Air Force Day Awards 2000, Indian Airforce
Air Force Day Awards 2000

Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis (left) and his visiting South African counterpart, Lt-General R.J. Beukes, share a laugh with schoolgirls during a function to mark the Indian Air Force day in New Delhi

NEW DELHI, Oct 8 2000(taken from "The Tribune") —Tipnis for aero-space power. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis today stressed on the need for maintaining a deterrent posture specially under the new security dimension in the region.

Addressing the Air Force parade at the Palam Grounds to mark its 68th anniversary, the Air Chief said that Indian Air Force’s strategies and its operational concepts were also being reviewed constantly to meet all kinds of contingencies in future. While pointing out that our security concerns needed “unremitting vigilance”, he added that professional training and development of air warrior qualities were being strengthened to meet all future challenges.

Air Chief Marshal Tipnis also stressed on the need for early transition to aero-space power. “Under the new security dimension, we have to prepare for a smooth transition from air-power to aero-space power,” he said.

Asked whether aero-space programming was necessary in view of any threat perception, he told reporters this was not being done “keeping any front in mind”.

Asserting that aero-space would be a vital element of future planning, Air Chief Marshal Tipnis denied that after Kargil incursions there was any change in country’s air force strategy.

“Air force is inherently an offensive phenomenon. It is not that suddenly we are going offensive. We have to use the air power to be upfront. Of course, air defence is also an important component,” he said.

The Air Chief pointing to the need for modernisation of the fleet said, “fighter helicopters are being upgraded in avionics, systems and armaments. We are getting additions to Mirage-2000, Jaguar and Mi-17 fleets and the contract for the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) is to be finalised shortly”.

The glittering ceremony was marked by synchronised aerobatics by nine trainer aircraft Suryakiran coming in varied formations at the same height and speed. The parade was attended by Chief of Naval Staff and Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Sushil Kumar, Chief of Army Staff Gen S. Padmanabhan, Defence Secretary T.R. Prasad and senior officers from the three services.

Nine jet trainers alternately changed formations ranging from diamond to wine glass and even formed a replica of Sukhoi enthralling the capacity crowd including Chief of South African Air Force Lt-Gen R.J. Buekes, the chief guest on the occasion.

A special day cover was released to honour Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, Squadron Leader Rajiv Pundir, Flight Lieutenant Subramaniam Muhilan, Sergeant PNVR Prasad and Sergeant R. Sahu, who were killed during the Kargil conflict.

Among the Air Force personnel decorated on the occasion were Kargil hero Flight Lieutenant Gaurav Chibber and Squadron Leader Rajiv Pundir.

Flight Lieutenant Subramaniam Muhilan, Sergeant PNVR Prasad and Sergeant R Sahu were also honoured with Vayu Sena medals posthumously.

Squadron Leader Pundir’s medal was received by his sobbing widow. While Sergeant Sahu’s father received the medal for his son. The surviving Kargil hero Flight Lieutenant K. Nachiketa was honoured with the prestigious Vayu Sena medal.

Three MI-8 helicopters carrying the air force insignia flew past as the Air Chief took the salute at the ceremonial parade conducted by 57 officers, 377 airmen and 48 band personnel. The parade was commanded by the Group Captain Manmohan Sud of the Air Force Communication Squadron, Palam.

Air Force Chief's Commendations

Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis has commended the following officers, airman and civilians for their outstanding performance and devotion on the eve of Air Force Day.

Wing Commanders
Bellap Naryan Chander, Puran Chand Grover, Kamal Kumar Mehrotra, Habbale Mukundiah Venkatesh Murthy, Pradeep Kumar Khanna, Mark Charles McKenzie, Mahipal Singh Rathee, Varadarajan Devarajan, Piara Singh Randhawa, Sajal Kumar Moitra, Neeraj Bhalla, Rajashekar Shankar.

Squadron Leaders
Anil Kumar Benipuri, Pradeep Ranjan Sinha, Hasija Praveen Kumar, Rajinder Sharma, Shaik Mahaboob Subhani, Ramala Venkata Sesha Reddy, Soumitra Kumar Dey, Kirit Narmadbhai Trivedi, Amit Bhattacharya, Mrigendra Singh, Mohan Rao, Naresh Dogra, Nrip Kumar Mehta, Rakesh Kumar Khattri, Kamendra Kishore Verma, Ramesh Parshuram Singh, Akhilesh Kumar Verma, Nilanjan Biswas, Arun Bhaskar Gupta, Joe Peter Mathew Dias, Narinder Taneja, Rajendra Pratap Singh, Conjeevaram Suramanian Raghuraman, Sanjeev Dubey, Prabal Kanti Gosh, Sukumaran Ramakrishnan, Sanjay Nathak, Om Prakash Singh, Rajendra Singh Makker, Lalan Kumar, Rakshale Sanjeev Kumar, Amit Shukla, Saji Antony, Vinod Kumar Singh, Govindan Ravi, Kunjar Radhakrishan, Subodh Yashavant Joshi, Sanjay Dhankhar, Ram Kumar Itihikkat, Kuppusamy Srinivasan, Ashwini Kumar Handa, Laxmikant Vitthal Mandlik, Debasish Biswas, Chandrashek ar Monish, Padmanabha Pillai Suresh, Sorabh Baijal, Tejpal Singh, Prashant Sharad Wadookar, Puneet Narain, Gopal Singh Chauhan, Kengeri Srikantiah Gopalakrishna, Vivek Jayaswal.

Flight Lieutenants
Kapil Rastogi, Rajeev Gupta, Thangavelu Sujit Kumar, Vivek Narayan Singh, Shine C. Dathan, Amol Arun Shukla, Dheeraj Bhatia , Anurag Misra, Harish Garg, Jyoti Prasad Gayan, Anupma Joshi, Prashant Kumar Singh, Rajesh Singh Bisht, Himanshu Pandit, Moluguri Srinivas, Naveen Singh Gaur, Sanjay Chopra.

Flying Officers
Ripu Daman Singh, Rohit Kapil.

Master Warrant Officers
Surat Singh Shah, Ranjit Singh, Valleru Lakshmi Narayana Rao, Abdul Kadar Puthiya Purayil, Gurbachan Singh, Ramesh Prasad Bajpai, Ganti Rama Rao.

Warrant Officers
Mithai Lal Kushwaha, Dahani Ram Verma, Ran Baran, Bholaram Mattu, Shiv Bahadur Singh, Xavier George, Ladukeswar Sahoo, Omprakash, Hasseb Ahmad Khan, Shripat Rambahal Sharma.

Junior Warrant Officers
N.S. Pillai, Upendra Prasad, Dhanattar Singh, Shibatosh Majumdar, Jagdamba Mishra, Dadan Singh, Kishori Lal, Sundram Daniel Peter, Krishan Gopal Tripathi, Devendra Kumar, Ramesh Rao, Narendra Kumar Tyagi, Rakesh Nigam, Hardhan Debnath, Suresh Pal, Sukhbir Singh, Ashok Kumar Metha, Gyan Singh, Subramaniam Sivaraman, Mahendra Nath Mahata, Chakkalakal Varghese Paulson, Hemant Kumar, Virbhan Gorayana.

Sergeants
Farooque Azam Bakshi, Jamuna Prasad Rai, Satyanarayan Singh, Ram Bhajan Singh Verma, Padhanabha Umathanu Pillai, Rajendra Kumar Sharma, Ramchandran Vaithiyanathan, Charanjeet Singh, Rajendra Prasad Tripathi, Prema Kumar M.V., Ram Nayan Yadav, Roy Nityamoy, Bhadola Ramshiromani Singh. Suresh Kumar Gupta, Ashok Kumar Upadhyay, Ram Prakash Yadav, Ganesan Rajagopalan, Vijaya Krishna Gonuguntla, Ramphal Dahiya, B. Chandrashekhar Rao, Vellaiya Pillai Athithan, Prem Prakah, Jabar Singh, Nand Lal, Thorat Anil Dattatraya, Varadarajulu Purushothaman, Sushil Kumar Sharma, Yadav Sudhanshu Prasad, Pittala Murali Krishna Rao, Ravi Kumar Chakilala, Satish Kumar Sharma, Tarak Nath Maity, Vilas Shankar Borole, Mohandas Thrivikramapurath Pisharath, Attar Singh, Raj Kumar, Ramesh J, Mahipal, Man Singh Tanwar, Tapas Choudhary, Grish Mukund Bam, Bhagat Ram, Rajendra Prasad, Baljeet Singh, Indra Prasad Rao, Binay Kumar Dass, Chandrahas Mishra, S.P. Yadav, Dhruv Ranjan Kumar, Santosh Manat, Pawan Kumar Ashat.

Corporals
Narayan M. Harikant, Golak Nath Konar, Inderjeet Singh, Somnath Paul, Virendra Singh, Gunti Jeevarathnam, Subrta Guha Neogi, Parashar Deepak Kumar, Addaguduru Venkata Chalam, Hardikar Mandar Waman, Mushafir Prasad, Ram Niwas Godara, Pandey Awadesh Kumar, Subash Chahal, Rajeev Kumar Singh, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Sanjay Kumar Sharda, Ajaya Kumar T.K. Arup Kumar Guchhait, Biplab Chatterjee, Law Kumar Pandey, Sanjay Kumar, Vasant Vivek Shirke.