Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
14-August-2015 10:09 IST
President Confers Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Sergeant Mukesh Kumar Tiwari Flight Gunner


BEFORE 0001 HRS ON 15 AUG 2015


1.         776027 Sergeant Mukesh Kumar Tiwari, Flight Gunner, is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Unit since 30 September  2013.  He holds Category B on Mi-17V5.

2.         On 21 November 2014, at 1610 hrs he was detailed to fly as a Flight Gunner in No 1 aircraft in a two aircraft mission to evacuate casualties from a forest area in Sukma district of Chattisgarh.  He prepared the aircraft for the mission in a record time thereby ensuring safe and timely launch.  He effectively briefed the medevac teams and the Garud commando forces on the prevailing life threatening conditions on the ground and the importance of the mission. To save on time, he optimized the cargo space for casualty evacuation, while in flight, using innovative ideas.

3.         As the helicopter approached the evacuation zone, he effectively scanned the area and readied the cargo hold for landing and quick evacuation. Displaying professionalism of a high order he assisted the Medical team in giving first aid to the injured personnel and transfer of casualties and their setting down inside the cargo compartment. His actions resulted in a very quick loading and exit of the aircraft from the evacuation zone. However, on the takeoff leg the Helicopter came under a burst of hostile fire.  The first bullet pierced through the door and splinters tore though his leg chest and arm.  At the same time another splinter hit CRPF personnel.  Despite grave injuries to himself, he kept his calm and composure and continued with his duties.  He displayed a high degree of courage and determination in keeping the environment in the cargo compartment calm and under control despite being injured himself. He comforted the other injured CRPF personnel while underplaying the grave injuries sustained by him. His resolute spirit and assurance encouraged the Captain to focus on the other aspects of extrication from the area and safely leading the two helicopters missions back.  Both the helicopters landed safely at Jagdalpur at 1800h.  His courageous spirit was reflected in the fact that he continued discharging his duties right until opening the door after landing.

4.         For his exceptional courage and resolute commitment after being gravely wounded, Sergeant Mukesh Kumar Tiwari is recommended for the award of Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).