Service No : 775180-S
Place of birth : Amethi Dist (UP)
Last Rank : Junior Warrant Officer
Unit : 157 HU AF
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Awards : Vayu Sena Medal
Martyrdom : June 25, 2013
775180 Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh Flight Engineer was on the posted strength of a Mi-17 V5 Helicopter unit since 23 Jul 12. On 25 Jun 2013. Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh was tasked to move essential supplies and rescue stranded civilians from Kedarnath as a part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Missions that were undertaken in the aftermath of the disaster which occurred recently in Uttarakhand. As a motivated aircrew who had been extensively involved in Relief Operations in the sector since 21 Jun 13, he carefully went about planning for the Mission. The task involved moving relief Teams of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) from Guptkashi to Kedarnath.
The presence of inclement weather and poor light conditions in the tricky hill terrain of the valley made the task extremely demanding and was delaying the operations. Knowing fully well that the helicopter would be operating at the limits of its capabilities. rather than abandoning the mission, he assessed the degree of difficulty of landing at high altitude and evacuation from inhospitable terrain and accepted the challenges of the Mission. He gainfully utilized the delay caused by bad weather conditions to carefully plan the Mission. Having assessed all the factors and the restrictions imposed by the adverse weather, he provided all possible assistance as a team member. With his timely assistance the crew was able to take off at the first available opportunity and land at Guptkashi displaying high degree of determination and skill. The Relief Teams were then safely transported to Kedarnath.
The helicopter took off from Kedarnath with the Relief Teams. ready to make another shuttle at the earliest. However, the weather conditions on the return leg deteriorated at a rapid rate and the aircraft crashed killing all its occupants. This selfless act of courage of flying the helicopter through extremely hostile terrain in marginal weather conditions provided much awaited succour to the affected civilians at Kedarnath. Flying these high risk missions in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, Junior Warrant Officer AK Singh supported the decisions of his captain, displaying exceptional courage. professionalism and unwavering devotion to duty. For this act of exceptional bravery and pre-eminent valour which finally led to the supreme sacrifice. Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), posthumously to Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh.