenk Tewari (17719) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 21 Dec 1984. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. He was commended by the Chief of the Army Staff in 1994. Presently he is the Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit since 21 Jun 2001.

The unit is tasked with air operations in the entire Ladakh sector including the disputed Siachen Glacier where the terrain and climatic conditions are extremely hostile towards helicopter operations. Operations here require meticulous planning and execution as helicopters operate at the extremes of their flight envelope and that too at helipads located in direct line of enemy fire. In these arduous conditions Wg Cdr Tewari has not only flown extensively himself but also imparted extensive flying training to all pilots of his unit. His foresight of conducting single pilot operations in the glacier at some of the world's highest helipads including Amar and Sonam was a great help when the engines of unserviceable ac had to be changed or retrieved at these helipads. Under his leadership, accurate planning and perseverance, stranded helicopters were recovered from these helipads under constant enemy threat. Disregarding the harsh weather and the enemy threat, he undertook these perilous missions of recovering these aircraft in single pilot configuration, saving crores of rupees to the exchequer.

With his continued interaction with the unit personnel, Wg Cdr Tewari has been successful in building a high level of morale in the unit and creating an environment conducive for safe flying. He also took initiative in the upliftment of the unit complex and construction of the unit museum.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Mayenk Tewari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sanjeev Kumar Bhatnagar 18838 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 21 Feb 03 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Squadron Leader Sanjeev Kumar Bhatnagar (18838) Flying (Pilot) is posted as the Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit at Air Force Station Leh since 08 Apr 2002.

On 21 Feb 2003, he was tasked with casualty evacuation from Batagul in Drass sector. On completion of the mission, Commanding Officer of the local army unit requested him to evacuate a patrol of 08 Jawans who were trapped in an avalanche very close to the LOC. He immediately carried out a recce and evacuated all 08 Jawans in two quick and meticulously planned missions in unfavourable weather conditions under the threat of enemy fire.

The patrol was stranded in the open without any shelter close to the LOC. The return route was blocked due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. With limited supplies and deteriorating weather conditions, any delay would have resulted in the loss of precious lives. The rescue was carried out in a calm, prompt and professional manner, despite the high altitude (which degraded the helicopter handling and performance), the narrow valley (which made manoeuvring difficult) and the unprepared and soft sloping ground, which made a landing difficult. Notwithstanding the perils of deteriorating weather conditions, white out conditions and loose snow, which made the task even more hazardous and the omnipresent danger of enemy firing, he gallantly saved the lives of the soldiers. The mission was a display of exemplary courage in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force. This brave act was well appreciated at all levels by the sister service.

For this act of courage in the face of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Sanjeev Kumar Bhatnagar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Gopinath Girish Kumar 20179 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Squadron Leader Gopinath Girish Kumar (20179) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 14 Jun 1989. He has flown 3600 hrs of accident/incident free flying as captain in varied roles. Presently he is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 06 Sep 1999.

Ever since his arrival in the unit, Sqn Ldr Kumar has been a pillar of strength and an epitome of selfless service in all the facets of the unit functioning. Till date, he has undertaken nine life saving missions from snow bound locations of Himachal hills located above 13500 feet. These include rescue of a Swedish and an Austrian national from Kurgiakh Village on two different occasions and rescue of a Spanish national from Mayar Glacier. In another six mercy missions, Sqn Ldr Kumar saved seven lives. It included rescue and evacuation of two trekkers stranded by an avalanche in adverse weather conditions from Gangotri Glacier, an NCC girl cadet forming part of an expedition to Rudgaira peak and a critically ill lady with post delivery complications from snow bound Hanse village. In all these life saving missions the landings involved were over loose, unprepared, fresh snow bound terrain infested with huge boulders located in narrow valleys. Due to the absence of any clear landing area at these locations, the helicopter had to be maintained in low hover over one spot with one skid touching the slopes and the rotors running to pull in the causalities. The high altitude, inhospitable terrain, lack of ground reference due to white out conditions and limited reserve of power made the task even more daunting, demanding a composed mind, immense mental courage, high degree of concentration and scant regard to personal safety.

With his excellent organizing ability and exemplary discipline Sqn Ldr Kumar not only inspires respect and confidence in the team but also ensures work output of a very high standard. As an effective supervisor in the unit he has been deeply involved in the formulation and execution of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) role, including various trials on the CSAR under slung net. He has been the pioneer in the planning and successful conduct of the hill training camp undertaken by the unit. Five such camps have been conducted under his supervision in last three years. His methodical approach, excellent practical knowledge and thorough analysis of situations inspire others to follow.

For his consistent exemplary performance and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Gopinath Girish Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Naresh Bhalerao 22908 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 05 Apr 03 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Naresh Bhalerao (22908) Flying (Pilot) is held on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 03 Sep 2001.

On 05 Apr 2003, he was tasked with casualty evacuation of Capt AK Chandan of 21 Grenadiers who had been engulfed in an avalanche near Chandan II in OP Meghdoot Sector. He reached the site within minutes and realised that the mission would have to be carried out in full view of 'U - cut', a Pakistani observation post, which could direct artillery and mortar shelling on to him. Realising the gravity of the situation, he instructed No 2 to stay clear while he picked up the causality by touching down on a single skid on an uneven rough surface and immediately set course for Base Camp.

Sqn Ldr Bhalerao displayed exceptional courage, professionalism and decision taking ability while carrying out the mercy mission at 16000 feet, where the handling and performance of the helicopter is seve rely affected. The mission was carried out under continuous threat of enemy fire and further avalanches besides the risk of getting into ground resonance and toppling. Notwithstanding the perils, he gallantly evacuated the casualty and ensured timely medical attention. His actions speak of great dedication, courage and unselfishness, which are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For this act of courage and professional competence, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Naresh Bhalerao.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Mukesh Rawat 17453 F(P)Unit : No.117 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 21 Nov 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Wing Commander Mukesh Rawat (17453) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Helicopter Unit at Air Force Station, Sarsawa since 05 August 2002.

In the evening of 21 November 2003 the station was tasked to undertake casualty evacuation of 13 civilians stranded in critical conditions due to heavy snowfall across Rohtang Pass at about 14,000 ft. Aborted attempts by civil helicopters earlier had made the task even more daunting. Considering the degree of difficulty, Wg Cdr Rawat was detailed to carry out this mission. The next day, two helicopters got airborne for the mission. An aerial recce of the site was not much of help due to acute white out and turbulent conditions. The combined effect of high altitude, loose snow, lack of visual reference, turbulent wind and dipping low temperature made the task treacherously difficult. He made three attempts to land, which had to be aborted just prior to touchdown due to loose snow creating a snow bowl. Not deterred by this, he decided to make one more attempt. Harnessing his vast experience and after careful analysis of his previous attempts, this time he could make a partial landing, as the loose snow was unable to take the weight of the helicopter. While he skillfully hovered the helicopter with nearly nil reference, the copilot pulled in the first set of casualties. Successive attempts.

With his indomitable spirit, dauntless courage, and scant regard to personal safety, he saved 13 precious lives. For this act of conspicuous courage and selfless service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Mukesh Rawat.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Raskhale Sanjeev Kumar 19037 AELUnit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 21 Nov 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Squadron Leader Rakshale Sanjeev Kumar (19037) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) is posted as a Senior Technical Officer at a Helicopter unit since 23 September 2002.

On 21 November 2003, a Cheetah helicopter of this unit faced control problems and force landed at an altitude of 17,200 feet near a forward post in the Siachen glacier close to the AGPL. The helicopter remained overnight in glacier and its retrieval very next day was inescapable as further delay would have resulted in oil and lubricants getting solidified and helicopter getting submerged under snow due to bad weather resulting in loss of the entire helicopter worth crores. It was under such circumstances that Squadron Leader RS Kumar volunteered to take on the daunting and challenging task of recovering this helicopter. He landed at the crash site the very next day without any acclimatization, which could have caused him a permanent disability or even death. After required checks and rectification the major task was to get the aircraft started. Starting at such altitude calls for innovation and use of unorthodox measures, something not taught at any training institute or in any manual and required an active and fertile mind. Use of petrol in the fuel filter and blowing of oxygen into the air intakes helped to achieve successful start to aero engine and subsequent retrieval of a fully serviceable aircraft, which was otherwise destined to be a beacon in the glacier. He also displayed exemplary courage by opting to fly back as a passenger in the same aircraft, a tribute to his belief in himself. He was thus responsible for the recovery of the strike helicopter.

For this act of exemplary courage and dedicated professionalism wherein he risked his own life to save an aircraft worth crores to exchequer, the Hon`ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Rakshale Sanjeev Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Navin Maranatha Nayar 24035 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 24 Aug 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Flight Lieutenant Navin Maranatha Nayar (24035) flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an operational Cheetah Helicopter Unit, located at Leh, since 16 July 2001.

On 24 August 2003, he was detailed to fly as number two in a three aircraft air maintenance mission in Op-Meghdoot, Ex-Base Camp to Amar and Sonam, the highest helipads in the world.

In the second shuttle from Khanda helipad to Sonam helipad, while climbing past 18,500 feet, the aircraft suddenly yawed to right, with drop in engine and rotor RPM. Flight Lieutenant Nayar, displaying great presence of mind in identifying the emergency as an engine failure, instinctively lowered the collective to put the aircraft into a state of autorotation. An engine failure at such high altitudes demands prompt actions from a pilot after which any other action is futile. He thereafter, in calm and thoroughly professional manner turned towards the foot tract the only safe landing spot in the crevasse prone, undulating terrain and simultaneously gave the May Day call. He executed a flawless autorotative landing, a feat often unheard of at such an elevation. His exceptional situational awareness, skill and professional handling of the emergency resulted in an absolutely safe landing and both the pilots coming out scratch free from the aircraft. Flight lieutenant Nayar's professionalism was also displayed earlier when he executed a safe landing at Leh airfield during an engine failure on 16 February 2002, with only minor damage to the Oleos. His actions are in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force and attributes of an Air Warrior.

For this act of exceptional gallantry and exemplary professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Navin Maranatha Nayar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Mayanglambam Manimohon Singh 24229 F(P)Unit : No.153 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 21 Sep 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Flight Lieutenant Mayanglambam Manimohan Singh (24229) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of an operational Mi-17 IV Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force, since 19 August 2002.

On 21 September 2003, our troops on the LOC in the Gurez sector noticed an infiltration attempt by a band of insurgents. There was an immediate need to encircle the insurgents and seal the escape route before they could mingle with the general populace. The insurgents were heavily armed and known to be equipped with machine guns and even the presence of shoulder fired missiles was not ruled out. The hostile terrain precluded any movement of troops on foot in the required time frame. HQ 15 Corps projected a requirement of undertaking the induction of troops to cut off the escape route for the insurgents. The general terrain in the objective area was heavily forested. Flight Lieutenant MM Singh was detailed to carry out troop induction. He planned the mission in the most professional manner and executed it with meticulous precision.

The mission required troop induction at an unprepared and unrecced area in hostile environment. Flight Lieutenant MM Singh, realizing the grave and imminent danger and requirement of extremely high skills, decided to lead the formation of two helicopters. He flew the mission in extremely turbulent wind conditions and deteriorating weather. The landing site, which was near the line of control, had no protection and there was a constant threat of fire from the terrorists, who were hiding in the vicinity. Despite the lurking danger, he kept the aim of the mission uppermost in his mind and displayed exceptional courage by carrying out two missions at an unsurveyed site on a ridge at an elevation of 13,000 feet on the first day and four more missions the next day in similar conditions. The successful air operations greatly aided the Indian Army in their anti-terrorist operation.

For this act of Gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Mayanglambarn Manimohan Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 Investiture Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Deepak Kumar Sen 11915 AE(L)Unit : Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Deepak Kumar Sen (11915) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) was commissioned as an engineer in the erstwhile Tech Signals Branch of the 1AF on 05 Jan 1970. After having undergone the Intra Branch Conversion Course at Air Force Technical College, Bangalore in 1972-73, he was converted to the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) Branch. In 33 years of distinguished service, he has held several important command and staff appointments which include Chief Engineering Officer of a Fighter Base, Command Engineering Officer at South Western Air Command, Command Systems Officer at Western Air Command and Commanding Officer of an Electronic Warfare (EW) Maintenance and Training Unit. He has undergone Anti Tank Guided Missile Simulator Course and Mirage 2000 course in France and Long Defence Management Course at College of Defence Management. In 1975, he led the Non Destructive Testing (NDT) Team in the retrieval of aircraft trapped in the hangars after the cyclone at Jamnagar, thus effecting a speedy retrieval of the vital strike force of the IAF. After undergoing training in France on maintenance and induction of the state-of-art Mirage-2000 aircraft, he made an outstanding contribution towards setting up of the required maintenance infrastructure for receiving and operating the Mirage-2000 fleet.

In 1995, while commanding a prestigious EW Maintenance and Training Unit, he designed, fabricated and operationalised DC control amplifiers for antenna rotation for one of the critically important ELINT airborne equipment, as vendor sources were nonexistent at that time. He also authored the IAF EW Maintenance Policy, and subsequently assisted in the evolution of the IAF Laser policy.

As Chief Engineering Officer during 19982000 at one of the premier air bases of the IAF, he designed a shock resistant trolley and had it fabricated in the base workshop for carrying sensitive photo-reconnaissance equipment thus drastically reducing damage to the sensitive gyro mechanisms during ground handling. His acute engineering sense and direction helped the station achieve the highest ever-sustained serviceability of the Jaguar fleet.

While Serving in Headquarters Western Air Command during 2003, he has been instrumental in realising the concept of online computerised management and monitoring of all armament stores to ensure currency and saving of time. Also, under his leadership and guidance, it has been possible to transport, install and operate indigenous radars successfully at high altitudes for the first time in Air Force history, greatly enhancing air surveillance capability of the IAF.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Vice Marshal Deepak Kumar Sen.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Indu Bhaal Bhasin 12871 AE(M)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Air Commodore Indu Bhaal Bhasin (12871) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was commissioned on 05 Jul 1971 in the Technical Armament Branch of the IAF. In 32 years of distinguished service, he has held several important command and staff appointments that include Chief Engineering Officer of a prime fighter base, Commanding Officer (CO) of a Technical Training Institute, Production, Planning and Coordination Officer in a Base Repair Depot. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College. Presently he is Principal Director Weapon Systems at Air Headquarters.

As Chief Engineering Officer of a fighter base, Air Cmde Bhasin was the guiding force behind several innovative maintenance activities which resulted in sustained high serviceability and maintenance support to operating squadrons during 'Op Parakram'. Recovery of eight AI-30F engines of Su-30K aircraft by undertaking compressor blade change in the R&S was the most noteworthy achievement which resulted in saving of several million dollars to the state.

As CO of a Technical Training Institute he adopted several innovative methods to produce 100% results for all the courses that passed during his tenure. Simultaneously, while improving the percentage of trainees achieving LAC grading to an all time high of 26% for the institute.

As Principal Director Engineering D, he is responsible for the maintenance of transport and helicopter fleets of the IAF. He has marshaled his resources well to ensure completion of important modifications on transport and helicopter fleets and preparation for UN mission abroad which required bringing up several helicopters to mission standard within a short span of time.

For his commitment and distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Air Commodore Indu Bhaal Bhasin.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Rajeev Kumar 13116 ACCTUnit : South Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Rajeev Kumar (13116) Accounts was commissioned in the Accounts Branch of the Indian Air Force on 17 Jun 1972. Presently he is Command Accounts Officer (C Accts O) at Headquarter South Western Air Command (HQ SWAC) since 01 May 2001. Through his relentless efforts Gp Capt Rajeev has ensured saving of 7.9% in locally controlled heads of HQ SWAC, IAF. By sheer perseverance, he achieved stringent Annual Audit Target fixed by Air HQ. Through his committed approach, he not only achieved the annual Audit Certificate (AAC) targets, but also surpassed it by more than 18%. He was also instrumental in implementing the newly introduced budgetary monitoring system at all units under SWAC in true letter and spirit.

Gp Capt Rajeev left no stone unturned to obtain sanction for grants from the Indian Air Force Central Welfare Fund for the welfare and hygiene of the personnel deployed in the field/op areas during 'Op Parakram' under extreme climatic conditions. This dynamic officer through his own initiative undertook periodic staff visits and by proactive approach streamlined/corrected accounting procedures in respect of all Non-Public Funds to obviate irregularities.

An excellent Accounts officer with impeccable integrity, he has always exhibited a positive attitude in extending a helping hand to all stations for any assistance, be it for accounting services or for improvement in quality of life. While maintaining vibrant relations with all personnel, he extended expeditious and spontaneous support whenever required by them.

As President Mess Committee of HQ SWAC Officers' Mess, Gp Capt Rajeev was instrumental in developing the infrastructure in spite of the peculiarity and constraints due to hired buildings at SWAC. He has efficiently organised all formal functions viz SWAC Commanders' Conference and AF Day celebrations by meticulous planning and keeping up the highest traditions of the IAF.

For his professional competence and distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Rajeev Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sant Prakash Singh Virk 13491 AE(L)Unit : 3 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Sant Prakash Singh Virk (13491) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) was commissioned in the Aeronautical En gineering Branch of the IAF on 09 Jul 1973. After serving as Engineering Officer in various capacities in different MiG-21 Sqns for over a decade, the officer was specially selected for training on Mirage-2000 Main tenance in France during 1984-85. His in-depth knowledge on "Fly by Wire" system has contributed significantly to the Mirage-2000 Maintenance/ Flight Safety. As Dy Director at Air HQ (Mirage Cell), his services to put the Mirage fleet on solid foundation were immense.

As Chief Engineering Officer of a premiere Mirage-2000 base, Gp Capt Virk has demonstrated his ability as a team leader and a hardcore professional. By optimising resources placed at his disposal, he sustained record high serviceability of Mirage-2000 fleet with exceptionally high mission success rate during "Kargil Operation". A document called "VISION-2000-MIRAGE MAINTENANCE" prepared by him has become the basis of projecting future requirements of Mirage Fleet. Due to his dynamism and professional approach, his Sqn was adjudged "Best Fighter Sqn" and the base "Best in Maintenance" in the IAF. He was also instrumental in numerous adaptations of new weapon systems like integration of Litening, Paveway, Griffin, CMOS and indigenous SYREE Data Processing System, which enhanced the operational capability of Mirage Fleet. As a result of foresight in planning, professional acumen and dynamic vision of Air Cmde Virk, Mirage2000 fleet is best-managed fleet in the IAF.

During his tenure at a BRD, Gp Capt Virk has held two most important portfolios as Chief of Aircraft and Chief of Planning. Due to his personal involvement, planning and guidance the depot has been successful in completing the task of producing 30 helicopters for second consecutive year against all odds. With his personal involve ment and commitment to quality, he secured ISO 9001:2000 certification for the Depot in a time bound manner. His proactive, positive and visionary approach has resulted in overall improvement in work culture, effic iency and generated professional work ethos at the depot, which provides a healthy place of work, thus improving overall pro ductivity and enhanced operational capability of helicopter fleet of the IAF.

For his distinguished services of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Sant Prakash Singh Virk.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ratan Bir Singh Kalra 13690 ACCTUnit : Air Force Central Accounts Office  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Ratan Bir Kalra (13690) Accounts was commissioned in the Accounts Branch of the IAF on 13 Jul 1974. During his 28 years of service, he has held several important and key appointments which include O i/c Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Wing at Air Force Central Accounts Office (AFCAO), Director Non-Public Fund (NPF), Directing Staff (DS) at College of Defence Management. For his outstanding achievements the officer was commended by the AOC-in-C in Jun 1992 and by the CAS in Oct 1995.

As Oi/c EDP Wing, AFCAO, the Officer has not only pioneered in overcoming the serious problems of Y2K bug well before the start of new millennium, but also played a key role in planning and coordinating the automation activities of EDP Wing. This included the development of software for creation of centralised digital Personnel Occurrence Report data bank and very informative-cum-user friendly Touch Screen giving valuable inputs to the IAF personnel and civilians on their pay and allowances, income tax planning and retirement benefits.

During his tenure as Director NPF, the Officer has ensured cent-percent conversion of entire EDP activity from Foxpro to Oracle and has also ensured integration cum auto mation of various manual activities, which have not only led to significant improvement in work culture, but also reduced human effort. He has successfully managed the conduct of Annual Managing Council And General Body Meetings of Indian Air Force Benevolent Association during 2001 and 2002.

The Officer's vision and timely advice have ensured longevity of the popular and unique rehabilitation scheme for widows of AF personnel. His dedicated and unstinted efforts in dealing with Non Performing Assets has not only helped in reducing the long outstanding bad debts of Indian Air Force Benevolent Association (IAFBA) by Rs. 14.00 Crores, but also reduced the bad debts of Air Force Group Insurance Scheme (AFGIS) and Air Force Naval Housing Board (AFNHB) by Rs. 3.50 Crores by ensuring recovery from defaulting private companies. In addition, the timely action on part of the Officer helped in saving the potential bad debts to the tune of Rs. 7.00 crores to IAFBA. These efforts helped in securing the precious welfare funds.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Ratan Bir Kalra.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Man Mohan Dogra 13755 MEDUnit : Institution of Aviation Medicine  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Man Mohan Dogra (13755) Medical was commissioned in the Medical Branch of the IAF on 03 Nov 1974. For the past 25 years he has been practicing the art of Aerospace Medicine and has served as Sqn Medical Officer in a number of fighter Sqns and has also worked as an instructor in Aero Medical Training Centre (AMTC). Presently he is posted at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine since 11 Dec 2000.

Gp Capt Dogra is an officer with pleasant manners and firm disposition. He has indepth knowledge of the professional subject as well as the administrative aspects. He manages the unit well in the absence of the Commandant.

He has been intimately involved in the establishment of NVG Lab at this Institute. Under his leadership, a team of officers has been able to set up a facility, which is of state of the art and has futuristic expansion capability. During the past few years, he has led the team of specialists in evolving manmachine interface for TEJAS (Light Combat Aircraft). He has contributed immensely to the development of current cockpit design for TEJAS. He was instrumental in deciding various cockpit layouts of DHRUV (Advanced Light Helicopter). His keen and personal involvement in the display and sighting helmet for Mirage-2000 ac has resulted in ensuring early clearance of the trials by CHEMILAC. A team of officers under him has been working with Aviation Research and Development Centre (ARDC) of HAL on HJT36 and the cockpit configuration, the instrument layout has been finalised keeping in view the Indian pilot population anthropometry. His personal involvement in the canopy fragmentation system trials, ejection seat pull out trials and finalisation of the ejection seat for the Intermediate Jet Trainer for the IAF have paved the way for the rapid strides in its development.

He has single handedly managed to collate all the research projects carried out in the IAF under the aegis of AFMRC and Aviation Research and Development Board (AR&DB), Defence Institute of Psychological Research and task directions from Air HQ/Command HQ. This has helped in having a wealth of research related information for study and training. He has kept a firm vigil of finances allotted to Aero-medical research projects and avoided any wasteful expenditure. He has guided many post-graduate students to obtain M.D. degree in Aerospace Medicine. For his distinguished service of high order, The Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Man Mohan Dogra.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Dhar 13940 F(P)Unit : 21 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Dhar (13940) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 14 Dec 1974. He has held important appointments such as Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Sqn, Command Air Defence Officer, Central Air Command and Director Operations (Joint Planning) at Air HQ. Presently, he is the Chief Operations Officer (COO), AF Station, Leh, since 19 Nov 2001.

The air maintenance activity at this station is the most important activity involving movement of supplies and personnel to and from the valley. These activities entail tarmac management, baggage and passenger security and passenger facilitation. On an average 600 personnel transit on any given day. The officer exuded professionalism by adopting innovative measures and simplifyi ng procedures for passenger manifest and security, passenger facilitation and overall tarmac management.

While taking over the Kargil airfield from the Airport Authority of India in Feb 2002, the officer was entrusted with the task of presiding over a Board of Officers and supervising taking over of all assets at the airfield both domestic, technical accommoda tion and the runway. By sheer hard work, foresight, keen involvement and dedication, he was able to operationalise the airfield and commence air operations by fixed wing ac in a short span of time.

The Air Defence of Ladakh is under the control of Air Defence Direction Center at Leh. He drafted a detailed SOP with a proactive posture in the 'Op Meghdoot' sector, which was approved and appreciated by Air HQ. Immense courage and valor displayed by the officer, as the COO in all activities in the station, detachments at Kargil and Base Camp is praiseworthy.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Ashok Dhar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Sanjiv Mishra 14094 F(P)Unit : 37 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Sanjiv Misra SC (14094) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Jul 1975. In 27 years of distinguished service with nearly 6000 h of accident/incident free flying, he has held several important command appointments that include Commanding Officer of Helicopter Unit, Helicopter Training School, AF Station Carnicobar and Team Leader of the IAF detachment, Namibia. He is a flying instructor and an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra in 1988 and Chief of Air Staff Commendation in 1996. Group Captain Sanjiv Misra became Station Commander, AF Station Carnicobar on 01 Feb 2000. On taking over, he faced the challenge of recommencing fighter operations which had stopped since 1993 due to tall trees obstructing runway approaches. Displaying perseverance, tact and reasoning he convinced the tribal leaders, who were reluctant to get the trees cut. But with his personal example and outstanding leadership qualities, Gp Capt Misra mobilised all the personnel of the Air Force Station and led them in the daunting task of jungle clearance in the approach path. He drove his officers and men with tremendous enthusiasm, and with his exemplary zeal and diligence completed the task in a short time. 9000 trees were cut without any additional manpower and fighter operations recommenced from Nov 2001.

With foresight and planning, Gp Capt Misra identified the training and operational needs and established an air to ground armament training range for Mi-8, made runway lighting operational and carried out works services worth Rs. 32 crores for runway extension, dispersal, operational readiness platform etc. Under his leadership the Station did very well during the visit of Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) and the Station Medicare Centre was adjudged the best in the mini category in the IAF. During his tenure, the Station has met all its flying and other commitments in a commendable manner and the highest standards of flight safety have been maintained throughout.

For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Sanjiv Misra.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Kumar Sinha 14336 AE(L)Unit : IAT  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Gp Capt Sinha has served as Chief Engineering Officer of an Operational base since 11 Dec 2000. The MiG-23 BN aircraft operating from the Base had suffered from very poor serviceability due to fuel leak/cracks from integral fuel tanks, spurious fire warning, premature engine withdrawals, landing gear beam cracks and hosts of other maintenance related problems. In a very short time, he coordinated all repair activities, moulded the Tech Flight and the technical personnel of the three Sqns as a team and produced remarkable results in ensuring enhanced serviceability and reliability of aircraft.

During 'Op Parakram' he ensured a serviceability of approximately 80% for the MiG-23 BN aircraft despite the large number of maintenance and sustainability problems. He also ensured smooth induction of a large number of aircraft and huge quantity of weapons positioned at the Station. The quality and extent of work carried out by the officer has been appreciated by higher formations. He has motivated officers and airmen to produce high quality work even under difficult conditions.

For his hard work, dedication to duty and distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Ashok Kumar Sinha.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Dilip Raghavendra Dani 14346 AE(M)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Dilip Raghavendra Dani (14346) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering Branch of the 1AF on 05 Jul 1976. During his 27 years of service, he has worked on a variety of aircraft of both Russian and Western origin. He has held challenging and important appointments, which include Senior Technical Officer (STO) of a fighter Sqn, Technical Staff Officer (TSO) at Institute of Armament Technology (1AT), Pune and Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) at a major AF Station. Presently, he is Joint Director Flight Safety (JDFS) and member of Aircraft Accidents Investigation Board (AA1B) since 08 Jul 2002.

In a short span of less than a year, Gp Capt Dani has established a healthy rapport with various Defence/Aeronautical laboratories in the country. His personal visits and a probing approach have assisted in pin-pointing the exact cause in a number of aircraft accidents. His insistence on forcing gainful opinions from other agencies have resulted in getting vital inputs, which otherwise could have been missed. Significantly, his analytical approach and careful study of reports while dealing with sensitive metallurgical nuances have assisted in establishing a near breakthrough in the causes leading to RSV failures on the fighter ac. His efforts have proved successful in other accident investigations as well.

On his own initiative, Gp Capt Dani has created a database of all detailed investigation reports of all ac accident/incidents so that failure analysis and trends can be established quickly and correctly. This database would be of enormous help to the cause of Flight Safety of IAF in the future.

His analytical prowess, logical approach, mature outlook, foresight and ability to produce sound solutions to complex problems instill high sense of confidence in his superiors and subordinates and make him indispensable, as an ac accident investigator. His strong desire to enhance maintenance standards coupled with untiring perseverance has contributed significantly in achieving high standards in Flight Safety.

In recognition of his achievements, total commitment and distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Dilip Raghavendra Dani.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Singhal 14615 AE(L)Unit : South Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Singhal (14615) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) was commissioned on 15 Jul 1976 in the Engineering Branch of the IAF. During 27 years of distinguished service, he has held several key appointments which include Senior Engineering Officer (SEO) in a MiG-29 Sqn, Senior Engineer (Calibration and Standards) and Senior Production Engineer in Base Repair Depot (BRD), Commanding Officer (SEO) in a MiG29 Sqn, Senior Engineer (Calibration and Standards) and Senior Production Engineer in Base Repair Depot (BRD), Commanding Officer of Service Support Centre and Chief Engineering Officer at Air Force Station, Pune. He is a post graduate in Computer Systems from Cranfield Institute of Technology, UK and also graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. Presently, he is held on the posted strength of HQ SWAC, IAF.

As Senior Engineering Officer of a MiG-29 Sqn, he dedicated himself for high serviceability and operational status of the Sqn. Throughout his tenure, the Sqn displayed best maintenance practices and high standard of working ethos. Subsequently, he worked tirelessly in setting up of overhaul facilities for MiG-29 aircraft and its avionics rotables at a Base Repair Depot. Timely availability of overhaul facilities helped in undertaking overhaul of MiG-29 aircraft in India which made IAF self reliant and saved huge foreign exchange.

As Senior Engineer (calibration and standards), he single-handedly set up Echelon-H standard and calibration facilities for electronics parameters. He also visualised the unique concept of mobile calibration facilities for which he designed and developed vehicle mounted Echelon-Ill calibration facilities for Radar and Tropo Units.

His contribution towards raising a new unit for third line repair facilities of Su-30K aircraft at Air Force Station, Pune is exemplary. This directly helped in sustenance of high serviceability of Su-30K aircraft for a long time and saved large amount of foreign exchange.

During 'Op Parakaram' he ensured timely readiness and deployment of Sqns and Radar Units. Smooth induction of Su-30Mk-I aircraft at Air Force Station, Pune was possible due to his foresight, systematic planning and dedicated efforts. He put in concerted efforts in organising assembly and servicing of Su30Mk-I aircraft, setting up of T Level Labs, training of technicians and computerisation of data. He also improved upon the Serviceability State of Jaguar aircraft and liquidated a large number of pending concessions by getting the modification kits.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Ashok Singhal.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Amit Aneja 14668 F(P)Unit : Western Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Amit Aneja, VM (14668) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 26 Dec 1976 in the Flying Branch of the 1AF. During 26 years of service, he has held several important appointments that include Flight Commander of a Mirage-2000 Sqn, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of a Forward Base Supporting Unit (FBSU), Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Sqn and Directing Staff at College of Air Warfare. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and an alumnus of Air Command and Staff College in USA. He was awarded Commendation by AOC-in-C on two occasions and Vayu Sena Medal for devotion to duty on 26 Jan 1999.

Since Jul, 2000 he is posted as Ops 1 (B) at Headquarters, Western Air Command (WAC) and is looking after Command Air Tasking Strike Planning and Air Warfare (CATSPAW). Gp Capt Aneja has been instrumental in reinvigorating the CATSPAW cell, which is the core of Command Air Operations. He has completely revamped the working procedures and systematised collection of target information and target to weapons matching to ensure fast and easy access, resulting in very efficient planning. His single-minded approach in improvement of the command ops planning process has been appreciated by Air Headquarters as well as by field units. This has led to a fruitful and free interaction with the Army particularly in joint targeting and air ops in support of ground forces. He has been instrumental in creating a synergy among various branches of the Command and field units to optimise the operational capabilities of the Command staff.

Gp Capt Aneja has also been responsible for induction of the Integrated Command Air Tasking System. He has not only facilitated adapting the system but also in improving it and disseminating it to the field units. With foresight, he has been involved in planning and execution of command exercises. This has contributed significantly to raise the operational effectiveness of Western Air Command. He has performed well beyond his charter of duties with single mindedness and with no regard to personal comfort.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Amit Aneja VM.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Mohanachandran Panicker 14704 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 04 Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Group Captain Mohanachandran Panicker (14704) Administration/Air Traffic Controller was commissioned in the Administrative/ Air Traffic Controller Branch of the IAF on 29 Dec 1976. He has held various important appointments that include Senior Air Traffic Control Officer of an Air Force base, Deputy Director Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters and the Commanding Officer of a Signal Unit. When he took over as Commanding Officer of a Signal Unit, the 1970 vintage radar installed at the unit was not functioning well and had little product support. He utilized his superior leadership and managerial skills and motivated his personnel to bring up the radar and associated systems to fully serviceable status. His enthusiasm and desire to work tirelessly ensured complete serviceability and operational status of the aging equipment.

Appreciating that unit was located at an area infested with Anti-National Elements (ANEs), he ensured safety and security of all personnel and equipment at all times. He worked tirelessly and with meticulous planning and perseverance, played a vital role in improving the living conditions and morale of personnel. His infectious enthusiasm and professionalism have been a source of inspiration not only to the personnel of this unit but to all aircrew who fly in J&K area.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Mohanachandran Panicker.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2004 Number: 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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