Squadron Leader Suraj Nair (32105) is on posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Unit.
New Delhi. On 3 April 2021, San Ldr Nair volunteered to take part in a daring Casualty Evacuation mission in the vicinity to an ambush site in a known Naxalite infested area. He provided priceless inputs to the higher authorities at the control centre for effective planning and successful accomplishment of the mission. He planned the preparation and launch of the helicopters in a short notice; serving as an asset to his mission leader. After recce of the ambush site, his inputs were instrumental in effective execution of the dynamic mission.
The mission involved high risk due to the unfamiliar hostile area with Naxalites operating in proximity to the hills. During the initial recce, he manoeuvred his helicopter clear of the mission leader, simultaneously looking for disposition of own and hostile forces and locating a suitable spot for extraction. During the Cas Evac, displaying good situational awareness, he effectively guided the third helicopter towards his leader. His immaculate handling of the aircraft proved instrumental in safely recovering mortal remains from the restricted landing site with an uneven surface which was surrounded by tall trees. His deft Crew Resource Management ensured safe accomplishment of the task in a hostile area.
In the subsequent missions for support of these operations, he recovered eight mortal remains from the ambush site. He was also involved in the insertion of 120 commandos for augmenting operations. With exceptional commitment to the assigned task, presence of mind and optimum utilisation of resources at hand, he was able to effect safe and expeditious conduct of missions in the vicinity of volatile combat site.
For his act of exceptional courage and disregard to personal safety in a very hostile combat zone, Sqn Ldr Suraj Nair is conferred with the award of Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).