Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry)

Lt Cdr Vikash Kumar Narwal, 05433-Y 

On 03 Aug 15, Lt Cdr Vikash Kumar Narwal was undertaking a check test flight of MiG-29K aircraft (Frame number 802). The aircraft experienced major air frame damage, wherein, the major portionright flap had sheared off, causing excessive loss of control over the aircraft.  The Emergency happened at base leg turning point at a height of only 1200 feet, which caused secondary damage to right horizontal stabilizer and right rudder. This further caused difficulty in direction maintenance on finals as well as during initial part of landing. Facing a non-standard emergency at low level, the officer, in the face of impending peril, with exemplary professionalism, exhibited quick presence of mind, accomplished the daunting task of handling the emergency and landed the aircraft safely at INS Hansa, with multiple structural damages onboard. 

The officer while handling this grave emergency displayed utmost professional competence and utter disregard to his personal safety by choosing not to eject.  The officer through unflinching bravery, stellar devotion to duty and unabating tenacity avoided air crash, thereby averted major catastrophe in the city of Goa and saved lives of numerous civilians in the vicinity of airfield, damage to property and most importantly safety of the fighter aircraft.

Lt Cdr Vikash Kumar Narwal thus displayed courage of exemplary order, conspicuous gallantry and outstanding professionalism with scant regard to the safety of his own life and has therefore been awarded Nau Sena Medal (Gallantry).

Veer Singh, CPO CD I, 122676-K
Dornier IN-240 had ditched, off Karwar, in Mar 15 and lay at depth of 58m. CCDT(MBI) was tasked for recovery of fuselage as also the mortal remains of the personnel likely to be entrapped therein. Diving to this depth was beyond both the qualification depth of clearance divers, viz, 55m and the equipment available viz 50m. The depth also posed danger of Nitrogen Narcosis that impairs the diver's judgment  and imposed bottom time restrictions and decompression penalty. Further, the mangled condition of wreck posed danger of snagging/damaging diver's equipment and was also partially sunk in loose mud that posed problems of extracting the bodies within limited dive time. Sensing the urgency and importance of the task at hand, Veer  Singh ,CPO CD-I (122676-k), Squadron Chief, salvage squadron of this unit, led his team by personal example showing raw courage and devotion to purpose. He dived repeatedly for location of the wreck and thereafter for salvage of the wreck even exceeding the stipulated limiting line exposing him to great danger. He personally recovered both the bodies as well as the Flight data recorder (black box) by innovatively gaining access to them through the damaged fuselage by sheer strength and brute force. His courage, grit and determination, quickly percolated to other members of his team leading to successful accomplishment of the task and brought closure to the families of the deceased aircrew and aided investigation through recovery of black box.

The task was a test of his mental aptitude and physical courage required to complete this very difficult task under dangerous conditions. His gallant actions aided in not only handing over the mortal remains to the families of the deceased aircrew but also aided investigation. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the depth he dived posed danger of Nitrogen Narcosis that impairs the diver' judgment and imposed bottom time restrictions and decompression penalty.

The sailor displayed indomitable courage, conspicuous gallantry of a very high order in daring to dive under the most trying circumstances in line of duty and therefore, Veer Singh, CPOCDI (122676-k) has been awarded Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry).

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