IAF | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: For displaying exceptional courage in an extremely hostile area in Operation Triveni, Wing Commander Chinmaya Patro of the Indian Air Force is conferred with the award of Vayu Sena Medal.
According to the Ministry of Defence, Wing Commander Chinmaya Patro is posted strength of a Mi-17-V5 Helicopter Unit. On April 3, 2021, as part of Operation Triveni, Wing Commander Patro was detailed to lead a three aircraft Casualty Evacuation (CasEvac) mission post a deadly ambush by Naxals. This high-risk mission involved landing in an unfamiliar hostile area. He was instrumental in the initial planning and led a two aircraft formation to the nearest nodal helipad.
Soon after landing at the helipad after aerial recce, he reassessed the situation from the on-ground forces and provided valuable inputs for an "On-site Cas Evac". He planned the launch of the third helicopter to provide aerial support at the hostile site.
During the mission, however, the casualties were observed at a site that was located at a distance away from that communicated previously. Patro took a calculated decision to continue with the casualty extraction based on the visual signal, presence of the number of friendly troops and a thorough scan of the adjacent area. Thereafter, he deftly manoeuvered to avoid the threat zones and landed on a small unprepared area adjacent to the encounter site. He airlifted seven casualties to Raipur and thereafter guided the second helicopter towards the landing site.
Displaying exceptional commitment and astute presence of mind, his prompt actions led to his team evacuating 18 casualties and 22 mortal remains from the ambush site. He also orchestrated the reinforcement of about 120 troops in the vicinity of the ambush site. By willingly accepting and executing a very high-risk mission resulting in the saving of lives, Wing Commander Patro displayed exceptional courage which acted as a morale booster to the forces on the ground.
President Ram Nath Kovind has approved 384 Gallantry awards for armed forces personnel and others on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day celebrations, said the Ministry of Defence on Tuesday.
President's Medal for Gallantry and President's Medal for Distinguished Services as well as Gallantry Medal and Meritorious Services Medals are awarded to the personnel of armed forces and other services on Republic Day and Independence Day each year.