PRESIDENT CONFERS VAYU SENA MEDAL (GALLANTRY) TO SERGEANT AMIT KUMAR JHA
On 01 December 2017, the Unit was tasked for HADR mission towards Cyclonic storm `Ockhi’ in the area of west of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He volunteered for the mission and ensured timely preparation of aircraft for the role. Realising the time criticality of the mission and the requirement to rescue more than one survivor, Sergeant Jha suggested the use of ‘strop’ in place of ‘harness’ as it would save time and aid in the speedy recovery of survivors. No naval diver was available for the mission and to aid recovery of survivors from the sea, he requested for a tech trade to operate the winch while he himself decided to do the task of a naval diver if the situation demanded’ so. The high sea state and being an inexperienced swimmer did not deter Sergeant Jha from winching down into the sea to rescue survivors. Realising that the use of `strop’ though expediting recoveries could lead to a mishap to inexperienced civilians, Sergeant Jha personally carried five survivors with him on the winch in the first mission on that day. On his second mission, he assisted the naval diver in safely rescuing five more fishermen from capsized boats.
For his act of exceptional courage and bravery in the face, the life-threatening situation and saving the lives of 10 fishermen, Sergeant Amit Kumar Jha is awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)’.
PRESIDENT CONFERS VAYU SENA MEDAL (GALLANTRY) TO WING COMMANDER BHUVANENDRAN NAIR PRASANTH
On 16 August 2018, Wing Commander Bhuvanendran Nair Prasanth and his team joined the HADR operations of ‘Op Karuna’ in flood affected area of Kerala. In a mission, he noticed 13 college girls stranded on a tiny rooftop. Due to inadequate space on the rooftop, most crew members advised him not to winch down to save the stranded girls. Disregarding his own safety, the officer winched down to rescue all the 13 survivors from the rooftop. In another mission, Wing Commander Nair winched up two toddlers barehanded without a body harness so as to avoid the risk of the toddlers getting chocked in the harness due to the heavy downwash of the helicopter. During the complete operation, his team saved over a thousand lives while he alone was responsible for bringing 112 people including four infants and a 102-year-old lady to safety. Wing Commander Nair with his exceptional leadership, has inspired everyone including the men under his command. In all the missions, he has repeatedly exhibited exemplary courage and professionalism.
For his exceptional courage and selfless bravery, Wing Commander Bhuvanendran Nair Prasanth is awarded ‘Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).